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School addresses minor fire code issues
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The wooden fish hanging in the Riverdale commons area are missing. But it’s no cause for concern, according to District Administrator.

“There are a few small items around the schools that violate fire code and they have decided to enforce them,” Bird explained at the Monday evening School Board meeting.

The wooden fish have been taken down until they can be covered with a fire retardant and rehung on cable. The art room will see some similar issues. Items will need to be taken down and treated if they are to be rehung.

Additionally, there will be some rewiring of some art room outlets.

“We also had to move stuff from the top of storage cabinets to make sure there was space between the cabinets and the ceilings,” Bird said. “It is all pretty small.”

The school is looking to have sports banners professionally made that can be hung in the gymnasiums, as well.

“We want to do something for all of our sports teams that features champions both as teams and as individuals,” Bird said.

Principal Shari Hougen offered the board an update on preparatory efforts for the transition of the seventh and eighth grades to the high school building in next fall.

The six-day rotational schedule currently used for kindergarten through fourth grades will be expanded to include the fifth and sixth grades, according to Hougen. They are also working with 7-12 staff to develop the core course schedule.

The 2015-2016 4K has 39 students and the fourth grade has 54 students with 27 per section, Hougen reported.

Riverdale will host the Grant County Sectional Spelling Bee on Jan. 26. All Grant County schools that participate in the Scripps Spelling Bee will attend.

A student testing data sharing retreat is planned on February 23 and 25. Coaches, the school psychologist, Hougen and the testing coordinator will prepare and share data with the K-8 teaching staff in an effort to look at student achievement and future instruction.

High School Principal Jonathan Schmidt offered the high school update for the board. He offered current standings in sports as well as participation in the SWAL honors band program and Dorian Music Festival.

Finals for ending the first semester will be held on Jan. 18 and 19, noted Schmidt.

Laude points for graduating seniors with a grade point of 3.2 or higher will be finalized once the second semester grades are finalized, Schmidt explained. Currently, 11 students are projected to graduate with distinction with three other students close enough to be possibly receiving distinction as well. Of those 11, four are projected to graduate Summa Cum Laude. Schmidt met with all seniors with a grade point of 3.0 or higher to inform them of their projected Laude points.

The board received an update on the special education program from Jen Tarrell, the Director of Special Education.

The district has currently received to date $7,101.78 in Medicaid reimbursement for school-based services to special education students. They are eligible for $4,125.14 in reimbursement in high cost special education aid.

The district is currently providing speech and language services to eight students, occupational therapy to 16, and physical therapy to eight.

Overall, 131 students, or 20-percent of the student body, receive special education and related service, Tarrell reported. Of those, 52 receive help with speech and language impairment and 79 have another identified disability.

In other business, the Riverdale School Board:

• discussed the Laude point system with a parent concerned that current graduating students may not have initially understood how class choices would affect their Laude status;

• approved outsourcing technology and network administration to Dependable Solutions;

• decided to keep all open enrollment spaces, both regular and special education, unlimited;

• accepted the resignation of bus driver Randy Parish;

• accepted the retirement resignation for the end of the school year from Jan Nankee, Kindergarten, 34 years;

• accepted the retirement resignation for the end of the school year from Davis Timm, High School Science, 31 years;

• approved the second reading of the open enrollment policy;

The Riverdale School Board will meet next on February 8 at 7:30 p.m.