(COLIN HAFFNER/Chewelah Independent)
NEW BUSINESS: Board members talk about continued budget work with minimal disruptions…
Superintendent Rich McFarland made a pair of staff recognitions at the most recent school board meeting on April 17. McFarland first acknowledged Jennifer Mott, an assistant at Gess Elementary. Mott was commended for her hard work, support and dedication in carrying out her job at Gess. The second recognition went to Jenkins Jr./Sr. High School Athletic Director Rocky Verbeck for his years of dedicated service, leadership, loyalty and coaching. Verbeck will be leaving his role to assume a similar role in the Marysville School District.
The board then moved on to approval of the consent agenda, with a brief note that a teacher hire on the agenda was to replace a retiring teacher in the 2019-20 school year.
Reports came next. Chair Loretta Burkey spoke briefly about the board’s continuing work on how to get through the current budget issues with minimal disruptions, noting they have been working through different scenarios and how they could play out. Judy Bean reiterated the importance of getting standards training for the board scheduled. She stated they are waiting to hear back about when that can be scheduled. Other board members stated they would prefer to wait on the training as one board position remains open and three members are up for re-election soon.
The training would cost around $350-400. Lori Larsen chose to hold her comments for the old business agenda. ASB representative Lily Kirry spoke on a number of school events, including student conferences starting this week as do senior presentations. The school is working on a senior signing celebration to allow graduating seniors to announce their post-high school selections; baseball and softball are doing well and have a chance to win their conference; and the National Honor Society had an induction ceremony this past Monday.
McFarland then spoke on a small number of things. He started off by saying he attended the NHS ceremony and felt it was a wonderful event. McFarland then noted the update on the student discipline policy is awaitng some modifications from WSSDA which he said will have some substantial changes on restrictions and regulations on how to respond to some situations. McFarland then spoke about potential food service program changes, saying they are looking at ways to expand the programs to be more impactful and inclusive. The district is also trying to get a grant to expand their summer food programs, and they are trying to get more food options, including a salad bar in the high school. He asked to change the special board meeting on April 22 to one week later on April 29. That meeting will take place on the 29 at 6:30 p.m. Lastly he wanted to highlight a community meeting being held at Jenkins on vaping and how to deal with it. The meeting will be at 6 p.m. on May 6. He also mentioned another meeting held at the City Council Chambers about opioids that he felt would benefit the community. No date or time for the meeting was mentioned.
Old business had just one item on the agenda, a fourth reading of the nonresident student policy. Larson spoke at this time and said she was not a fan of the policy. After Larson shared her concerns, stating she wanted the policy to reflect the values and standards of the community, the board opted to send the policy to a fifth reading.
New business saw approval of a few items and a couple more were tabled for another meeting. The board approved the action to surplus a number of items, an overnight trip to Pullman for the FFA, a job description for the Superintendent and the nondiscrimination for school publications and public announcements notice.