USD 382 will offer ag classes, FFA option to students next school year.
With agriculture the base of a wide-variety of job opportunities in Pratt County, USD 382 Board of Education members voted unanimously to add an agriculture teaching position for the 2020-20 school year at their October 14 meeting.
"Agriculture encompasses a wide variety of career tracks that our students will be well-positioned to take advantage of with these new offerings," said Superintendent Tony Helfrich. "This opportunity for our students will help them more readily seek growth prospects in agriculture jobs after graduation."
Principal Steve Blankenship presented a likely schedule of agriculture-based classes (the finalized schedule would depend somewhat on the hired ag teacher's strengths) and the two career pathways that would be added. The ag teaching position will also include FFA sponsorship for an extra-curricular club experience.
Board members discussed a lawsuit initiated by the Goddard School District against vaping manufactures.
The possible class-action suit has no legal costs for schools joining the suit, Helfrich said.
“Vaping is not particularly a problem in school—it does come up as an occasional discipline issue—but we know it’s a problem for many of our students outside of school,” Helfrich said. “We are looking at the issue because it impacts the health and wellness of our students.”
Board members decided to wait to see how the lawsuit progresses before making a commitment.
The school board members approved a contract extension for David Schmidt, the USD 382 curriculum director. His position is shared with Pratt Community College. Schmidt is currently on deployment in Kuwait serving his country through the Army National Guard and is expected to return to civilian life in February, 2020.
"Our Greenback family looks forward to the return of David Schmidt," Helfrich said. "Kirsten Blankenship has done a fantastic job as our interim curriculum director, but it will be good to get our support team back to full strength."
Brayan Balderrama was approved for the PHS assistant wrestling coach position for the coming season.