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W-P to host district one-act again this year PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 17 October 2013 18:26

Students await the judges’ decisions at the 2012 one-act districts held in Wauneta. (Breeze file photo)

By Sheri Hink-Wagner

The Wauneta Breeze


The Wauneta-Palisade Public Schools Board’s October meeting, held Monday, Oct. 14 at the Palisade Attendance Center, included amendments to the school calendar.

One of the amendments was to close the school on Dec. 3, 2013, to allow W-P to host the district one-act competition.

Teachers not involved in the district competition will meet at the Wauneta Attendance Center for continuous improvement process data analysis and discussion.

The school’s calendar was also amended to cancel school for students on Wednesday, Nov. 27. The day had previously been listed as an early dismissal on the school calendar, but now school will be canceled for students that day.

Teachers will use the day to have a professional development day to evaluate district writing assessments as part of the district’s continuous improvement process.

School administrators Randy Geier and Roger Reikofski indicated at the board meeting that days such as these are valuable for W-P’s teachers as they allow teachers to approach issues district-wide.

The district’s writing scores on recent assessment tests were less than what the district expected. In fact, the district even appealed some of the ratings to no avail.

Reikofski said, “We need this day to figure out what to do [to improve writing scores].”

He went on to say, “You need multiple assessments in order to make better decisions. I’m big on comparing one student to him or herself, not to other students. That’s why we need other ways to assess.”


September expenditures high

W-P bookkeeper Jill Hurtt attended the October meeting to review September expenditures with the board.

Hurtt explained that expenditures for the month of September were abnormally high.

She stated that the district had a total of $94,541.23 in “unusual” expenditures. These non-routine expenditures included purchase of a new school bus for $52,950, whose purchase was approved at the September school board meeting.

Other items included in the non-routine expenditures were accessories and app vouchers for the new iPads purchased for high school students, quarterly insurance payments, yearly software license fees, website maintenance fees, Sycamore annual fee and to fund air conditioner repairs in the library and band room.


Cheerleaders send delegate

The W-P cheerleading squad sent Ayla Rector to the October school board meeting as their delegate. Rector indicated the cheerleaders would have attended as well but were unable to because they were in school at the time of the meeting.

Rector explained that the squad had sent her to “fight to keep cheerleading in school.”

The school board had discussed possibly terminating the cheerleading program at a meeting earlier this year.

Rector brought with her a list of over 100 supporters of cheerleading signed by residents of both Wauneta and Palisade.

Rector explained the way the cheerleaders feel about their squad, “It’s how they interact with the school, they feel they are not accepted by other sports teams.”

School board President Jon Anderjaska told Rector the board appreciates the work the cheerleaders put into advocating for their program.

There was no further discussion concerning the future of the W-P cheerleading squad at the October meeting.


New social studies curriculum

School board members adopted a new social studies curriculum at the October meeting.

The K-12 social studies curriculum was updated as part of a district-wide effort of social studies teachers.

Administrators said the teachers appreciated having the opportunity to collaborate on the updated curriculum, saying that some teachers were not aware of what was being taught in other grades before the process.

Administrators said the revision process gave teachers a chance to collaborate and make sure they are not missing any of the state’s mandates.


Other business

The W-P school district will participate as a pilot district for Nebraska Council of School Administrators (NCSA) and the National School Boards Association (NSBA) in a new wellness program. The program talks about the wellness of the whole child.

The school board will begin the process of completing the annual superintendent evaluation this month.

The evaluation will be completed in December, but school board members will begin their individual evaluations later this month so the president can compile them for the end evaluation, which will be completed in December.


W-P teachers part of professional learning community

In her ESU 15 report, Allison Sandman shared that the W-P teachers will participate in a Professional Learning Community organized through the ESU.

W-P teachers will meet with teachers of similar grades or subjects in person and will also be able to communicate with them online. The hope is that the collaboration will give teachers new ideas and a level of support in their endeavors.

In addition, the ESU has funds to send two delegates from each district to a PLC Work Summit in Arizona in February.


Administrative reports

Recent parent teacher conferences were the subject of both the principal and superintendent reports at the October meeting. Superintendent Randy Geier reported that nearly 75 percent of parents of 7-12 grade students attended parent teacher conferences.

Elementary Principal Reikofski reported the attendance rate was approximately 85 percent for the elementary. He went on to say the elementary school will endeavor to move their participation rate closer to 100 percent for next year.

During his principal’s report Reikofski gave an update on the recent Parent Teacher Organization meeting held in Palisade.

He indicated there were 12 who attended the meeting, compared to eight at the previous meeting.

Reikofski indicated the school would like to see more parents involved with the PTO, but that the group had some good conversations at the last meeting.

One of the goals identified last time included some sort of shade structure for the playground at the Palisade Attendance Center.

He also indicated that the elementary students at the Palisade Attendance Center will have their Halloween parade on Oct. 31 at 12 noon MT/ 1 p.m. CT.

After the parade down main street students will come back to the school for a Halloween carnival. Only students in preschool through the fourth grade will participate.


Elementary iPads

Reikofski informed the board of the purchase of 20 iPads for the elementary school.

The iPads are eligible for reimbursement from Title I funds. The iPads will be shared by students in eighth grade and below.

Reikofski said the school has an additional $25,000 to $30,000 in Title I funds that need to be used this year or the school may lose the ability to spend that money.

He also explained that Title I funds can be used for any instructional purpose. He went on to say that the majority of the school’s Title I funds will be used to pay the Title I teacher’s salary.

The next regular school board meeting is currently scheduled for Monday, Nov. 11 at 6 p.m. MT/7 p.m. CT at the Wauneta Attendance Center. The public is welcome to attend school board meetings.