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October school board meeting

By Staff | Oct 14, 2016

The Rugby School Board met Tuesday, October 11 at 7 a.m. in the RHS Board Room.

The meeting began with Superintendent Mike McNeff discussing the school’s Professional Learning Plan. The plan focuses on five areas within the school: movement, student groupings, technology use, hands-on activities, and quality teacher to student relationships. Each PLC group will select a goal and apply to one of the five domains. PLC groups must conduct research on the selected area and complete observations. Observations can either be done by school visitations or peer observation with instructional coach support.

Next, McNeff gave the elementary principal’s report, as Jason Gullickson was unable to attend the meeting.

A lot has happened at the elementary school in the past few weeks. Ely saw a successful Grandparent’s Day on both October 4 and 5, with approximately 240 grandparents in attendance. Students from the fifth and sixth grades attended “Surround the State in Song” last Saturday, October 8. The boys’ basketball season began last week. The school is also preparing to begin its Gearing Up For Kindergarten program. The North Dakota State Assessment will be given this fall in the subject area of Science.

Jared Blikre gave the secondary principal’s report next. Parent-teacher conferences were held this past Monday and Tuesday. The eighth graders will be taking the North Dakota State Assessment next week, with the eleventh graders being tested the following week. As fall sports begin to wrap up, the cross country team will be competing in the regional meet this weekend, with districts to follow next weekend. The Rugby FFA team will be heading to their district competition on the 16th. Three Rugby FFA students will be receiving an American Degree, which is an honor that only about 10 percent of all FFA members receive. The Rugby FFA chapter will also be receiving an award. Additionally, the district volleyball tournament will be held this weekend. Four band and five choir members will be performing in the Northwest International Festival of Music in Minot in November.

McNeff then gave the superintendent’s report. He discussed the NCEC’s sustainability plan to keep staff. He also reported on a focus group of 12 superintendents across the state. The group is currently working on a mental health pilot for youth behavioral health in schools. Some questions the focus group is addressing are what are schools doing now concerning students’ mental health, where are some gaps in the system, and what could be done if there was more money in the youth behavioral health area. McNeff teaches a class for teachers in the district every year. This year, the class is centered on helping traumatized children learn. There are 25 teachers signed up for the class this year. The district was approved for $40,000 reimbursement, which will cover the cost of the new playground at Ely Elementary. Finally, a janitorial position was filled.

The superintendent’s evaluation is now open to the public to complete. It is an online, anonymous survey that allows the superintendent to improve the district. “I really appreciate comments, more than anything,” McNeff said.

The evaluation is available until October 30.

The AdvancED Survey will also be made available to the public. The survey, last taken during the 2013-14 school year, shows where the district is at in terms of goals. The 2013-14 data shaped the goals that the schools have reached for since then. This year’s survey will tell the schools how they have done in achieving those goals and what they still need to do to improve. The district is asking for both critiques and positive feedback in this survey.

The next school board meeting will be held on November 8, at 7 a.m.

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