At the January meeting of the school board, the board voted to allow Prairie High School students to start a chapter of Idaho Drug Free Youth.
The district’s drug-free coordinator, LaDawn Kidd, said this would allow students the opportunity to take part in statewide events and have more scholarship opportunities. Past state director if IDFY, Amy Bartoo, was present to give board members some background on the organization and answer any questions. Mrs. Kidd reported 46 of the 52 students polled in the PHS Drug Free program were interested in joining the state organization.
IDFY is a community based drug, alcohol and tobacco prevention program that educates and supports middle and high school students. At this time only the high school students would be involved at Prairie with possible future extension to the Middle School level.
In other business the board voted to call for bids to lease a new school bus. They also approved the transfer of the depreciation funds, in the amount of $28,241, that were received from the state to the bus fund.
The board approved the policy for interscholastic activities for non-students. This would be for home-school or private school students who want to participate in Prairie school activities that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to participate in. This past year football and wrestling had some non-Prairie Schools participants. The policy spells out reimbursements.
Dave Snodgrass reported on their follow-up to the civil rights audit. They have made some changes to comply with things they were dinged for in the audit.
Stan Kress reported on the Idaho Supreme Court decision on the ISEEO lawsuit. He said he and several others have been working to come up with some proposed legislation that would help the legislature satisfy the Supreme Court’s concerns. Things they have proposed are extending the payment of bond interest to bonds that have already been passed; having a scale so that the poorest districts can get all the interest and even some of the principal paid on bonds; have a building maintenance reimbursement of 0.75% (three quarters of 1 percent) of the building value; and reduce the supermajority needed to pass a bond from 2/3 to 60%.
Most of these measures would amount to property tax relief as anything picked up by the state would come off of the property tax bill. Of course it amounts to shifting of taxes to the income, sales and other taxes levied by the state.
Snodgrass presented a set of procedure guidelines for dealing with violations of drug and alcohol activity at school or at school activities. He worked with the teachers on developing this and would like the board to look it over and then bring it back for discussion next month.
Rene’ Forsmann reported on the Power School parent access. Their Power School software has the capability for parents to access their child’s assignments, report cards and teacher comments over the Internet on a view only basis – they wouldn’t be able to change anything. It was tried out for school board members and teachers who have children in the school system. The board members who checked it out all had positive comments. Forsmann said they’re hoping to get it up and running for the start of the next school year. Concerns expressed were security and how this would affect the teachers in extra time needed to post the information in the first place.
In administrative reports Greg Deiss reported the Idaho Reading Indicator scores are looking very good so far. Nearly everyone is done taking it.
He also reported he met with people at Potlatch on a Results Based Model that is based on research of the best ways to help bring lagging students up to speed with their classmates quickly rather than descend into a never ending cycle of Individual Education Programs (IEP). This is a state mandated program and Potlatch has already been through the preliminary stages and has offered to help Prairie get it going.
He also reported they have 4 new students since the first of the year bringing them to 21 total interchanges (students moving either in or out).
Forsmann reported they will be holding hunter safety classes Jan. 31-Feb. 3 at the Middle School gym from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Cost per child is $8.
She reported the Elks’ Hoop Shoot has been held and the K.C.’s hoop shoot is coming up Jan. 26 for grades 5-8.
She reported the Mars Rover project is involving mostly 6th graders with some 5th graders. Floyd Whitley has built a Martian terrain to be used for practice.
She also reported the gym is booked solid what with junior high wrestling, volleyball and AAU teams.
She reported there are some problems developing with the bleachers. More boards are cracking and when they’re pulled out they don’t stay out. They’ve already had one couple fall.
Snodgrass reported the high school is busy with winter activities. Finals week was last week with the end of the semester on the 20th.
His facility concerns were over the heating system and the gym floor. The heating system needs some kind of thermostat system as currently many of the classrooms heat up to 85 degrees. As to the gym floor there have been problems with warping.
Deiss reported that the boys basketball team had lunch with the elementary students on the 12th and then had them at their ballgame against Grangeville. Deiss said he was very impressed with how well the Grangeville players treated the youngsters as they were packed into the same section due to the gym being packed. They planned to have the Elementary children at the girls game against Deary at the boys game against Timberline as the youngsters really enjoyed it.
The board adjourned to an executive session at 9:05 p.m.
The next meeting will be at the Middle School on Wednesday, Feb. 22. Social hour will start at 6 p.m. with the meeting to start at 7 p.m. in the library.