The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Don Ogle 

Sidney School Board Approves Policy Changes


November 17, 2017

Sidney’s school board continued work to update district policies when it met Monday evening, approving 10 measures so they are in line with state practices.

The changes were largely in wording through “3,000 series” policies, of a number of series that will be updated over time.

Board members looked four policies, on the School Activities Fund, Audit, Emergency Closings, and Sale of School Property for additional discussion.

In the School Activities Fund, the changes meeting state preferences matched what Sidney schools have been doing when it comes to final dispersal of class funds. When all the bills have been paid for an outgoing senior class, the district allows for the class to purchase things for the school, like scoreboards, equipment or other needs if they wish. It was explained the last two classes have also given funds for the school foundation and scholarships.

Funds left in those accounts, and any other activity account that no longer exists, are then transferred to the general fund.

Board members also spent time discussing changes to the Audit section, where it appeared that changes suggested by the state lower the audit standard. Of particular interest was the change that said the auditor “is not obligated to follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) but shall conduct the audit according to the standards of the auditing profession.”

GAAP has been the standard for many years, particularly when it comes to tax-funded entities. While the change made several members uncomfortable, they ultimately accepted it.

The Emergency Closing section, which provides that school may be closed when it is impossible or impractical to hold school, provides that on such days school-sponsored activities can only be held with the permission of the superintendent or building administrator.

Superintendent Jay Ehler said the provision is good when there are drastic changes in the situation that resulted in a school closing.

“Sometimes a storm doesn’t develop the way it was predicted, or clears out sooner,” Ehler said. “This allows for activities to continue of it is safe.”

The Board’s action also added a new policy in the section, regarding sex offenders. The policy provides that the school district notify staff, parents and students of any registered sex offender residing in the district and include information about the State Patrol’s web page on offenders.

The policy also provides for student offenders, and how the district will consider factors in determining the student’s educational placement and program.

In other business the board:

Reviewed it financial reports, which indicate the district is sound, with account statuses close to the same, or within a few percentage points, of normal.

Approved use of the Nebraska College and Career Ready Match Standards, which have been already been in use within the district through a pilot program.

Approved a bid from Midwest Tennis and Racket for $49,980 for resurfacing and maintenance on the high school track. Because of the method and materials used by Midwest, the district can obtain a $10,000 grant to offset the cost.

Recognized the Sidney Middle School cross country team of Tre Canas, Mitch Deer, Daniel Bashtovi, Ryan Konz, Cameron Brauer, Isaac Trujillo and Julian Maytorena for their performance in the State Middle School Cross Country meet. The team finished in first place with four members in the top 20.

Recognized students of the month, Austin Glanz, Makinna Rauner, Chan Pandya, Alexah Fort, Royal Paulsen and Mitch Porter.


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