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SRVS Advisory Board meetings
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Little Snake River Valley School Advisory Board Minutes
***DRAFT until Board approved*** Minutes compiled by Tomi Sue Wille
(These are unofficial minutes. Official minutes, kept by the secretary, will be approved at the next board meeting)
The Advisory Board meeting on March 16, 2015, was called to order by Chairman Todd Skalberg at 4:14 p.m. The agenda was approved after the addition of the advisory board scholarship application. The next Advisory Board meeting will be on April 30 (4:15 in the school library), to coincide with the school board meeting which will be held in LSRV.
Those present included board members: Skalberg, Corson, and Criswell, as well as Principal Joel Thomas.
Others in attendance included: Janet Herold, Christy Stocks, Ben Cozzens, Patty Waldron, and Tomi Sue Wille.
The minutes of the last meeting were approved. The motion was made by Corson and seconded by Criswell.
Principal's Report: Enrollment is 168 students. The attendance percentage through March 1, 2014 was 96.5 percent, and by March 1, 2015, it was up to 96.6 percent. PAWS reading tests have been completed. The test is harder than in the past, as it is now fully common core aligned. Principal Thomas said, “We feel like we have the tools needed to get kids to where they need to be.” The elementary is reviewing upgrading the reading curriculum from the 2007 version to the 2013 version to be aligned to common core. Changes are being made to the middle and high school schedule, which are proving to be difficult. “We are increasing both the amount of math and language arts time and working new teachers into our schedule. There will be a pre-algebra class for 8th graders who are not yet ready for algebra; so students at that grade level could take 8th grade math, pre-algebra, or algebra. We have applied to become an AP school, which will give students more options for college credit,” Thomas explained.
Norm and Deb Yoast, who live in Craig, have been hired as new middle school teachers. Norm was hired as science; and Deb as math. “We are very pleased to have been able to hire them and are excited for them to join our team. Four outstanding applicants for the music teacher position will be interviewed on March 20,” Thomas said.
Thomas also said he is confident there will be pay increases for teachers due to the cost adjustment approved by the state legislature.
School Board Report: none
Superintendent's Report: none
Technology Report: Thomas said the state recommends 200 kb/student, and the school now has 114. It would cost $11,000 per year to make the changes to increase the bandwidth available to have 200 kb/student. Right now the majority of the internet costs are covered by the state.
Old Business: School district attorney, Cooper, recommended that the unit school agreement be dissolved because the current district policies and state statutes cover the intentions of the agreement. The advisory board has not yet discussed his recommendation or made any decisions. The recommendation was passed around for the audience to read. The advisory board members and the audience members held a discussion concerning the pros and cons of dissolving the agreement, including: the purpose of the agreement, that it protects the autonomy of the school, that it provides an avenue for local control when there is no guarantee of school board representation from the Valley, that the school currently has a strong working relationship with the school board and central office, but that can change, that the school board already follows the minutes of the advisory board and is aware of issues that affect LSRVS, that the unit school agreement was something community members worked hard to get in the first place, that is ensures the principal has a role in the budget process, that the principle already has control over the school's budget, and that it's hard to see how the agreement has protected the school or that it is needed. Following the discussion, the board decided to take a close look at the agreement prior to the next meeting so they can compare the outcomes of dissolving the agreement to not dissolving the agreement. Thomas said he can answer any questions about current district policy that board members have.
New Business: Concerns have been expressed with middle school student involvement on a hiring committee. Thomas said a middle school student had limited involvement on the committee which interviewed candidates for the middle school math and science positions. The student was not involved in any confidential discussion or final decision. The main objective of student involvement is to be able to observe the interactions of the candidates with the student. The district's human resource department approved of the process ahead of time.
The advisory board approved the scholarship application. It will be due April 16. The board will have time to review applications prior to next meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:15 pm. The motion was made by Corson and seconded by Criswell.