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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Farragut School Board to focus on more public discussion

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  • Farragut – Farragut School Board’s regular monthly meeting was dominated by discussion of the need to have a public meeting to address some of the rumors, misconceptions, and questions that have recently abounded regarding reorganization and the petition currently being circulated for signatures.
    The board decided to hold a public meeting at Riverton’s Community Center on July 22 at 7 p.m. open to the public from both school districts and try to answer some of the questions that have come up in recent months regarding consolidation.  
    The board asked Hamburg School Board President Dave Mincer, who was present in the audience, to invite all of the Hamburg School Board, too, so that both boards could present information to the public.  Mincer said he would pass the message along but could not make promises for the board as to whether they would be present at the meeting.
    They briefly discussed the petition numbers, saying that Farragut District had approximately 231 signatures and needed 237, and the Hamburg District had approximately 165 signatures and needed 241.  
    Superintendent Tom Hinrichs advised the board and audience members present that they should consider August 1 the deadline for acquiring signatures in order to be on the December ballot.
    The board moved fairly quickly through discussion items and action items, including leadership reports, approving the consent agenda and second readings of board policies and handbook updates, and the faculty handbook.  
    Some discussion was held regarding whether handbooks should just be put online and signature pages for parents and students printed out, which led to a discussion about whether all of the district families had access to the internet at home, and the need to find out how connected the district was.
    Employment and 28E contracts were discussed, with the board filling the new superintendent in on any that were not listed on his sheet.  The board approved the contract of Chris Blank for the Director of Transportation, with board member Tim Blank abstaining.  Blank will spend approximately 50 percent of her time in transporting, and the contract is held by Farragut.  
    Business Manager Kris Woods contract was also approved, with the plan being that she would split her time 50/50 between the schools, probably on an alternating 3 day/2 day schedule depending on needs.  
    The contract for the counselor position held by Linke was approved, with the board confirming that she would spend 3 days here, and 2 days in Essex.  
    It was mentioned that a 28E contract was needed for Nick Hodges, and Hamburg board member Dave Mincer reminded the group from the audience that names needed to be attached to 28E contracts to finalize those contracts.  A teaching contract with Molly Johnson for English was approved by the board.
    Page 2 of 2 - Superintendent Hinrichs asked the board how they wanted to handle sharing of information between Hamburg and Farragut now that there were two superintendents instead of one.  The board and Hinrichs decided that the best way to share would be directly between the two superintendents.  
    Hinrichs also suggested to the board that he liked to have student council and other student organizations come in to report to the board on a regular basis.
    The counselor, Ms. Linke, passed out what she hoped would be a final version of the school day schedule for the board’s review, reminding them that students coming in to register would only see classes available to them based on their grade level.  
    Linke also talked addressed problems with the school-to-work program, saying it was flawed and was being abused, along with the need to look at the IWCC class opportunities for students.  She said that each IWCC class taken by a student (and most took more than one) cost the school $414, and if they dropped out after the deadline, that was lost money.  She wanted to make sure that students understood this and that there was some consequence for their actions, such as an F or something on their transcript if they didn’t follow through in a timely manner.

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