The school board held their February meeting Wednesday, Feb. 23 at the Middle School library.
The dominant topic of the meeting was the treatment of the entire junior class for the actions of a few members by some of the faculty at the high school.
Dar Forsmann said it’s not fair that the innocent students were treated the way they were just because they were in the same group as the ones who had taken alcohol on the field trip.
There were also questions as to how things were handled. Principal Mike Bundy said at the time of the incident he didn’t know who was to blame and who wasn’t so his priority was to get the students loaded back onto the bus and back home and they’d deal with it here. Through his questioning and information available he said he felt very confident that he’d narrowed it down to a group of 12 students who were then given the breathalyzers by the Idaho County Sheriff’s Dept.
Board chairman John Nida said if it had been him, he’d have called the Lewiston Police Dept. and they would’ve had the parents of the students responsible come down to pick them up.
Bundy also reported that he had a staff meeting where he dealt with the matter of teachers ostracizing the entire group.
There was also some discussion about developing some kind of standard operating procedure for any future incidents.
Mrs. Forsmann also had a concern about the seeming decline of school spirit evidenced in part by the lack of cheerleaders or the band at the first district game at Troy.
Cheer adviser Debbie Schmidt said the girls would’ve had to travel on the same bus as the team and they were told the boys didn’t want them there. The band had decided not to go due to the funeral that morning and the girls usually travel with the band.
In his report Superintendent Stan Kress had bad news for the board as it appears they could be receiving about $11,000 less from the state than what they were told for budgeting. It seems the state grossly underestimated the number of classroom support units in the state this year due to much greater than anticipated growth in the Boise and Coeur d’Alene schools. Unless some other funding is found this would cost the district over $300 per support unit leading to the approximately $11,000 shortfall. If that turns out to be the case Kress said we’ll have to freeze spending.
Kress also reported that the governor’s budget has a 1% increase in teacher salaries. This is the first increase of any kind in 4 years but the legislature is still looking at ways to cut the governor’s budget.
The good news is that according to Senator Larry Craig it looks like the Craig-Wyden bill is a do-pass with no changes from the past few years. This is the forest fund money, which has meant about $260,000 per year to the district for plant facility issues over the past several years. The previous bill has one more year to go.
A first draft of the school calendar was presented. It is shown below.. The board will review it and seek input and act upon it at the next meeting.
Heather Schierman put in a request for early graduation. She will be short only the government class from having enough credits to graduate by the end of the semester and would take that by correspondence course this summer so that she can enroll at LCSC in the fall. She is already working at the hospital and wants to go into the medical field and eventually be a doctor. Bundy said that she will be able to walk with this spring’s graduates but wouldn’t receive her diploma until completing the government class. Bundy and counselor Lydia Deiss recommend approving the request. The board voted to approve.
Two cooks will be leaving at the end of the year. Lynn Sonnen is retiring and Kim Hansen is resigning. Kress said they plan to hire one person to replace the two who are leaving. They would move one cook from the elementary school to be the head cook at the Middle School where both cooks are leaving. Then hire a person to be part-time at the Elementary School for the breakfast program and then part-time at the middle school for lunch. If this plan is approved they will advertise the position. The board voted to accept the resignation and retirement and to approve the plan of action proposed.
The board also approved an emergency hire of a special education aide needed when 4 new special education students came into the district. Denise Poxleitner, who had served the district in that capacity previously was hired.
Also Justin Nuxoll and Ethan Remacle were approved as the junior high wrestling coaches with Nuxoll as head coach and Remacle as assistant. They had already been serving in this capacity.
Accreditation reports were reviewed with the Elementary School being accredited with merit for the second consecutive year.
Also the Middle School received an award for “Additional Yearly Growth” in their results on the ISAT, something very few schools received. The Elementary School might have achieved something similar except it’s hard to grow when you’re already at 100%.
Kress stated that he feels our district compares very favorably with any other district in the state.
Kress reported the specs for the Middle School and High School heating projects should be ready by the end of the week.
The bus service agreement form with the Grangeville School District was approved.
In administrative reports Rene’ Forsmann reported the 4th graders visited the fish hatchery at Ahsahka and came backw tih 400 salmon eggs for a repeat of the project they had last year.
The Jazz Festival Choir made up of Elementary and Middle School students performed for the student body on Friday, Feb. 18.
She also reported that the district was approved for a $40,000 grant from Albertson’s to purchase a new student management system. Albertson’s attempted to get a statewide system into place but that wound up being much more expensive than they thought so that was scrapped. The previous system the district used wasn’t being supported by the software providers anymore.
Dave Snodgrass reported that they took the 8th grade to the courthouse on the 28th.
Missoula Children’s Theatre is coming the first week in March.
He reported they had 18 wrestlers and 40 volleyball players. 27 of the volleyball players are from the 8th grade. He expects around 40 to be out for junior high track.
Snodgrass said that PLATO is up and running with about 30 students using it. Most are using it to improve their ISAT scores while a couple are using the software to help them catch up with their classmates.
He said the fire alarm system worked When they had the fire awhile back it went off and the children were safe within minutes. He said he feels the fire wasn’t going for more than 30 or 40 seconds when the alarms sounded. Cause of the fire is still being investigated.
Bundy reported that winter sports are wrapping up with spring sports starting at the end of the week.
He reported Ryan Osterbuhr is on track for early graduation.
The next regular meeting of the board will be Monday, March 21 at the Elementary School library.
Proposed school calendar
Following is the proposed school calendar for 2005-06:
Aug. 25-New teachers report
Aug. 26-29-Teacher in-service
Aug. 30-School starts
Sept. 5-Labor Day, no school
Oct. 6-7-Teacher Institute Days, no school
Oct. 28-End of first quarter, 41 days taught, regular school day
Oct. 31-Early out, 1:45 p.m., staff development
Nov. 3-Early out, 1:45 p.m., parent-teacher conferences
Nov. 4-No school, parent-teacher conferences.
Nov. 23-Early out, 1:45 p.m., Thanksgiving break
Nov. 24-25-Thanksgiving break, no school
Dec. 21-Early out, 1:45 p.m., Winter break
Dec. 22-Jan. 1-Winter break, no school
Jan. 2-School resumes
Jan. 16-No school, Martin Luther King day
Jan. 20-End of first semester, 90 days taught, regular school day.
Feb. 20-No school, President’s Day
March 24-End of third quarter, 134 days taught, regular school day
Mar. 27-Apr. 1-Spring break, no school
April 3-Early out, 1:45 p.m., staff development day
April 6-Early out, 1:45 p.m., parent-teacher conferences
April 7-Early out, 1:45 p.m., parent-teacher conferences
April 14-Early out, 1:45 p.m., Good Friday
May 26-High School Graduation Ceremony
May 29-No school, Memorial Day
June 2-Last day of classes-178 days taught, early out, 1:45 p.m.
There will be some other early out days for teacher prep time and staff development.
Contact your school board representative or the district office with your input.