A trip from Sturgis High School to Spain was featured on Monday at a study session of the Sturgis Public Schools Education Council.
Amy McAllister, SHS teacher, presented the idea to the board.
Students could join the trip after their second, first or second year of high school, she said. The trip could take place as early as June 2022, but most certainly by June 2023, she said.
About 30 students are currently interested in traveling to Spain, McAllister said. Students will have had two years of study in Spanish and a GPA 3.0 or better to participate. The trip would be made by Explorica by WorldStrides.
McAllister said the two-week trip will include destinations in Madrid and southern Spain. She knows the country well, she said. She lived there for 33 years.
The benefits of travel are many, McAllister said. In addition to learning the language, the trip broadens the students’ worldview, for example, she said.
Insurance is included in the plan. Fundraising ideas, financial support and scholarships are available.
In other news, Emily Halling, a board member, had asked to change the agenda to include an overview of a board policy originally adopted in 1996 and last amended in 2018. It addresses of the district mission. As the district examines what qualities it would like a Sturgis public school graduate to have, Halling thought it might be good to revisit the policy and make changes if necessary.
Superintendent Art Ebert suggested making changes after considering community feedback to be obtained at upcoming meetings to discuss “characteristics of a Trojan horse.”
During administrative reports, Director of Finance Ray Sterling briefed the Board of Directors on a number of ongoing projects in the district. They include: Eastwood Roof, SHS Roof, Signage, HVAC, Eastwood Dishwasher, SHS Strip Tower, Whiteboards for Classes 3-12, Eastwood Flooring, SMS Tennis Courts and the Eastwood Playground.
Assistant Superintendent Nicole Gittinger spoke about a survey on mental health well-being that is sent to students. Families can opt out of the survey and there is a paper / pencil option as well, she said. A staff survey is also being launched, Gittinger said.
Ebert congratulated reunion week across the district and Amanda Langworthy and her team for their work.
During board comments, Halling wondered if there might be ways for the board to involve the community to better support students and staff. Ebert said one of the best ways people could help is to become substitute teachers.