The School Board had a light agenda for their December meeting Monday, Dec. 19.
In regular board action they approved changing the meeting dates for January and February to the Wednesdays following what would be the regular meeting date due to the holiday conflicts. January’s meeting will be on the 18th and February’s meeting on the 22nd.
Also the board decided to hold their January board meeting at the high school.
The school calendar for 2012-13 was on the agenda but action was tabled to January’s meeting. Parents and staff were presented 3 options to vote on with option A being by far the most popular option. In that option school would start August 29 and end on May 31 with graduation set for May 24. There would be 7 school days off for Christmas break rather than a full two weeks as has been the case the past couple of years.
The second most popular option was option C which would have school starting August 27 and ending June 5 with graduation on May 31. That option has 2 full weeks off for Christmas break.
Out of 105 votes submitted, 76 preferred Option A and 28 option C with only 1 voting for Option B.
Superintendent Rene’ Forsmann asked that action on the calendar be tabled to January as Randy Brown has a district principals meeting and she has a district superintendent’s meeting, both in early January. The concern is that with the online courses that area schools are sharing with each other to fill gaps in their staffs and also to fill upcoming state requirements for online courses, that they need to coordinate their schedule with other area schools.
In the facilities upgrade report, Forsmann reported she has a copy of the plans for the Elementary School annex from Rhonda Wemhoff. They are looking to post for bids on January 9 and open bids on January 31. The board passed a motion to set the bid opening for January 31 at 5:30 p.m.
Idaho County Commissioner Jim Chmelik was present to give the board some info on a policy proposal being developed by Idaho County along with Boundary, Clearwater, Shoshone and Valley Counties called the Idaho Community Forest Trust (ICFT).
This program, if implemented successfully, would allow the Idaho rural counties to transition away from the Secure Rural Schools Act (SRS).
The proposal is for the US Congress to designate certain federal lands (Chmelik said they are looking at 200,000 acres) within Idaho to be managed in trust for the benefit of our County governments, and revenues generated from these lands would offset county payments under the SRS. Counties would receive funding based on how much their area is of the total 5 county area. Idaho County would be looking at about 48% of the total.
They are asking Congress to approve the ICFT as a pilot project in Idaho as part of the reauthorization of the SRS. They are also asking for support, in the form of letters, from school districts and communities.
Randy Brown asked how the money generated would be apportioned. Chmelik said he would like to see it done the way the old formulas were back when the National Forests were generating the revenues, 30% to schools, 70% to county roads and bridges.
Roy Schumacher asked what happens when there’s a lawsuit to stop a timber sale. Without the federal government in charge, who will pay for the lawyers? Chmelik did not have a ready answer for that and would have to take it to the people who came up with this proposal in the first place.
In administration reports Brown said he did not have much to report at this time as there are several areas he is working on that he would share at the January meeting.
Forsmann reported that 6th grade students Jayce Huling, Anthony Karel, Sydney Bruner and Sarah Ross presented their MOSS trip experience to the County Commissioners on Nov. 22. The commissioners approved financing for the trip for next year.
The Elementary Concert was a great success with the program lasting about an hour and 15 minutes. There was some apprehension going in with 2 additional grades participating but it went well.
The board meeting adjourned at 7:50 p.m.
The next meeting will be Wednesday, January 18 at 7 p.m., likely preceded by a social hour, at Prairie Jr./Sr. High School.