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School board adopts new curriculum

The Tea Area School Board met May 13 and adopted new curriculum for the district.

Curriculum director Elizabeth Herrboldt reviewed the curriculum recommendations for many curriculum areas for the 2024-25 school year. Some areas continued subscriptions, some upgraded to the next copyright of current curriculum and others switched to different resources. Cost-wise for 5-12 science there is no cost since they will continue to use Mystery Science along with Project Lead the Way and agriculture curriculum was a continuation of MyCaert. For welding and construction curriculum, it was additional materials for an increase in students with total costs for welding at $8,773.80 and construction at $318.90.

The cost for a change in 6-12 business curriculum was $16,500, 6-12 music was $4,928 for Sight Reading Factory, middle and high school health was $21,749.25, human sciences was $29,965.43, IT and audio visual was $1,000,

The total of $248,198.11 includes the curriculum, training and shipping costs. The amount comes in below the $350,000 that was budgeted. 6-8 science was $84,480 and high school science was $60,384.

The board approved the resignations of Christie Horsley as special education paraprofessional, Heidi Brown as part-time nurse, Kisha Abbas as paraprofessional and Tessa Ziemba as third grade teacher.

They approved the new hires of Adeli Gillis as TASK aide, Angela Nelson as 0.4 school psychologist, Carrie Hanson as special education PT, Cristina (Tiffany) Svennes as district English language learner teacher, David DeRoos for summer band lessons (starting summer of 2025), Emma Adamek for sixth grade math, Hannah Rick (Fields) as high school special education teacher (alternate certificate), Kimberly Gass as high school/community librarian, Kristina Becker as Legacy Elementary principal, Mariah Aker for seventh/eighth grade science, Rachel Lord as high school head volleyball coach and Stephen Waltner for ninth grade girls basketball.

Carson Quigley was hired as a middle school special education resource teacher (Advanced Student Teacher Permit). Superintendent Jennifer Lowery said this motion allows her to be the teacher of record but there will be a direct mentor at all IEP meetings.

Lowery noted one transfer of Olivia Esslinger from assistant eighth grade volleyball coach to seventh grade head volleyball coach.

The board approved adding a classified pay category for a speech language pathologist assistant at $27.50 per hour. These individuals can provide student service with supervision from a speech language pathologist.

Operations manager Wayne Larsen said they were down to one crane at the high school expansion project. Work continues on setting structural steel and decking on the two-story classroom area and elevator shaft. A lot of work has been going on on the gym with plumbing and electrical, getting the roof on the gym and once the roof is done then they can focus on drying it out and getting the floor down. The hope is to have the wood floor going in around June 10. They still plan to have the south area of the project (gym, wrestling room, locker rooms) done by August and the north area (classrooms, office area, music) by the start of second semester.

Business manager Chris Esping presented the information for foodservice contracts. The board approved the one-year extension of contracts for the bread with Pan O Gold and prime vendor with Performance Foodservice. Milk will come from Prairie Farms through the Avera Pace Program.

Two citizens addressed cell phone usage in the high school during public comment. They noted that not all teachers are enforcing the rules that are outlined in the student handbook. 

The district’s business office hours for the summer will be Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The board moved to vote for Cory Strasser from the Rapid City School District and Chuck Wilson from the Todd County High School for the South Dakota High School Activities Association board and to vote in favor of SDHSAA amendment that would not allow students to receive money for any kind of advertising.

Lowery noted that homecoming will be Sept. 27.

The Legacy Student Council received a Council of Excellence Award.

Lowery said that Title I grant funding is substantially more money because of the poverty rate in the county has increased. They are looking at ways to utilize that money for positions. The funds can only be used at Frontier Elementary and the middle school.

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