School board reviews student supports

NEW ULM — The District 88 Board of Education reviewed student support programs and mental health services in addition to ongoing programs and events in schools Thursday.

Principals reviewed successes of student support programs and discussed the benefits that these programs have presented to students.

In addition to the review, Vice-Chair Christie Dewanz administered the oath of office and swore in board member Amanda Groebner.

Washington Learning Center principal Dawn Miller said the school continues to see improvement in its implementation of the Social Emotional Enrichment and Development (SEED) program. She said the school continues to see improvement in the emotional and social development of students. Miller said the school was seeking raincoats and boots for students to allow for outdoor classes in the rain. She said this would allow students a better understanding of the weather and environment.

Jefferson Elementary principal Adam Kluver said the elementary’s sensory room, or calming room, will continually receive additions to assist students. Kluver said the school continues to maintain a “balanced approach” to the mental health of its students. He added that he looks forward to continuing the school’s Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support program.

Jamie Boelter, associate principal and activities director of the New Ulm Middle School, said school counselors are continuing to complete referrals for students to enter school-based programs associated with Greater Minnesota Family Services. Boelter said he looks forward to the middle school’s FAB-lab continuing to improve the district’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program and prepare students for further involvement in CTE. Boelter added that the addition of a therapy dog, trained to comfort emotionally distressed individuals, is a big hit within the school.

New Ulm High School principal Mark Bergmann said the addition of a third special services counselor has created a “phenomenal opportunity” for students. Bergmann said over 60 students now work with the counselor. Now that final exams are in motion, Bergmann said the high school is looking at next year. He said the largest program they are seeking to improve is CTE and the implementation of traditional curriculum into its program.

The next regular school board meeting is 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, in the District Boardroom.