Washington Evening Journal

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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 24, 2017

M-P board to consider dogs in schools

By Mary Zielinski | Dec 11, 2013

WELLMAN — Mid-Prairie may literally “admit” a couple of dogs to its elementary schools within the next year.

The board was asked Monday by elementary principals Bill Poock and Teresa Beenblossom to consider a therapy dog for Wellman, Washington Township and Kalona elementary schools. The dogs, obtained from Canine Assistance Rehabilitation Education and Services (CARES) of Concordia, Kan., not only could work with students but also serve a community outreach program. The animals, which cost $2,500 each, are specially trained to work with and interact with students.

Board members asked both principals to determine which of their students may be allergic to dogs or have a fear of them, with a formal decision expected in May. Waiting time for the animals ranges from 12 to 18 months.

The board Monday approved a 28E agreement with the Keota School District to share the services of M-P Superintendent Mark Schneider on a 70-30 basis, with Keota covering the 30 percent, for academic 2014-15. Last year, it was a 65-35 arrangement. Schneider’s benefit package is covered by Mid-Prairie.

In other business, the board set a special meeting for 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16, to discuss plans for an April bond issue for improvements throughout the district. A major factor is if there will be one issue or a series of alternatives on the ballot

Members also learned Monday that the district did not receive a grant from the Washington County Riverboat Foundation (WCRF) to help with a possible $7 million high school auditorium project. The district had applied for $2.5 million.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Thomas Langr | Dec 13, 2013 09:30

My son was bitten by a dog at school, through his nose, when he was in elementary school. To be fair, this was a show and tell thing held out-doors. The dog had no previous record of aggressiveness, so I would hope any such program at a school uses field-tested animals.

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