The school board held their regular December meeting Monday, Dec. 19.
The board decided to rotate their next three meetings among the school buildings. They also decided to move the January and February meeting dates as the normal meeting dates fall on holidays.
The January meeting will be Wednesday, Jan. 18 at the Elementary School. The February meeting will be Wednesday, Feb. 22 at the Middle School and the March meeting will be Monday, March 20 at the High School. There will be a social hour for board members to meet with that building’s teachers prior to each meeting.
The board also approved some changes to the insurance plan. They are building enough cash up in the account that they were able to offer 5% reduction in premiums to the teachers and district and still should be able to offer at least one if not two insurance holidays as they are doing this month. They also raised the district’s deductible on the policy from $2,000 to $5,000 which will save on premium costs to the district. This wouldn’t change the deductible to the employees as the district has been using the insurance buy-back fund to cover the deductible from $300 up to the insured deductible. Superintendent Stan Kress reported 10 employees last year and 11 this year exceeded the $2,000. The plan has proved to be highly successful in saving both the employees and the district money on medical insurance costs.
Kress and John Nida reported on the public meeting in Lewiston about the proposed new graduation standards. They reported out of 200 or so people attending 70 spoke and all but one were against many of the new standards. The public input appears to have fallen on deaf ears though as the State Board of Education has proceeded with little or no changes. Kress feels the 4-year math requirement would lead to higher dropout rates around the state which is counter to their stated goals.
A policy on extracurricular expenses for students being home-schooled or attending private school in the district was tentatively approved. Costs of $100 for football, $60 for other high school sports and $30 for other middle school sports was approved. Roy Schumacher also suggested that these fees be paid before the students would be allowed to participate. That was also approved by the board.
Kress will finalize the policy with those changes and present it to the board at the next meeting.
Apparently there have been some problems with truancy in all three schools. Kress handed out copies of the new state law on truancy and asked that it be incorporated into the policy manual. The law provides for an authorized representative of the board to act as a truant officer. Charges could be filed against the student’s parents with the county prosecuting attorney.
The board approved adding this to the policy with Kress acting as their authorized representative. The students in question were to be discussed during executive session where the board would make recommendations on what action to take.
Justin Nuxoll and Ethan Remacle were approved as junior high wrestling coaches. $1500 has been budgeted for their salaries which they would split evenly.
Della Gehring asked for discussion on public involvement in the long range planning as well as current issues. She was concerned about how more involvement could be made. Kress commented that you get a lot of parental involvement at the Elementary level and less and less as the children get older. Mostly because the children themselves don’t want their parents around at the middle and high school levels. The board wants parents and patrons to know that they are willing to listen to concerns.
In another matter the board approved using a new evaluation form for classified and para-professional personnel. Kress said the form Bob Smith uses for special ed. personnel was much better than what they had been using and asked the board to approve its use for other personnel.
In administrative reports Greg Deiss reported they have had a lot of moving in and out at the Elementary School. There have been 17 children moving either in or out with a net gain of 1 in enrollment.
He reported they would be holding the Idaho Reading Indicator in January.
He also reported he has been working with Potlatch on the computer program that helps children that have fallen behind to catch up with their schoolmates.
Rene’ Forsmann reported that they had good attendance at the Middle School concert. Also very well attended was the Jr. High Knowledge Bowl that was held at the high school.
She also reported that Judy Forsman and Lydia Deiss attended a workshop on the attendance software. There is some training left on the parent-connect portion. Funding for the training is provided by an Albertson’s Foundation grant.
She reported Cody Tillinghast was the statewide winner of an art contest. His picture was chosen from among 800 entrants and has been printed on Marilyn Howard’s Christmas cards. Cody was informed of his win at a school assembly last Thursday.
She also reported they had a drug awareness training with the staff.
The school also had Fr. Camillus in for a report on Christmas in Africa. He then stayed for lunch and his visit was much enjoyed by the students.
Dave Snodgrass reported they have had lots of basketball. He also reported his staff attended the drug education workshop as well. He felt they didn’t address well enough how to recognize those using drugs.
The high school concert was held on the 14th and he was particularly impressed by the jazz band portion of the concert.
The board adjourned to an executive session at 8:30 p.m.
The next meeting will be in the Elementary School library on Wednesday, January 18.