Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Owens Submits Resignation

Kimball Schools Superintendent Says She Needs To Care For Husband; Will Leave July 1

All six of the Kimball School board members were present to accept the resignation of Superintendent Elizabeth Owens at the Monday night, Dec. 9, meeting.

Owens will complete her second year as leader of the Kimball district, the effective date of her resignation will be July 1.

According to the letter from Dr. Owens in the board packet, she wrote, "This decision was made because of my family circumstances. Unfortunately, my husband is experiencing some medical issues which require me to be at our home in South Dakota to help him on a full time basis."

Owens continued, "There is so much to be proud of in our Kimball school and I wish you continued success for educational excellence. These incredible students deserve the very best!"

President Heather Norberg has already contacted the National Association of School Boards in order to get a start on the superintendent search.

The resignation was just one of many items that the school board dealt with as a large crowd was in attendance.

A new science curriculum was one item on the agenda. After a long and arduous process of investigating a new K-12 science series, teachers Amy McManigal and Katie Fryda presented their results to the board. The board approved a six-year contract for all books and online resources of the McGraw Hill Inspire K-12 Science series to the cost of $47,515. This series is aligned with the new Nebraska State Science Standards. The current science books that are between seven and eight years old.

Curriculum and Instruction Director Danielle Reader presented information to the board on the Kimball District intervention plan for the second semester.

According to the intervention plan, "All 7th-11th grade students will take the Math and Reading MAP test as their semester final December 18 and 19. MAP scores will be compared to target RIT scores. Students who are not on track will be placed in interventions during the 2nd semester."

Reader asked for the approval of the purchase of Edgenuity. According to the Edgenuity website, "Each year, over 3 million students use Edgenuity to excel, catch up, and graduate on time. We're committed to developing innovative courses that are grounded in research and proven to work, which is why we designed our new Student Experience to engage and empower students of today and tomorrow with modern online learning. And our courses feature rigorous, standards-based instruction; powerful interactive tools that support learning; and engaging multimedia and real-world applications that help ensure students build content knowledge and essential skills."

The board approved the purchase of Edgenuity by a 5-1 vote, with Travis Cook voting nay. The cost for the one-year program beginning Jan. 1 is $8,490.00.

As the meeting continued, a student presentation to the board was done by the Kimball Prevention Coalition. Three years ago the community and the school organized the Kimball Prevention Coalition. It was created to bring positive activities to the schools. The students presented an overview of their activities, which have included the mock accident, grim reaper project, drunk driving simulator and Challenge Day.

Challenge Day was a day-long program that made students aware of everyday problems and how to fix them, while developing empathy, compassion and school spirit.

Junior/senior high school Principal Eugene Hanks reported on upcoming events and acknowledged the November students of the month, who are Lion's Club honoree Alexander Flores and WOLF honoree Nicole Delaplane.

Events covered in Hanks' report are dates of finals (Dec. 18 and 19), reports cards distribution (after the first of the year), holiday festival (Dec. 20) and the Jr./Sr. High Christmas Concert (Dec.10). No athletic practices will be held from Dec. 22-26.

In addition, Hanks will be receiving the Distinguished Service Award, which is given to one secondary principal each year at the State Conference for Nebraska Secondary Principals.

Elementary Principal Jamie Soper reported that about 100 grandparents attended the breakfast with their grandchildren on Dec. 3. Other highlights at the elementary school include the introduction of virtual reality glasses. The students will go on virtual field trips to places like Machu Picchu, The Galapagos Island and Egypt. ESU #13 sponsors the glasses.

As the meeting concluded, members discussed the impactful sessions they attended at the State School Board Conference in Omaha. Board members were impressed by Banner County's presentation on the Option Enrollment Fridays, which is a four-day week with an optional Friday full of enrichment opportunities for students. Bayard Schools also impressed members as Bayard is focusing on a positive school culture.

The next regular school board meeting is Monday, Jan. 13 at city hall. Following that meeting, a board work session is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14 t the Jr./Sr. high school.

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