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Summer work at Hancock school nearly complete

There are many signs that point to Fall but none more significant than back-to-school talk. If you would have been listening in at the Hancock School Board meeting on Monday night, all the talk about going back to school would have definitely put you in the mood for Fall.

As far as the school goes, Superintendent Jerry Martinson told the board that they are ready for the students and staff to return. He updated them about the summer projects, reviewed changes in the handbooks, and had some preliminary numbers in fall sports participation.

Summer work projects

"We're getting there", is how Martinson explained the summer projects. The new energy efficient lights have been installed in the big gym and will soon be put up in the multi-purpose gym. He added that the new lights have made it a lot brighter in the gym and a special feature will be a motion sensor that will automatically turn the lights off if the gym is not being used for a certain amount of time.

The installation of a new range hood in the kitchen is nearly complete and the kindergarten and pre-school rooms are ready to go. In the art room a ventilation hood needs to be installed and then that room will be ready.

Martinson told the board that the sidewalk next to the parking lot had been completed and the board offered a special thank you to Jason Schaefer, FFA members and volunteers for this wonderful addition to the school. They did a good job and the grass is already coming in behind the concrete.

Martinson also suggested that the board consider getting security cameras installed in some of the school hallways. In the last few years there have been a couple of break-ins and thefts so he thought the cameras may be helpful in deterring this. He stated that this is something to consider after the audit is complete to see how things are standing.

Student handbooks

The board members were sent copies of the proposed student handbooks for the school year and given time to read through them. Martinson pointed out a few of the changes.

In the elementary handbooks a paragraph was added about cell phone use, which will be similar to that of secondary students. In both handbooks the paragraph about the Pledge of Allegiance is clarified in regard to participation. The pre-school screening portion was changed to note that this is done by Public Health.

The secondary handbooks also had only a few changes. One change was in the school to work portion giving a little more leeway as to the time of day a student can leave in order to go to a job. This will give a few more options when considering the approval of a school to work absence.

A paragraph was also added about athletics. If an athlete is sick during the afternoon, he or she will not be allowed to play or practice that evening. However if the absence is only in the morning, they can play.

The committee set up by the board to draw up an athletic handbook is currently looking at some samples from other schools. They hope to have a handbook completed by the end of the first semester.

The numbers are

With Monday being the first day of practice for Football and Volleyball some preliminary numbers were released for the teams.

In volleyball there are a total of 15 or 16 students in grades 9-12. This includes 2 seniors, 4 juniors, 7 or 8 sophomores and 2 freshmen. There will be no C-team volleyball this year, only Varsity, Junior Varsity and Junior High.

In football there are currently 26 boys out with 10 seniors, 3 juniors, 9 sophomores and 4 freshmen. The junior high teams have not met yet so those numbers were not available. The sports schedules have been printed and are available at the school or local businesses.

Other business

* The board approved five open enrollment requests. Two were from former students who had moved out of the district and three were new students. Martinson stated that he had also received three additional calls from potential students.

* New contracts were approved as follows:

Nola Petsche -- Assistant Cook

Jessica Chamberlain - Para and Dishwasher

Stephanie Pedersen - SETA

Tanya Fischer -- Preschool teacher and ECFE Instructor

Kirstin Thiel -- Assistant Volleyball Coach

The contract for Cindy Asche was revised as para only and Cory Bedel, who was previously approved as JH football coach, has accepted that position.

Teacher workshops will be held August 25-27 with open houses at the school on August 27 and 31. The first day of school is September 8 and the next regular board meeting will be on September 21.