USD 410 Board hears quarterly reports

USD 410 building administrators delivered their quarterly reports to the Board of Education at its regular meeting Sept. 10.

Clint Corby, principal for Hillsboro Middle/High School, told the board about a recent trip to Oakes, N.D., where he and a couple of USD 410 teachers observed redesign aspects that the Oakes school district had implemented as part of North Dakota’s initiative for personalized, competency-based learning.

“The trip was well worth it,” he said, adding that of particular interest was that district’s use of a flexible modular schedule for grades seven through 12. Corby said flex mod scheduling, which is similar to block scheduling, is designed to incorporate flexibility for students and teachers that enables large- and small-group learning sessions, and to customize daily schedules to give students additional time to work on projects as well as to open slots to focus on homework.

USD 410 is one of 21 school districts that has accepted the challenge to be part of the Gemini I Redesign and Launch, which is under the auspices of the Kansans CAN School Redesign Project. One target outcome, according to the Kansans CAN website, is to enhance preparedness of students for future readiness after graduate.

“I don’t know if this is the answer,” he said about using this model as part of the Gemini I Redesign, but he plans to discuss it with USD 410 teachers.

“What I’m going to try to do is put a schedule together this semester to see what it’s going to look like,” he added.

Principal Evan Yoder’s report focused on two social and emotional learning pilots at Hillsboro Elementary School that are being considered for the Gemini I Redesign and were described by Autumn Hardey, HES counselor, at the board meeting.

“Mindful Mornings,” Hardey said, are held on Mondays and Wednesdays. At the beginning of the day, everyone in the building gathers in the gym. Activities include saying the Pledge of Allegiance and repeating a student pledge. Hardey said she also leads all in mindfulness exercises that guide students to center and focus on self-regulation skills.

In the second pilot, “Fabulous Family,” Hardey said children have been divided among staff into 40 “families,” with each having students whose ages range from kindergarten through grade five. She said families meet weekly time to do different activities together such as being outside, playing board games inside and working on community service projects.

The board approved the addition of two in-service days for training staff in problem-based learning—Oct. 3 and Nov. 8. Heinrichs said the training is needed to move forward with the Gemini 1 project. Students will have those days off from school, he added.

In other business, the board:

◼ approved purchase of a 10-passenger 2019 Ford Transit for $17,993 from Hillsboro Ford.

◼ approved purchase of 11 75-inch 4k LED touch screen panels for $40,477.58 from imageQuest that will be used in HES classrooms.

◼ approved resignation of Tricia Williamson as HES cook.

◼ approved the following classified staff contracts: position change for Carol Leppke from part-time HMHS custodian to HES cook with current pay rate; an increase in hours to 7.25 for Judy Penner as HES cook; Sherlyn Hill as bus driver for Lehigh evening route; Rebecca Ryding as part-time custodian for HMHS at $9.40 per hour, contingent on background check.

◼ approved supplemental contracts for David Loewen as assistant coach for HMS boys basketball, Darlene Bartel as assistant coach for HMS volleyball, and Kathy Isaac as assistant coach for HHS girls tennis.

◼ heard from pastor Mike Barter and Cal Jost, both of Grace Community Fellowship in Hillsboro. The church now is meeting in its new facility.

“I guess we’ve ended our partnership with you,” Barter said about the church’s use of HES for the past years. “We just want to say thank-you so much on behalf of the church.”

The church will hold a ribbon cutting at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2. Celebration Sunday is Oct. 7 with the building dedication at 2 p.m. and an open house from 3-5 p.m.

◼ heard a report from Heinrichs about the numbers of students who are participating in extra-curricular activities.

◼ scheduled the USD 410 2018-10 goal-setting meeting for 6 p.m., Oct. 1. The location will be announced later.

Board member Jim Paulus attended the meeting via teleconference.