With the number of students consistently on the rise, the Killdeer administration is getting creative. In the school board meeting Wednesday evening, Killdeer secondary principal Karter Kleeman addressed the school board with proposals aimed at limiting class sizes. There are currently about 47 8th grade students. Kleeman said it is an even split, with 23 students in one class and 24 in the other.
Prairie Elementary administrators and Billings County School Board members held a quick community meeting Tuesday night to discuss a possible change to a four-day school week. "I thought it went good," said Danielle O'Brien, assistant principal of Prairie Elementary. "There were some really good questions from the community. I thought the committee was prepared to answer the questions and give everybody the information that they need and should have in order to properly vote on what they feel is important."
The Nadvornik family, who lost their home in a fire last November, gathered in Jerrica Pribula's classroom at Dickinson High School on Thursday to receive gifts from her independent living class and student council. Their son, Draven Nadvornik, is a freshman at the school. Each of Pribula's independent living classes picks a service project. "The service project always has to be helping somebody in need, and collectively they wanted to help the Nadvornik family because the fire was very recent for them," she said.
South Heart senior Natasha Baranko's favorite school organization is FFA, what used to be known as Future Farmers of America, but not because she plans to be a farmer. Her family lives on a ranch, so agriculture is a big part of her life, but like her family, she's exploring career options off the field.
It's the beginning of the year, a time when we make resolutions out of the dreams we have for ourselves. For many of us, those resolutions don't last. This year, how do we ensure that our goals are attainable, that we don't give up in February? Becky Berger, ambulatory RN care manager at Sanford Health, has some advice. Berger works with patients who have chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension. She provides education and resources and helps her patients create and reach their health goals.
For State Rep. Mike Lefor, legislature is about priorities. Among his top priorities for the 2019 session are funding for infrastructure, education and behavioral health; keeping the New England prison open; and giving public employees a salary increase. A big focus for him will be getting Operation Prairie Dog passed, a infrastructure bill introduced by Senator Rich Wardner that distributes oil revenue across the state. "That would help Dickinson with debt reduction as well as dollars hopefully for infrastructure--or capital projects," Lefor said.
Southwest Community High School is a small alternative school with just 27 students and three teachers, but it makes a big impact. It offers students an alternative to the traditional high school model, providing them with self-paced classes, flexible schedules and valuable student-teacher relationships. "A regular high school is not for everyone," said Kristy Goodall, administrator at Southwest. "It doesn't mean that kids don't still want to learn, they don't still want to get their high school diploma. This gives them the opportunity to do it differently."
After receiving mostly positive feedback on a staff survey, Dickinson High School will move forward with creating an academy model for classes, which places students into career-based groups similar to colleges. The planning is in its early stages and could take a couple of years to fully implement. "Next step is we have to make a plan of what it's going to look like, get it going, present it to the school board, school board approves it and then finalize our plans," said Kevin Hoherz, principal at DHS.
During its December meeting, the Belfield Public School Board discussed upcoming projects — both planned and potential — including repairing the roof, replacing bleachers and the press box, and building a new school. In the beginning of November, staff at Belfield first noticed sweating on the walls in one of its classrooms. The maintenance crew looked into it but weren't able to determine a cause.
Dickinson High School's most recent ACT scores were slightly below state average in each category and were slightly lower than its scores last year in each category except reading. The district is discussing changing its high school testing strategy as a means of improving them. "We're not too worried," superintendent Shon Hocker said. "If those scores were down (to) 16, 17, I would be really worried. Having those scores hover around 20, and pretty much for the last five years, they've always been right close to 20. ... Right now, we're okay."