The Superior Express -

SHS ag department would like instructional acreage


November 12, 2020

Mondays monthly school board meeting opened as normal with the Pledge of Allegiance and roll call. All members of the board were present, as well as administrators Marty Kobza - superintendent, Doug Hoins - elementary principal, Bob Cook- secondary principal, Jodi Fierstien - special services director, and administrative assistants - Kim Williams, Sharon Biltoft, and Logan Christancy, technology coordinator. Most sat at a table alone in the high school library. All wore masks, except school board members.

Funds from the general fund for October expenditures in the amount of $570,306.88 were approved. Sullivan, board president, has questioned one bill related to water heaters.

Supt. Kobza said, “We have two commercial water heaters which supply hot water for most of the building. One began to leak, they were of similar vintage, so we replaced both of them to prevent further water problems. The cost of the water heaters was a bit more than $4,000.”

After a presentation from student ambassadors and a report from Supt. Kobza regarding a proposal offering bowling as a sport, Seth Going, ag instructor, and Brent Thomas, ag and industrial arts instructor, reviewed wrestling program and then presented their dreams for the tools needed to enhance agricultural career pathways at Superior Public Schools. Their presentation lasted most of an hour.

Going and Thomas are the FFA advisors. Thomas is advising middle school FFA this year. Thirty-four students are participating. Going is advising high school FFA.

This department has a plasma cutter up and running.

The pair reviewed fall activities, district competition and national awards before sharing their dreams.

Going would like five to 15 acres of land somewhere for students to be able to work with animals: lambs, goats and or cattle. He would like for them to see rotational grazing and range management. He would like to do 30 day feeding trials with chickens.

“We have only a couple handfuls of students from working farms in school, so our students have not had hands on learning.”

Going has a special interest in livestock. Thomas is more oriented toward agronomy. He would like land to illustrate the advantages of crop rotation, pest management and soil fertility where sustainable agriculture can be studied.

In other business, a motion to hire Casey Kinney, as a part-time speech language pathologist was approved.

Also the board approved purchasing a video scoreboard from Daktronics. The scoreboard comes with a curriculum which will be used for classroom instruction to teach students video production. Sullivan, board president, said, “It will promote the game day experience.”

The current scoreboard is having problems and parts are not available.

Board members expect the new scoreboard to cost approximately $90,000. Sullivan, president, thinks the board can raise funds from advertisers to pay for the board. Pepsi has already committed $10,000 over the next five years.

The board also approved adding bowling as sport this year. There are 12 students interested. Details are still being worked out with Superior Bowl related to finances and practice time.

Bob Cook, secondary principal, reported he had been out for a couple of weeks which had affected the required testing routine. However, because of better internet service, it appeared the tests would be completed this year in two days instead of five which have been required in previous years.

Doug Hoins reported on fire prevention week, PBiS and SIS math sessions.

PBiS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and supports) recognition activities were held virtually. Visual presentations were done for each grade level to recognize students who had zero behavior reports for the first quarter. Fifteen student names were drawn for a pizza party. There were no behavior reports filed for second grade during the first quarter.

Shannon McCartney from SIS Math (Strategic Intervention Solutions) worked with pre-kindergarten through fifth grade teachers on developing math talks in their classrooms. She demonstrated a math talk for new instructors, then had them lead their students in a math talk. She watched returning teachers do a math talk and then debriefed with all classroom teachers individually at the end of the hour sessions in their classrooms.

Supt. Kobza gave an update on COVID-19. Monday, 12 students missed school because of COVID- 19: nine are in quarantine because of association with someone who has tested positive and three students have tested positive for the virus.”

“We are getting questions about why some students get to come to school and others are in quarantine,” he continued.

“It they have been near someone who has tested positive for less than 15 minutes, life goes on as normal and they monitor for symptoms. If the contact has been 15 minutes or longer, then they must quarantine,” he said.

Contact at lunch without masks generally is about 10 minutes.

“So far we have been fortunate, we have had a couple of staff out and then back before a couple more staff have been out because of COVID-19,” he said.

The negotiations committee has begun to work with the teachers. Supt. Kobza said, “Health insurance went up 2.96 percent.”

Near the close of the meeting the board went into executive session to discuss a potential real estate purchase. Meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.


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