Sheldon School Board To Enter Special Education Services Contract

The Sheldon Community Schools will be entering into a Special Education Services contract with KeBecca Education Services and Hope Haven, following action taken at Monday nights monthly School Board meeting.

Currently, the school district sends some Special Education students to Sioux Falls each day for services that are beyond the Districts capacity to provide. Following more than a year of research, Superintendent Robin Spears recommended to the Board that they contract the joint services of KeBecca to provide instructors, assistant instructors and curriculum for these students.

In addition, the District will contract with Hope Haven for their services in conjunction with those provided by KeBecca. The classes will be held at Hope Haven’s facility in Rock Valley. Spears told the Board that, among other advantages, the students would receive about 2 additional hours per day of educational opportunity, due to the closer proximity of Rock Valley over Sioux Falls.

The contract with KeBecca will cover 4 grade levels, K-3, and will call for a maximum of 7 students. Spears said hes been in contact with other area school superintendents, and there is what he called a high interest regarding participation by other school districts, if the Sheldon District doesnt need to utilize all 7 spots.

The Board also approved a Participation Agreement with PaySchools at their Monday meeting. PaySchools will allow the Sheldon District to conduct online financial transactions for school-related fees. Spears said that, initially, PaySchools would give parents the option of purchasing their child’s school lunches online, with more items being added as time goes by.

Spears also reported to the Board on a recent meeting held between representatives of the school district and the City of Sheldon in conjunction with the proposed joint development of a new baseball/softball/soccer/football complex north of the high school football field.

He said they discussed numerous topics, including; storm sewer along Highway 18, the proposed new concessions/storage building, bleacher design and seating capacity, dugout design and seating capacity, and a playground area, along with other items. He said that it was decided to visit similar sites in other communities to get more ideas on the final design of the facility.

A representative from the State Auditor’s Office had been scheduled to be present at Monday’s meeting, to provide the Board with a verbal presentation of the independent audit of the School District that was conducted last fall. However, the weather prevented the representative from attending, so the presentation will be rescheduled.

The Board also dealt with numerous normal housekeeping items before adjourning into closed session to discuss bargaining strategy in the contract negotiations with the union representing Sheldon’s teachers.

By Tom Traughber Reporter

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