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By Forrest Hershberger
Publisher, Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Sidney School Board Says No to Health Curriculum


The Sidney School Board approved a measure standing against the health education curriculum proposed by the Nebraska Department of Education.

The measure was approved unanimously in the July 12 meeting.

The resolution states that “parents and guardians are the primary educators of their own children, especially in matters of faith and morals, including sex education.” The measure continues that the district should act in support and assist in educating children, not replace the parent. The measure further states the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) has proposed Health Education Standards “which could infringe on parents' role as primary educators of their own children.”

Board member Brenda Smith said the message needs to be clear that the primary educator of a child is the parent.

Superintendent Jay Ehler said as a local district, the Sidney is encouraged to follow the state standards, but is only required to follow the basic core standards including math and English.

According to the Nebraska Department of Education website, “Nebraska Revised Statute 79-760.01 requires the Nebraska State Board of Education to 'adopt measurable academic content standards for at least the grade levels required for statewide assessment.' Those standards shall cover the subject areas of reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies, and the State Board of Education shall develop a plan to review and update standards for those subject areas every seven years.”

In addition to the content areas required by the statute, the NDE developed content areas for fine arts, physical education, health education, world languages and course-based standards for Career and Technical Education. The website says these standards are not required by law, but provide a framework for quality teaching and learning. “School districts are encouraged to adopt the state-approved standards in other content areas (fine arts, physical education, health education, and world languages) within one year of being adopted by the State Board of Education,” the NDE says.

The board also approved continuing with the proposed purchase of a Commons Area video board and a Sidney High School marquee.

The electronic signs will be purchased through local supporters with the goal of little or no impact on the district budget.

Ehler said he has $37,500 annually secured, with the goal of $50,000.

“I will tell you I am very confident because no one has said no,” Ehler said.

When the project was first proposed, Ehler said he was meeting with organizations and individuals with a history of supporting the school district. The high school has 10-12 students involved in the SRT program who would be involved in managing the signs.

In other business, the board approved a required policy change on Conflict of Interest, updated the bidding process, and approved an agreement with Rauner and Associates, P.C., approved students Amyrose Kozusko entering the school district, and Matthew Monheiser, Michael Kepler and Jeremiah Schilreff leaving the district. The board also recognized Karly Sylvester and Jacob Dowse for their state championships.


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