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

By Daria Anderson-Faden
The Observer 

Kimball School Board Accepts 3 Resignations

COVID-19 And Requirements For Graduation Addressed


April 16, 2020

A special school meeting was conducted on April 7 to hire an individual, accept three resignations and make changes to the graduation requirements. This was meeting was conducted via Zoom due to the coronavirus, and the new format created few problems.

The board hired, in a 6-0 motion, Luke Maas as a Jr./Sr. High teacher and assessment and instruction administrator. Maas previously taught science in Kimball, then took a job in Scottsbluff for a year.

Additionally, three individuals resigned effective at the end of 2019-20 school year: Chauncey Pedersen, Amy McManigal and Ashley Bundy. Pedersen was the PreK-12 counselor and racked up 12 years in the district, McManigal concluded 13 years here and Bundy is the third-grade teacher.

A number of motions were considered and voted on in relation to the COVID-19 virus. These actions authorized the superintendent or a designee to “take all necessary action to work with state and health department officials for advice and directions on functions that may involve large gatherings of people” and granting leave of absence for duty days that occur during 14 consecutive calendar days with full current wages and benefits to exempt and non-exempt employees who are experiencing travel conditions or circumstances related to the COVID-19 virus.

The second reading of a policy for graduation requirements was approved. Superintendent Elizabeth Owens had these comments about the change: “The changes that Mrs. (Danielle) Reader, our new Jr/Sr High School principal for the upcoming school year, and I are proposing ... would certainly have positive benefits for our students. These changes ... would give students more opportunities to participate in college credit courses or career technical training which could include possible apprenticeship programs. It is very important that we provide more options in order to prepare all students for post-secondary success.”

Reader provided more details regarding the policy changes: “The changes to the policy are two-fold. First, we are aligning our graduation requirements with those found in Rule 10 of the NDE Regulations by requiring three years of social studies rather than four years. One of the benefits our school offers is the number of course offerings for students. By reducing this requirement, students are able to select another elective in their area of interest and administration can better utilize the talents of the current staff.

“The second change is to allow junior high students who take high school courses, such as Algebra 1, to earn high school credit. Both of these changes will better serve students by allowing them to take additional courses toward their associate’s or bachelor’s degree while still in high school or to pursue technical courses toward a trade career. Currently, board policy and state regulations require three years each of math and science. Students interested in pursuing a career in a STEM field may elect to take a fourth year of each content area. In the same manner, even with the new change in policy, students interested in pursuing social studies may elect a fourth year of social studies as well.”

She said students will have more choices.


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