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Rugby Public School Board discusses budget cuts and testing changes

By Staff | Apr 14, 2017

North Dakota’s Department of Public Instruction, which Rugby Public School District’s grant money comes through, has received a 20 percent cut in their pass- through grants. These grants include services for schools and teachers.

The North Dakota State Assessment (NDSA) requires a 95 percent participation rate on the spring assessment. The NDSA will be administered in a few weeks at both Ely Elementary and Rugby High School. Potential bills in the legislature may allow parents to begin opting their children out of future testing, which could cause problems with federal law.

A law is being passed that says anyone with a felony cannot participate in school activities. Changes to Rugby Public School District’s Student Code of Conduct will need to be made in order to accommodate this new law.

The district is currently $50,000 over last year’s budget in terms of supplies, bringing next year’s projected deficit to a total of around $150,000. According to Superintendent Dr. Mike McNeff, some supply requests will need to be turned down and the purchasing of new curriculum may be pushed back to a later date.

Other actions:

  • Ninety-eight percent of parents at Ely Elementary attended Parent Teacher Conferences on March 20-21. Seventy percent of parents at Rugby High School attended, which Principal Jared Blikre would like to see increase in the future.
  • The district is currently working on a school app to improve communication between the schools and homes.
  • Two new teachers have been hired at RHS, Ashley Seykora (Junior High English/Language Arts) and Dan Seykora (Junior High Math).
  • STEM Camp will be held the week of July 31 for students in grades 3-5. Lessons will be about outer space, volcanoes, oceans, seasons and engineering.
  • The North Central Area Career and Technology Center (NCACTC) board meeting on March 30 resulted in the motion and approval to dissolve the program. Equipment from this program will remain in the schools.

The next school board meeting will be held Tuesday, May 9 at 7 a.m. in the RHS Board Room.

Rugby Public School District Superintendent Dr. Mike McNeff contributed to this report.

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