Herald Lusk | Stallman, Bilbrey hired by school district
LUSQUE – The Niobrara County School District School Board met on Monday evening for its first regular meeting in August at the Niobrara County School District Administrative Building. Business manager Stuart Larson and board members Jeremy Nelson and Katie Kruse were absent.
President Lexie Ashurst has called for a motion regarding the potential appointment of an Assistant Director of Special Education, Kelly Bilbrey, for the Wyoming Virtual Academy (WYVA). Director Cheryl Lund asked the board to adjourn the executive meeting to discuss the matter before asking the question. The council then adjourned in executive session.
After a brief executive session, the board reconvened and approved Bilbrey’s appointment. Ashurst then called for a motion regarding Jessica Stallman’s potential appointment as a cook in foodservice. The board approved Stallman’s appointment to this post.
Despite the hiring of two staff members, WYVA teacher Chris Spencer resigned and the board approved the resignation.
Lucinda Kasper, Principal of Lusk Elementary and Middle School (LEMS), told the board about the issues she was having regarding music education. Despite the problems, Kasper has informed the board of directors of a plan of action to resolve the issues she is facing.
“We shared the responsibilities,” she said. “We’re going to have Andy Hubbard take care of the general music for K-4, Gina Rose is going to do the band and the 5-6 band, so the high school band, the middle school band, and the 5-6 band … Heather Goddard who will cover high school choir.
In addition to filling gaps in the music program, Kasper and LEMS Director of Special Education Hunter Kunerth are working with Black Hills State University (BHSU) to recruit a Christmas graduate or Christmas teacher for the program. music.
LEMS will also organize a joint back-to-school evening on August 18 at LEMS for kindergarten to grade six from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. From 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. there will be a barbecue at Niobrara County High School for everyone, teachers, parents, students, etc. Then from 6.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m., there will be a back-to-school evening for high school and college.
Niobrara County High School Principal (NCHS) Robyn Heth added that the encore club would provide the meal for the event.
Kasper said board membership has been on the rise this year and online registration is underway. She noted that those who have already created an account on the Parent Portal do not need to re-register their children, but rather visit the portal and update the information for their students.
For those who cannot access their account after setting it up previously, they should call LEMS secretary, Traci Bruegger, and she will help them reset their password and restore access to their account.
NCSD Superintendent George Mirich suggested the possibility of closing the campus for new ninth graders during their lunch hour. Mirich cited past issues with students returning to class on time after their lunch break.
Mirich asks those who think there is a need for leeway with Grade 9 students to speak up and express their feelings about it. Despite the plan to close the campus for 9th grade students, Mirich said the district still plans to keep the campus open for 10th to 12th grade students.
Administrator Sheila Boldon asked what the district plans to do if grade 10 students, for example, break the rules and are usually late for class.
Mirich said there was a plan in place to provide detention for lunch, where students would be required to stay on campus for meals and would not be allowed to leave.
Mirich told the board that he and other directors attended a legal conference in Laramie last week. The main points of discussion were the Title IX issues and the issues regarding transgender students.
Mirich added, “Transgender is a Title IX issue.”
According to the University of Wyoming website, uwyo.edu, “Title IX is federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in an educational setting. It was first adopted in 1972, and over the years it has become widely and legally understood to define sexual violence as a form of discrimination based on sex.
The other topic of discussion at the conference, according to Mirich, was the issue of masking within schools. Mirich reported that the state of Wyoming, the Wyoming state health official and the governor’s office have all reported that no mask warrant is recommended now. If COVID infections were to become an issue, then the board would be required to further discuss the matter.
Mirich told the board there were no warrants. In other words, masks will not be required on buses, in any of the buildings or during special events.
The board discussed the issue of conflict resolution within the school district and the proper procedure for handling issues.
Administrator Candy Dooper inquired about a board of superintendents, which she said was a committee formerly established and promulgated by the school board. The group met with the superintendent, reviewed the policies and took the time to discuss what was going on in the different schools.
Mirich said he was not opposed to the idea of continuing the council, but that it was clear that the group’s goal would not be to make decisions. Mirich agreed to prepare a document that would address the description and roles of such a committee and present it to the board of directors.
School counselors Randy Rose and Loren Heth asked if the community was comfortable contacting different school administrators with specific questions regarding students and teachers in different school buildings.
Heth cited an example where there had been a faulty bus that was notoriously broken down, but the issue of the bus was never brought to the attention of anyone in particular, but it was a well-known issue among many. parents and some board members. members. Heth emphasized the importance of issues brought to the attention of the school board, regardless of the path the issue takes to reach the board.
Several board members agreed that department heads within the school district should be accessible and should educate parents on the formal path to follow when seeking to resolve conflicts in the district.
The next Niobrara County School District meeting is scheduled for the district’s first day of school on August 23, 2021 at 6 p.m.