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School board gets robotics lesson

RONAN — The Ronan High School and Middle School robotics team presented their robots to a room full of interested school board members, administrators and teachers on Monday night at a Ronan-Pablo School Board Meeting.

The teams, headed by teachers Jesse Gray and Jessica Johnson, were in attendance to demonstrate the amazing capabilities of the robots. 

The middle school robots traveled the length of a wooden course and the high school robot scooped up wiffle balls only to fling them across the room, forcing some school board members to flinch in response.

“We made a good showing again this year,” Ronan High School Robotics instructor Jesse Gray said. “We would like to thank everyone for supporting us.”

Gray also showed a video of the high school team’s progress at the robotics competition in Bozeman in February. 

Johnson reported that her team continued to modify their robots even after the competition is over. 

In an effort to approve the school schedule for the following school year, the school board discussed the Jan. 3 school date. Jan. 3 is scheduled to be the first day back in school after the winter break, but also conflicts with the Salish and Kootenai Jump Dances. 

School board member Carmel Couture expressed concern that many students may miss school on this day because of the traditional Jump Dances. 

Ronan-Pablo superintendent, Andy Holmlund responded that this issue has been addressed by the administrators, and the school board unanimously approved the schedule for the 2010-2011 school year. 

Head wrestling coach Dustyn Azure requested a professional leave of absence to take three high school wrestlers to the national competition held in Virginia Beach, Va. Wrestlers Cameron Neiss and Toby Cheff qualified for the tournament by winning the state championship. Micky Cheff qualified for the tournament by taking second place. The competition is important for college recruiting and learning new techniques for both the coaches and wrestlers.

The school board approved the professional leave of absence for Azure.

The school board was also notified of changes to the Social Studies curriculum for kindergarten through grade 12. The Montana Office of Public Instruction requires that Indian education be integrated into education, which was part of the changes.

The board unanimously approved the summer feeding program which will be utilized by students involved in the Boys and Girls Club and in summer school. 

The city of Ronan approached the school board, requesting to swap adjacent plots of land. 

School board members saw this as an opportunity to build a new sport field on the land owned by the city, if the proposal is granted.

The land the city needs is located near K. William Harvey Elementary School. The city would like to build a 250,000 gallon water tank and well on that sight.

The school board approved the land swap, but agreement is contingent on the city receiving funding from government agencies for a water improvement project.  

The school board then went into an executive session for an expulsion/re-admission hearing. 

The next Ronan-Pablo School Board meeting will be held on April 12 at 7 p.m.

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