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Dickinson schools withdraw from Roughrider Education Services Program

After months of disagreement and numerous attempts at reconciliation, Dickinson Public Schools Board members agree it's time to end a nearly 10-year relationship with the Roughrider Education Services Program.

"Recently, it has become clearer that the RESP and Dickinson Public Schools are moving in different directions," said Melanie Kathrein, director of Curriculum and Professional Development for DPS. "Especially in the areas of professional development, school improvement, curriculum and professional learning communities."

A unanimous vote Monday night at a DPS Board meeting held at the central office finalized the decision.

"After receiving the RESP's Notice of Intent to Participate, it is quite clear that the services they are proposing to provide for 2011-2012 are not aligned with our specific needs," Kathrein said.

Withdrawal takes effect June 30.

School Board members said they felt confident withdrawal would not have significant negative impacts on students or staff and that the district would be able to find ways to provide the services the RESP was providing them.

Dickinson Catholic Schools also withdrew from the RESP in March citing membership cost as its reasoning, according to previous Press articles.

Although DCS withdrew, its plans to continue attending RESP staff and student development programs on a nonmember status.

DCS's withdrawal also takes effect June 30.

Other events preceding DPS's decision to withdraw from the RESP include disagreements about policies, equal treatment, financial concerns, and being stripped of the responsibility as the fiscal agent for the RESP earlier this month at an RESP meeting, according to previous Press articles.

The title and responsibility of fiscal agent was given to Killdeer. DPS had been the fiscal agent for about a decade before having this duty taken away.

The RESP sited a "stressed relationship" as the reason for its decision not to renew its contract with DPS.

Vice Superintendent Vince Reep said DPS will work with Killdeer School District to make the transition as seamless as possible.