Saturday, November 29, 2014
   
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School projects on front burner

Major improvements get green light

Projects, ranging from a new gymnasium floor to a new elementary playground, got the okay from the District 20 school board Monday night.

The district plans to spend about $250,000 on improvements (see box) that officials hope to start tackling this spring and summer.

Superintendent Dr. Mike Teahon said a group of school officials and others will explore what is needed for a new playground on the south side of Dudley. He noted that much of an estimated $100,000 cost is in surface material.

Teahon said $25,000 in insurance money will help pay for a new gym floor that was damaged by rain when the roof of the Community Building was replaced last summer.

School board members talked about the need for replacement or renovation of the bleachers on the north side of the high school track and wondered if Cindermates, a community organization that raised money for track improvements, might be interested in discussions.

Other improvements include carpeting the entrance of Main Street in the high school and the main elementary entrance and renovation of bathrooms across from the first-grade rooms in Dudley Elementary.

The board also discussed the possibility of renovating the Dudley gymnasium into a full-sized gym, a football stadium tunnel and a request from Cindermates to add to the track scoreboard to display more information and perhaps advertising.

Teahon said district policy does not allow for such advertising at the moment.

On another matter, Teahon told board members he would approve a request from a church group to use Gothenburg Public Schools Foundation land, south- west of the city four plex, for a ministry event on June 22.

Joe Wahlgren, representing the group, said the “Livin’ Out Loud” event would feature Cornhusker football coach Ron Brown plus music from three Christian bands.

The event, from 5-10 p.m., is for the community and surrounding towns, Wahlgren said, noting that they hope to make it a yearly event.

Earlier, the foundation board approved the request as did the Gothenburg City Council since the four-plex parking lot would be used.

During personnel action, the board approved 11-month contracts for high school principal Randy Evans, junior high principal Ryan Groene, athletic director Seth Ryker, elementary principals Teresa Messersmith and Jim Widdifield for the 2013-14 school year.

Their salaries will be determined at a later date.

Members also offered a contract to Danielle Nguyen for the next school year.

Nguyen is completing an internship as the district’s school psychologist and elementary counselor and will receive a specialist degree from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in May.

They also approved a contract with Educational Service Unit 10 for yearly special education services that include vocational services by Rick Love of Cozad, for an estimated $7,000; an audiologist for an estimated $2,000; and a deaf education teacher for an estimated $16,000 .

The board also discussed, but took no action, on two school calendars for 2013-14.

Teahon said the option one calendar is similar to this year’s with school proposed to start on Aug. 15 and end potentially on May 20.

Seven early dismissals, at 1:30 p.m., are included for staff development.

The option two calendar eliminates early dismissals for staff development and replaces them with four full-day sessions spaced throughout the school year. Three of the development days are attached to already-scheduled breaks like Thanksgiving.

Classes begin Aug. 14 on this calendar.

In other business, the board:

approved option enrollment requests to allow Dylan Folkers, 11th grade, and Bennett Folkers, eighth grade, to transfer into the district from the Cozad school district and for Baily Sheets, an eighth grader, to transfer to Brady Public Schools.

listened to principal and special education director Messersmith talk about the summer Jump Start program for pre-kindergartners. Kindergarten registration will be March 26 at 7 p.m. in the performing arts center

Teahon said the Nebraska Department of Education is encouraging districts to implement school-based preschool programs.

heard elementary principal Jim Widdifield report about multicultural education curriculum in the district.

learned that athletic director Seth Ryker has created a facilities calendar to help with the scheduling of gym space.

were told that 93% of elementary parents/guardians attended parent-teacher conferences last week with 63% attendance in the junior-senior high school.

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