Published On: Wed, Nov 16th, 2016

Tigers will get new band uniforms

OSMOND — The Monday, Nov. 14, meeting of the District 42R school board was a lengthy one, lasting more than 2 1/2 hours. A number of items on the agenda as well as input from several guests contributed to the long night. Those in attendance included Larry Krohn, Deb Schuettler, Christalin Ginn and Leah Orr.

Screenshot 2016-11-16 08.04.14Mrs. Orr, representing the Osmond TeamMates Chapter, updated the board on the program, which is in its third year here. The group continues to recruit members, but is in need of mentors. Mrs. Orr gave an update on what the chapter has done as a group so far this year. She also shared what the group will be doing in the future, including celebrating National Mentoring Month in January. She explained that many people think that TeamMates is only for kids “in need,” but that is not true; it is for any student who would like to participate. When asked about the time involved, she explained that it doesn’t take much time, just once a week, and could be before or after school. Mentors and mentees meet anywhere in the school building. The students currently in the program are from fourth through 12th grades, and right now, three students need mentors. One struggle, Mrs. Orr said, is that they would like more school staff members to be mentors. She explained that, in many other schools, a large percentage of mentors are staff members. She asked the board for ideas to get Osmond school staff members interested. After a period of questions and answers, the board thanked Mrs. Orr, and she shared some pictures of the activities the chapter has had so far this year.

Mrs. Ginn then gave a presentation on band uniforms. She showed the board one of the current uniforms, which are 24 years old. She has been looking into filling the needs of the band and has narrowed her search to two companies. She discussed the different options with each of the companies, the time frame for receiving the band uniforms, costs and payment options. After discussion of the options, Mrs. Ginn and board members agreed that the uniforms from Stanbury looked like the best option. Mrs. Schuettler, representing the Osmond Music Boosters, gave a report on the group’s funds and said they would be able to cover half the cost of the uniforms. Mrs. Ginn said the group will do fund-raising in the future, so they could cover the rest of the cost, but said she was asking for the board’s help. After discussion on other options for raising the money, Superintendent Dave Hamm recommended the board agree to fund the rest of the cost. He said, considering how much the school spends on sports uniforms each year, the district should also contribute to the band uniforms. Board President Michelle Reikofski agreed, saying Osmond has one of the best bands in the area. She hears the positive comments during parades and the Veterans Day program, and there is value in that, she added. The board expressed that they were impressed with the presentation and agreed that Mrs. Ginn should move forward with purchasing the uniforms from Stanbury.

Principal Mike Brown commended the high school and junior high volleyball, football and cross country teams on their successful seasons. He commented on the Veterans Day program, which was well attended, and praised Rev. Dave Feddern and Drew Krienert for their excellent speeches. Mr. Brown reported that there was 91% attendance for the K-sixth grades and 68% attendance for seventh through 12th grades at the recent parent-teacher conferences, which was down a little from last year. He gave a report on upcoming activities, which include: Nov. 14, winter sports practice began; Nov. 15, anatomy class blood drive and Lewis and Clark one-act play competition at Wausa; Nov. 16, career fair for grades 7-11 and County Government Day for seniors; Nov. 17, junior high wrestling at Plainview; Nov. 23, early dismissal for Thanksgiving; Nov. 28, Hall of Fame basketball scrimmage at Howells; Dec. 2, District FFA at Allen and basketball against Randolph; Dec. 3, wrestling at Creighton.

School counselor Jane Brummels discussed the Nov. 16 career fair and invited board members to come in. Some 20 businesses are scheduled to attend, with four break-out sessions planned. Students were polled last year, Brummels said, with some saying they would like more female-oriented careers represented, which they have tried to do this year. Mrs. Brummels also discussed ACT tests which will be held in April and an ACT information workshop she will attend in Lincoln on Thursday, Nov. 17. There was some discussion on the ACTs and the ACT test prep, following questions by Mr. Krohn about the test.

Superintendent Hamm reminded board members that the Nebraska Association of School Boards state conference is Nov. 16-18 in La Vista. He noted that an Osmond student, Tyler Reikofski, was selected to serve on the “Student Voices” panel at the conference, and congratulated Tyler on being chosen. Hamm reported on the annual safety analysis visit of Larry Bock of ALICAP, the district’s workman’s compensation company. Hamm said Bock is impressed with the progress Osmond Community School has made in the past several years since he has been coming here.

Mr. Hamm reported that the Blue Cross-Blue Shield rates will have an 8% increase, which will affect the district’s “calculating language” in the negotiated agreement for teachers’ wages. He shared with the board several spreadsheets showing the different options. The board agreed to just leave the contract as is.

Hamm then discussed wages for the paraprofessionals. He informed the board that Osmond’s paras are currently the lowest-paid employees in the district and they serve a vital role in insuring the success of both students and staff. He asked for and received the board’s approval to bring a proposal to the December meeting, addressing the paraprofessionals’ wages. He also asked the board’s permission to advertise for a half-time reading specialist; after some discussion of the position, the board agreed.

Mr. Hamm informed the board that several SmartBoards need replacement. He also reported on the Unified bowling team, which had its first meet on Saturday, Nov. 12, and did well.

Hamm gave the board some information about the “Fridays at Northeast” (Northeast Community College) program, which provides college classes for high school seniors. The program will be greatly expanded next year, and he said he would like the district to go to a four-day schedule for seniors, with them attending Fridays at Northeast, for those who are interested in the program. The board discussed how a four-day schedule could work and agreed that a lot of thought will have to go into it. Hamm asked for board approval to look into it and see if it will work, and the board agreed, but asked for progress reports.

Hamm informed the board that the district did not receive the bus rebate he applied for. It was noted that board members Ed Brummels and Paul Koehler have met with bus barn coordinator Dwight Kahny about bus needs and things to watch out for. They have a plan and will look into it at the state convention.

Board President Reikofski commented that she feels the board needs to have another community engagement and asked if Thursday, Dec. 1, will work. She and board members Mark Moes and Jennifer Wingert, with Koehler as an alternate, will work on an agenda. Reikofski also read thank you notes from Jared Bessmer and the Marcus Morfeld family.

In other business, the board:

— approved the 2015-16 audit as presented.

— repealed existing policies 4036 and 5058; revised policies 3018, 4019, 4059, 5010 and 5054, and approved new policies 3039 Threat Assessment and Response, 3040 School Safety and Security, 3041 Crisis Team Duties, and 5067 Student Assistance Team Process.

— recognized the Osmond Education Association as the exclusive bargaining agent for the district’s non-supervisory certificated staff for the 2018-19 contract year.

— approved the superintendent evaluation and recommended continuing his contract.