High School pursues Panther Tracks education approach
The Park Rapids Area School Board held its first meeting of 2017 and newly elected members Sherry Safratowich, Gary Gauldin and Jay Pike were sworn in by Superintendent Lance Bagstad as part of the annual reorganization. Pike was welcomed as a fi...
The Park Rapids Area School Board held its first meeting of 2017 and newly elected members Sherry Safratowich, Gary Gauldin and Jay Pike were sworn in by Superintendent Lance Bagstad as part of the annual reorganization. Pike was welcomed as a first-time member of the board.
Board Chair Sherry Safratowich and Vice Chair Gary Gauldin were both voted by unanimous ballot to serve in those same positions on the board in 2017-18. Also chosen by unanimous vote Monday were Steph Carlson as clerk and Dennis Dodge as treasurer.
High School Principal Jeff Johnson presented information to the board regarding graduation requirements. Johnson explained a team is working on the registration catalog with an emphasis on a more personalized education approach, called Panther Tracks. What's being discussed by the administration and teaching team is to develop opportunity for students to take classes in five possible education tracks: engineering, manufacturing, natural resources and technology; health and human services; business management leadership and entrepreneurship; postsecondary career readiness, and freshmen exploration.
Johnson told the board they are looking at different programming for students in grades 9-12 to meet state graduation requirements through core classes and develop personalized learning with a career approach in the the five Panther Tracks. Each track will have the same core classes with the additional career-relevant courses added.
Students' freshmen year would be designed for exploration, and students in grades 10-12 to choose what track they want to pursue. Along with the Panther Tracks, the district will work with students and businesses in the community for career-related job shadow and internship opportunities.
Johnson said they continue to brainstorm ideas and will bring a rough draft of the course registration catalog to the board in two weeks for recommendations. Final approval is expected in February.
In other business, the board designated the Park Rapids Enterprise as the official newspaper and four local banks (Citizens National Bank, Northview Bank, TruStar Federal Credit Union and Northwoods Bank) were designated as various official depositories for school district funds and investment of school district funds.
The board also approved organizational memberships to Minnesota School Boards Association, Northwest Service Cooperative, North Country Vocational Cooperative, Minnesota Rural Education Association, Hubbard County Family Collaborative and PAWN Special Education.
Consent items approved Monday included the following:
• Out-of-state travel for Bryan Hirt to attend the NEA funded Leadership Summit in Orlando, Florida
• New hire Heather Johnson as cook's helper at 4.75 hours/day
• New hire JT Luther, assistant baseball coach
• Kim Warne, Indian Education Program Support Paraprofessional
• Resignation of Denny Sleen, 7th grade girls softball coach
• Volunteer swim coach Mike Hurley
• Volunteer boys basketball coach Aaron Moses
Under new business, the board approved the retirement of Chuck Huewe with regret and thanks for his 16 years of service to the district, effective Feb. 28, 2017. They also approved the retirement of business manager Carol Hutchinson with regret and thanks for her 10 years of service to the district effective June 30, 2017.
The next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 13 and the board agreed to continue meetings the first and third Monday of each month at 6 p.m.