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Paddling allowed but no longer encouraged at Bismarck Schools

BISMARCK — The Bismarck R-5 Board of Education heard an annual report on the district’s differentiated instruction and supplemental programs given by Heather Petrie, Special Services director. The report was given by Petrie at the board’s regular monthly meeting held Thursday evening at the administration building.

The report compared statistics from 2011 with those from 2012. They showed that:

• In 2011 the district had 106 students participate in the Individualized Education Program (IEP). In 2012, 120 students were served.

• In 2011 the district had five students return to regular education after reevaluation. In 2012, no students were returned.

• In 2011 the district had 13 students with 504 Plans (specifying that no one with a disability can be excluded from participating in federally funded programs or activities, including elementary, secondary or post-secondary schooling). In 2012, 15 students had 504 Plans.

• In 2011 the district had 29 students attend the Uni-Tech Career Center. In 2012, 37 students attended.

• In 2011 the district had 144 children in 122 families served in Parents As Teachers (PAT). In 2012, 144 children in 127 families were served.

• In 2011 the district’s PAT program was not able to provide play groups nor provide services for children over three years of age. In 2012, PAT offered one play group per month.

• In 2011 the district had 38 preschool children enrolled. In 2012, 41 students were enrolled.

• In 2011 the district served 31 children in Title 1 reading. In 2012, 190 qualified for K-2 and 64 students were served.

• In 2011 the district served 19 students in Title 1 math. In 2012, no students were served.

• In 2011 the district had 87 students enrolled for summer school. In 2012, there were 174 students enrolled at the start of summer school.

Petrie told board members she was pleased by the improvements made by the district in all of these areas and looked forward to additional improvements in the years ahead.

In other action by the board:

• Revisions to student handbooks for the elementary and high school were presented to the board by principals Karen Quick and Jason King.

In the elementary handbook, Principal Quick said the changes included the removal of corporal punishment (paddling) because she believed “more effective means” of discipline were available. Superintendent Chuck Hasty told the board that corporal punishment was still a part of board policy but was no longer encouraged.

Principal King told board members of several changes in the high school handbook that include graduation requirements: 1) A change of electives from 5 to 5 1/2 units. This takes into account the addition of an ACT Prep class for students. 2) Changes in the weight of some classes have been made. 3) The option of early graduation has been removed. King said the school district is now offering more class options for students to choose from, as well as giving them the opportunity to take college level courses through Mineral Area College. 4) The section on sportsmanship has been slightly rewritten for greater clarity. 5) A greater emphasis has been placed on class participation with students facing removal from classes in certain cases. 6) The number of tardies allowed high school students prior to facing disciplinary measures was reduced. Prior to the change, students were allowed 28 tardies per quarter. Now they will be allowed only five per semester. 7) There are now minimum academic requirements seniors must meet in order to participate in commencement exercises.

• In the superintendent’s report, Supt. Hasty told board members of several summer projects that include replacing heating/air-conditioning units, roof repair, landscaping and general maintenance on the interior of buildings. In an update on summer school he said approximately 180 students were enrolled.

“The numbers are strong and food costs are coming in under budget,” he said.

Supt. Hasty said the district’s annual audit update was under way with auditors having come to the district last week. They will be returning to complete the audit at the end of July.

• In considering the adoption of the district’s fiscal year 2013 operating budget, Hasty said the current fund balance is “very strong.” He added that the district is “in great shape financially.

Supt. Hasty noted that the district had applied for $150,000 in E-Rate funding for infrastructure improvement. To be eligible for the funds, the school district is required to budget $30,000. That amount appears in the 2013 operating budget, but if the district doesn’t receive the E-Rate funds, the $30,000 will not be spent.

He also noted that $28,000 has been budgeted for replacement of computers in the district.

• The district’s tax levy will be set in August.

• Hasty said DESE had informed the district that its State Adequacy Target (SAT) would be set at 91 percent. While the superintendent felt this would likely be the case, he had budgeted as if the SAT would be set at only 90 percent.

• Board members learned the district was given a large amount of office equipment and electronics by the Social Security office in Park Hills. Items given to the district included file cabinets, chairs, stools, a metal desk, a safe, a VCR and a laptop computer.

“This is all good stuff and all free,” said Supt. Hasty. “The board thanks the Social Security office for their generosity.”

• Transportation contracts for FY13 and 14, between the district and Monticello Bus Service Inc. of Bismarck, were approved. Supt. Hasty said the FY13 contract is for $273,000. The FY14 contract will total $280,000.

• FY2011-12 budget amendments were approved.

• Payment of bills for the balance of the FY2011-12 year was approved.

• The Assurance Statement for IDEA for Sec. 611 — required for the district to receive certain federal funds — was approved.

• Heather Petrie was named district compliance officer for 2012-13.

• A donation was approved to the Bismarck Chamber of Commerce Fourth of July Freedom Fest fireworks display.

• The following consent agenda items were approved: Minutes from the May 17 regular meeting; the treasurer’s report and financial statement; payment of bills; resignations and employment of staff.

 • The July board meeting is canceled and approval was given for the payment of bills and bread and milk bids were accepted.

Kevin R. Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 114 or at

Key Words: Bismarck R-5 Board of Education  June 2012 regular meeting  Supt. Chuck Hasty student handbook


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