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Education notes: CPR added to 10th-grade curriculum

BEMIDJI — The school district here is preparing to add CPR to the curriculum in 10th-grade health to fulfill new state requirements.

The Bemidji School Board on Monday held the first reading of new policies outlining curriculum and instruction guidelines. While they generally updated previous language, the instructional curriculum is proposed to be amended to state the district will provide one-time CPR and automatic external defibrillator (AED) instruction for grades 7-12 beginning in the 2014-15 school year.

The best fit for such a change, said Kathy Palm, the district’s director of curriculum and administrative services, would be in the required sophomore health course.

That change is expected to be made by the 2014-15 school year.

Also proposed in the policy is new language stating that the district will assist its students, no later than ninth grade, in exploring their college and career interests and developing a plan for a transition into postsecondary education or employment.

Ramp-up to Readiness, a program now in place at Bemidji High School, will significantly help fulfill that requirement. The program offers different curriculum for seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen. As students consider their preferred prospective careers, they are asked to examine their requirements and consider schools that offer those programs.

Principals’ contracts

The School Board also voted Monday to support a tentative agreement with the Bemidji Principals’ Association for their 2013-15 contract.

The estimated two-year cost of the agreement is $125,940, according to the district. That includes all changes for salaries, insurances, retirement and other benefits.

Consistent with similar contract approvals for other licensed staff, principals would receive a .75 percent salary increase for 2013-14 and 3.6 percent for 2014-15.

Other changes include:

— An increase in the district match to a qualifying 403(b) plan from an annual maximum of $4,000 for 2013-14 to $4,500 for 2014-15.

— Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, $1,700 that previously was provided to principals through the Supplemental Medical Reimbursement Plan (for reimbursement of medical or dental expenses not covered under insurance plans) would instead to be added to their base salaries, thus reducing the district’s administrative and compliance burden for managing the program.