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Rugby School Board discusses decrease in funding

By Staff | Dec 16, 2016

The Rugby Public School District’s total funding is down approximately $30,000 from this time last year due to unforeseen circumstances, according to District Superintendent Mike McNeff.

Custodial training and tuition costs play into these unforeseen circumstances, as well as higher needs in special education.

The school activity fund is also down due to some activities’ missing payments, as well as general spending. Missing payments are expected to be handled this week, however.

The building fund is expected to see a large increase when next month’s taxes come in, which will build up the fund to where it should be.

The board again tabled approving the transportation contract with Hartley’s Buses after a question on the cost of using propane fuel versus diesel fuel. What was agreed on, however, is that two bus routes will need to be replaced within the next two years.

The board discussed the PLC progress meetings, which take place every Wednesday morning before school. “We want progress to be the key word here,” McNeff told the board. The PLC groups focus on four different domains, Power Standard Development, Common Formative Assessment, Data Analysis Development and Action Plan Development. Teachers are encouraged to focus on “I Can” statements in both their PLC groups and in the classroom. A concern brought up by board President, Kris Blessum, is that teachers feel the one hour they are given each week is not enough time to work in their groups. McNeff explained that the district is doing the best it can with the allotted time.

In his report, Ely Elementary Principal Jason Gullickson congratulated the students and staff who have been participating in the band and choir concerts, saying, “Kudos to those instructors and students they do a fantastic job.”

New staff evaluations have been completed and turned in. Ely has 10 new staff members that were evaluated by Gullickson, in addition to the regular walk-through evaluations of the entire staff.

Mid-year benchmarking in Reading and Math will be happening for all students in January.

The pillar for December at Ely is Caring. For years, the fourth grade instructors have participated in Project Joy, which is the focus this month. In addition to money, the school is collecting food pantry items.

Ely is currently hosting two student teachers.

During High School Principal Jared Blikre’s report, he explained that end of semester testing will take place on January 11, 12 and 13. The end of the semester one will be January 13.

RHS has seven new staff members included in the evaluations completed this week.

Thirty students recently took the ACT, with approximately 25 of those students being from Rugby.

The winter concert will be held on Monday, December 19 and the FFA Leadership Conference will be held January 7-8.

Storm make up days will be March 17, April 13 and May 26.

For the Superintendent’s Report, McNeff touched on his dealings on the JDA board. The board is in the process of coming up with a loan forgiveness program to help young professionals in Rugby pay back student loans.

McNeff also talked about budget cuts that are largely due to the passing of Measure 2, including transportation and behavioral health.

The Parent Advisory Committee met this past week, having a good discussion and giving great feedback, according to McNeff.

The next school board meeting will be held Tuesday, January 10 at 7 a.m. in the RHS Board Room.

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