The Langdon Area School District held the monthly school board meeting as the staff and students alike prepared for the start of the new school year.
By Melissa Anderson
The board discussed the creation of a pep club with the fall cheerleader advisor, Steph Fetsch. Fetsch explained that there were only four girls who tried out for the football cheer squad and the minimum number needed is six. Fetsch expressed interest in maintaining her fall cheer advisor salary but instead advising a Pep Club that would support the sports programs through the year including spring sports. The club would make posters and locker signs for the student athletes and sell shirts for Homecoming. The board approved the creation of the Pep Club and will revisit the need for it in the fall of 2020 to determine if it will continue.
Langdon Area School District Superintendent Daren Christianson explained that the school has found a couple “band aide” solutions for the lack of a school counselor for the upcoming year. Christianson has worked out a contract with the Catholic Charities of North Dakota to have Barb Boesl provide counseling services for 8 hours or one day per week at the public schools. The contract is for 37 weeks. Christianson has also given Jordan Braunberger a long-term sub position for one hour over lunch time for students to be able to talk with him since he is a youth counselor in our community. In the meantime, Christianson will continue to search for a counselor. The board approved the contract with Catholic Charities of ND and agreed with Christianson’s decision to have Braunberger available over the noon hour.
The administration has also asked the class advisors to also work with students during a monthly advisor time, and along with staff, administration will work with seniors to ensure they are aware of scholarship opportunities. Christianson explained that it has been proven that students are more successful when they have a relationship with an adult in the school. The advisors and teachers will be encouraged to have more mindful interaction with students along with more scheduled time with students through the advisor time each month.
The 2019-2020 school year will have a new program implemented in the middle school to try and make the school better able to help students. The program is called Cardinal Skills which will be a behavioral point system that will help students improve behavior. Currently, the grading system is reflective of both knowledge and behavior which is not helpful to teachers. The example used was that if a student does not turn in an assignment, the grade will reflect that it was not turned in rather than the knowledge the student has obtained. The program’s intended purpose is to help teachers and administration better identify students that need help with content and/or organization to complete and turn in assignments.
The board reviewed the ballot for the upcoming special vote. The steering committee for the measure advised that the ballot be amended to read that the school will only be able to access 5 mills rather than the board proposed 7.5 mills after the sunset clause of 15 years. Because of the importance of reaching the 60 percent majority vote, gaining as may ‘yes’ votes as possible is imperative so the board agreed to the recommendation from the steering committee. The vote is scheduled for October 1 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Langdon Elementary School. The board hopes that upon seeing the condition of the school, the patrons of LASD will agree that the suggested improvements are needed, and they will vote ‘yes’ on the measure.
In Other Business
• LASD is now a completely nut free, tree nut free school due to a student having a severe nut allergy. Christianson explained that items that have been processed in a plant that also handle peanuts is OK, but that if the ingredient list contains a nut product it is unsafe to bring into the schools. This will have minor effects on lunches and concession sales. The board and administration asks that for the health and safety of the student, those entering LASD facilities abide by the rule.
• The board approved the bus driver list.
• Review of policies continued.
• Board member Dave Hart informed the board that Edmore would like to pay a lump fee for coaches, etc… as part of their co-op agreement. The suggested amount was $12,500. The board directed LASD Business Manager Shauna Schneider to review past expenses and determine if this is adequate.