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Richland School Board March 12th Meeting

Destination: Massachusetts! Richland Center High School Physics instructor and SeaPerch coach, Zak Dray, gave an update on the Regional SeaPerch competition at Kickapoo at the Match 12th Richland School Board meeting.

Two teams from Richland Center qualified to go to nationals at Dartmouth, Massachusetts. He stated that 10 students were looking at going to nationals at a cost of $8,000. He also reported that the students are highly involved in the fundraising efforts. While all ten students competed, only six qualified to compete at nationals. The board approved to support the six who will be competing and two chaperones in the amount of $4,600, only after funds from fundraising are applied.

The Richland School Board also discussed strategic planning and guiding principles at its meeting on March 12th. The discussion centered on creating a culture in which students can achieve their highest potential; academic achievement for all students; the issue of safety and bullying; declining enrollment and how to get families that have left to return; relationship with the community and open lines of communication with the community. The next step is to prioritize these principles so the administration can make decisions they know that the board is looking for. Jarred Burke will be contacting CESA 3 to see how they could guide them though the strategic planning at no cost to the district.

The board also heard insurance presentations from three local providers. The district currently has an April 1st renewal date for: general liability, including data compromise; automotive; employee crime; errors and omissions; property, including the boiler and machinery; and worker’s compensation. The districts renewal for benefit insurance coverage for both long and short term disability, and life insurance is October 1st. Those who presented were: Kathy Schwarz from Schwarz Insurance; Greg Gochenaur from the Charles Gochenaur Agency; and Shiela Troxel from Wallace, Cooper & Elliott Insurance.

The meeting agenda also included a request for the addition of a special education aide at Jefferson School. The board had approved a positional change within the Intellectual Disability Program at Jefferson at the September 11, 2017 meeting. At that time, the analysis of needs within that specific classroom indicated an aide was no longer needed and was subsequently transferred to Doudna Elementary to fill.a need there. Within the past week a student transferred from another district and will be placed in the Intellectual Disability classroom at Jefferson. The severity of the student’s disabilities and medical needs requires one-to-one assistance and the current adult to student makeup does not allow for this accommodation. The board approved hiring the equivalent of one full-time Level III special education program aide for the Intellectual Disability Program at Jefferson. The approximate cost will be $6,800 for the remainder of the current school year.

In other action the Richland School Board approved: a scope of engagement letter for the 2017-18 district audit from Johnson Block & Company; to renew the student accident insurance with Student Assurance Services for the voluntary coverage for the 2018-19 school year; and to waive policy 252, school events on Wednesdays, Sunday, and holidays so the forensics team can compete in a district level compensation in Lancaster on Wednesday, March 21, at 4:00 PM.

The board also accepted gifts for Doudna School which included: rocks from Simpson’s Tractor for the Kindness Challenge; apparel, snacks, and activity books from Vivian McCauley and Anita Felton; and classroom supplies for Mrs. Hinrichs' class from Tammy Wheelock at Simple Elegance.