School Board meets
The school board held their April meeting Monday, April 18 and announced 3 new hires.
Amber Nuxoll was approved for hire as a part-time cook.
Elaine Kennedy was approved for hire as the school nurse.
Brittny Stewart was approved for hire as the new 6th grade teacher.
Don Currey’s resignation as the ag teacher was approved.
The board approved transfer of the bus depreciation of $24,250 to the transportation budget.
The board also approved the track maintenance transfer of $5,000 from the general fund to the track budget.
Both transfer were budgeted items but still had to be officially approved.
Superintendent Jon Rehder went over the Return to School Plan update and it was approved by the board.
In the administrative reports there was lengthy discussion on the attendance policy in Matt Elven’s report. He said he has sent out 44 letters this semester to students who already have at least 5 unexcused absences. They are at risk of going over the state 90% attendance rule which allows for 9 absences.
They have a Saturday school scheduled for May 28 to help students with credit recovery. The problem with that is that they had 2 students that attended Saturday school the first semester that have yet to pay for it. Elven said attendance is always an issue but has become more of a problem since COVID-19 closed in-school classes. Students got used to not coming to school. He is putting this out there to the board and is looking into revising policy before the next school year and asked for their input.
In the rest of his report he noted they had 34 successful donors at the March 29 blood drive which earned the school another $2,000 STEM grant from Vitalant.
Parent/teacher conferences had 41 parents attending.
New this year was a Spring Fling where the student council put on a dress up week leading up to Spring Break. They also held a talent show that went over well.
The Knowledge Bowl team finished their year with a second place finish at Grangeville. After points for the season were totaled, Prairie was the league champions for the second straight year. Kudos to Mrs. Duclos and the team for their hard work during the year.
ISAT testing is taking place all month.
The State HOSA conference was held with 7 Prairie students attending and all doing very well in the competitions.
Another item that saw some discussion was a book Mr. Young would like to add for English IV. It is contemporary literature that his students would be able to relate to better than the usual classics but has some subject matter that could be considered controversial. Elven said he told Young he would like to read it first before making his recommendation.
In upcoming events Elven noted Prom is set for May 7.
District softball, baseball and track will be May 10-14. State softball, baseball and track are set for May 19-21.
Jon Rehder in his Elementary Principal report said they had 95% attendance at parent/teacher conferences.
He purchased a new ball rack for the playground areas to keep balls outside that are wet so they aren’t dripping on the tile floors and ruining the wax. They plan to keep the balls outside and padlock them at night.
ISAT testing at the Elementary will take place the end of April into early May for 3rd through 6th graders.
In his facilities report Rehder said he is looking into purchasing a storage container to put near the auxiliary gym to store all the wrestling mats plus other items. The plan is to split the costs with the Cottonwood Youth Wrestling Club. It would keep all the mats near the gym where they will be used. The wrestling club had been storing theirs in a container on nearby property that has recently been sold. Total cost of a container is $7,000 with the Wrestling Club and the District each paying half.
They had a load of gravel delivered to fill in soft spots around the district.
They are still waiting for parts to be delivered for the new cameras. It looks like June before they will be installed.
The proposed gym foyer expansion/restrooms at the high school gym will start the bidding process soon. They are looking at a Fall 2023 completion.
Carpet tiles have been delivered and will be installed in June.
New water pipes have been installed at the elementary school and will be air tested before water is turned on.
Removing the old water heaters will be done this summer. They are looking at going with single phase units for the new ones as they are much less expensive than going with 3-phase like the current ones.
In his superintendent report Rehder said he will be putting a levy information letter in the Chronicle on May 4 and/or 11.
A bus accident with a Jeep Cherokee happened on April 14. The 29 children on the bus and the driver were okay. One of the 2 occupants in the Jeep was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
It look like a shot clock will be added for Idaho high school basketball by either the 2023-24 or 2024-25 season. Rehder said issues with this is the cost of the shot clocks plus you have to have a person to run just the shot clock. He said he would look into ordering the equipment for the high school gym only. He would like to get the clocks ordered ahead of time so they would be here when needed.
He said it appears more and more likely they will go with the state insurance plan. Especially when their current insurance carrier is proposing a 9% rate increase when they budgeted for just 3%.
The meeting adjourned at 8:27 p.m. The next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 16 at 7 p.m.