Board approves funding for drop out prevention

Friday, January 15, 2021

LE MARS — The Le Mars Community School District will submit an application for supplemental aid for its drop-out prevention programming for the 2021-2022 school year.

LCS Curriculum Director Rachel Leavitt explained the request covers such programmings as Alternative High School; an at-risk coordinator; the High School Success Center; Edmentum, a computer-based instructional program for students to receive initial instruction at the alternative school, recover high school credits, and remedy middle school required course failures for freshmen; Elementary Intervention; Middle School Academic Recovery; school resource officers (SRO); and Middle School Academy.

“These programs focus on serving the needs of our at-risk kids, who are at risk of dropping out, drop-out students who have returned and need some extra support,” Leavitt said.

She continued depending on how the master schedule will look for the 2021-22 school year, a lot of things could change as far as implementing these programs or something completely new.

She noted as reported earlier in the meeting from building principals, students returning from COVID-19 or remote learning are going to have a special set of needs.

“Hopefully with some additional funding, we can look at creative and innovative ways to serve those students,” she said.

In calculating the amount of money requested, the formula uses the district cost per pupil of $7,038 and the certified enrollment of 2,232.30.

For LCS, the maximum modified supplemental amount possible is $393,331, according to Leavitt.

“This is for next school year. Keep in mind this does not give us cash but it gives us taxing authority for next school year,” Leavitt said.

The school district also contributes a local match, which for the 2021-22 school year will be $131,110.

Superintendent Dr. Steve Webner added, “We have been doing this for quite a number of years. It’s been a great funding source for our school district to help kids who are at-risk of dropping out, or who having special needs that some of the other programs don’t pick up,” he said. “It’s a very positive thing. We don’t have data on it because it’s very difficult to measure, but I would say it’s helped a lot of kids graduate, as well as help them socially, emotionally and academically.”

The board unanimously approved the the request for $393,331 for drop-out prevention.

The board approved the second reading of a new policy, “Discrimination and Harassment Based on Sex Prohibited,” Code No. 106.

There was no public comment on the policy.

“This is a new required policy that we have to have because of some legal action taken recently on Title IX,” Webner reminded the board. “As of right now, this policy is current. This is required.”

The board had no questions as they had discussed the policy at the December board meeting for the first reading.

The board unanimously approved the second reading.

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