School safety inpection report comes back nearly clean
The school board held their January meeting Wednesday, Jan. 19 at the high school library and it was reported they had received a nearly spotless safety inspection report.
They were written up on only one item and it’s a repeat item that they are in the process of fixing: putting in more electrical outlets in the Middle School library so that they can get rid of the t-plugs and extension cords being used.
Superintendent Stan Kress said it helped that we had a new inspector who  “used common sense” rather than write up every minor thing whether it really was a safety hazard or not. The inspector did work with maintenance man Mike Kaschmitter on a checklist of things that should be done but didn’t feel they warranted being put into the safety report.
The Forest Fund monies were discussed. They received $261,316 which is about $8,000 less than last year and $16,000 less than what was budgeted. The forest fund monies have been applied toward plant facility issues.
Fall ISAT test scores were discussed and it appears Prairie schools did very well. Results for every school in the state are available on the state Dept. of Education website.
Kress reported the specifications are still being worked on for the middle school and high school heating systems and should be ready for approval by the February meeting.
The board was informed of the Idaho Supreme Court decision regarding part-time employees. This deals with sick leave. The Supreme Court decided that part-time employees should be allowed 1 day per month worked which for the local district means 9 days. Kress reported they have been offering 6 with employees able to take those 6 days as either sick leave or personal leave. In his negotiations with the employees they agreed that they’d still be able to use 6 days that way but that the extra 3 days would be available as sick leave only. The board passed a motion to approve that change.
The board also approved some changes, mostly changing “may” to “will” and one change the other way in the school handbook and suspension letters.
In other action Danette Coleman was approved as the Junior High volleyball coach although John Nida voted against it.
Also Coleman was approved to continue as a Title I aide with Dinah Frei and Sherry Holthaus approved as half-time aides. They will be paid from the REAP funds the district received and will be used mostly to help students who had difficulties with the ISAT (Idaho Standards Achievement Test).
A motion was also passed to approve changes in the insurance plan. This was discussed in December but no motion was made at that time.
A discussion on the bus service agreement with Grangeville was moved to executive session as Brit Groom saw some potential problems in the proposal from Grangeville. The superintendent review was also done in executive session and when the board reconvened to open meeting they passed a motion to offer Kress a 3-year contract as part-time superintendent.
In administrative reports Rene’ Forsmann said the Idaho Reading Indicator testing for K-3 was recently completed with results to go out with report cards. An optional ISAT will be given from Jan. 18-27.
The spelling bee will be Jan. 28 at the Elementary School with the winners to compete against the Middle School winners on Feb. 9. The top 2 from that bee will compete in the district spelling bee at Lewiston.
They are also working on a page for the Students in Print feature in the Lewiston Morning Tribune.
Dave Snodgrass reported that the 4th and 8th grades have been chosen to take the NAEP test which is the international test that is used for comparing different countries’ students. This covers reading, math and science with 3 different tests. Not all students take the same test.
Snodgrass also reported notices will be going out about an afterschool program which will help students who are not getting their homework done. The REAP money helps funs an aide who will staff this session which will start with the second semester.
He said the students were to go to Nezperce Jan. 25 for a workshop with Tribune staff for the Students in Print feature.
The Middle School Spelling Bee will be Feb. 8.
He reported that the annual hunter safety program will be held Jan. 31-Feb. 4.
Mike Bundy reported that the girls will be hosting an opening round district game at the high school Friday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. The boys game with Lapwai that evening has been moved to Feb. 14.
He reported the Department of Transportation would be doing a presentation Monday, Jan. 24 on seat belt safety with Middle School students invited to attend.
On Feb. 2 the Idaho Shakespearian Group will be here at 9 a.m.
Kress reported that the legislative session has started and Marilyn Howard and Gov. Dirk Kempthorne have presented their education budgets. The governor recommends a 3% increase with 1% increase in salaries. This isn’t much but salaries haven’t increased at all in 4 years. Howard’s recommendations were for an 8% increase and 3% in salaries.
There were 10 students in attendance at the meeting, apparently getting some last minute extra credit in government class as the semester winds down.
The board adjourned to their executive session at 8:30 p.m.
The next regular meeting will be at the Middle School Library on Wednesday, Feb. 23. The meeting is changed from the usual Monday due to the President’s Day holiday.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522



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Cottonwood, ID 83522-0157
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