At the Jan. 11 meeting, the Tea Area board of education accepted two resignations from staff members.
Robin Row, a sixth grade teacher, submitted her resignation effective Jan. 15. John Nolte, a high school science teacher and assistant girls basketball coach, submitted his resignation effective at the end of the 2015-16 school year.
Clair Willemssen, construction manager for the Tea Area School District building projects, updated the board on progress at Legacy Elementary. The footings for the new freezer should be put in within the next couple weeks. Xcel Energy figured out how to connect the power to the new portion of the school without shutting down power in the schools and the neighborhood. Some classrooms have been taped and painted. They have begun insulating the outside walls by the office. He said the estimated completion date is the end of March due to some weather delays this fall.
Wayne Larsen, operations manager for the district, gave an update on the high school secure entrance. The concrete is mostly finished. The vestibule is framed out but need glass and aluminum. The electrician finished running conduit this week. The sheetrock has been dropped off.
The school board set the 2016 election for June 21. Superintendent Jennifer Lowery met with special education director Jody Taylor about the needs for the district for next year. Currently the high school has one special education teacher, however, next year they are anticipating 31 high school students for special education and need another teacher. The district approved the hiring of another special education teacher in the high school.
Lowery met with School Resource Officer Tvedt about truancy information in the handbook. The recommendations came from an informational meeting with the state’s attorney. The truancy policy for junior kindergarten through eighth grade will change to a letter of attendance will be sent home after 10 and 13 days of absences. After 15 absences, notification will be made to the SRO, superintendent and state’s attorney. For high school students, a letter of attendance will be sent home after 10 days of absences per year. Failure to comply will result in notification to the courts after 15 absences. Attendance records will be forwarded to the deputy state’s attorney.
Lowery noted that minimum wage in South Dakota increased to $8.55 per hour as of Jan. 1. The board approved raising TASK program assistants, lead teachers, adult aides and student aides pay by a nickel per hour.
Lowery noted they have one family applying for exemption to homeschool—an 11th grader. She was looking forward to the governor’s state of the state address. Staff and faculty appreciation will be Jan. 23 from 5-6:15 p.m. in the high school. The district is moving forward with the pilot of NWEA, a student assessment program.
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