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RCAS Board of Education to discuss change orders, superintendent search

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Rapid City Area Schools' Board of Education will discuss the first readings of policies on class size, independent study and the grading system Tuesday night, along with two change orders for various buildings and the South Middle School new facility.

According to the agenda, the change orders for various buildings are for drainage and concrete repairs. They appear on the board's consent agenda, which is not typically discussed separately unless pulled by a board member. This includes projects on the Southwest Middle School/Corral Drive, Bus Barn, Wilson Elementary School, West Middle School and Pinedale Elementary School projects.

If approved, the contract sum would increase by $41,344.93 for a new total contract sum of $545,564.10.

The largest increase, which would be $20,776.67, would be to the Pinedale project. According to the agenda item, the 4-inch and 6-inch gutter connections were not included in the bid schedule for the project. It also includes other pipe substitutions and additional pavement for removal and replacement due to damage.

The concrete work for Wilson includes additional removal and replacement of pavement due to damage of various pavement sections around the project site. 

The change order for the South Middle School new facility is a removal of building permit fees as paid directly by the school district, which is a $399,275.94 deduction, bringing the new contract sum to $60,087,495.04.

The policy changes will also be considered in the consent agenda. The Board of Education will examine updating classroom size recommendations for all middle and high schools. The recommended class size would be 30 students per core classroom in grades 6-12. The previous policy recommendation only included grades 6-8.

Another policy change will be considered for independent study programs at the high school level. According to RCAS, an independent study is a course of study which a student may pursue on an individual basis outside the regular classroom and could count toward graduation credit.

The revised policy would remove a guideline section that states independent study materials outside of the district's curriculum would include review and approval from the district's Instructional Council.

Also on Tuesday night's agenda will be a discussion on dyslexia from Dr. Lisa Hafer, director of special services.

Hafer presented some information during the board's Oct. 11 study session. She said October is dyslexia awareness month. She said her staff for the past month and a half is sharing the characteristics of dyslexia, what they're doing, and what ADHD and dyslexia may look like together, among other things.

Hafer also said the district is about five special education teachers short and about 35 paraprofessionals short, which is "a lot better than where we started."

The board will also consider the adoption of club trap shooting for the 2022-2023 school year. In addition, the board will consider a request for proposals from superintendent search firms to find a qualified candidate for a superintendent who would start July 1, 2023.

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