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School board to consider continuing math waiver

The Mitchell Career & Technical Education Academy. (Republic file photo)

A discussion of whether to continue to giving Mitchell Middle School students high school credit for certain math classes will resume Monday, after being tabled at the Mitchell Board of Education's May 13 meeting.

A waiver process giving students credit for taking Algebra II and Geometry as middle schoolers has been in effect in the district for decades, and the board will weigh the pros and cons of continuing that process during its regularly scheduled meeting at 5 p.m. at the Mitchell Career and Technical Education Academy, as concerns and questions were raised at the previous meeting.

Superintendent Joe Graves is requesting that the board hold a public hearing on the issue, but wrote in the board book for the meeting that unless new data is presented, he'll recommend that the waiver program stay in place for another five years.

Graves wrote that in the past five years, an average of five middle school students have gotten high school credit for Geometry per year, while an average of one has gotten credit for Algebra II. The average number of students per grade at the middle school is about 200.

Mitchell High School math chair Curtis Smith provided information stating that while he didn't have an issue with students getting credit for math classes taken in middle school, he thinks there are ways in which the system could improve, such as ensuring students are getting enough repetition to ensure they're mastering the math skills.

Consent agenda, personnel

The consent agenda includes the following personnel changes.

• New certified hire: Megan Crago, Title I at L.B. Williams; Madison-Ainsley Miller, English, debate and oral interpretation; Courtney Ehlke, English as a second language.

• New classified hire: Jose Ortiz, assistant boys soccer coach.

• Transfers: Angela Goldhammer, special education paraeducator at Rosedale Colony to regular education paraeducator at Rosedale Colony; Meagan Schoenfelder, Mitchell High School attendance secretary to administrative assistant to the activities director; Patti Brewster, district Infinite Campus administrator to registrar at Second Chance High; Nicole Hohn, paraeducator at Gertie Belle Rogers to nurse at Mitchell Middle School.

• New administrator: Sherri Becker, English Language Learner program supervisor.

• Resignations: Patti Kelly, paraeducator at Rosedale Colony; Nancy Kogel, paraeducator at Mitchell Middle School; Amanda Nava, paraeducator at L.B. Williams; Diana Campbell, food service at Mitchell High School; Gloria Geidel, food service at L.B. Williams; Susan Barrett, food service at Mitchell High School; Jayme Gill, ISS Supervisor/Title VII tutor/ yearbook advisor.

• MTI new hires: Annika Russell-Manke, adjunct, BUS 122, 290, 170; Shirlyce Weisser, adjunct, MOP 212, 230; Daniel Bents, summer 2019 IT intern; Maren Smith, summer help; Christian Fossum, summer help; Jonah Honomichl, student welding lab assistant; Joe Brtna, Chris Degen, Jason Juhnke, Josh Kranz, Jim Mahoney, Eric Schramm, Jen Schumacher, Lynne Smith, all summer interns; Melinda Bamsey, admissions administration specialist.

Other business

In other matters, the board will consider:

• Approving handbooks for the 2019-20 school year.

• Reviewing and/or revising K-12 and MTI board policies 100-300 on second reading.

• Approving board policy 114, "Prohibition Against Aiding or Abetting Sexual Abuse," on first reading.

• Approving the adoption, renewal motion and participation agreement with ASBSD for Protective Trust South Dakota.

• Approving the adoption, renewal motion and participation agreement with the School District Benefits Fund for the 2019-20 school year.

• Approving the renewal motion and participation agreement with ASBSD for the Workmen's Compensation Fund for the 2019-20 school year.

• Declaring items as surplus.

• Hearing board member and superintendent reports.

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