Desai, Clouse honored at DLPS School Board meeting

Louise Oleson Journal Managing Editor
Journal Photo/Louise Oleson
Teresa Desai and Michelle Clouse, Title I Teachers at Sweetwater Elementary, were chosen as North Dakota State Title I Educators of the Year on Friday, October 12 at the ND Title I and Special Education Conference in Bismarck. Here Dr. Deb Follman (left) from Sweetwater tells the school board about the two teachers and their outstanding qualifications for the honor.

At Monday’s regularly scheduled school board meeting, Dr. Deb Follman from Sweetwater introduced two of her staff who were recently honored at the North Dakota State Title I and Special Education Conference in Bismarck.

She explained that teachers Teresa Desai and Michelle Clouse were chosen as the ND State Title I Educators of the Year on Oct. 12. Both teachers were present at the meeting with family members and colleagues to support them as Follman read several comments about the pair from those who recommended them for the award.

She spoke in glowing terms about both teachers and their commitment and caring for their students. Following her presentation each member of the school board rose to congratulate the winners and to thank them for their excellence.

Follman, a little later in the meeting, gave a presentation about Sweetwater Elementary School, its staff and the programs they feature for students. This is the continuation of a series of presentations to the school board to familiarize its members with the city’s schools and their unique characteristics.

Other business

Members of the Native American Education Advisory Committee Hyllis Dauphinais, Linda Thompson and Melissa Merrick thanked the School Board and specifically Superintendent Scott Privratsky for the cooperation and interest in learning about the Native students and their needs. Dauphinais outlined the three priorities they’d set as an advisory committee to the board:

1. Increased parent participation in the education activities and process

2. To raise awareness of the Native American culture, to promote understanding and sensitivity throughout the district

3. To raise the students’ level of achievement.

They pointed out that district-wide the population identified as Native is approximately 30 percent, a significant number of students.

They thanked Privratsky for attending their meetings and the board for being open to their ideas and for holding the teacher inservice for the Middle School staff. All these things are positive steps forward, Dauphinais pointed out.

He expressed concern for the students who do not have access to technology in their homes that creates difficulty for them to accomplish homework and assignments.

Toward the end of the meeting a lengthy discussion among school board members pointed out some needed revisions in the official board policy regarding visitors and their input at meetings. Board member Paul Goulding emphasized some of the questions he had regarding the meetings being not public meetings, but meetings held in the public. He said that wording in the official policy needed to be scrutinized and updated. Though not all the members agreed on the specific changed he pointed out, they did agree that it was time to revisit the policy, perhaps in a work session.

Another suggestion that Privratsky had, was that the board add the Pledge of Allegiance to the start of each meeting.

The evaluation process for the superintendent, too, was the topic of discussion for a portion of Monday’s meeting, too. Everyone agreed that, too, needed revision, however in time for the evaluation due in November/December, they would follow the form previously used for the time being.