School board rejects request to change Wednesday policy
September 16, 2021
Public hearings to review the proposed 2021-22 budget and tax askings were held prior to the Superior School board’s regular monthly meeting. During the regular session general fund tax asking of $4,433,232; bond fund $535,354 and special building fund of $606,061 for total tax asking of $5,574,647 were approved.
All members of the board were present for the meeting. They approved a contract with Clark and Enersen, an architectural firm based in Lincoln. The firm is to address several issues the board has been discussing including roof repair, renovating the front entrance to the high school, working on the adjoining parking lot and considering possibilities for the recently acquired land across the street north of the high school. Members of the board will then be able to prioritize projects using firm financial figures.
Supt. Kobza projected repairing the entire middle school and senior high school roof will cost $1.2 million. Building a new front entrance around $800,000 and $500,000 for parking lot construction not including tearing out, reshaping and lights.
Supt. Kobza expects the board will call a special session before the October meeting to discuss projected projects when input from the architectural firm is available.
All members of the board were present Monday evening. During the public presentation, Robert Hopkins, pastor of Centennial Lutheran Church, represented the Superior Ministerial Association. He asked the board to continue to prohibit Wednesday afternoon sports practices for middle school students. Both the Lutheran Church and the First United Methodist Church hold confirmation classes involving middle school students on Wednesday afternoon.
An agenda item addressing the Wednesday sports practice was discussed later in the meeting. Last month, Paul Heusinkvelt, athletic director, asked the board to change a long standing policy and allow Wednesday practices. He said it is a safety issue for middle school students to have two football games in a week and not have a Wednesday practice.
Matt Sullivan, board president, said, “I see no problem with Wednesday practices as long as they are optional and the players are not penalized.”
Jason Jensen, a board member, said, “I would like to see us continue the policy of no middle school sports practices on Wednesday. In some round about way players who do not attend practice will be penalized.”
Luke Meyer, a board member, added, “Junior high age students need a mid-week break. I agree not practicing between two games the same week could be a safety issue, but why do junior high players have two games the same week, maybe the schedule needs changed.”
Sullivan asked,” Do any other schools have this policy?”
Bob Cook, middle school and senior high school principal, said, “Some schools start practice the last hour of the school day, but they are not suppose to do that according to state statute.”
With a smile, Meyer added, “They call it P.E. class.”
Cook added, “If we make sports practice optional, we will have players fighting with their parents. The kids will want to be at practice. They could practice in the morning.”
Matt Bargen, board member, asked, “When did they quit practicing in the morning? We started at 6 a.m. for wrestling practice.”
There seemed to be agreement morning practices were not needed when three gymnasiums became available. However, most mornings many players arrive early to lift weights and work out at school.
No action was taken and the Wednesday sports practice policy 3015 stands unchanged.
Policy 3015 -Time away from school reads as follows: “As it is important to have some nights free from school activities, school activities will not be scheduled on Wednesday nights or on Sundays without the approval of the superintendent. And to help the matter, there is no junior high practice on Wednesday nights. High school practices of any kind will be completed by 6 p.m. Practice may be held on Sunday with prior approval of the administration and a contest scheduled on Monday.”
Earlier in the meeting Tricia Kuhlman and Dana Henry reported on math curriculum implementation. This is the third year for intensive math curriculum restructuring and implementation. The pair reviewed their summer work (about 200 hours). After selecting Eureka, a free on-line math curriculum, the pair organized and streamlined teaching resources for kindergarten through fifth grade instructors.
Brooklynn Grabast presented the student ambassador report.
August claims from the general fund in the amount of $698,422.79 were approved.
In other business, board members approved changing the school calendar, so students will return to school Jan. 5, not Jan. 4. Teachers will report January 4 for a professional development day.
Bob Cook, secondary principal reported, actual beginning enrollment was 215 which includes seven classes (sixth grade through 12th grade.)
Fall sports participation stands at 23 out for high school football, 11 running cross country, 16 playing junior high football ( five seventh grade students and 11 eighth grade students); 20 playing high school volleyball, 15 in junior high volleyball (eight seventh grade students and seven - eighth grade students) and seven in girls golf.
Cook indicated concern related to football. “Friday, 17 players suited up, that is not many to play 11 man football. Next year could be challenging for junior high football as there are only five seventh grade students playing. They already play eight-man.”
“The golf girls won the Fairbury Invitational today,” he continued. “There were some bigger schools school playing including Fairbury and Syracuse.”
The school will be offering “On To College” for any student interested in the program.
Jody Fierstein, elementary principal, talked about Acadience testing for kindergarten through fifth grade.
She also talked about student improvement plans, MAP test, lunch buddy picnic and professional development.
A lunch buddy picnic is scheduled for today (Thursday.) It is a family engagement activity design to get family involved. Students will get a sack lunch and an adult is invited to join them and eat lunch that day. Preschool students will do something similar with snack time.
Before adjourning, the board entered into executive session to discuss personnel at 9:19 p.m., then returned to regular session and adjourned at 9:36 p.m.