McCOOK, Nebraska -- Meeting Monday night, the McCook Public Schools board of education approved board policy 504.05, which defines dating violence and provides for training for staff and personnel to identify the signs of dating violence and inappropriate dating behaviors that may be happening inside and outside the school environment.
While there will be no punishment or consequences within school, Superintendent Grant Norgaard said, "We don't want to ignore signs of dating violence." Indications of non-positive behaviors will be identified and addressed appropriately with the student(s) involved, parents and counselors, he said.
Norgaard admitted that this could be a "tough situation" for schools to be in, while there will be no liability on the school if dating violence is not identified and/or addressed.
The board approved a trip by high school FFA members to attend the Denver, Colorado, Stock Show in January. FFA vice president Katelyn Fritsche told board members that she, Amanda Shields, Karen Helm and Samantha Yonkers will judge "some of the top-rated stock in the nation" during livestock judging competitions at the stock show.
The FFA organization and the team members will pay for the team's travel expenses, and school transportation will be used. Supervision will be provided by FFA advisor Josh Schieber and a group of chaperones, Fritsche said.
Fritsche showed board members the 11 plaques and five ribbons that she, Yonkers and Will Miller won while judging at the American Royal Livestock Judging Contest in Kansas City in October.
The board accepted the donation of a 1983 Ford Ranger pickup to the high school's two auto mechanics classes, taught by ag teacher Josh Schieber after the retirement last spring of auto mechanics/auto body instructor Ron Barger.
The pickup, valued at $500, was donated by Automotive Sales and Service in McCook. It will be repaired and sold, the proceeds to support the auto mechanics class.
In other action:
* The board also accepted an $810 donation from Wells Fargo Bank to the MHS Student Council, to help pay for the group's annual leadership banquet.
* FFA members / freshmen McKenzie Crowe and Miranda Shields told board members about the group's trip to the 83rd annual National FFA Convention Oct. 20-23, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Crowe said she was impressed by the message -- "Don't be average" -- from keynote speaker Josh Shipp.
Shields said the group toured a glass-making factory, and designed and made their own glass paperweights
Crowe told board members that she has found her place with FFA, and Shields said the group and its activities are helping her overcome her shyness.
* McCook Elementary PTO representative Laurie Brenning told board members that students, classrooms and the school library earned free books valued at $4,250 through a book fair during parent-teacher conferences.
The annual "Holiday Shop" for students will start in December, providing students at opportunity to shop for inexpensive holiday gifts for friends and family members. Brenning said the holiday shop is not a fund-raising project for PTO, but is hosted simply as a "fun-raiser" for students.
During "Positive Comments":
* Tom Bredvick said he listened recently to Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman who said he will present a balanced budget with "highest priority" to education. Bredvick said he was impressed with and excited about Heineman's vision.
* Student representative Hailey Esch and board member Shane Messersmith said they are impressed with students and high school clubs involved with community events and activities.
* Diane Lyons was pleased with the anti-bullying message presented to students by Steve Seskind and with MHS English teacher Pam Wolford's effort to have spring graduates talk about the realities of college life to her senior students each fall.
* Scott Johnson said 1,632 thank-yous for votes he received in his bid for re-election to the school board.
* Maury Green was impressed with parents who are willing to attend and speak at board meetings, and with their appropriate and positive approaches to problems.
* Norgaard said he is impressed that band instructor Donita Priebe's band is growing and that the band is comprised of "some very talented young people."
* Finance director Rick Haney thanked his office staff for their professionalism and patience during the two to three weeks that it takes each year to complete the annual audit of the schools' budget. Haney anticipates another good audit, he said.