One resignation and two non-renewals will leave a few open positions at the Hancock Public School for the next school year. The school board accepted the resignation of head girls' basketball coach Jodi Holleman with regret and offered her congratulations on her successful coaching career. Holleman coached volleyball in Hancock for ten years and has been the girls' basketball coach for 15 years with several state tournament appearances.
Following a closed session to review evaluations of probationary teachers, the board approved the non-renewal of two probationary teachers. The contracts of kindergarten teacher Kim Gades and Social Studies teacher Tanya Wassink were not approved for renewal.
Earlier in the meeting, Wassink spoke to the board defending her teaching and some of the points in the evaluation. She asked the board to review a print-out she presented to them before making a decision. She added that she loved her job, students and the people she worked with and hoped they would give her one more year.
Following the closed session, no reasons were given for the non-renewals.
In another staff related matter, the school board approved the hiring of Lynn Nelson as head track coach and Brittany Nelson as assistant coach.
The school board reviewed a proposed change to kindergarten and pre-school beginning in 2012-13. Currently kindergarten classes are held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with two sections. Tuesdays are open to kindergarten students who pay tuition and on Thursday students who meet remediation requirement can attend class without paying tuition. If there are openings, non-remediation students can pay a tuition to attend the pre-school class.
The new proposal would have all kindergarten students attending class on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with no fee. Friday would be a remediation day for students below the AIMS target score. If a student is not eligible for remedial class, they may attend preschool on Friday by paying tuition.
In conjunction with this, the regular preschool classes will meet in two sections, one on Monday and Wednesday and the other on Tuesday and Thursday. If there is enough space on Friday, preschool students could fill the class.
Kindergarten teacher Ashley Christiansen will be talking to kindergarten parents this week during the kindergarten readiness and getting their feedback for the proposed change. The board feels the additional day of kindergarten combined with the remediation day would benefit students educationally and give them the important start needed at this young age.
In addition, the board decided to raise the tuition for preschool from $100 per month to $110. This tuition has not been changed since the preschool program began. There are reduced tuitions for students qualifying for free or reduced lunch.
In other action the school board approved a resolution to begin the consolidation process with Cyrus. The Cyrus school board approved a similar resolution to work with neighboring districts on the process. By doing this, Hancock can continue discussions with the Cyrus school board but are not obligated to stay with the entire process. Board members Joel Flaten and Barry Nelson, along with Supt. Jerry Martinson and Principal Tim Pahl, will continue to attend meetings with Cyrus.