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July 19, 2019

6/20/2019 11:24:00 AM
Iowa-Grant Approves Trap Shooting Team and Therapy Dog

By Carley Rider

At their regular meeting Monday, June 10 the Iowa-Grant school board approved a clay target/trap shooting team along with a therapy dog for the district.
The board also dealt with two resignations and one received contract.
In the first section of new business, the school board approved the a trap shooting team. Brad Lindner along with Russ Messling of Tri-County Archers presented to the board the idea of creating a trap shooting team. Prior to the approval of the team the board learned students interested in being on a team would travel to Jonesdale. It would cost one student around $15 per week to shoot, totalling around $225 for an entire season with a minor expense if the student were to participate in the state championship.
"Many area businesses are willing to sponsor the team" Messling stated.
As of the meeting, Messling alone had raised $600 for shells and clay birds. It was also requested that the board allow students participating the chance to letter in trap shooting, the same as the school's other sports. Lettering in trap shooting follows the same set of guidelines across all teams. To be eligible to participate in trap shooting, students would follow the code of conduct.
Both Messling and Lindner believe that this would be a great opportunity for Iowa-Grant students, considering the success and turnout of Dodgeville's team- this season they had 58 students participate and competed at the state competition. With the approval of the team, there would be no liability to the school district. Students interested in being on the team must have taken and passed appropriate hunter safety courses. The team would consist of 6th through 12th graders, both boys and girls competing together. Recent figures show 10 to 12 students interested in being a part of the team.
The board also approved for the use of a therapy dog in the schools. Britany Lynch and Kris Liddicoat, both elementary teachers at Iowa-Grant, presented this to the board. Lynch and Liddicoat expressed the benefits therapy dogs have proven to have in the classroom. Some benefits include, increasing self-esteem, reducing anxiety, helping students to become more empathetic, and with adults, therapy dogs have proven to reduce blood pressure.
Currently, there are only two students on record within the district that have dog allergies. Both Mineral Point and Hillsboro school districts have therapy dogs and have provided positive feedback. In having a support dog on school grounds, Mineral Point had student's parents sign a consent form in the beginning of the year, allowing or not allowing their students to have contact with the therapy dog. Britany would like to see Iowa-Grant also do this so parents are made aware. No student would be forced to be around or come into contact with the therapy dog. Classrooms are the students' space and if a student or group of students do not want to be around the dog, they would not be removed from the classroom.
In concerns of legal liabilities, Britany mentioned her $300,000 liability policy were she to have the dog. She could increase that.
Superintendent Stephanie Hubbard stated that "The school insurance will cover us having a dog, but they recommend that we require the handler to also show proof of insurance."
The dog would not be the school's dog, but the handler's. The handler would also be faced with all grooming and veterinary expenses but the district could help with expenses.
The board also approved the contract agreement, and a payment plan recommendation from the business manager, regarding the decision of Iowa-Grant hiring NEOLA to update it's policies.
An update on the gym was also given. The bleachers were almost completely removed, allowing for the beginning of the floor removal to start within the next two weeks. With the removal of the flooring, the building and grounds committee hopes to have the panther emblems removed and bid on. There is potential for the "I-G" in the middle to also be removed although that would be more challenging. The board will allow for other boards to be taken at no expense, but would accept donations in return. The amount of boards per individual will be further discussed as the floor is removed.
An overnight wrestling tournament for June 24 through the 27 was approved. Expenses to be covered by wrestling club and wrestlers.
The board discussed and approved WIAA 2019-2020 membership renewal and adding track and field for both boys and girls.
On the June 24 meeting the board will cover insurance renewals and goal setting.

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