Langdon Area School Board meeting held with full agenda on Oct. 9

On October 9, the Langdon Area School Board held their regularly scheduled meeting.

Posted on 10/12/17

By Lisa Nowatzki

The first item of discussion was the approval of the consent agenda. With no questions or discussion, the agenda was approved.

With no other items added to the agenda, the board heard from Superintendent Christianson. He reported the new teacher, on contract until January, for the 5th grade is in place and doing well. Christianson hopes to find the best new teacher in the state to bring in after the new year to finish out the school year. He believes he has other possible candidates to chose from for this position.

Christianson reported that dirt has been put around the track. Also, the new lockers came but they were banged up. Maintenance is installing the new lockers temporarily until the replacements that are on-order arrive.

Four instructors are coming to teach “Alive At 25,” a defensive driving class for 9th thru 12th graders. The program is offered through a Department of Transportation grant valued at $5700. The students will receive a certificate to submit to their insurance companies for discounts related to the safety course. The course is taught by two state troopers and two instructors from the Safety Council. The driving course takes up a full day of school. Christianson advised that the course is open to home school students, but they need prior approval first from his office.

The superintendent reported that the Bus Driver Safety Workshop was completed on September 28. He also said that another driver’s safety course may be hosted at the school. Eight or ten people have already signed up. The course is open to county employees, state employees, and the roads crew.

Christianson also said that he has four applications for the part-time business opening. The group decided to appoint the finance committee to review the applications and do the interviews. By Friday, the board hopes to start looking at resumes for the position.

For the principals’ reports, Mr. Timian spoke first. Next week, some of the staff are going to the administrator’s convention. On the 25th, more teacher training on the new assessment tool, Star 360, will be conducted. The RTI team has already had training.

Mr. Timian feels that one of the best advantages of the Star 360 is that it reduces testing time. He thinks the tool can be used more frequently; the teachers can test in the classrooms, up to once a month, if the instructors choose to do so. The frequency of testing with the new tool will probably  be around once a quarter compared to the old testing schedule of twice a year.

Mr. Timian also stated that he approves of the “Alive At 25” defensive driving course. The course is a safe and effective way for students to get a defensive driving certificate. It is a good safety procedure to run in the school.

Mr. Hetler contacted the head of student teaching or Director of Elementary Education at Mayville State, Valley City State, Minot State, and Jamestown Universities to let them know that the Langdon Area School District has an open fifth grade teacher position starting in January. Each university responded that they will advise their upcoming graduates about the position.

For Old Business, Christianson advised that the new budget has been finalized. With another teacher, this adds about $60,000 more to the budget. The new instructor will be paid at her last contracted rate. He added $60,000 to the miscellaneous levy line item in the new budget to equal out the difference in the new budget.

Christianson also reported that Cavalier County tax office cannot give the school a hard number on its taxable valuation, maybe by December 1. He thinks $35,000,000 may be a fair assessment number, which is up from last year’s $33,700,000.

The district is allowed to go 12% over what it levied last year, in the general fund levy. That would bring the general fund levy amount to $2,302,240, which is a mill rate of 65.78 of a $35,000,000 base. The miscellaneous levy remains the same as last year, $200,000 which is 5.7 mills. The building fund is $105,000 or 3 mills, whichever is greater. The board discussed and approved all three levy amounts.

The state school board convention is coming up on October 26 and 27th in Bismarck. All that can attend are encouraged to do so. The board also discussed whether to attend the National Convention which would cost $975, which would allows board members the option to attend the convention.  All other costs associated with the convention would be extra. The board members decided not to join this year and try to attend the state convention. The state is doing a great job.

In New Business, the November LASD meeting will be pushed back from November 13 to November 20 because there is no school on November 13. The home school letters of intent were acknowledged and approved. The board also approved FMLA maternity leave for a teacher that will be giving birth in the spring. The group also approved a non-tuition agreement for a Langdon student who wants to attend school in the Edinburg district.

Regarding extracurricular activities,  the board voted to continue to serve certain student organizations that attend state conventions by covering transportation and lodging while the group would be responsible for registration fees and meals. The groups can hold fundraisers or ask for students to help with those costs.

The track needs to be redone now as maintenance should be done every 8-10 years. This is the 10th year for the track. The pole vault area will be looked at as well as a new discus pad. For the track and additional areas, the total cost is $62,142. The board decided to take the cost out of the building fund and split the cost over two years.

The new assistant basketball coaches for the winter boys and girls basketball teams were approved. Policy updates were approved and the meeting was adjourned.