Pike Valley to add rotation of tech classes for 8th grade students
By Deb Hadachek Telescope editor
Eighth graders will get a taste of high school next year at Pike Valley. Principals Jeremy Luedke and Mike Gritten told the USD 426 school board April 10 that they plan to give the junior high students an introduction to four high school technical education classes: agriculture, industrial arts, business and art. Students will be bussed from Courtland to Scandia fi rst hour, and spend nine weeks in each rotation. ‘We hope to get enrollment up in those classes by introducing them to eighth graders,” said Luedke, who is high school principal. Republic County USD 109 offers a similar rotation of tech classes for grades 6, 7, and 8, which started when those classes were moved to the Republic County High School building several years ago.
Like the Republic County district, the tech rotations will allow the Pike Valley district to capture some additional funds in state aide, said Superintendent Mary Treaster. Districts receive extra funding for each student enrolled in vocational classes, but introductory classes do not count towards that funding. By requiring junior high students to do a rotation of tech ed classes, districts receives full funding for them if they enroll in those classes as freshmen.
“It exposes eighth graders to classes they might not normally take, like vo-ag,” Gritten said. The art teacher may do that rotation in Courtland, and spend some time in other elementary classrooms, said Gritten.
“I like the idea of getting art back to the elementary and junior high,” commented board member Tanner Johnson. Luedke and Gritten said they plan to obtain their CDLs so they can help transport the students between Scandia and Courtland.
Luedke said he is also developing a plan for an after school program to help students who are failing one or more classes get supervised help to get caught up. “Some students, it’s not a matter of them not being able to do the work, it’s doing the work,” he said. “They are fully capable, they just don’t want to do the work. This gives them the opportunity to get that work done with a teacher if they need help.”
In other business:
*Luedke said that the Bring Back the Library student committee is near completion with planned remodeling of the library. The district received an anonymous $5,000 matching grant for the project. Donors can participate on Facebook on the Bring Back the Library page, or send checks earmarked for the project to the district office in Scandia.
*Treaster recognized local businesses that donated to provide a new scorer’s table and scoreboard in the gymnasium at Courtland: Matt Dowell Farm Management, Johnson Insurance, Swedish American State Bank, Nesika and Astra Bank. *A bid of $18,500 from Jackson Glass, Concordia, was approved to replace windows at the elementary/junior high in Courtland. *The board accepted, with regret, the resignation of Randy Thayer as high school girls basketball coach.
*A bid of $18,500 from Jackson Glass, Concordia, was approved to replace windows at the elementary/junior high in Courtland. *The board accepted, with regret, the resignation of Randy Thayer as high school girls basketball coach.