Superintendent's Summary of the Red Lake School District #38 February Board Meeting
February 20, 2017
The Board met at the district office on December 21st for its regular meeting. Superintendent Lundquist shared the following information relative to her efforts to improve achievement, attendance and graduation rates:
• A presentation by the High School Principal, Tracy Olson detailed the reasoning behind the recommendation to reduce the number of required credits for high school graduation from 28 to 23. The State of Minnesota required 21 credits to graduate, and by asking students to complete approximately 30% more credits for a diploma, we may be creating unnecessary barriers to students' timely graduation. Students will still have the option of taking extra courses it they chose to do so.
• Dan Rogers provided a short presentation on a new initiative, called Freshman Focus, which was launched this fall. The effort is designed to increase the number of students who successfully complete their ninth grade year, and maintain progress toward graduation. Incentives, team building and community service activities are highlights of the program.
• Kenny Bellino summarized his work with students and staff to identify a single graphic image to be used as the Warrior logo. Currently when a Warrior is depicted, it can take many different graphic forms, which inhibits the district's opportunity to effectively "brand" the Red Lake Warriors. To mitigate this situation, Superintendent Lundquist asked Mr. Bellino to work with his students to select an image, ensure it was culturally representative, and favored by the majority of the students. The resulting image will be used by all coaches, staff, and students when referencing the Red Lake Warriors. The logo can be downloaded on the district web page.
• In addition, the Tribal Court Administrator, Jason Defoe, reported that 50 truancy hearings were conducted in the month of January, and the School Resource Officer, Alea Richardson indicated all grade five students in the district have successfully completed 60 hours of Drug Resistance and Awareness Education (DARE).
In other reports, supervisors and principals offered updates on their activities, including the following:
• The Food Service Coordinator's report contained helpful information on the federal requirements for school meals, including the actual cost, which is $3.41, and serving requirements, which include for lunch, 2 ounces of meat, and grains, and a cup of both fruits and vegetables.
• The Red Lake Elementary School and Early Childhood Center hosted Parent Teacher Conferences on January 19th, and as part of the day's events, parents were encouraged to take part in learning labs, which were hosted by teachers, and engaged participants in the exploration of numerous resources and educational materials. A total of 70 students currently have perfect attendance, while two fifth graders performed admirably in the school spelling bee, Ramona Chaboyea and Emily Reynolds, and advanced to the regional competition in Thief River Falls.
• The Community Education Coordinator's report detailed a number of activities including the weekly Teen Clinic which operates on Wednesday's over the noon hour, "Parents as Teachers" workshops, and upcoming event, called The Sacred Journey, which is scheduled to take place in April, and will provide valuable information on the prevention of birth defects, the effects of alcohol and drugs on the fetus, and healthy lifestyles. In addition, Open Gym will be sponsored each Sunday, from 1:00-3:00, February 19th through March 26th.
• At the Ponemah School, it was reported that 60% of the students' parents participated in Parent Teacher Conferences. Attendance is up slightly from before winter break, at 91%. The Powwow is schedule to take place on May 19th.
• The Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Team (CIA) report indicated plans for the third and final all-staff professional development session, to be held March 27, are well underway, and that the Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum initiative, which establishes the content and skills taught in each area, and has a strong effect size for improving student outcomes, is progressing ahead of schedule.
• The Director for Facilities and Safety reported the he and the Business Manager in the final stages of approving the capital improvement projects for this year. The snow removal team continues to work diligently to keep the walks and parking lots clear during and after snow storms.
• The Secondary Complex report indicated that of the 24 seniors who have applied for college admission, 12 have been accepted. Twelve HS students are enrolled in post-secondary classes at the Tribal College. The Home School Liaisons have hosted two open houses to encourage individuals who did not graduate to return to school or to an Adult Basic Education program. In addition, 25 students are taking part in National History Day Project activities, which include the opportunity to conduct research during a field trip to the Cities, and display projects at the Northwest Regional Competition, at Bemidji State University.
• The Transportation Director reported he is securing specifications for a 71 passenger school bus to be purchased for next year, and that he continues to find it necessary to contract with Bemidji Bus Lines, due to the lack of a full staff of drivers.
• The Human Resource Coordinator indicated that the district's pay equity report has been submitted, as required by State Law, and that she will be attending various recruitment fairs to encourage individuals to apply for employment with Red Lake Schools.
• The Business Manager's report detailed a recent visit he and the Facilities Director conducted in St. Paul to elicit support for the district's $14 million dollar building project, which is part of the Governor's Bonding Bill. The two were able to meet with Senators Utke, and Senjem; and Representatives Grossell and Urdahl. All expressed support for the district's project. In addition, it was reported that the Title VII, Impact Aid application was completed and submitted by the January 31, deadline.
In other business the Board approved the purchase of van to deliver mail and other supplies between buildings, amended calendar to accommodate the January snow day, approved the new 2017-18 calendar, and the Title VII Indian parent Committee Resolution.