By Alan Sorensen
The Masons will be bringing two of their proven kids projects to Havre Public Schools this year.
The Havre Public Schools Board of Trustees voted unanimously Tuesday night to allow the use of the Masonic Kids ID Kits and Shoes for Kids programs in the elementary schools.
The utilization of the identification kits would require the approval and assistance of the PTO (parent/teacher organization) at each school. Havre Masons will explain the program at each of the PTOs October meetings. The PTOs will ultimately be responsible for training parents in the use of the kits and distributing the kits to the parents.
Each kit will include spaces for personal information about the child and spots to imprint the childs fingerprints. Once the kits are complete, Superintendent Kirk Miller said, the parents would keep them safe at their homes.
TheShoes for Kids program would rely on strict confidentiality, Miller said. Teachers would determine which, if any, of their students is in need of better shoes. The teacher would submit the names of any students with potential need to the school principal. A letter would then be mailed at the Masons expense to the childs parents explaining the program and inviting the child to a fitting.
The fittings and shoe distribution would be held at the Masonic Temple. The tentative dates are Nov. 1-5.
This programs very successful in other communities, so I would recommend it, Miller said.
Trustees also approved a request for two school-to-career courses to be taught at Havre High School and at S.U.N.S., the alternative high school.
HHS Vice Principal Howard Hahn explained that the junior and senior level courses were piloted at S.U.N.S. last year. The credit-for-work course requires that students maintain 2.0 grade point averages. The one-semester course is 180 hours long and worth a half credit.
Students make application to real jobs and write a paper each week describing that weeks activities and what they learned on the job.
The other course is jobs for Montana graduates. It is for the full year and carries one elective credit. The program provides classroom instruction and work-based learning opportunities to enhance the students career awareness, remediation, self esteem, and work readiness.
The school board also approved the requests of two 19-year-old students who want to return to Havre High fall semester to complete their graduation requirements.
The district is applying to the state for an alternative standard renewal with the trustees approval. The alternative standard is being requested on the off chance that Lincoln-McKinley Elementary Schools enrollment exceeds 250 at any time this year. The enrollment at present is 245. The alternative standard would allow Principal Karen Swenson to continue serving half time at both Lincoln-McKinley and Devlin in spite of state standards that require a full-time principal if a schools student population exceeds 250.
The next school board meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, at Havre Middle School.