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Schools work to further students education

Eric Burks, President of the North Central Kansas Technical College (NCKTC), appeared before the Board of Education to report on the activities of the college during Monday’s USD #273 meeting.

The school was originally founded as the first Vo-tech school in the State of Kansas in the mid-1960s due to the untiring efforts of Dean Haddock. During this time, Kansas was establishing a number of Vocational Technical schools across the state to fill a need for trained workers with technical job skills.

In 1996 in response to providing a wider background of skills, the school became a Technical College. The College graduates about 300 students annually while offering 17 programs of study. According to Burks 90 percent of the graduates stay in the state of Kansas while 93 percent of the graduates find jobs in their field.

After a year’s preparation the school underwent an accreditation evaluation in 2019. They successfully passed the examination and received a ten year accreditation. Burks said that studies indicate that in today’s labor market 65 percent of the jobs in the labor force require some kind of training after high school.

Burks said the technical school and the school district have a long history of working together to offer the best education possible to the young people of Beloit. A lot of Beloit high students enrolled in concurrent classes offered by the college allowing them to earn college credits while in high school.

The college is working hard on constructing a shooting range for use by Beloit High students. It will be known as the Mitchell County Trap and Skeet Range, Inc. It should be ready for use by March 14 if the weather cooperates.

– Superintendent Jeff Travis said that Beloit High has 11 students participating in the Job Shadowing program. This allows students to spend time at a job site in which he or she had interest in pursuing and student first-hand experience to learn more about a specific career.

Travis told the board that four schools have been invited to the capital to showcase their educational programs. Beloit is one of those four.

– Trace McQueen reported on the activities of student council saying they delivered Meals on Wheels as they do each month. The recent Winter Homecoming festivities were well attended and were quite successful. McQueen said that the election of officers for the 2021-22 school year will take place soon.

– Karen Niemczyk, Director of the Beloit Special Education Coop, reported that the current process of having two special education teachers traveling around the cooperative to provide services is not working.

“Our staff are running all over and spending most of the time traveling between buildings instead of spending time in the buildings with the students they serve," said Niemczyk. "They need to change their service model to place an early childhood special education teacher in every district just as they do with K-12 special education teachers."

– Brady Dean, Mitchell County Partnership for Children Director, told the board that he has submitted an Early Childhood Block Grant requesting $450,000. This will fund the MCPC programs for the 2020-21 school year.

Dean said there are six openings in the K-6 grade program and that the classrooms were cleaned top to bottom and the carpets were shampooed in an attempt to get on top of the sicknesses.

Dean announced that the Beloit Elementary School had been awarded designation as a 2020 Honorable Mention School of Character.

Dean said that a team of teachers are researching school communities. This is a mixed grade level group of 10 to 12 students that meet a few mornings a week. This has helped the kids get a relaxed start on the school day and they progress through the day with a positive mindset. He has plans to increase the number of these groupings and the monitor the progress.

– Casey Seyfert, updated the board about happenings at the high school. He said student-led parent conferences will be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Feb . 3-7 and it was School Counselors week. Seyfert commended Brennan Eilert and Stephanie Litton for doing a great job with their students and faculty.

Enrollment for the 2020-21 school year is fast approaching. Efforts are being made to educate and inform both students and parents about class choices.

FFA Week is will be observed Feb. 18 – 22. Mr. Rutledge has several activities planned for the week to recognize the FFA program.

Beloit Call

P.O. Box 309, Concordia, Ks. 66901

Phone: 785-738-3537