Superintendent's Summary of the Red Lake School District #38 October Board Meeting
The Board met at the Ponemah School on October 19th, for its regular meeting. Superintendent Lundquist shared the following information relative to activities underway improve achievement, attendance, and graduation rates:
• The Indian Education Funding annual report and proposed plan was submitted to the Minnesota Department of Education and included continuation of the following projects: Tribal Truancy Court, Parent Education Partnership, Summer Student Mentors, and the establishment of a culturally responsive Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum
• The Annual Report for the district's strategic plan, also known as the World's Best Workforce Plan, was shared with the Board, and is available on the district's website. It detailed increased ACT scores, increased "kindergarten readiness" scores, and stable MCA reading and math achievement.
• Results for the Student Athletic (interest) Survey were shared with the Board, which indicated a slight decrease in interest for football, and a slight increase in interest for basketball. In addition, interest in lacrosse is also on the rise. The Athletic Director will make a recommendation to the superintendent for budgetary support based upon student feedback later this year.
Each of the buildings and district departments offered updates on their activities, including the following:
• The CIA Department is in the process of finalizing details with the superintendent and assistant superintendent on the Strategic Plan for 2016-17. In addition, details are being put into place for the launch of the first quarterly all staff professional development session, scheduled to take place at the Secondary Complex on November 7th from 8:00-3:15.
• One area of focus in the school improvement plans at RLES is increased student attendance, which is closely linked to student success. In addition, Targeted Services are underway which include numerous academically based games and activities. An average of 100 students stay after school to participate in Targeted Services.
• The Ponemah School has launched a reading challenge for students, which includes a goal to read 1,000,000 words in six weeks. There are currently 207 students enrolled in Ponemah, which is down slightly from last year's count. However, the numbers in fifth grade are up, and to accommodate the growth, the district is adding an additional fifth grade classroom teacher.
• At the Secondary Complex, the administration reported attendance policies have been revisited, and both reading and math scores show slight growth. There are currently 588 student enrolled in grades 6-12, with an average daily attendance of 93%. There have been 18 student truancy cases filed with the Tribal Courts, and 21 home visits conducted by Home School Liaisons. Parent Teacher Conferences were held on October 6th; 89 parents attended at MS and 58 at HS.
• The Human Resources Coordinator continues to conduct orientation for substitute staff and will continue to oversee this important work throughout the year. She has also launched an online system for use by staff to complete required training modules on topics such as blood-borne pathogens, harassment, and mandated reporting requirements.
• The Assistant Superintendent reported the he and the representatives from the Board met with several legislators during the recent visit to Washington, DC, where they promoted the need for continued financial support for Indian schools. In addition, he continues to work with building administrators to ensure the district has adequate, qualified staff members working with students who have special needs.
• The Facilities Director had arranged for a representative of the Tribe's Solar Project to speak to the Board, however, he was unable to make it and the presentation will be rescheduled for a future meeting. In addition, the recent water outage was detailed, along with plans to collaborate with the Sanitation Department and Tribal leadership for more expeditious notification of incidents in the future.
• The Transportation Director reported a couple of additional substitute drivers are still needed, although one new driver successfully passed all tests for licensure.
• The Business Manager reminded the Board of the upcoming general election, which will include a meeting to canvass election results on Thursday, November 10th at 10:00. In addition the annual Truth in Taxation hearing is scheduled for Monday, November 28th at 6:00.
• The Food Service Coordinator's report indicated the overwhelming majority of students in all schools take part in the school lunch program, with 95 to 100 percent of all students participating.
• The Community Education Coordinator reported the Teen Health Clinic is scheduled to take place on November 4th , and parent education courses will continue to be taught in collaboration with the Parents as Teachers consultant, Jan Carlson at Oshkiimaajitahdah.
In other business the Board moved the date for the November regular meeting to be moved to Monday, November 21st, to accommodate participation in the Minnesota Indian Education Association annual conference on November 16th through 18th. In addition, they scheduled a special board meeting to take place November 10th to canvass election results, and approved the 2016-17 Teacher Development Handbook.
When the Children thrive, the Nation thrives.
Anne M. Lundquist, Ed. D.
Red Lake School District #38
P. O. Box 499
Red Lake, Minnesota 56671
218-679-3353, ext. 1001 (office)