|1/16/2020 4:08:00 PM|
North Branch School Board update
With four of six members attending the 2020 organizational meeting last week, the North Branch School Board didn’t find itself veering off into much discussion. Member Heather Osagiede was participating on a two-way speaker phone and was not visible during the meeting, and Kevin Bollman was absent.
In electing 2020 officers--Kirby Ekstrom will remain the Board Chair and Tim MacMillan Vice-chair. Pay remains the same, with one increase for Board member and clerk-Sarah Grovender, who went from a $300 to a $500 stipend for the year. School Board Chair still gets $800 and Vice chair is at $500. Meeting pay stayed at $60 unless it’s a meeting of four hours or longer, which is $125.
Dr. Lori Zimmerman, Sunrise River Elementary School Principal, gave an overview of the math and reading programming and explained that the elementary instruction is focused on each student’s “growth” in skills and not so much just hitting a proficiency standard. Many students are proficient and don’t show any growth beyond, and that’s not desired, Zimmerman continued. And, other students enter school with little ability in reading and/or math, and it’s better to see growth than to simply leave a gap between meeting a proficient standard and not.
Elementary students at Sunrise have shown positive gains through the school’s “activity nights” and parents say they appreciate the special events.
The professional learning communities at the school, which are groups of similar-level instructors, frequently celebrate student gains, both academically and social skills. “Super heroes” (staff) distribute super-slips as rewards to students at-will, for doing supportive things and making good decisions, she added.
Notable in the donations officially accepted by Board action was a gift of $10,000 from Stacy-Lent Fire charitable gambling proceeds for North Branch scholarships.
In new wording adopted for a set of policy revisions and amendments; the North Branch District caught up with some contemporary issues. The policy vote updated tobacco-nicotine definitions to include clearer technology descriptions beyond just “e cigarette” being outlawed. Also, the school nurse will not maintain supplies of narcotic pain medication. If a student is prescribed a narcotic for pain, the parent will administer the medication at the school to the child.
And, under mandated reporting conditions for suspected sexual abuse-- trafficking or “soliciting” of minor-aged subjects was added as an allegation that is reportable.
Also, students may apply their own sunscreen or topical product while on school grounds. The district will not provide the sunscreen.