Parental support sways school board to keep, expand orchestra program

Parental support to maintain the beginning orchestra program in fourth grade, Brandon Valley’s Board of Education voted to not only continue on with the program, but to expand it as well.

“The recommendation is to expand the fourth grade orchestra program beginning in the 2016-17 school year to include a minimum of two student contacts per week,” Superintendent Dave Pappone told the board at their May 9 meeting. The board also gave administration flexibility to modify the configuration of the program, whether one of the two contact days be a large group class or two smaller classes, for instance.

Pappone told the board that he received about 15 emails from parents that supported to continue on with the program and not disband it.

The construction process on the high school addition and new secure entrance is nearing completion, and by May 11, students and the public can access the building through the new west entry. Pappone said there is a small list of punch items that need to be completed.

“The biggest hang up right now is the case work (cabinetry,” he said, which has been on backorder for several weeks now. “If they had that, they would be able to knock this out in a couple quick weeks.”

Paul Lundberg said the building will be turned over to the district in late June, well ahead of the July deadline. Improvements at the athletic complex should also be wrapped up by mid-June, and Lundberg said the contractor is waiting on that case work as well.

The South Dakota Board of Regents and the School for the Deaf will part ways with the Brandon Valley School District at the end of the school year. The district has housed the auditory oral program since 2009, after the School for the Deaf closed. The program is being phased out because of low enrollment, as only one student was enrolled for the 2016-17 school year.

In other business, the school board:

Approved resignations from Jeff Wilkes, Fred Assam Elementary custodian; Brenda Waterbury, elementary and middle school gifted ed; Tressa Versteeg, intermediate school special education educational assistant; Michael Weeldreyer, middle school math teacher and assistant high school wrestling coach; Ashley Bosch, Brandon Elementary third grade teacher; and Jan Christensen, ELL EA.

Approved the hiring of Erin Lindner, Brandon Elementary kindergarten teacher; Michael Putnam, intermediate school sixth grade science teacher and middle school assistant track coach; Jennifer DeBlieck, intermediate school child nutrition; Crystal Reimers, BVSD child nutrition manager in-training; Marshall Rogers, Brandon Elementary fourth grade teacher; James Kerr, middle school eighth grade English/language arts teacher; Cody Linneweber, Robert Bennis Elementary first grade teacher, as instructional technology coach; Tim Sylliaasen, Robert Bennis Elementary fourth grade teacher, as instructional technology coach; Andy Johnson, Brandon Elementary third grade teacher, as instructional technology coach; Mary Gile, district computer teacher, as instructional technology coach; Teri Pieters, Valley Springs Elementary third grade teacher, as instructional technology coach; Kristoffer Jones, assistant technology coordinator.

Noted thatDanylle Rozier will transfer from elementary computer teacher to Robert Bennis Elementary third grade teacher, and Erin Visser will transfer from Fred Assam Elementary auditory-oral teacher to Brandon Elementary junior kindergarten teacher. Both assignments are effective for the 2016-17 school year.

Adjourned until 6 p.m. Monday, May 23.

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Parental support sways school board to keep, expand orchestra program

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