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BOLD approves budget for integration planning

OLIVIA -- In preparation for voluntarily joining the West Central Integration Collaborative next year, the BOLD School Board has adopted a $20,200 planning budget.

OLIVIA -- In preparation for voluntarily joining the West Central Integration Collaborative next year, the BOLD School Board has adopted a $20,200 planning budget.

The action was taken at a meeting Monday night of the School Board.

"This is a planning year," said Superintendent Mike Funk. BOLD will become a member of the collaborative in 2007-08, he said.

The school district's number of minority students falls below the threshold that would require it to join the collaboration, which promotes and supports integration across cultures.

Nevertheless, school officials see many benefits to voluntarily joining the Integration Collaborative, Funk said.

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"We're having an increased minority population within our communities," he said.

School officials hope that by participating in the collaborative, there will be more opportunities for student and community integration, he said. Money for this year's planning budget comes from the state. Once BOLD becomes a collaborative member in the fall of 2007, the district will be able to levy $92 per pupil -- two-thirds of this in the form of state aid -- to fund integration programs and activities.

In other business Monday, the board reviewed a plan for administrative assignments for the coming school year.

The high school principal's position, which was eliminated during a round of budget reductions earlier this year, will be filled by two new positions -- a dean of students for grades 7 and 8 and a dean of students for grades 9 through 12.

The restructuring is expected to save $35,000 to $50,000 a year.

Additional administrative tasks such as teacher evaluations will be picked up by the superintendent.

Board members also reviewed options for a counselor's position which also was cut. Hiring a part-time counselor is one possibility; hiring a half-time social worker is another option. Discussion will continue at future board meetings, Funk said.

A proposal to hire a technology director, whose position will be shared two days a week with the neighboring Buffalo Lake-Hector School District, was tabled while the details continue to be worked out.

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