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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)
April 30 Advisory Board Minutes
The Advisory Board meeting on April 30, 2015, was called to order by Chairman Todd Skalberg at 4:14 p.m. The agenda was approved.
The next Advisory Board meeting was unannounced.
Those present included board members: Todd Skalberg, Jack Corson (via phone) and Jenny Criswell, school district attorney John Cooker, as well as Principal Joel Thomas.
Others in attendance included: Janet Herold, Cindy Cobb, Marci Cozzens, Brian and Meghan Lally, Susan Leonhardt, Tom Grieve, Michelle and Keith Duncan, Jamie Litvinoff, Brenda Updike, Josh Cozzens, Celia Corson, Angeli Skalberg, Nikole Maxson, Lynette Risner, Danielle McKee, Darcy Kaisler, Julia Johnson, and Tomi Sue Wille.
The minutes of the last meeting were approved. The motion was made by Criswell and seconded by Corson.
Principal's Report: The ACT test was this week. The school goal for this class of juniors is a 21 average. They completed a practice test in a controlled environment prior to the test and went over corrections to better prepare students. Staff is currently planning for next year with using student data and discussing the possibility of retention of some students. The Principal is also having discussions with parents of preschool students regarding kindergarten readiness. Decisions regarding retention will be made in the best interest of kids with involvement of all parties. The school is still advertising for the music teacher position. The FFA banquet will be May 7, and our chapter recently won the number one chapter in the state award. Everyone invited to the banquet.
The attendance average is at 95.4. This month it was under 93 percent, and this month saw the most sick people yet. Kids who come to school to fevers are sent home. Joel will work with the clinic to predict ways to prevent the spread of sickness, and will do better of educating parents regarding when sickness is going around. The school does not want sick kids or sick teachers here, but part of the problem is the lack of subs. If our attendance falls below 95 percent it will affect the ability to spend time on any fun activities or out of classroom activities. One of the best improvements to our attendance is the new rule of asking that kids miss no more than half a day when going to Craig for appointments.
School Board Report: none
Superintendent's Report: Fletcher Turcato said LSRV is doing very well and has a unique culture that he would like to see spread throughout the district. “The philosophy of social promotion to the next grade regardless of student performance hurts kids, and we will not do it in Carbon One,” he said. “We will not allow students to advance grades when they are not ready for the next grade.” Turcato will support the principal and teacher's recommendations for what is best for students. Turcato said we push attendance because of the need for kids to be in school in order to learn, however, when kids are sick, they need to stay home to get better. Baggs is exceeding the district goal and the national average for attendance. State statute supports the county attorney getting involved when students are missing a large number of school days. Turcato also said LSRV data will be held separately from the rest of CCSD #1. LSRV will be compared to other K-12 schools. ACT, attendance, PAWS, MAPS will be used to compare these schools. However, when it comes to state-wide and nation-wide evaluations through AdvancEd (which used to be the NCA Evaluation), the data for the whole district will be compiled. Statewide, the combined CCSD #1 data (LSRV and Rawlins both) ranks us very low in the state. Competition between LSRV high school and Rawlins high school can be positive and motivational, but it should also be a tool to hold LSRV accountable for their data. A STEM-lab will be put into LSRV, with 16 new computers will being installed in the library for kids to learn coding and engineering. He congratulated the FFA chapter and talked about the respect he hears from around the state about our school.
Technology Report: LSRV is preparing to rewire the library. Science teachers Norm Yoast and Dan Cheatham will attend a STEM training to prepare.
Old Business: School district attorney, Mr. Cuker, recommended in a letter at the last advisory board meeting that the unit school agreement be dissolved because the current district policies and state statutes cover the intentions of the agreement. The Advisory Board decided to do research since the last meeting regarding whether to retain or dissolve the unit school agreement.
Attorney Cuker explained that some of the state statutes referenced in the agreement were repealed in 1997, but the Wyoming Legislature kept the school advisory board statutes which provides for the board's existence, for the minutes to be read at school board meetings, and for grievances and recommendations to be given to the school board. “Folks in outlying areas have an opportunity to be heard and represented,” he said. There is no such thing as a unit school according to Wyoming law at this time, according to Cuker, and he is concerned that the current “agreement” does not match existing law. His legal advice is to dissolve the agreement then come up with a new one if desired, but state statutes already govern Advisory Boards. He also said that according to law, “we will begin reading the LSRV advisory board minutes at each school board meeting.”
A lengthy audience and advisory board discussion ensued with the following points: The current Unit School Agreement was adopted in May 12, 1988. State statutes were revised in 1997, and they specifically define the role of school advisory boards now. Meetings held, elections held, minutes kept and read at the school board meetings, and a school board member can serve as an ex-officio, non-voting, member of the Advisory Board. The current agreement is not binding and will not be recognized legally. The Advisory Board is governed by state statute now. However, the current unit school agreement, on page 20, notes a legal opinion of the state department of education and no one can answer what this legal opinion is.
It's important to have the outline of the job of the advisory board and understand the concept under which the agreement was created. Even if we currently have a great relationship with the school board and the district administration that has not always been the case. A written agreement will provide better protections for the community since there is no guarantee of representation on the school board. Concern was voiced that some written agreement should be put into place, such as a memorandum of understanding, which is legally binding, prior to dissolving the unit school agreement. It was suggested to just keep the parts of the unit agreement that are not obsolete by revised state law, however, if it's not a legally binding document it has no purpose.
Chairman Skalberg summarized the discussion with these points: “We need to review creating a MOU to further clarify the role of the advisory board within state statute, we need to find more info on the legal opinion of the state department of education on page 20 (1b) of the original document, we need Attorney Cuker to redline the obsolete parts of the current unit school agreement which are no longer valid, we need to see if any past action has been taken by former school board members regarding this agreement.
Jack Corson moved to establish an MOU to outline operating procedures between the school board and the advisory board and then add any valid parts of the current agreement (which are not redlined by the school attorney due to change in state statute) into the MOU. Criswell seconded, and the motion passed.
New Business: scholarship winners selected by Todd, Jack, Jenny, Joel, and will be announced at graduation.
Audience Discussion: It was suggested that the board hold more regularly scheduled meetings.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:56 pm. The motion was made by Corson and seconded by Criswell