The school board held their February meeting last Tuesday, Feb. 17 at Prairie Middle School.
Jeff Martin was approved for hire as the new head softball coach replacing Travis Mader who had resigned. Martin previously coached at Culdesac leading them to two state championships.
Buying a new bus was discussed. Dave Remacle reported they have one bus coming off the depreciation schedule. They are trying to get back to buying one new bus per year as that would keep their fleet on depreciation. Once off depreciation they get nothing back from the state for that bus. After discussion they will ask for prices on both 59 and 74 passenger buses. The larger bus would be helpful for boys and girls JV-V quads at the same school on the same date. Remacle said the drawback is that to get reimbursement from the state the bus has to run a route at least a certain percentage of the time and all their routes have turnarounds that wouldn’t suit such a large bus.
Fall Idaho Reading Indicator results were reviewed. Overall Prairie students did extremely well although there was some concern at the 1st grade level.
There wasn’t much discussion about the budget as they are waiting for numbers from the state and they won’t get those until late March. Superintendent Gary Blaz stated that regardless of what comes from the state “we have an enrollment problem to deal with. Enrollment dictates how we approach problems.” He also went on to say he doesn’t want to see the district putting forest funds into the main budget as they are “soft money” and you never know when they’ll get cut off. Case in point is the last couple of years when they were a very late addition to the federal budget.
Using private vehicles for school transportation was discussed. Blaz recommended leaving reimbursement rates up to the discretion of the clerk since these costs seem to be changing all the time. This will be discussed further at the next meeting as this was just a first reading of the policy.
In administrative reports Rene’ Forsmann reported the Middle School had a successful ski day at the Butte. They also hosted a successful wrestling tournament with 7 schools participating. A couple weeks later they won a the tournament at Grangeville.
Hunter education was held Jan. 26-30 for 6th grade students.
On Feb. 13 all junior high students with passing grades attended a GEAR UP sponsored tour of the University of Idaho.
On Feb. 20 junior high students were to participate in a wellness day as part of the drug free program. 7 different stations were set up for students to take part in.
On Feb. 28 they will sponsor a volleyball tournament with 12 8th grade and 12 7th grade teams participating. They will be using all 3 gyms. This tournament has been a fundraiser for high school volleyball with high school players helping to take gates, officiate, run concessions and sometimes even help coach. All three high school coaches will also be helping.
Finally they received notice that Tandy Savage received a $1,000 Governor Grant for a greenhouse project.
Todd Shumway reported on high school sports. Wrestling District was Feb. 21 with state at Pocatello Feb. 27-28.
The boys basketball team was named 1A Div. 1 Academic State Champions. One can hope they’ll be in uniform to accept the trophy when it’s presented at the state championship game.
All the winter sports teams have had lunches with the elementary students with a lot of positive feedback from the elementary staff.
The National Guard will be going to work on the sports complex June 1-14. A preconstruction tour will be held in May for National Guard officers, board members and the Cottonwood City Council and Mayor.
In club news the Business Professionals of America qualified 4 students for State BPA set for March 12-14 at Boise.
Knowledge Bowl hosted a meet on Feb. 2 with 25 teams in attendance. District competition was at the U of I on Feb. 19.
TSA state is March 12-14 at Rexburg. HOSA state is April 8-10 at boise.
The Band/Choir will be participating in the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival at the U of I on Feb. 27-28.
9th and 11th graders joined the junior high students at the GEAR UP sponsored day at the U of I.
Open gyms are scheduled for some Fridays through March.
Saturday Schools have also been scheduled for students who have been notified that they have exceeded their allowed absences for last semester.
Blaz reported the preliminary biomass heating assessment has been done. They may want to look at working with the Monastery on a central plant between them and the high school.
He has done some budget research about the stimulus dollars vs. state dollars but is not sure yet where we’re going on that.
He has met with union leaders about possible cuts and is striving to keep the rumors down and morale up.
At the elementary school level he is meeting with staff on curriculum.
Attendance assemblies have been held with attendance very good at elementary level.
He is also working on the upcoming appreciation barbecue for NICI. It went very well last year and he would like to see it continue.
The board adjourned to an executive session at 8:10 p.m. The next regular meeting of the board will be Monday March 16 at the high school library.