Powder River Examiner -

School Board meets for June meeting

 


The Broadus School Board met Monday evening, with all members present except Shasta Madsen and Lori Fortner. On the agenda were matters including hiring of a Cheer Coach and other spring sports coaches, considering 8th grade participation in High School Volleyball, approving handbooks, adopting board policy updates, discussing Buildings & Ground Committee recommendations, adopting a resolution to sell surplus property in an online auction, transferring some funds, and deciding whether or not to conduct a July meeting.

First on the agenda was the hiring of coaches. Superintendent Jim Hansen spoke to the Board regarding the coaches, and the board quickly moved and passed a motion to hire Heather Naugle (PRCDHS Class of 2010) as Head Cheer Coach, Jerry Coulter and Jeri Dell as Head and Assistant Track Coaches, Ashley Emmons as JH Track Coach, Brandi Billing for the High School Play, and Chad and Rick Gatlin as Head and Assistant Golf Coaches for the 2019-20 School Year.

Next up was the consideration of whether 8th graders should be allowed to participate in High School Volleyball. Last season, a group of 8th graders were pulled up to play at the HS level, but due to some injuries and issues, there weren’t enough High School girls on the team to field a JV team throughout the season (10 HS players are necessary to field both Varsity and JV teams). This meant the 8th graders were playing Varsity, while missing their 8th grade Junior High season, which runs concurrently with the HS season. High School Volleyball Coach Gordon Archer was on hand to comment, noting that as numbers currently stand, they look to have enough players to field both a Varsity and JV team this year. Gordon was in favor of bringing up 8th graders, commenting that he would like to pick the players ready to come up to the high school, while those players who needed a little extra work could stay and play Junior High Volleyball. He noted that whatever the board decided (whether to bring the full lot of 8th graders or just a specific few), he would be fine with the Board’s decision. The Board discussed the matter, and while reading through the MHSA policy it was noted that the 8th graders are able to go back down to Junior High if they choose.

The Board eventually moved and passed a motion to allow all 8th graders volleyball players to come up to the HS level (if they so choose to come up), for the next school year.

Next on the agenda was the approval of a plethora of handbooks, including the classified, certified, student, transportation, and coach’s handbooks.

A point of contention which led to discussion was a proposed change to the student handbook, which would modify the current policy on who qualifies for Valedictorian and Salutatorian. The current policy allowed a Senior who had attended PRCDHS from the 6th day of the Senior year to qualify for the top honors. The issue of whether or not to change this policy had come up at an earlier meeting, and stemmed from the 2019 Class, where exchange student Alessandro Galieni achieved Salutatorian. Galieni’s GPA was high enough above the next person in line that the matter likely wouldn’t have been an issue even if he had gone to PRCDHS for multiple years. There was some concern from parents and others that in the future, an exchange student or other student transferring in for the Fall semester of their Senior year could take Valedictorian honors.

Broadus School Counselor Dori Phillips contacted a number of other area schools to see what their policies were regarding how long a student needed to attend the school to qualify for top honors. Her findings were read for the Board: Ekalaka requires two years; Jordan three semesters, Forsyth requires a student to attend from the 20th day of their Senior year, Wibaux requires seven semesters, Terry two calendar years, Hulett two years, Belle Fourche one year, and Miles City three years.

Board Member Rob Jones commented that the biggest problem he saw with changing the policy is that it would potentially eliminate a portion of the student body (an exchange or transfer student) from having the ability to attain the high honors.

Principal Denise Ternes said that students transferring in may not have had the same standards as our students. It was also noted that a number of high-end scholarships are available for students who are not Valedictorian and Salutatorian – for example the Montana University System Honors Scholarships, earned by Hannah Rasmussen this year, which was given to the Top 100 students in Montana, regardless of whether they were Valedictorian or not.

A committee had been set up to discuss the matter, and had concluded that they would recommend a change to a two-year requirement, which was passed along with the other handbooks in a motion and vote.

The Board next passed the 2nd reading for the MSBA Board Policy updates, and moved on to the recommendations from the Buildings and Grounds committee.

The committee had looked at a number of things needing fixed, including updating the phone system at the HS, replacing the HS roof, which had been installed in 1993 with a 20 year lifespan, purchasing a transportation vehicle, and changing the locker rooms.

The committee recommended three immediate changes, first the installation of a new phone system, which would cost around$17,000. Second, the purchase of a large transit van, which would hold around 14 passengers and would not require a CDL to drive. This would allow coaches or others to drive smaller teams to events, such as during golf, wrestling, or cross country. This van would cost around $38,500. Third was looking at getting quotes on a new roof for the HS, which was expected to cost a whopping $800,000 or thereabouts.

The Board then passed a motion approving the three recommendations.

Next up, the Board passed a motion to conduct an online auction of surplus school property. The auction is expected to take place via the school’s website and Facebook pages.

The Board then passed a motion to transfer some funds via the Interlocal 182 Fund, which allows transfer of money between the districts. The $100,000 transfer will go to the Building Reserve Fund, to potentially help pay for the HS roof.

The Board then motioned a motion to not have a July meeting, while allowing the Clerk to pay the July bills, and a small committee was set up to hire the Athletic Director.

 

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