June 19, 2019

Nokomis computer labs give board peek at future> SAD 48 panel learns of goals for ideal community

NEWPORT — SAD 48 board members got a contrasting view of the high school of the 1990s Tuesday with two program reports from Nokomis Regional High School.

Directors were treated to a “field trip” to the school’s new computer labs, one of which was completed just 10 minutes before the meeting. Aided by a recent bond issue, the school has a new enlarged computer lab, and a new 16-station, computer-aided-drafting lab linked with the school’s library and business department. According to instructor Bob Bradford, the addition of hardware and software will serve the school’s needs far into the future and provide local students a new level of computer competency.

Superintendent William Braun and St. Albans Principal Ted Boyce also discussed a new networking project under way at the St. Albans Elementary School to tie computers there together. Braun explained the Nokomis labs and the St. Albans system will not only begin the process of computer networking for the district, but also provide space for training the district staff to better serve students in computer use.

Students participating in the Tuesday night meeting provided an idealistic and a realistic view of the district. While setting their sights on an idealistic community 20 years in the future, the new Youth League Program of 18 sophomores outlined the realistic view of drug and alcohol use at the rural high school.

The Youth League participants took leadership training during the summer with volunteer advisers Julie Richard and Kent Higgins, Nokomis faculty members. As part of that training, the group designed goals for the ideal community of 2015. They envisioned a community of prosperity without poverty, of harmony and peace without terminal disease, racism or discrimination.

The ultimate goal of their program is to design a community service project for the second half of the year to work toward their ideal. Finding out how to make an impact on their environment called for a survey of Nokomis students. The project was an eye-opener for many individuals.

The survey focused on discrimination issues and drug and alcohol use. While they were aware students at Nokomis use both drugs and alcohol, participants couldn’t put a specific percentage on use. But they believe at least half of the students have experimented with both.

The most frightening result, however, according to Youth League member Joseph Adams, was not use of drugs or alcohol, but the words of one student.

“Two words summed it up,” he said. “At the bottom of that survey, it simply said, `I’m scared.”‘

Principal Lyford Beverage said the Nokomis staff is receiving training for a greater awareness of drug- and alcohol-related behavior. Braun also said the schools are looking to work with SAD 48 towns to extend the safety net of the school environment beyond school walls.

The board meeting concluded with an executive session for an expulsion hearing for a Nokomis junior for disciplinary problems. Another closed session was planned on a personnel matter.

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