Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Expansion of Northeast Community College West Point campus

The Cuming County Superintendents met with Dr. Chipps, President of Northeast Community College, last week. Dr. Chipps informed us that the Nielsen Center Board has agreed to raise $2 million in the next 60-90 days to put a 10,000 square foot addition on to the NECC campus in West Point.

He invited our Pathways To Tomorrow school partnership (Bancroft-Rosalie, Wisner-Pilger, Oakland-Craig, West Point-Beemer, Lyons-Decatur, Pender, and Scribner-Snyder) to help with designing the space and the programming to be offered.

Completion of the addition will be in early 2018, with classes starting in 2018-19, according to Dr. Chipps.

Ted DeTurk, Joe Peitzmeier, and I have been working on this concept for close to 3 years, and it is exciting to see a partnership with NECC to increase the opportunities for area students. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Bancroft Awarded Community Forestry Grant Through Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District

The Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) recently awarded tree planting grants to 14 communities within LENRD. Bancroft is one of the communities that received tree planting funds through the LENRD's Community Forestry Grant. The John G. Neihardt Historic Site in Bancroft received $3,112.50 that will go towards removing two large dead trees and replacing them with 11 new trees and one shrub to improve the grounds at the Neihardt Site. Neihardt Foundation President Dr. Jon Cerny applied for this grant and will be in charge of coordinating this project from start to finish. A total of $33,199.50 was awarded to 14 communities within the LENRD for tree plantings that will take place in 2017.

"Nebraska is the 'Tree Planter State' after all," states Pam Bergstrom, Forester for the LENRD, who helped design the Bancroft Project. "Planting trees, especially when you plant a diverse selection of trees, improves the towns aesthetic features and it has been proven that towns with a good 'community forest' are shown to have a positive appeal to guests and folks who call that community home will find they are not as stressed as their counterparts who occupy communities that lack a healthy community forest."

"This project will improve the landscaping surrounding the John G. Neihardt Historic Site," according to Dr. Cerny. The improvement project will include the removal of one large dead Cottonwood and one large dead Maple tree. Eleven new trees planted will include two Amur Maple single stem, one Amur Maple clump, a Crabapple, a Burr Oak, a Sycamore, a Coffeetree, a Swamp White Oak, a Japanese Lilac, a Cottonwood, and a Linden. The shrub will be a Serviceberry.

The Neihardt Site has lost several shade trees recently. This project will increase shade and improve the appearance of the grounds.

Friday, December 2, 2016

New study suggests young people have difficulty determining the credibility of the information they read

Information for this post was published in the Hechinger Report

Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning, is a new study produced by researchers at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. They measured the ability of students to accurately gauge the validity of information they encounter online. The researchers created 56 tasks for students in 12 states, and collected 7,804 student responses from January 2015 until June 2016.

The study found that the overwhelming majority of young people are unable to sift through online information and separate fact, fiction and opinion. With so much information available online, much of it often conflicting, it is necessary that people know how to determine what is a reliable and valid source of information.

The report suggests that schools must teach students the skills they need to be savvy consumers of news and information they encounter online.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

BRLD Coop Meeting

November 28, 2016 at Bancroft-Rosalie School Library 7:00 PM
Bancroft-Rosalie: Mike Nottlemann, Pat Browning, Scott Hansen, Jon Cerny, Mike Sjuts
Lyons-Decatur: Trevor Preston, Corey Petersen, Caryn Anderson, Jaime Bacon, Fred Hansen,  Derek Lahm, Bruce Knaak

 Questions from February 22, 2016 meeting
Purchasing responsibility for each sport. Head Coaches will order through their Athletic Director and bill to Lyons-Decatur.
State tournament protocol. First Round and Second Round Basketball games at 2:00 and 3:45- No School (Friday school determined by win/loss). First Round games at 7:00 and 8:45- Early Dismissal Thursday and No School Friday.
Nike bucks have all been allocated for uniforms and coaches shirts.

 Report from Principals and Athletic Directors
Academic All-state selection procedure was explained.
Record Boards. Coaches will keep track of BRLD records and displayed on school TV display boards. Current record boards will be updated for BR and LD athletes.
 Official colors are Black, Columbia Blue and Vegas Gold.
Athletic budgets. Goal is to have the BRLD Cooperative Fund be self-sufficient.
Homecomings next year will be separate since Homecoming is not just for athletes, but are open to students from both schools.
BRLD apparel Fund-raising. Principals will coordinate school sales of BRLD apparel between the two schools.
Athletic Banquets. Pot luck with the host school providing the sandwich meat and buns. Because of the number of sports, limit time for coaches of each sport. Sports that are not BRLD cooped will be included (softball and girls golf). Office staff from both schools will work together on awards.
The official BRLD chenille letter was selected.
Fall sports coaches. Athletic Directors recommended hiring all Fall coaches again next year. 

Administrative Guidelines and Coaching Handbook
Add cross country and junior high wrestling to the handbook
Timeline for assigning coaches. Fall sports in December, Winter sports in April, Spring sports in June
Shared classes for 2016-17 are CNA (1 LD student to BR) and Ag (2 BR students to LD).
Discussion was held on possibilities for 2017-18. From BR- Dual credit Drafting and/or Dual Credit Math. From LD- Dual Credit Advanced Biology and/or Dual Credit Advanced Physics. The Principals will meet to identify classes for sharing, preference is for classes that can be taught through distance learning.

 Feasibility Study
Purpose of the study is to assess various educational alternatives to provide appropriate educational programs and services to students of the future.
Options to be considered and questions to be addressed in the study will be determined in consultation with the school administrators at the beginning of the study. This study will determination the viability of different options, eliminating some that are not feasible.
Gerald Ehlers of Key Concepts is the recommended consultant for a total fee of $5000.
Both Boards agreed to have the Feasibility Study on their December agendas.
Proposed Timeline- Study to be conducted August-September 2017 and a report presented to the School Boards in December 2017.

 Pathways To Tomorrow
Dr. Cerny presented his view on the future participation in the Pathways To Tomorrow program. 

Other Business
Next meeting will be Monday March 20 at 7:00 pm in the Lyons-Decatur meeting room.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Saturday Food Options

With several events taking place this Saturday, there are several options for meals in Bancroft or at BRLD sporting events. The Village of Bancroft Holiday Lunch (aka Ham Sandwich Day) will be in the lower level of the Bancroft Community Building. Sandwiches will be served to Bancroft residents. The junior high boys basketball tournament will be in the BRLD gym all day with a concession stand by the BR Sophomore Class. BRLD plays Homer in junior varsity and varsity basketball games starting at 1:00 pm in Lyons. They will have Pork sandwiches for sale. Plan your meals accordingly.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Gallup Student Engagement Survey

Each semester Gallup surveys students to measure student responses to four areas. The area I am most interested in is Student Engagement. Below are the results of BR students grades 5-12.
Our students report being more engaged than the average student in the United States.
Areas of strength:
Students feel safe in our school
Teachers make me feel schoolwork is important
 I have learned something interesting at school in the last seven days.

Possible areas to improve:
I get to do what I do best everyday (providing more educational opportunities for students)
In the last seven days someone has told me I have done good work at school (continuing with PBIS program)
I have one teacher that makes me excited about the future (implementation of Habitudes program and Personal Learning Plans).