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HHS school board approves sports co-op with Box Elder


During the first school board meeting of the summer, the board heard motions including approving a sports co-op with Box Elder schools, pending state approval, and updated handbooks.

Superintendent Andy Carlson and Havre High School Activities Director Dennis Murphy introduced to the board the consideration of the high school entering into a sports co-op with Box Elder for wrestling and softball.

Carlson said that Havre High School is now in a co-op with Chinook High School for swimming, and it has proven to be a good program.

“I have no reservations,” Carlson added, except that, unlike swimming, softball is a cut sport and many girls are returning for next year so the available spots will have high competition.

He said that, despite this, he still recommends entering into the co-op.

“The Chinook co-op has been great,” Murphy said. “It is a great opportunity for (Box Elder) to have these sports. … They might have their own (teams) someday.”

Box Elder would be responsible for expenses for their athletes and they would bus them to Havre for practices, Carlson said.

The Box Elder athletes would have to follow the Blue Pony rules when it comes to situations such as grades, Murphy added, saying that it would be a three-year contract but it can be revisited before then if the co-op is not working out.

The board passed the consideration of a sports co-op unanimously and Murphy said the next step is for him to present to the Montana High School Association Executive Board because Havre missed the date to request a co-op so he needs to request an extension and consideration.

Representatives from each school presented their updates to their handbooks for the 2018-19 school year for the board’s consideration.

Havre High School Assistant Principal and next year’s Principal Ed Norman said it looks like a lot of changes have been made to the handbook for next year, but it really just needed some corrections to make it simpler for administration and staff to follow through with discipline.

The changes to the middle school include a clarified dress code of what is acceptable, said Havre Middle School Assistant Principal Jeremiah Nitz, adding that “it almost matches word for word with the Havre High School dress code.”

Another change, he said, included making regulations about electronic devices more clear, including students not having earbuds and earphones in their ears without a specific reason, teachers being able to allow devices for specific educational purposes and regulations for discipline about the improper use of the devices.

Emergency procedure changes included changing certain middle school relocation locations to undisclosed spots for student safety, with parents being notified through an electronic system, Nitz said, adding that parents will now have the responsibility to keep their emergency procedure contact information up to date.

The final changes are that students cannot leave dances early and loiter in unsupervised places outside; a program to help at-risk students has been deleted as other programs have been put in place; the plagiarism section from the high school handbook has been added, and a campus portal phone application has been recommended to help parents keep up with school information such as grades, Nitz said.

Sunnyside Intermediate School Principal Carmen Lunak said the changes to their handbook includes change in dates and names as well as information about the surveillance camera system at the school.

Students and staff, she added, also were interested in adding a student code of contact, so they can give students an expectation of behavior.

Lincoln-McKinley Primary School’s handbook has minimal changes, Principal Holly Bitz said. The changes include an information packet for parents explaining that they are trying to go digital with the handbook, but hard copies will be an option, as well as providing a computer in the lobby parents can use to access the information.

The handbook also has updates about surveillance cameras at school, she added.

Highland Park Early Primary School Principal Mark Irvin said they made brief changes to their handbook, which included clerical changes such as dates and the information about adding surveillance cameras.

They also added a section about social events, he said, asking parents to not pass out invitations to events at school that do not include everyone in the class.

The last change was the implementation of three lunch periods instead of four, Irvin said, citing the change as trying to get a little more time outside for kids, as well as helping with the supervision duties.

All changes to the schools’ handbooks were passed unanimously by the board.

The board also unanimously approved, for 2018-19, the Montana School Board Association Dues, the Montana High School Association Dues that includes the Catastrophic and Concussion Insurance, and the Havre Education Association Collective Bargaining Agreement.


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