St. Mary’s School Board Minutes

February 14, 2007


Guests:  Deb Kelly, Forrest Peetz, Amber Bassegio, Katie Schneider, Jennie Schneider, Tim Schneider, Father Hoesing


Board President Janet Fletcher called the meeting to order, and Father Nigli began with an opening prayer.  Board Members present included Janet Fletcher, Lawrence Reiman, Merri Schneider, John Boyle, Gene Soukup, Melvin Ohri, Luann Shields and Sharon Spencer and Dian Edwards, along with Norm Hale, Father Nigli and Alice Marx, with John Boyle being absent. 


Dian Edwards made a motion to approve the agenda as amended, and Gene Soukup seconded the motion.  Vote:  All in favor, none opposed.


After review of the minutes of the December 15, 2006 meeting, Gene Soukup made a motion to approve the minutes, and Luann Shields seconded.  Vote:  All in favor, none opposed.


Deb Kelly was introduced and asked to speak.  She provided an update by PowerPoint presentation on the progress of the grade school computer lab which has been in use this school year.  Jennie Schneider also spoke on this matter.  Jennie would like to have some different programs, so that they can alternate each year.  With the funds donated by Torpins Rodeo Market, additional software was ordered, so that she can teach the Microsoft Office program as well.


Deb Kelly asked for permission to apply for the IBM matching grant for another 16 computers for this coming year.  Of these new computers, 9 would go into the grade school computer lab, bringing the lab to a total of 25 computers, and the remaining 6 computers could be used in other grade school classrooms, or other possible uses would be for the high school lab, yearbook staff, or the proposed distance learning classroom.  The expenses left to finish the computer lab, for the additional 9 computers would be approximately $3,200 more; much of this expense has been decreased because Tim Schneider and others have donated a considerable amount of labor to this project.  This has been a wonderful project, and Janet Fletcher expressed the Board’s sincere appreciation to everything that Mrs. Kelly has done for the grade school computer lab project.


Motion was made by Gene Soukup, to have Deb Kelly proceed with the grant request paperwork through IBM matching grant.  Second by Melvin Ohri.  Vote:  in favor, none opposed.


Forrest Peetz was the next guest to address the group.  Frosty asked for the Board’s consideration of a possible coop. with O’Neill Public School for the new fall sport of girl’s softball.  He mentioned the reason for coop. sports is to allow the athletes to play a sport that cannot be offered at our school, and gave the history of how this sport became approved by the Public School Board.  Frosty requested that St. Mary’s strongly considering allowing students to coop.


Pastor’s Report:

·      Father Nigli reported that the capital campaign has surpassed $1,000,000.  Since we have not yet achieved all that was needed to complete everything in the plan (the proposed project requires ,350,000), Parish Council, Finance Committee and the Development Committee will meet on February 14, to decide how to proceed with the project.

·      Father discussed the recent meeting with Amy Shane regarding the O’Neill Public School facilities committee.  Mrs. Shane had requested a meeting with  Father in order to discuss the possibility of using St. Mary’s High School as a Jr. High facility if the St. Mary’s High School would not remain open.  Father informed Amy Shane that the High School has no intentions of closing, and has plans to grow, in the wake of other smaller schools closing, and St. Patrick’s becoming a hub parish for surrounding communities.    In their meeting, discussion was also held regarding the possibility of sharing a Spanish teacher (Neah Galloway) for the grade school.


Principal’s Report:

I.                 School Climate – Mr. Hale reported that things are going fine at school.  Luann Shields commented on the breakfast that Father Hoesing and Father Nigli hosted for the senior class and their dates following the Sweetheart Dance.  It was wonderful, knowing that the students were all in one place and safe, with some very fun activities planned.  All the students and their parents were very pleased with this event.

II.             Step Up To Writing Program – This program has been put into practice at the elementary school level.  Teachers have completed their second training session, and are implementing in the classroom.

III.         Distance Learning – Mr. Hale stated that they are looking at some classroom opportunities for distance learning.  Omaha Gross has offered A/P-Biology for the upcoming school year.  Cost for this course would be approximately $500 per student.  A committee has been formed (Paula Atkeson, Merri Schneider and Deb Kelly)  to begin the groundwork for distance learning opportunities.

IV.       Academic Probation Correction – St. Mary’s School has received a letter from the State, which informs that our school has reported for this year, and that there were zero violations reported in the letter.

V.           North Central Accreditation Visit – Barb Schweiger will be here on February 27, with a team of three principals for the NCA visit.  Mr. Hale will inform the Board of a date which the School Board can meet with the members of the team prior to the visit.   An evening meal will be planned.

VI.       Intent To Return Forms   These forms have been given out to each of the teachers, and all have been returned by faculty.

VII.   Staff Evaluations – The evaluations are underway for all staff.  Contracts will go out on March 15, and Mr. Hale plans to give an update to the Board regarding evaluations at the next Board meeting.

VIII.           Bubbylonian Encounter – This is a program where professionals come in and teach about appropriateness of touch.  They would speak one hour for K-4 grades for $300.  They would also speak regarding Internet safety for student to grades 5-6, for another $300.  Mr. Hale will get more information regarding the program.

IX.       High School Suspensions –Mr. Hale reported on a drinking episode which involved five students who were found to have been drinking alcohol.  A formal letter of complaint was submitted by a student’s parents due to the manner in which this issue was made public.  Mr. Hale has addressed this matter.  Various Board members reported that they have received many positive comments from the public and other schools, with the manner in which this issue was handled.

X.           Girls Softball – After discussion regarding this matter was held, a decision to coop softball will be tabled to the next meeting after Mr. Hale has had another opportunity to discuss with O’Neill Public School.

XI.       No-cut Policy – Tabled until next meeting.

XII.   Pre-school Brochure – A brochure is being created in order to promote the St. Mary’s pre-school.  A decision must be made regarding monthly rates for this program.  Father Nigli and Mr. Hale will review, and report on this at the next meeting.

XIII.           School Facility –Gene Soukup gave a report on the walk-through which was completed for all school facilities.  The top priority is that the high school roof is leaking, and the warranty has expired.  Most of the other repair items could be completed on a work day.  Gene will work with Clint and Clark to set up a work day for the parish and school.

XIV.          Policy Review – Discussion was held regarding review of Policy Series 1000 and 2000.  Motion by Gene Soukup, second by Lawrence Reiman to approve as written with addendum to 1001 – Mission and goals of St. Mary’s School.  Policy Series 3000 - Father Nigli discussed some revisions to Series 3000, and a motion was made by Dian Edwards, second by Lawrence Reiman to approve Series 3000 as revised.  Policy Series 7000, 8000 & 9000 – were reviewed and motion was made by Sharon Spencer, second by Gene Soukup to approve these policies as written.

XV.  Other – Mr. Hale reported that a change in procedures was enacted, so that if a student has received a detention, a communication will go home for the parent’s signature, requesting a return note back to the school.  This has helped to keep parents informed.  An addendum will be made to the student handbook to address Disobedience, and the new procedure will be added to that section.   Motion by Luann Shields, second by Lawrence Reiman to update the handbook.

XVI.          Library Update – There has been considerable work on the school library this year, and Tancey Mishler, Librarian of the O’Neill Library came in and gave an overview of the improvements that need to be made to the St. Mary’s High School library.  This is an ongoing process.

XVII.      Schedule of Classes – After construction plans are determined, scheduling for the upcoming 2007-2008 school year will be addressed.

XVIII.  Pre-school Late Starts – It has been decided that if the school is calling a late start, St. Mary’s Pre-school will begin having pre-school from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. as well.

XIX.          NCA Changes in Rules and Criteria – In March there will be a meeting held in Chicago  which Barb Schweiger and all the Principals’ will attend to be informed of upcoming changes.

XX.  School Logo – During the first week of March, there will be a competition held for school students to develop and choose a new logo which will be standardized.

XXI.          ESU 8 – The typical rate for ESU services is $70 per hour.   Randy Peck is willing to set up a contract price to have the ESU available as needed upon request.

XXII.      Girl Scout/Boy Scout Uniforms – Mr. Hale reported on an email received regarding the request for wearing of uniforms by the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts every other week on Tuesdays (meeting days).  Mr. Hale informed the troop leaders that we would not be allowing students to wear these uniforms.  Sharon Spencer suggested that we allow these students to wear these uniforms one time on a particular day during Girl Scout or Boy Scout week.


Janet Fletcher reminded the Board to bring names of potential School Board members to the next meeting.  Next meeting is scheduled for March 7, 2007.


Sharon Spencer made a motion to go into Executive Session, and Gene Soukup seconded.


After coming out of Executive Session, with there being no further business, the meeting was adjourned with a motion by Luann Shields, and a closing prayer led by Father Nigli.