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Unvaccinated DPS students to be kept out of school

An ongoing campaign by Dickinson Public Schools to bring its students in compliance with immunization schedules mandated by the North Dakota Century Code may reach an uneasy close early next month.

An ongoing campaign by Dickinson Public Schools to bring its students in compliance with immunization schedules mandated by the North Dakota Century Code may reach an uneasy close early next month.

Students not fully up to date with their immunizations as required by state law will be asked to stay home from school effective Feb. 5, DPS Superintendent Doug Sullivan said.

“Parents need to see to it that their student is in compliance with the North Dakota Century Code,” Sullivan said after a regular school board meeting Monday night.

The district sent approximately 150 letters to parents of students not in compliance last week, Sullivan said, informing them of the impending deadline.

Parents can request exemptions from the Century Code for personal, religious or medical reasons but still must clearly communicate that intention to the building secretaries of the district, he added.

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“The district is neither encouraging or discouraging (vaccination)” Sullivan said. “We’re just saying we want you to come, we have to have you come into compliance. … The last thing we want to do is tell parents that their student can’t come to school.”

Middle school construction on schedule

Representatives from Mortenson Construction attended the meeting to update and preview work on the new DPS middle school’s construction.

Mortenson General Manager Darren Knapp, of the firm’s Minneapolis office, began his presentation with an image of the school as it will be upon completion in July 2017 before jumping back to the site’s groundbreaking this previous July.

In the time since then, Knapp said, crews have begun setting up steel and have erected the first three bays of the future school as of Monday afternoon.

The next activity for the site will be overlap of steel and precast concrete, scheduled to begin in mid-March and extend into May, to create the building’s structure.

“You’ll see a dramatic change in March, April and May,” Knapp said of the site as precast is established. “Day-by-day change will happen by there.”

The building’s roof will be started in mid-May and run throughout the summer and windows will be set throughout September.

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“We’re looking at September of 2016 to have everything enclosed and start the interior finishes,” Knapp said.

Mortenson will try to have the site paved and ready by this winter, he added, with an expected finish date in July of next year.

Sullivan said the project is on schedule and the board is receiving regular updates from Mortenson as the process continues.

School Board has vacancy following member resignation

DPS Board President Sarah Ricks reported Monday night that fellow board member Jason Hanson submitted his resignation Dec. 18, leaving behind a vacant seat on the board.

Hanson has moved from Dickinson to Montana.

Anyone appointed to fill Hanson’s vacated seat would fill the term only until the next school board election in June, Ricks said.

Those interested in being considered for the seat can obtain more information about the role at the DPS Central Administration Office next to Hagen Junior High, and must also complete an application -- also available at the office -- and submit it by Feb. 4, after which the board will consider all applicants at its February meeting.

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