The first education board meeting introduces new staff

22_dispatch_3434BEST OF THE BEST  — The Pondera County dispatch crew are shown around their work console. They recently won the CJIN (Criminal Justice Informational Network) trophy. The dispatchers have been audited six times in a row and have received no deficiencies. They are responsible for all entries that come through dispatch. Shown here at the console is Carol Strickland, from the left in back are Steve Rose, Judy Sawyer, Sheriff Tom Kuka, Joan Farnstrom, and Linda Welch. Unavailable for photo was Linda Arends.  I-O Photo by Buck Traxler

By Tirsea McNeal, I-O Reporter

New teachers and staff were introduced to the school board on Tuesday by the school principals.

Introductions included Grace Hanson (Prairie View Title I  aide), Bethany Bennett (Meadowlark aide), Danele Dyer (Elementary Guidance Counselor), Kristi Calvery (high school English), Michael Caudle (high school English and Art), Amy Griffin (high school aide and 21st Century Grant Coordinator).

Introductions will continue next month with other new staff members.

Karen Lee updated the board on Digital Academy classes at the high school.

“Currently, we have seven students taking the on-line classes which include everything from Digital Photography to Latin,” said Lee.

Digital Academy at the high school has allowed students to expand their class offerings.

Lee also spoke to the board about the upcoming trainings for Language Arts staff in grades 6-12.

The goal is to align the curriculum so that goals for each grade level are met while building stronger communication between grades.

The board approved a cooperative agreement with Valier for wrestling for the 2012-2013 season.  Watch the I-O for more information.

Spanish teacher, Ashley Buswell, received permission from the board to pursue taking advanced Spanish students to Spain.

This nine day trip costing $3,700 per student would be taken in the early part of June 2013. Buswell said there is room for six students.

Fundraising would begin in earnest, although Buswell said she realized since the cost was so high, she would expect students to earn their money working, rather than just depending on fundraising efforts.

Buswell spent a semester of college in Spain and is familiar with the areas that students would be touring.

Principal Greg Jensen praised the work of the maintenance staff this summer.

The remodeling of Prairie View and the work getting the schools ready shows the great pride staff takes in their work.

Jensen spoke on the Safe Routes to Schools grant and how Conrad City Police and the school are working together to reward children for making right choices while walking or riding their bikes.

This last week Chief Gary Dent led a Bicycle Safety program for students K-5.

Utterback Middle School Principal Tara Thielman discussed procedures and changes to start the year at UMS.

UMS students celebrated Patriots’ Day and celebrated the school’s MBI Bronze Award with treats and speeches by the Student Council candidates.

Theilman said UMS Magazine Sales begin Sept. 18 and ends Oct. 2.

Profits from the magazine sales profit all activities at UMS during the year.  Proceeds also help pay for sports and academic programs.

Conrad High School Principal Ken Larson, shared information about last year’s ACT tests that college bound junior’s take.

Larson said having Homecoming so early added to the fast-paced start of the school year, but students did a great job of showing their school pride.

CHS is also taking part in STAR training in Eureka.

The STAR program is a student-led comprehensive bullying program aimed at high school age students.

Two staff members and eight juniors and seniors will travel to Eureka for the training.

The students will then return and train staff and students at Conrad.

Teachers of Science and Math in grades 4-8 will work with the University of Montana and Montana State University in a grant that will help implement the Common Core Standards.

These standards will take the place of No Child Left Behind.

The goal of the Common Core Standards is to ensure every child is college ready by the time they graduate from high school.

The grant allows teachers to build, implement, and evaluate the new Science and Math standards.

The next regularly scheduled School Board Meeting will be held Oct. 9 and the public is welcome to attend.