The Mitchell Board of Education approved a bid to build a greenhouse for use by programs at Mitchell Career and Technical Education Academy Monday night.

The action took place at the latest regular meeting of the board at L.B. Williams Elementary School.

The bid for the project, submitted from Growing Spaces, came in at $29,842.50 which Joe Graves, superintendent for the Mitchell School District, said came in within budget for the project. Much of the cost of the project will be offset by a $25,000 grant the district received from the Monsanto Foundation, which later became the Bayer Fund.

The grant funding will allow the district to build a slightly larger greenhouse than had originally been conceived, Graves said.

“We applied under the Monsanto Foundation, which became the Bayer Fund, and received a grant of $25,000, and since then with our partnerships we’ve been able to look at a slightly larger greenhouse,” Graves said.

Graves also said Muth Electric approached the district to assist with putting in power for the greenhouse project, as well as another upgrade for the district construction program.

“They were very generous in making that available to us,” Graves said.

The utility installation for the project is underway, and Graves said he expects construction on the greenhouse to begin in April.

The greenhouse was conceived as a joint project between the advanced biology, agriculture and culinary arts programs at MCTEA and is expected to be utilized by all three programs upon completion.

The board also approved an update to the district bullying policy in an effort to bring it up to speed with state statute. The revisions are intended to provide provisions for reporting bullying anonymously and also clarify the limitations of anonymous reports and to specifically include physical locations to which the policy pertains.

The updated policy states that a bullying report may be made anonymously, although disciplinary action can not be based solely on an anonymous report. If disciplinary action is being requested, the individual reporting the incident will be asked to submit a signed written complaint or report form.

Graves also noted that to fall under the bullying policy, the action must not be a single, isolated incident. If, for example, two students had a single incident at a basketball game, discipline for the offending student or student would not necessarily fall under the bullying policy, but regular disciplinary policy.

“The bullying has to be long-term or pervasive,” Graves said.

The other update states that a principal or principal’s designee shall conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of each alleged incident, including whether the incident occurred on school grounds, in school facilities, onboard a school bus or vehicle or at a school-sponsored event.

Neil Putnam, a member of the board of education, asked if there was a procedure in place in the event bullying occurs between students from two different school districts. Graves said such an incident would be handled by contacting the administrators of the school at which the non-Mitchell student was enrolled and dealt with through those channels.

In other business, the board:

  • Recognized the Mitchell High School state championship girls tennis team and players.

  • Recognized the Mitchell School District art department, the state fair sweepstakes winner and the blue-ribbon winning art students.

  • Heard a preliminary review of district report card demographics. Graves mentioned during the brief review that while official numbers are not in yet, enrollment in the district may be up this year by as many as 10 students. More on the demographics will be presented at the next meeting of the board.

  • Conducted a brief tour of L.B. Williams Elementary School.

The next meeting of the Mitchell Board of Education is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 11 at Longfellow Elementary School. The meeting, which is open to the public, is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.