|Override request set at $200,000
The school board set the override levy request at $200,000 at their March meeting.
Superintendent Jon Rehder showed what the ballot will look like with the new requirements from the legislature. The ballot will have a breakdown of what places the override funding would pay for.
The election will be held May 16 and the funding needs breakdown that will be on the ballot is: Technology-$30,000; Utilities-$80,000; Substitute Pay-$20,000; Maintenance repairs/supplies-$40,000; Janitorial Supplies-$10,000 and Speech and Language Paraprofessional-$20,000.
Cami Shears was approved for hire as the new 2nd grade teacher replacing Micah Weber who resigned to pursue running a business. Olivia Remmerden, who is currently teaching at GEMS in Grangeville, was approved for hire as the new 3rd grade teacher replacing Vikki Riener who is moving to a special education position.
The budget hearing date was set for Monday, June 19. It will take place prior to the regular June meeting which is also set for that date.
3 bids were received for the gym roof project at the high school. Concept Construction out of Winchester was the low bidder at $63,500 compared to $83,765 and $94,000 for the other two companies. Rehder said Concept is the same company that did the recent Elementary School roof project.
Liz McLeod gave a report on HOSA, talking about the 3 girls that recently competed at state in Pocatello. Chloe Rowland and Holli Schumacher took first place with their Stop the Bleed Kits, which is the first of its kind at an Idaho school. McLeod said some of the state legislators showed interest in the project and may look at bringing this to other schools around the state. Miranda Klapprich also qualified for nationals with a third place finish in her event. All 3 have qualified for nationals. Rowland and Schumacher intend to go to nationals in Dallas and are currently working on fundraising. Klapprich has decided not to attend as she went last year.
Another presentation was by Dena Francis, who is in her first year at Prairie as an English teacher for 7th though 9th grade students. Rehder had asked her to come in as the board members haven’t met her. She shared a copy of the syllabus she sent out at the beginning of the year to all parents and talked about her background and teaching experience as well as shat she hopes to do with her classes at Prairie. She obviously has a passion for teaching.
There were several parents in attendance with concerns about one of the book assignments in one of her classes. They are asking for alternate options for their children per school policy. During her presentation Francis had noted that it upset her that parents wouldn’t come and talk with her first but tended to go to administration, either the principal or superintendent. Board member Gus Hoene noted this was not an action item at this meeting but would like to see a solution worked out by next meeting. He and other board members were impressed with the course syllabus that was presented at the beginning of the year.
The board also continued their policy update. The ISBA annual policy updates were approved. There were some issues with the other policy updates with action tabled until the third reading at the April meeting.
In the Jr./Sr. High School Principal’s report Matt Elven noted the accreditation review has been completed and they should find out results soon.
He reported that the area Jr. High athletic directors met and voted to switch the seasons for girls volleyball and girls basketball. Elven and Rehder said they would both like to keep them as they are. It is working that way. Currently the northern schools in the district are already set up that way. Apparently one of the pluses is for schools that want to promote 8th graders to the high school teams if they have exhausted other possible avenues to have enough players to field a team. Both Elven and Rehder said they see a lot more minuses such as availability of officials which is already a problem and finding coaches. Prairie for instance would need to find a new junior high volleyball coach since they currently have the same coaches serving both high school and junior high. They can do this now since the seasons don’t overlap.
Elven reported there are 16 players out for baseball and track has a total of 36 with 19 girls and 17 boys. Jr. High track also has 36 students, 22 girls and 14 boys.
Elven also reported that on March 8 the decision was reached to not have softball this year due to low turnout. Several factors and alternatives were discussed before reaching that decision.
Elven also reported the City of Cottonwood has asked Cottonwood Youth Sports and Prairie High School to share in the costs to keep up the softball fields. The two entities would contribute about $1,700 each. Elven noted even though we don’t have a team this year, you would want a field available if you have one next year. Developing and maintaining their own field would cost a lot more than $1700 per year.
The blood drive on March 9 as successful with 12 students, 11 community members and 11 staff signing up to give blood earning the school a $2,000 Vitalant grant.
On March 16 Jeff Martin took 7 junior high technology students to Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories in Lewiston to compete and take part in App Building, Innovation Stations, facility tours and Technology Challenges against other schools.
Elven reported Prairie will be unable to offer the driving portion of Driver’s Training this year. Eric Coffelt is working on getting certified for that and will be able to next Spring. They have an agreement with Grangeville High School to do the driving portion.
Upcoming events are a trapshooting field trip to Cottonwood Gun Club on March 23 for 16 high school PE students. There is also a field trip planned to Idaho Forest Group in Grangeville on April 5 with Suzi Quintal and Ryan Hasselstrom taking a group of 13 students.
In his Elementary Principal report Rehder said they are looking at several reading curriculum programs. They want to pick one that will work for us. They spent quite a bit of money on one a few years ago that didn’t work as well as hoped and the supplies sit in storage unused.
He reported on the hunter safety class held Feb. 27 to March 3. All students involved passed the class.
The 4th graders went on an all-day field trip to Dworshak on March 8.
Parent/teacher conferences are this Wednesday and Thursday, March 22-23.
Spring Break is next week.
Rehder said due to lack of staff and other issues it appears they will not be offering summer school this year.
In the facilities report Rehder said a camera has been installed in the foyer at the Elementary School and they can now see the main entrance hallway. They are working on adding 2 cameras to the high school shop.
They are looking at going out for bid again on the high school gym foyer expansion and restrooms later this summer or early fall.
In his superintendent’s report Rehder said they are still looking for a K-12 music teacher, a para professional to replace Cami Shears’ position and a speech and language pathologist. He said they may have to go the telehealth route through Idaho Distance Learning Academy for the speech and language pathologist position. If they do that they would have to hire a paraprofessional to be able to work directly with the students.
In legislative review Rehder said the legislature is looking at an open enrollment bill where the only way you could turn down a students requesting to attend is if they have an expulsion or suspension on their record. If it passes they would need to revise their policy.
He also noted Prairie is the only district in Region 2 that does not offer all-day every-day Kindergarten. They may look at doing a community survey on this.
The board adjourned to an executive session regarding personnel at 8:15 p.m. The next regular meeting of the board will be Monday, April 17 at 7 p.m.