Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Two more resignations for Kimball Public Schools


Having already declared that this coming year would be a difficult one for hiring, Superintendent of Kimball Schools, Marshall Lewis, now has more hiring to do.

The Kimball Board of Education accepted the resignations of two staff members at their most recent board meeting, April 11.

School nurse, Lindsay Maas is resigning after just one year on staff, as is teacher Melissa Pohl. The latest resignations bring the count up to four open positions in the district.

Despite the loss of staff members, Director of Special Services for the district, Jamie Soper, said that she nearly has the staff exactly as she would like for upcoming summer school.

Soper reported to the board that high school credit recovery classes will be held May 31 through June 10 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Jr./Sr. High School. Jump Start junior high summer school and Jump Start elementary summer school is planned for July 18 through July 29 from 8 to 11:30 a.m., each at their respective schools.

Kimball’s pre-school program will also undergo a few changes, according to Soper, as in the coming year will classes will be weeklong, a change from the current Monday through Thursday schedule.

A second change to the preschool program is the addition of two home visits each school year, as required by rule 11, Soper added.

Additionally, the district will be distributing information to area residents regarding services provided to children who may be struggling in certain aspects of education. Soper added that this includes children from birth to age five as well as home-schooled students and that public school districts are required by law to provide these services.

Information and Technology Director Travis Terrill reported that the Educational Service Unit 13 and participating schools with the Greater Nebraska Education Consortium plan to upgrade all schools within the ESU 13 district to 100 megabyte per second internet connectivity.

Terrill added that the internet service providers are expected to bid and the district will be billed through the ESU. Currently Charter Communications provides internet service to Kimball Public Schools at 30mb/second and at a monthly cost of $280.69, Terrill said.

“We actually decrease in price to go to a higher speed than we have right now,” Terrill said of the consortium. “In years past we have had a hard time even getting anybody to bid in Kimball through the consortium and statewide contract.”

The cost for the upgraded speed would be $282.00, not including a $1,500 up front cost, and that price will remain unchanged for four years unless the district chooses to increase the connectivity speed. Currently a speed of one gigabyte per second speed would cost in excess of $500 a month.

“There are some schools that have been part of the consortium that are considering not doing so because they can get a better price on their own,” Terrill said. “Those schools are most likely Scottsbluff, Gering, Chadron and Alliance.”

Additionally, Terrill reported that he hopes to have all the computers in the district upgraded to Windows 10 operating systems by the end of the summer.

“The benefit to schools is that Microsoft basically gives the software away, for lack of a better term,” Terrill said.


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