H-BC School Board sets 2020-21 calendar

With tables and chairs set more than six feet apart, the Hills-Beaver Creek School Board met in regular session Monday night.

       The group met in the high school commons instead of the conference room in response to the coronavirus pandemic and limiting contact between individuals.

       H-BC closed schools March 16 with staff meeting since then to prepare distance learning plans set to begin Monday.

       Superintendent Todd Holthaus told board members that teachers and administrators are missing the student interactions, and the social isolation in the normally busy building is being felt.

       “We come together quite frequently as a staff,” he said.

       This week teachers have been reaching out to students, experimenting with various technology tools. Many are using familiar software such as Schoology and Google Classroom, which had been used prior to the school closure.

       The contact was good both for students and staff, according to high school principal Molly Schilling.

       Board members approved the 2020-21 school calendar, with classes starting Tuesday, Sept. 8, and ending Wednesday, June. 2.

       The ending date into June was due to Memorial Day 2021 landing on the last day of May, Holthaus said.

       Students are in class 174 days.


In other business, the H-BC board unanimously:

•hired ICS Consulting of Sioux Falls to examine the district families and complete a long-term facility maintenance report for the district. Cost is $4,050 and will be completed by the state’s report deadline in June.

•approved upgrading the security camera system at the secondary school. A bid of $9,875 was accepted from Intellipro Security of Sioux Falls.

•entered into a new contract with Southwest West Central Service Cooperative for the 2020-21 school year. The proposed contract of $141,948 is $7,022 less than the current contract for assistance in staff development, special education student services, technology and general information support.

•approved the termination/non-renewal teacher contracts with full-time elementary instructor Meghan Zylstra and part-time elementary teacher Macy Ellingson effective at the end of the current school year. The reduction in staff is due to a decline in enrollment numbers for the 2020-21 school year.

•hired Dalton Bass as the district’s building/grounds/ transportation supervisor beginning March 24. Salary will be $50,000. Bass replaces Chris Harnack who resigned from the position effective April 1.

•accepted the resignation of Stephanie Bass as assistant volleyball coach, effective at the end of the current school year.

The board’s next meeting is 7 p.m. Monday, April 13.


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