School board welcomes student board member



The Tea Area School Board welcomed a new member to the board at its Oct. 12 meeting.

For the first time, the board swore in student representative Ben Daggett.

Business manager Chris Esping provided a chart on the levy trend the school district has seen in the last few years. Superintendent Jennifer Lowery said the board has worked to keep the levy below $4. In 2016, the state allowed a half penny sales tax that went to property tax reduction. The half penny allowed the district to keep the Venture Elementary bond down. Esping noted they are going to need money to bond for future needs like a future elementary.

 Lowery provided the board with the COVID-19 operations update from the COVID Response Team. The message from the team was strong support for the work that has been done and they encourage the district to stay the course. The team will meet again Nov. 4, a week before the November board meeting and will discuss facility use.

The COVID Financial Team is focuses on the areas of personal protective equipment, staff payments, staffing, tech software, tech hardware, transportation and facilities.

The board approved the resignations of Deb Holter as paraprofessional, Elizabeth Ju as paraprofessional and Jill Lear as psychologist. They approved the new hires of Morgan Hoglund as full-time substitute, Krystal Goodale as full-time substitute, Kaitlyn Soukup as full-time substitute, Alannah Aesop’s as full-time substitute, Courtney Burrack as student services specialist, Sierra Cheppenko for TASK, Paityn Fredricks for TASK, Jeslyn Huinker for TASK and Matthew DeBoer as educational software specialist.

They approved a revision to the Chromebook policy in the student handbook. The handbook will now read, “Charger replacement is 100 percent family coverage regardless of circumstances, including but not limited to accidental damage, intentional damage or a lost or stolen charger.”

They also surplused four Chromebooks.

The board held a first reading on Title I A Policy to meet Title I A compliance.

Special education director Jody Taylor discussed special education staffing. She noted in the past several years, they have created specialized programs and she talked about the need of expanding some of those into the middle and high school. Additional costs to the program the board approved that included going from two paraprofessional to one certified teacher and materials are $9,876.

In Lowery’s report, she noted they had nine families apply for public school exemption. She also thanked DeGeest for their donation of materials for two sections of guardrails at the high school.

The board adjourned at 7:26 p.m.

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