Langdon Area School Board reviews policy at last meeting of the year

The Langdon Area School Board held their December meeting with a full agenda that also had additions made at the beginning of the meeting.

Posted 12/13/18

By Melissa Anderson

During his superintendent’s report, Daren Christianson informed the board that Janna Thompson, a school counselor for the Department of Defense overseas, would like to acquire a room for therapy sessions over the holiday break and the summer break to allow her to work on volunteer hours as she pursues therapeutic counseling.

Christianson also went over the lock down procedures as well as how parents are notified in a school security situation. Christianson stressed that parents must be enrolled in PowerSchool in order to receive updates from the school in the event of a security situation. Those that are unsure how to enroll are encouraged to come to the school for assistance.

During his report, elementary principal Todd Hetler explained how the elementary school has been approved to begin planning to become a school-wide Title I building. The elementary school will be a Title I school-wide school during the 2019-2020 school year. This certification will also allow the school to apply for the 21st Century grant. This grant would allow for remediation and enrichment before and after school as well as help with summer school instruction.

The auditor that the school uses was unable to attend the meeting because of health reasons; the finance committee and Daren Christianson will try and meet with him as soon as possible.

The board rescinded several policies and held a roll call vote adopting new policies. All members present voted in favor with Warren Jonasson and Tiffany Hetletved not present to cast a vote.

Christianson, the board, and business manager Shauna Schneider went over the policy for hiring of non-teaching staff.  The policy of hiring procedures that covers this specific issue was implemented in 2003 which is from the school board association which follows state century code. The administration is designated as those who hire non-teaching staff. This topic was discussed at length following the previous regular board meeting,  which board member Dave Hart called a “fiasco”.

“A quick message of who you are looking at hiring is exactly what we need to do. Because if there is somebody, because you are not from around here and you didn’t grow up here, there might be some knowledge that somebody has from a previous employer or whatever that needs to be shared. That information needs to be shared with you so we don’t ever have this happen again,” Hart explained.

The other board members and Christianson agreed that this would be a good step moving forward. The board also requested that once the administration makes a decision that they notify the board members before offering so they are aware prior to it being public. The board discussed coaching positions, also. While most coaches are teachers, which has coaching included in their contract, some are not teachers. After extensive discussion on this aspect, non-teachers would fall under Athletic Director Ethen Askvig’s responsibility. Askvig already emails the athletic committee on potential coaches that he would like to hire. The board agreed that continuing this practice would be in the school’s best interest.

“That’s how I feel- that we should trust our administration to come up with the best candidates, “ Board President Cindy Stremick stated.

Schneider also requested that the board change the meeting date from the second Monday to the third Monday of the month. The request comes as Schneider finds it causes strain on office staff to prepare the financial reports when bills are still coming in and some bills come in after the meeting causing them to have payment held until the next meeting. The board agreed and approved moving school board meeting date and time to 7:00 p.m. on the third Monday of the month. 

The board acknowledged a home school letter of intent and an open enrollment application. The board also approved adding Ethen Askvig to the signature for the Circle grant.

Christianson informed the board that after several great applicants, Kevin Graber was hired to be the elementary janitor.

Coaching contracts for basketball were discussed and approved.

On December 11, Board President Cindy Stremick informed the Cavalier County Republican that board member Warren Jonasson had submitted his official resignation.

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