Cody Juffer, along with the math and English departments, appealed to the Dakota Valley School Board Feb. 8 to hire two full-time employees (FTE) for the 2021-22 school year. With the incoming eighth grade class numbers, the high school is projected to be at 450 students, an increase of 44-50 students.

“Currently, we have three high school math teachers and three English teachers with an additional teacher who is half social studies and half English,” Juffer said. “This large enrollment could potentially place each math teacher with 150 students each if we’re able to adequately balance numbers, which is often difficult or impossible to do, due to limited scheduling options.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jerry Rasmussen said if they waited until May to approve another math teacher for the beginning of the 2021 school year, they would have limited options due to shortages of teachers in that particular subject. The board approved the hiring of two FTE for the high school with subjects to be determined at the discretion of Rasmussen and High School Principal Erik Sommervold. (The subjects will be determined for areas in need as students choose next year’s classes.)

The school board looked at two facility-use requests – one from Wynstone Homeowner Association and the other from ARK United Methodist Church. Every year, the Wynstone Homeowners Association holds its annual meeting in March at the Dakota Valley School for about three hours. A date wasn’t mentioned in the request, just to utilize the performing arts center from 6 to 9 p.m. The board approved the request.

A second request from ARK UMC was denied. They had requested utilizing the facility on Sundays for their services. The board’s reasoning was two-fold. First, they didn’t have enough specifics for the request and second, they were concerned with having multiple people in the school every week outside of the normal due to COVID-19. They directed Rasmussen to get more information and bring it back to the board in May after students leave the building.

See full story in this week’s Dakota Dunes / North Sioux City Times.