School Board members look for ideas from area school Districts

RANDOLPH — Board member Paul Schmit suggested several board members join him for an upcoming private meeting with Laurel school board members during the Oct. 15 regular meeting.

Superintendent Jeff Hoesing said the meeting will not be a public meeting and a quorum will not be present so no action will be taken without the minimum number of members that must be present at any meeting to make the proceedings of that meeting valid.

“The Laurel school board president would like to meet with Randolph to share thoughts and ideas,’’ Schmit said. “We should also probably plan to find out if any of our other neighboring schools would like to meet with us to discuss topics as well. We can learn from each other. I would like to hold the meeting in Randolph.’’

The principals will be included in the tentative Oct. 24 meeting along with possibly board member Jim Scott and Cody Backer.

Backer said he has been talking with Winside board representative Jon Jaeger.

Board members reviewed and approved the school audit. Hoesing said the public may see the audit if they come to the school office or the audit may possibly be posted at a later date on the school Website.

Hoesing said 11 percent of taxes are replaced by the Homestead Exemption and property tax so relief comes into households yet the school is still getting tax funds as the portion is coming from the State of Nebraska.

The Randolph school had more receipts than disbursements, according to Hoesing. Board members had anticipated $80,000 to $85,000 to be left, however the total came in at $104,181.

The board paid $91,000 for local Educational Service Unit services. Federal IDEA services were $58,000, according to Hoesing.

Ashley Schmit has agreed to fill the position left by Joyce Fink who will be going to Wausa, according to Mary Miller, principal.

“We have been working with the University of Nebraska- Lincoln and ESU 1 to improve our reading instruction,’’ Miller said. “We also gave out 10 responsibility awards in September.’’

Kids on the Block will stage an assembly about preventing bullying for students. The show will include puppets and a local drama student may be involved in helping with the show, Miller said. The Nebraska Elks provide the show to the school for free.

“We did bus evacuation, lockout and fire drills with students,’’ Miller said. “Firefighters came and did the lockout drill which was a new experience for students and good for them to know that there may be more than one person involved in those situations.’’

Principal Dennis Bazata said the school will have a blood drive on Nov. 5, an academic contest is planned for Nov. 7 at Wayne State College.

Randolph will face Laurel in the Lewis and Clark Conference volleyball tourney Saturday.

Bazata said a different format will be used this year.

“The majority of coaches wanted pool play which will make a more complex tournament,’’ he said. “Pool play will be used for all the teams except the top five. Teams six through 16 will be included in pool play. Wynot is the top team. Randolph is fifth. Every team will be involved in two games with a Tuesday championship match.’’

Reporting on the area principals’ meeting, Bazata said the topic of class rank and valedictorians revealed that schools are moving away from these concepts. Several schools have already changed to summa cum laude designations like college rankings.

Several schools don’t do traditional rankings as they feel this is becoming less important. Bazata said the group is also continuing their anonymous tip reporting service.

FCCLA attends district leadership conference at Wayne State College.

Thirty-nine percent of parents attended parent teacher conferences, according to Bazata.

“Our percentage of parents attending is down slightly from last year,’’ Bazata said.

Miller said there was an 85 percent parent-teacher participation with scheduled visits.

Hoesing asked the board if they would like to join the Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association (NRCSA). Hoesing said he is neutral about whether the board joins.

NRCSA focuses on rural community K-12 school districts and their role in Nebraska’s public education system.  Depth of membership matters when talking to senators, Hoesing said. The enrollment range of member schools includes districts up to 1,900 students.

Hoesing said sometimes NRCSA cannot take a stand on an issue if it isn’t a common one for the majority of member schools.

NRCSA offers two annual statewide events (Legislative Forum and Spring Conference planned for Kearney) which offers members the chance to learn about issues affecting rural schools, network with personnel representing other districts, and interact directly with policymakers as well as NRCSA leaders.

NRCSA offers recognition to those who demonstrate outstanding leadership and character in rural schools through exceptional scholarship and awards programs (sixteen $1,000 scholarships, seven Outstanding Educator Awards, fourteen Closing the Achievement Gap Effective School Awards).

NRCSA provides, exclusively to superintendents of member schools, written updates from the Executive Director on current association activities and involvement within the legislative process.  The superintendent is the conduit for getting this information to board members.

NRCSA offers leadership roles, nine elected and 45 appointed positions, for superintendents of member districts to be further involved.

NRCSA is one of thirty-two state rural community school organizations belonging to the National Rural Education Association (NREA). As a state affiliate, NRCSA offers discounted individual and school memberships to the NREA.

NRCSA offers the NRCSA-US Bank OneCard program to all school districts and service units statewide as a NRCSA program. The OneCard is a Visa purchase-only card that allows designated personnel to make purchases for the district. Thus eliminating the need to carry cash, or for staff to use their personal credit/debit card and go through a reimbursement process. NRCSA receives a portion of the interchange income generated by use of the cards.

NRCSA provides elective services such as One Card Purchase Card, Superintendent Search, Planning Support, Speech Teletherapy, myONcore, Project Fit America, and Pusch programs.

Hoesing said staff members are watching safe schools videos to reduce workman’s compensation and liability concerns.

Board members entered executive session to discuss administrative personnel.

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