Dodge City BOE OKs remote learning teacher

Judd Weil
Dodge City Daily Globe
Bright Beginnings Early Childhood Center will add a remote learning teacher.

The Dodge City USD 443 Board of Education unanimously approved a request by principal Arthur Barker, of Bright Beginnings Early Childhood Center, to create an additional staff position for a remote learning teacher.

Barker said at the Monday meeting that if all his teachers were to remain on site, he would not have a remote learning teacher for any students whose families opted to not have or were unable to let their child return to in-school learning.

“We have been fortunate enough to receive CARES money that will allow us the flexibility to designate a staff member to teach Remote Learning from the beginning if we could find and hire one,” Barker said.

Additionally, Barker said, Bright Beginnings is looking into the possibility of embedding remote live learning into a classroom, and that the projected odds for that are promising.

Barker informed the BOE that while finding preschool educators is difficult, that they will have the money to finance the position, if the flexibility of that position is needed for the 2020-2021 school year.

The position is for one year and will be funded via the one-time grant issued to Bright Beginnings by the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families-Head Start.

Executive director of human resources Ramona Nance presented a first reading of Title IX policies and procedures that ultimately led to a motion.

The primary focus of these policies is to provide students a safe avenue for allegations investigated while ensuring undeniable access to educational programs and activities to those who file complaints.

The new Title IX regulations finalized by the Department of Education go into effect Friday, Aug. 14.

“We actually had to hustle a little bit and get our training in and get our procedures put together,” Nance said. “Last time we met we did a preliminary review of policies, and that is moving forward.”

Nance turned to the board for input regarding how to implement the new Title IX requirement to put procedures in place for reporting and investigating sexual harassment claims made in USD 443.

A motion was passed, 7-0, to allow updates to the procedures based off information from a mandatory training Aug. 6 by KASB before being presented for final approval.

Superintendent Fred Dierksen presented a second reading of the Kansas Association of School Boards policies and asked the school board to officially approve them. The motion passed 7-0.

The motion to approve the amended USD 443 2020-2021 academic calendar, presented by public information officer Kerri Baker, passed 7-0.

The calendar was made to accommodate three additional staff development days for teachers before the Aug. 25 student start day.

A motion presented by Simeon Russell to pay for the Dodge City High School class of 2020 graduation with money relocated to the Contingency Funds was approved 7-0, meaning USD 443 will not be paying for two graduations come 2021 from general funds.

The following announcements were made:

• New Teacher Orientation was set for Aug. 13 and 14, with introduction from 1-1:30 p.m. Thursday at the District Office Building.

• The All Staff Welcome will be held Aug. 17 via Zoom.

• The board will meet again at noon Aug. 24 at the District Learning Office Building.