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

By Forrest Hershberger
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Enrollment Numbers Better Than Expected


August 15, 2018

The Sidney schools are reporting better preliminary enrollment numbers than expected, according to the board of education meeting Monday.

The Cheyenne County School District No. 1 Board of Education met Monday. Among the agenda items, principals reported on anticipated student numbers for the 2018-2019 school year. Nancy Rowlett, principal of Central and North elementary schools, reported 93 to 95 kindergarten students enrolled. She also said there are 95 third grade students enrolled at North Elementary.

“We’re pretty full at North,” she said.

District Superintendent Jay Ehler said the sixth grade numbers are well into the 90s.

Brandon Ross, principal at Sidney Middle School, also reported preliminary numbers are higher than expected. He said the school has lost quite a bit, but “we’re kind of getting them back.”

“I think we’re going to be pretty high numbers, from what we thought,” Ehler said.

Principals and Ehler admitted Monday there are still a few requests from other school districts  for student records. However, the number is not as high as expected. The first actual student count takes place Aug. 20. Student count is due to the state department of education in September.

The board spent much of the meeting reviewing proposed policy changes. Polices reviewed addressed married and pregnant students, routine directory information, and “Sex Equality in the Education Program.” Married and pregnant students are encouraged in the district policy to continue their formal education. The policy also says students who anticipate changes in their school schedule due to pregnancy or parenting to inform the school principal. The policy outlines options for childcare and if the student cannot regularly attend class. The policy also outlines that the District will “provide reasonable opportunities to express breast milk or breastfeed in a place, other than a bathroom which is shielded from intrusion from  District students, employees and the public.”

According to board discussion, the designated area will be in relation to the nurse’s office.

The board discussed then tabled a policy on “Routine Directory Information.” The policy lists several articles of data including a student’s name and grade, address, date of attendance, date of birth, field of study, activities and student ID number. The concern among board members is the opening statement of “The school district shall disclose the following as routine directory information…” Board member Steve Mattoon said the wording implies personal information can be shared without student or parental consent. Principal Rick Meyer said his experience is the data would not be available to the public. The board decided to table the decision on the policy for further research.

The board also reviewed a required policy on “sex equality in the Education Program.” The policy is required under the Department of Education’s Title IX. The policy defines the District prohibits discrimination based on sex in any educational program or activity. The policy also says anyone who believes he or she is being discriminated against may seek relief. The policy also outlines disciplinary options.

The board also formally accepted the resignation of Dr. Brandon Brown from the board. He started his position as Family Medicine physician at Sidney Regional Medical Center in August 2015.


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