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Killdeer school to change schedule, grading scale, more

Killdeer Public School administrators informed the school board of changes to the schedule, grading scale and website at the board's June meeting. Killdeer's website will now have live updates to its athletic schedules and bus schedules, which wi...

Killdeer School Board members hear about possible temporary solutions to school crowding. Kayla Henson / The Dickinson Press

Killdeer Public School administrators informed the school board of changes to the schedule, grading scale and website at the board's June meeting.

Killdeer's website will now have live updates to its athletic schedules and bus schedules, which will hasten and streamline access for drivers, teachers and parents.

"They're called online Excel spreadsheets," said Karter Kleeman, secondary principal. "As an administrator updates these Excel sheets, they broadcast to the website immediately, so it makes things go faster. Before what we would do is you'd make the (athletic) schedule almost on a printable version and then you'd upload that printable version to the website. Anytime you made changes, you'd have to make it to the document and then re-upload it."

The bus schedule was printed and posted in the front office.

"If the bus driver - if something happened, he'd have to swap a bus out, he needed to call Mr. Wilz, our superintendent, and he'd have to change it on the sheet. The sheet would have to be reprinted and reposted ... Now, you can load it up on any cell phone device or computer and see what's going on that way."

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The change will help bus drivers communicate with one another.

"Sometimes what happens is a bus will be out on a route and something will happen and it breaks down. Then the next morning, a bus driver shows up to take kids to an event, and the bus is gone and they have no clue why. Somebody forgot to call the bus driver ... Now they can go on this app and see that maybe a bus broke down, and they swapped it out with another one. They (will) know exactly which bus they need to take."

Administration is changing the school schedule, as well. Beginning the 2019-2020 school year, Killdeer will be moving from a seven-period school day to an eight-period school day to accommodate a homeroom.

"The kids get a homeroom teacher when they either enroll in Killdeer or became a seventh grader and then that teacher stays with you the whole time you're in high school here. It kind of brings that elementary feel where you have one homeroom teacher that's supposed to know you best," Kleeman said.

In homeroom, teachers will check attendance, go over students' grades and lead a seven mindsets program.

"It's a community builder in the high school. Those teachers teach those mentoring classes to those kids. We do anything from activities, talking about conflict resolution to achieving and setting high goals. We do games with it where it's kind of like ... teamwork-building," Kleeman said.

Study hall will be eliminated.

Killdeer will have a closed campus for lunch for all grades but 11th and 12th.

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"It used to be an open campus where 7-12 kids could leave if they wanted to go home to eat lunch or if they wanted to walk down to a convenient store, they could do that. Just with our increased population, we've had more behavioral issues," Kleeman said.

Killdeer will tweak its grading scale slightly for the new school year.

"It's kind of a mix of what we already had in place, and then we looked at some other schools, one being Bismarck High. The biggest change - to fail a class was 69, and Bismarck High's was a 64, so we brought that down to that 64 range. We used to have anything from a 100 to a 93 was an A. Now it's anywhere from 100 to a 92 is an A," Kleeman said.

The school is also making some changes to help alleviate crowding in the classrooms.

Killdeer's preschool, which was housed in the school last year, will be relocated to St. John's Lutheran Church.

"Preschool has been in our school for the last two years. Before, we had it over in the church. Now we're moving it back over to the church again, and it will be doubled in size ... We're trying to work through all of our classrooms to make sure we have room for everybody," Kleeman said.

In addition to moving the preschool, they will disassemble the weight room.

"Presently, we have a weight room that is the size of two classrooms - and that's actually what it used to be - and we're taking all of our weight room equipment out of those classes and putting up a partition wall. The weight room is becoming two classes," he said.

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The weight room will move to the elementary gym stage, which is currently being used for storage.

The public library area in the high school library will be cleared out and made into a classroom, also.

The agriculture program will be made into two sections, and the shop area will be used as a second classroom.

"The shop area itself has workbenches and work tables. We replaced the surface, the tops to them, to make them more student-friendly, and we purchased stools so students can sit around them. The shop will actually become a classroom as well as the classroom in the ag area," Kleeman said.

It's still your seven normal periods in the day, but then your eighth period is known as a homeroom. We call ours Cowboy Roundup.

That person checks with you, they go over your grades with you, make sure you're on track, check your attendance. If we have any announcement-type stuff, it takes place in those classes. We also do a - it's called a seven mindsets program. It's a community builder in the high school. Those teachers teach those mentoring classes to those kids. We do anything from activities, talking about conflict resolution to achieving and setting high goals. We do games with it where it's kind of like a teamwork-building

We did all of this through printable versions before, but now putting it all on our website and making it electronic makes it easier for so many more people to access and see what's going on with our schedule.

What will happen is teachers will want to check to make sure they have a bus scheduled for their field trip or something like that, a coach will want to make sure that they're scheduled to leave for an event. They can go on this website and take a look at who's driving the bus, make sure that the departure times are right ...

Related Topics: SCHOOL BOARD
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