Members of the Scottsbluff Public Schools Board of Education approved two partnerships that students can take advantage of physically and academically during its meeting Monday.
Executive director of finance Marianne Carlson presented a memo to the board outlining the district’s desire to continue its partnership with the YMCA for a pilot program with sixth graders receiving a monthly membership to the Y. The purposes are to engage youth in physical fitness and social responsibility ; minimize negative behavior impact of unattended youth at Y facilities; encourage middle school students to perform academically at school and exhibit good behavior at their school and at the Y; and further develop the district’s relationship with the Y.
“Last January, we came to the board and asked for permission to do a partnership with the YMCA for our sixth graders at the Bluffs Middle School,” Carlson said.
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The program was piloted in February 2022 for the spring semester with a lower interest than the district had hoped for, likely because it rolled out in the spring, Carlson said.
“Our goal is to roll it out at the start of the school year, hopefully, to gain more interest for our sixth graders,” she told the board.
Bluffs Middle School will provide a list of students not eligible to attend the Y that week as it pertains to academic standards, eligibility policy or discipline. However, the reason for ineligibility will not be specified.
Student membership is $20 monthly, with the Y’s responsibility of $10 and the district’s responsibility of $5. The student would be responsible for $5. If a student qualifies for free-reduced meals, the family can apply for a fee waiver and the district will be responsible to cover the student portion, bringing the district’s cost to $10 a month for the student.
School board president Ruth Kozal asked if the opportunity could be marketed to families and students during the Bearcat Bash or during orientation to boost participation.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for our sixth graders,” Kozal said. “It’s very generous for the Y to do that.”
The district anticipates around 260 sixth grade students will take advantage of the opportunity. The estimated cost to the district for the school year is $18,000, which would be fully funded with the ESSER III funds.
The program would begin Sept. 1 through May 31, 2023.
The board unanimously approved the partnership.
The board also took action to approve a dual-credit option with Beauty Haus Academy LLC. Within a memorandum of understanding submitted to the board, Scottsbluff Public Schools entered into an agreement for dual-credit enrollment, providing high school students the opportunity to obtain post-secondary credits toward a cosmetology licensure. Scottsbluff High School principal Justin Shaddick told the board the contract is with Beauty Haus since Fullen School of Hair and Design is transitioning ownership and there was not clear detail on the direction they are moving.
Shaddick and Superintendent Andrew Dick toured the Beauty Haus facility in Gering and reviewed the curriculum and instruction.
“We were very impressed by their delivery model, but that came with an increased cost,” Shaddick said. “To be honest, I wasn’t sure how Fullen was about to sustain the cost they were charging our students.”
Fullen’s contract charges students $2.25 per credit hour. Students will be registered students at BHA, but the district will pay the tuition at a rate of $3.50 per instructional hour, not to exceed 1,800 hours for the 2022-23 school year.
“With that we wanted to honor our seniors – junior students who started the program,” Shaddick said. “We had four students who wanted to complete the program so by honoring them, in this contract we are willing to pay those seniors so they can finish out.”
For the 2023-24 and subsequent school years, the hours cannot exceed 300 and the tuition rate will be renegotiated. Scottsbluff High School seniors will be eligible to enroll in the college freshman cosmetology course and will be responsible for course-related fees and materials. The course will be taught at SHS by a Beauty Haus instructor.
“I think that opens the door where our students who want to pursue cosmetology, they’ve got 300 hours that is transferrable credit and it just gives them an idea that this is something I want to pursue after I graduate from high school,” he said.
As per the agreement, the parties will submit an addendum to the contract, giving a description of the course and curriculum details, the name of the instructor who earned a cosmetology instructor permit and attained a Nebraska Department of Education Career Education teaching certificate and the date , time and location of the instruction. If Beauty Haus obtains accreditation, that opens more opportunities for further partnerships and financial aid.
Families are encouraged to contact a school counselor or cosmetology school with questions about transfer credits for the course.
The board approved the dual credit opportunity.