Want to watch a Houston Schools’ home basketball game? How about a concert? This year you can once again easily watch the events free from the comfort of your own home. Mikayla Simmons, activities and communications director for Houston Schools, informed the school board at their regular November 4 meeting that multiple links have been added to the school’s website so the public can easily find the link. Right under the “Welcome to Houston School” banner on the homepage is a red button labeled “NFHS Network Live Stream”; in addition there are links on the activities and athletic calendars.
The recent band and choir concert was the first live streamed event. After some technical issues that were caused by the need for an internal software update, the remainder of the concert was streamed and is available for replay yet on the school’s YouTube site. Simmons thanked high school principal Mangan for helping post the beginning of the concert to Facebook during the tech issues. Reminders of the live streaming availability will be on announcements and communications from the school. Chairman Tom Stilin suggested the information be included on the school’s local access Acentek channel as well.
Long term substitutes positions
After approving a pay increase for substitute teachers to $125/day at their last meeting, the board took further action to try to ensure the availability of subs for the school. At the suggestion of Superintendent Mary Morem and after discussing the frequency and number of subs needed with the principals, the board decided to advertise for two long-term substitutes for the rest of the year.
These subs will be assured full-time hours; the administration told the board there will be no problem having work for them, noting that they could also be asked to step in for support staff as well if they were not assigned to a classroom for the day.
Other board business
In other business, the board reviewed the winter weather policy for board meetings. If school is canceled the day of a board meeting, the meeting will be moved to the same day, time, and location the following week.
The board passed a resolution to adjust the asset value threshold from $1,000 to $5,000. This will make the necessary inventorying easier when the school capitalizes assets as required since 2004. The items valued below $5,000 can just go under expenses.
Additional mentors were approved for Q-Comp with two .5 mentors added at MNVA and a .5 position onsite. Each teacher is supposed to be evaluated by the mentors three times a year; up until this time, one teacher was to mentor 50 teachers online while another was to mentor 39 teachers at the onsite schools. By adding additional mentors, the board would give the mentors more time to focus on the deeper learning that is being evaluated now that state standards are being used rather than textbook curriculum.
The board approved a resolution to apply for a MSHSL foundation grant. This grant would supply scholarships for user fees for deserving students.
A bench was donated to the school by the MN Honor Society and HHS Student Council in honor of Jared Larson (class of 2022). The bench will be placed at the high school’s main entrance with a plaque honoring Jared.
The board adjourned the meeting to participate in their scheduled board retreat.
The next regular Houston School Board meeting will be November 18 at 6 p.m. with a World’s Best Workforce Public Hearing at 6:30 p.m. the same night. The public is welcome to attend.