Buses, tablets for students, softball part of DPS budget addition deliberationsThe Dickinson Public School Board has several budget concerns in the upcoming school year, and a few more things to add to the 2012-13 budget.
By: Katherine Grandstrand, The Dickinson Press
The Dickinson Public School Board has several budget concerns in the upcoming school year, and a few more things to add to the 2012-13 budget.
The DPS Board Budget Committee, in a meeting Thursday morning at the Central Administration Building, deliberated additions to the budgets for the current and upcoming school year.
With the use of grant funds, DPS purchased a new school bus earlier this year with an $80,000 grant from Dunn County. It is seeking to purchase two new buses in the 2013-14 school year, for a total of $170,000, Vice Superintendent Vince Reep said.
“I think if we bought two route buses next year we’d be able to leave that budget item alone for the following year (2014-15),” he said. “In the second year of the biennium there’s less state funds available.”
Tablets for social studies
The social studies department at Dickinson High School is looking for new ways to engage students and integrate technology into school programs, Superintendent Doug Sullivan said.
The department wants $117,000 to buy 150 Microsoft tablet computers and the necessary infrastructure to run them, Sullivan said. The funding is available.
Committee Chairwoman Leslie Ross liked the idea, but wanted the district to look at hiring an integrated technology specialist to help work technology into lesson plans.
“This is not going to be the only change,” she said. “This is going to be the start of a revolution of integration I believe.”
The district would look into adding that position in the coming school year, Sullivan said.
Facility planning consultant
The committee discussed hiring a facility planning consultant to aid in the development of the new middle school and all future DPS facilities.
The person/firm in that position could also coordinate events such as bond elections, removing some of the extraneous responsibilities from administrator’s plates, Reep said. He and Sullivan would still be very involved in the process.
DPS would begin the process in July and hire someone in September, Reep said.
Beginning next year, softball will officially be part of DPS. For the past four years it has operated as a school-affiliated club, getting its funding from the Dickinson Diamonds, a booster group that also supported the baseball team.
“We gave them our nod five years ago basically that if it became a successful program — if girls wanted to be involved in that — that we support that the same way we did baseball,” Ross said.
The school district would take over the expenses for the team, including rental fees, transportation, umpires, equipment, lodging and uniforms, although it is likely the Diamonds will be gifting the existing uniforms to the school, Sullivan said.
Officially adding softball would keep DPS in Title IX compliance, he said.
House Bill 1319 would change the way schools are funded and the way the per-pupil payment is calculated, Reep said.
“We get more the other way, but all of us are property owners and those people are serious about doing something significant,” Reep said.
Reep and Sullivan said they support the bill as it’s written, but hope it doesn’t get mottled with amendments and changes through the legislative process.