Career academy courses considered at Banner County schools


Banner County students may soon have the chance to earn dual credits or even graduate as a certified welder or certified nursing assistant.

Banner County Principal Charles Jones reported to the Board of Education on Monday, Oct. 10, that the district is just a few classes away from providing career academy opportunities for students.

“We have some stuff here that we offer that we are one class away from having what they would consider having a career academy of our own,” he said. “We have four of them right now that they would consider career clusters and then we have another four or five more that if we could find another class to offer through someone else to be able to consider those as well.”

Jones reported that WNCC attended a recent meeting with himself and guidance counselor Chris Cooper. They presented a sketch of sorts about what various academies would look like.

He added that while the district would like to provide these opportunities for students, there are scheduling concerns to discuss before students can take advantage of dual-credit courses and certifications, such as CNA and welding.

“They (WNCC) said this is something that they would be willing to do,” Jones said. “WNCC has worked really hard to put these offerings together for the schools. I think they see a very good opportunity to try to draw some kids onto their campus. They wanted to have a second meeting and wanted all of the decision-makers in the same room.”

During the regular meeting, the board touched on some transportation and grounds issues, including the eventual need to replace some vehicles, the matter will be more fully addressed at next month’s meeting.

The committee discussed bids for a new lawnmower, approved the purchase of such at a cost of $13,000 from Sandberg Implement with a $1,000 trade-in.

The board further approved the purchase of a snow plow, and directed Superintendent Lana Sides to begin receiving bids for a new or gently used Suburban for the district.

The district review policy changes and adopted, unanimously, the 2016 North Platte Natural Resources District Hazard Mitigation Plan. The school was named as the primary source for a back-up generator and is working to purchase said generator with a grant.

“I think the sirens that were put up in town were a part of this in some way,” Sides said. “I know we are an important center if anything happens,” Sides said.

Sides then reported that the district received a Governor’s Wellness Sower Award, for sowing the seeds of wellness. Banner County School was awarded with one of just two of these awards presented by Lt. Governor Mike Foley at the Gering Civic Center earlier this month. Just 44 employers were awarded this honor throughout the state and Banner County was the only school in the Panhandle to receive the award.

Credit was given to Marie Parker as she applied for the award for worksite wellness, but wellness team members also include Angie Hilbert, Jeri Revelle and Kari Gifford.

“Marie does a lot on wellness in the school,” Superintendent Lana Sides said.

Sides then updated the board on personnel, as Chad Miller was hired to be the girls basketball coach and a speech coach is still needed.

As the first quarter of school nears, Sides reported that two pork were donated for the school lunch program by Nathaniel and Riley McGowan and a beef was donated by Grant and Kelly Lerwick.

Both of those donations have already been processed, while an additional beef, donated by Bob and Wilma Post, is scheduled to be processed on March 2.

Processing costs last year came to just over $2,200, but the district got a Farm Credit Service grant for $2,000.

Other matters before the board:

-The final tax request for the district was passed unanimously with no changes.

-Board appointed Sides as the federal, state and local representative.

-District received ten trees for the re-tree project, to be planted around the school. Banner County FFA students planted the trees with sponsor Bill Gifford.


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