Published On: Thu, Oct 12th, 2017

School board challenged by TeamMates member

OSMOND — The Monday, Oct. 9, meeting of the 42R Board of Education began with a presentation by Gary Schieffer. Gary, a spokesperson on the board of directors of the Osmond TeamMates Chapter, explained what mentoring is and how it has changed him in the year or so that he has been volunteering as a mentor. The youth he mentors has also changed in that time. The first time the young man initiated a conversation, he said, “I’ll never forget that.”
Schieffer and guidance counselor Jane Brummels answered board members’ questions about the Osmond chapter, saying the program includes students from third grade to the senior year. There are 25 or 26 matches right now, and there is a waiting list of about six or seven students.
Gary challenged board members and administrators to become members of the mentoring program. “It works!,” he concluded.
In the school counselor report, Brummels advised that students have completed MAP testing for the fall and have set goals for the spring testing. NeSA spring 2017 individual student reports will be sent home with students. The NeSA data is embargoed right now because date from NeSA English Language Arts cannot be compared with NeSA-Reading date from the past. The state test will be NWEA-MAP this spring for grades three through eight. Brummels will attend a workshop Oct. 12 for more information on the process. Juniors will take the ACT test April 3. Ten juniors signed up for the PSAT test on Oct. 11, and all juniors will take the ASVAB test Nov. 15.
Brummels told the board there are five seniors attending Fridays at Northeast this fall. There is a list for Fridays at Northeast opportunities for the spring and seniors are looking into that. She advised that she is still working on setting up internships and job shadows for seniors. Sophomores will attend a career day at Wayne State College on Oct. 17.
Brummels updated the board on Student Learning Teams’ activities, which include inviting local business persons to talk with the teams in November.
Principal Kurt Polt advised the board that Friday, Oct. 13, is the last day of the first quarter. Students will be dismissed on that day for a teacher in-service. First quarter grades are due on Oct. 12 so grade verification sheets can be printed and given to teachers. This is new this year. The sheets verify that all grades are correct before they are stored so report cards can be completed. Parent-teacher conferences are scheduled for Monday, Oct. 16, Polt advised. There will be no school that day. A representative from ESU 1 will come to Osmond Nov. 2 and Nov. 7 to train selected staff members on how to use specific reading strategies. He added that he and instructors Joe Ortmeier and Keri Schultze will travel to Columbus on Wednesday, Oct. 11, to attend a training on crisis and grief counseling.
Polt discussed upcoming events, including cross country districts Oct. 12 at Pender, volleyball subdistricts Oct. 30 at Creighton and first round of D2 football playoffs Oct. 26. Polt added that the marching band received second place in Class D at the Harvest of Harmony parade in Grand Island on Saturday, Oct. 7.
Superintendent Dave Hamm reported on the NASB conference, lawn mower repair, a tire swing that was ordered by the elementary Student Council, the school website, Unified Bowling, walkie-talkies purchased at the request of the school’s safety team, the ALICAP safety report, and professional development activities and perceptual surveys for students, staff and parents. Hamm discussed the football counts which were reported by Brian Guenther, saying Osmond will be eligible for six-man football next year, but will then go back to eight-man for four years before dipping down again. He also discussed a comparison of Osmond’s tax asking with other districts in the conference and northeast Nebraska. Hamm said it is important that patrons realize the district has the lowest tax asking and is the most efficient of the districts. Board President Michelle Reikofski added that the Osmond board always tries to do what is best for the students.
Hamm asked the board’s opinion on leasing a skid loader, to be used primarily for snow removal. After some discussion, the consensus was to go ahead and try it.
Hamm advised that the district will participate in a mass casualty exercise on Friday, Oct. 20, about 7 a.m. with Osmond General Hospital, Osmond EMTs, law enforcement and other entities. It will involve a school van, driver and eight student volunteers.
Superintendent Hamm discussed the substitute teacher situation with board members. He advised that first grade teacher Christy Koehler will be gone for several more weeks. A parent was concerned about the substitute situation; however, the district has substitutes lined up to cover the period Mrs. Koehler will be gone.
Board President Reikofski thanked Paul Koehler, Mark Moes and Aaron von Rentzell for attending the Nebraska Association of School Boards (NASB) area meeting in Norfolk, and congratulated them for earning second and third level awards.
In other business, the board:
— approved the recommended changes from KSB legal firm to adopt, revise, replace and delete a number of board policies.