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The Richland School Board Hears Title IX

Source: Richland School District

The Richland School Board Hears Title IX

The Board Approved A Number of Items for the District

July 9, 2024 11:25 AM CDT

By: Jo Ann Krulatz

Richland School District Administrator, Steve Board, reported at last night’s (Monday) Board of Education meeting, that due to changes in Federal Law surrounding Title IX, all districts need to have a new policy in place prior to August 1. While most of the policy centers around what is covered under Title IX as well as procedures for handling Title IX violations, Steve Board encourages the Board of Education to review the policy in full. The district needs to have a policy in place for allegations of events that happened prior to August 1, as well as a policy to handle allegations of events on or after August 1. Because of this, the board can not simply revise current policy, but needs two policies.

Dr Shari Johnson, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, submitted the annual Achievement Gap Reduction Report. The district’s participation in the the AGR program is a five-year agreement with the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). The district is in the fourth year of the agreement. The AGR program requires that participating schools create performance objectives, which include reducing the achievement gap between low-income students in that school and students that are in the same grade and subject area statewide. The AGR program allows schools to implement one of three strategies or a combination of these strategies in every kindergarten through the third-grade classroom. The Richland Primary and Intermediate Schools opted to implement instructional coaching, tutoring, and class size to promote student achievement with students who are struggling in reading and math. The 2023-24 focus was to provide class sizes of 18 or fewer students for the kindergarten through third-grade students. If any classes exceeded 18 students, instructional coaching was provided with tutoring. The information shared is the student achievement data based upon a comparison model of the free and reduced lunch students and our other students. This is due to the district’s free and reduced lunch participation numbers driving the eligibility to participate in the AGR program. iReady diagnostics assessments, a criterion-referenced tool, were completed in the Fall and Winter in Reading and Math for all students in grades K through 3. Many different data points allow educators to see patterns and trends in student performance. No one assessment should be used solely as a measure of student performance, as it may be a snapshot of how a student happened to perform on one particular day. The combination of scores and classroom data provides a clear baseline for growth while focusing on closing achievement gaps in math and reading. This iReady data along with other classroom data is used to capture the whole child’s abilities. The total number of students in the AGR program in the Richland School district was 291; 73 in 5K, 79 in first grade, 75 in second, and 64 in third grade.

The district currently has two Administrative Assistants at each Elementary Building. One of these assistants works 190 days, while the other works 220 days. Both positions are benefit-eligible. While it has been a goal of District Administrator, Steve Board, to keep buildings open throughout the summer months so new families can enroll and visit, it is often difficult with the limited days available for these two positions. A long-term goal has been to move one of these positions, at each building, to a full-time, 260 day, position. Between this position and the administration, this should allow for all three of the Richland School buildings to consistently remain open throughout the summer months. The request was unanimously approved by the five board members present: Scott Behling, Neil Huntamer, Sheila Troxel, Brady Doudna, and Lee VanLanduyt.

Also approved unanimously were:

Revisions of definitions in Policy to state a class or course is the equivalent of one “skinny” in a block schedule or one period in a six-, seven-, or eight-period schedule, consisting of approximately 45 minutes of teacher-led instruction or supervision for credit.

Revisions to Policy concerning School Events on Wednesdays, Sundays, and Holidays to allow events if they are a WIAA, or other leading regional or state entity, Tournament event has been scheduled or rescheduled for a Wednesday night and is beyond District control. School events or activities on a holiday may be approved by the District Administrator only if a WIAA, or other leading regional or state entity, Tournament event is scheduled for the following day. In these circumstances, the event must be voluntary and scheduled after 5:00 PM. The Richland School District performing arts may have students voluntarily participate in the local Memorial Day Parade; and Senior Class Night may be scheduled on the Wednesday night in May, prior to graduation.

The board also accepted a number of gifts to the district. They included cash, books, and Gatorade Performance packages.

Following closed session at last night’s (Monday) meeting the Richland School District Board of Education approved:

The retirement of Sarah Olson, 5K Teacher and Lynnette Bruckner, Primary Speech and Language Teacher at the end of the 2024-25 school year.

The hiring of Autumn Bultman, Intermediate half-time Physical Education Teacher, and Margret Schultz, High School Science Teacher for the 2024-25 school year.

And approved Silas Coleman as the Curriculum Instruction Coach, and Chris Mulholland as the three-quarter High School Alternative Education/GED Teacher for the 2024-25 school year.

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