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By Staff | Aug 2, 2019

Rugby Public School District to increase time for teacher training

At the February 12th school board meeting, the Rugby Public School Board voted to increase the amount of time for teacher training by adding seven additional days of training to the 2019-2020 school calendar. The school board took advantage of a recent law change that provides schools with additional flexibility for teacher training and storm day makeup.

The approved school calendar for 2019-2020 provides 10 days of professional development for teachers and support staff. This equates to one professional development day per month. The school district will not have students in session on these training days. In the past, we would front load most of our training during our two days of professional development prior to school starting. Due to the time constraints of the school day and a traditional school calendar it has been extremely difficult to gain momentum on our key school initiatives. According to research on adult learning, high quality professional learning is job embedded and continuously occurs throughout the year.

In general, the calendar change will provide teachers more opportunities to engage in school improvement, curriculum planning, and personal professional development during their working hours. It is the belief that quality is greater than quantity in relation to time in front of kids. All professionals need time and opportunities to update, to train, to interact with other professionals, to hone their craft, to reflect on their work, to get better. Effective professional development is distributed over time and not jammed into a single day.

Professionals need opportunities to: become aware of best practices, observe others modeling new or different practices, have opportunities to practice, receive feedback, reflect and interact with others. When teachers are able to meet regularly to reflect on practice, examine student work, agree on common outcomes, research best practice, observe others, share effective practices, everyone benefits. The traditional structure and length of the school day has not allowed for this type of practice. Sometimes the lumberjack must stop sawing to sharpen his blade to improve production. This is no different than the teaching profession, sometimes we need time away from teaching to improve teaching.

You can view the new calendar at this website: tinyurl.com/y25zzqkw

Rugby Community Endowment Fund accepting grant applications online

The Rugby Community Endowment Fund is now accepting applications from nonprofit and community organizations in Rugby for the 2019 grant cycle. Applicants must be designated by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, or a government agency. Groups without such designation seeking to apply may enlist a fiscal sponsor. The deadline for submitting applications is 1 p.m., August 19. Recipients will be notified and grants awarded in September.

Beginning this year, applications will be accepted online only. For instructions on how to register your organization and to apply for a grant, visit www.NDCF.net/Rugby and click on the Apply tab. Anyone needing assistance with the online application process should contact Kara Geiger with the North Dakota Community Foundation at 701-222-8349 or an Advisory Committee member. Current Rugby Advisory Board members are Galen Mack, Dale Niewoehner, Theone Stevenson, Robert Wilmot and Kyle Nelsen.

The Rugby Community Endowment Fund was established in 1981 as a permanent endowment fund managed by the North Dakota Community Foundation. Earnings from the fund are given as grants every year to organizations that support the Rugby community. There is currently $19,000 in funds available for local charities. Past grant recipients include the Pierce County Food Pantry, Heart of America Germans from Russia, Village Arts, Inc., Good Samaritan Hospital Association and local schools.

The Rugby Community Endowment Fund accepts donations year round to continue to grow the fund so that more grants may be awarded to community projects in Rugby. Please consider a donation this year to the Rugby Community Endowment Fund. Donations may be given to any board member.

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