The ISD 318 School Board convened for its regularly scheduled meeting on Jan. 24 at the Administrative Building. The board listened to two presentations, the first of which was delivered by Nick Adams on the topic of P & I grants. Adams is the P & I grant coordinator for the District.
The P & I Grant, or planning and implementation grant, is a five-year, $1 million grant aimed at reducing and delaying underage drinking. Ross Resources of Grand Rapids applied for the grant. Adams started his presentation by noting that a similar program in Deer River had cut underage drinking in half. Adams added that other substance abuse dropped during the same time period as well at Deer River High School.
Adams estimated that about 22 percent of juniors at the Grand Rapids high school use alcohol. He indicated that cutting drinking in half at the Grand Rapids location would likely be a formidable task because the Grand Rapids School District is so much larger than Deer River.
The second presentation was put on by Katie Nelson of the Itasca Diversity Alliance. Nelson said that the Itasca Diversity Alliance seeks to build communities where people of color belong and are respected. She said that many times people of non-Caucasian heritages have experiences that leave them feeling excluded, which can have a negative effect on success and achievement. To that end, in the fall of 2015, a group of concerned citizens began meeting to address this issue, and ultimately formed the Itasca Diversity Alliance.
The Alliance wishes to partner with the District to support the goals of the world’s best work force which is to create and foster a culture that encourages student learning. Nelson encouraged the community to get involved in the Alliance and offered some suggestions for learning about diversity in the community including:
• Attending one of the Alliance’s monthly pot-lucks where people can both give and receive support.
• Visit the library to discover reading materials about cultural diversity.
• Interaction with diverse students at ICC who are being hosted by the Alliance and area churches.
• Participation in some of the programs being offered by the Blandin Foundation that support diversity, including the upcoming World View Intelligence Training.
• Visit the McRostie Art Theatre to learn about art from different parts of the world.
Nelson ended her remarks by saying “We live in a multi-cultural world and preparing all of our young people to live and be productive in this world is the responsibility of all of us and is vital to our community.”
In other business, the board:
• Hired one Indian Education Advocate, four coaches, and accepted the retirement of one secretary and the resignation of one food service worker.
• Approved the October-November-December 2016 gifts and donations in the amount of approximately $47,000.
• Approved the MDE Office of Indian Education Transmittal of Resolution and Parent Committee Roster.
• Approved the Annual Review of Policy 514: Bullying Prohibition.
• Approved the Annual Review of Policy 522: Student Sex Nondiscrimination.
• Approved Annual Review of Policy 524: Internet Acceptable Use and Safety.
• Approved the annual review of Policy 806: Crisis Management.
• Approved the Independent Provider Application: Dreams Come True Dance.