homepage logo

Lego Robotics added, eSports tabled

By Staff | Aug 16, 2019

Some Ely Elementary students will see a new after-school activity offering, while the addition of eSports at Rugby High School is up in the air.

During a meeting Tuesday morning at the Rugby High School board room, the Rugby Public School approved the addition of Lego Robotics and tabled the addition of eSports.

Robotics will first be offered to one team of students in grades four through six during the 2019-20 school year. A second team could be added the next year. The team will consist of 10 students, who would need to apply for the team.

Rugby High School was one of several schools who expressed interest for a fall 2019 pilot season along with Central Cass, Northern Cass, Dakota Prairie, Drayton, Grand Forks Central, Hillsboro, Larimore, Mandan, Minnewaukan, Northwood, Red River, Westhope and Williston schools. The fall season would begin in October 2019 and the end of the regular season would be in December. Playoffs would take place in January 2020. An estimated 14 schools are participating in the pilot league.

Schools would be able to play three games: Rocket League, League of Legends and SMITE, and be able to form as many teams as they want for each game. (Rocket League would be played in teams of three, while SMITE and League of Legends would be played in teams of five.) Students would have to have a computer and peripherals (keyboards, headsets, mouse, etc.), and each would have to pay a $64 participation fee for the season.

Superintendent Mike McNeff said he understood the challenges, including the connotations surrounding the name.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said board member Shane Livedalen, who went on to express concern regarding game ratings by the Entertainment Software Rating Board and whether in-game behaviors that were the reasons for ESRB ratings on the games would conflict with behaviors that are against school rules.

Board member Brenda Heilman concurred.

McNeff said the school’s teams would only be playing against teams from other schools.

Board member Kris Blessum said more information was needed.

Other actions

– The board discussed a Federal monitoring letter, as well as correspondence from the City of Rugby regarding the 3rd Avenue Southwest and adjacent alley closure.

– The board approved the Strategic Planning Process.

– The board approved having a school board retreat at a later date.

– The board approved an agreement for ITV services from the Central Dakota Distance Learning Consortium.

– The board approved a property tax incentive request for Rugby Manufacturing.

– The board approved the first reading of an English Language Learners program plan.

– The board approved the consent agenda, which included July meeting minutes; bills; financials; and tuition agreements with Wolford and Maddock school districts.

Please Enter Your Facebook App ID. Required for FB Comments. Click here for FB Comments Settings page