The board approved hiring a social worker for the school district beginning with the 2019-20 school year.
Discussion was held on the roles of school counselors, social workers and psychologists.
Counselor Nick Wray, who was unable to attend, gave the board a breakdown of school counseling program components. He estimated he spends five percent of his time on school counseling curriculum; five percent on individual student planning; five to 10 percent on system support; and 80 plus percent on responsive services.
Responsive services address the immediate needs and concerns of students. It covers school-related concerns, grief/loss/death, substance abuse, family issues and coping with stress. The counselor’s role is to provide brief individual counseling, crisis intervention, consultation and referral. These activities can also fall under a social worker’s domain. The social worker can help the principals with behavior problems. With the tragedies the SN area has suffered in the last few years, the majority of students are more willing to talk. Principal Dustin Skoglund said the number of students who have talked about self-harm is large. He believes a social worker will allow SN to stay outside of a growing trend by providing more support for students than just a counselor can give.
Superintendent Johnny Silkett said the district has the money to fill this position. The range of salary will depend on the person’s qualifications.
“If we don’t do this, we will see a decline in our school culture,” Silkett said.
On board concerns about finding the right person for the position, Silkett reassured the board if the position couldn’t be filled by a good person, it wouldn’t be filled.
Board Member Pat Swinford summarized the other board members’ feelings with the statement, “there’s been too much heartache not to go forward.”
Tristan Freemyer was offered the position of first grade paraprofessional. Resignations were accepted from High School Paraprofessional Judy Ross and PAT educator Heidi Klamm for the end of the 2018-19 school year.
Current board members Debbie Bennett and David Klamm filed for the two open board positions. This will allow the district to not have an election.
The first reading of the 2019-20 school year calendar was made. Silkett has scheduled 1,092.8 hours over 170 days for students. A minimum of 1,044 hours is required. Silkett has built snow days of 36 hours into the calendar.
Four mowing bids were opened. After discussion, the board decided to go with Thomas Shifflet Lawn Care, Mound City, for one year. His bid was for $290 per mowing. He also gave the board a price list of the other services he offers.
The board will talk about bidding for bus services at the February meeting. Silkett stated the district has a good relationship with the current bus provider.
Instructor Nikki Carter is arranging for Marion Blumenthal Lazan to come to SN and the area to speak on her experiences during the Holocaust. The date is set for March 18 with information about number of sessions and times to be released. Carter is working with the Northwest Missouri State University history department.
Board policies BBB, BBBB, DC, DJFA, GB, GBAC, GBEBC, IC, IGAEB, IGBB, IKE, IKF, IL, JECC, JHD and KB were reviewed and approved. Policies GCPC and GDPC were discussed and rescinded.
After the closed session where Silkett’s evaluation was discussed, the board moved to extend the superintendent’s contract another year.