Public hearings on the Lexington Public School’s Parental Involvement Policy and the proposed 2018-19 Student Fees Policy were held Monday night just ahead of the Lexington School Board’s monthly meeting.
The parental policy outlines how parents can access and review student textbooks and curriculum, how they can observe district instructional activities, and have their children excused from school experiences they find objectionable.
The Student Fees Policy remained almost the same for the coming year as it was in 2017-18. According to Superintendent John Hakonson, the only additional fee last year was a $5 fee for students attending the after-school academy.
Among the fees covered in the policy are admissions to athletic events, activities and performances, those charged for lost or damaged school property, library fines, summer school, special clothing – such as for gym, marching band, swing choir, cheerleading, computer insurance and more.
When the council moved into their regular agenda, Skyler Roemmich, a 2006 LHS graduate, addressed the board during citizen’s comments. Referring to an item later on the agenda regarding proposals for physical therapy services for 2018-19.
She noted she and her husband, Curtis, had returned to Lexington to work at Lexington Regional Health Center (LRHC) as physical therapists. LRHC and Family Physical Therapists had both submitted proposals for therapy services for the district.
“If the physical therapy proposal from LRHC is approved, I would be the primary therapist serving the district,” Roemmich noted, adding she and her husband intend to raise their family in Lexington and would be here for the long haul.
“Consistency is key and I hope to see them (students) from kindergarten through graduation,” she said.
The board approved the LRHC proposal for 2018-19 physical therapy services.
Under the consent agenda the board approved the following hires: Angela Pitkin as an intervention specialist at Pershing Elementary to replace Peg Exstrom, who retired; Haley Rogers, Lexington Middle School Career and Tech Education teacher, effective second semester, following completion of her student teaching and receipt of her teaching certificate; Peg Stenberg – LMS Career and Tech Education teacher for first semester, until Rogers comes on board. Stenberg taught career and tech ed at LMS until her retirement.
In new business the board approved the purchase of 800 iPad cases from Apple for $27,960, approved the district parental involvement policy, student fees policy, the remaining policy revisions and deletions as part of the summer updates and the 2018-19 staff handbook.
During reports Tracy Naylor, director of the Lexington Early Learning (ELA) Academy shared the Results Matter report with the board. It was noted students who are able to start the year at the ELA and remain through both semesters show the most progress when assessed semi-annually through the Nebraska Department of Education Teaching Strategies GOLD system.
“Time is our biggest hurdle,” explained Naylor. “Children may start as soon as they turn 4, but sometimes that isn’t until half-way to nearly all the way through the school year. We have some students who enroll maybe a month to two weeks before school is out and it’s tough to teach anything in that time period.”
So their enrollment numbers fluctuate throughout the year, said the director. In addition, state and federal funding only covers half-day classes, said Naylor. “Only migrant children go to ELA for a full-day, so we only have one full-day classroom, compared to 15 half-day.”
What is especially hard, she said, is sending students who have turned 5 by the state and federal cut-off date for pre-school to kindergarten who clearly aren’t ready. Naylor referenced an article that touched on similar problems at Schuyler, noting they are exploring a number of options with the state, such as transitional kindergarten.
Hakonson reminded the board of their planning session at 6 p.m. on July 17 to help everyone gear up for the 2018-19 school year.