|School Board meets
A book adoption request by high school English teacher David Young dominated the discussion time at the May meeting of the School Board Monday, May 16.
Young said he was looking for a book with characters and situations to which the high school age students could relate. Young took the request to principal Matt Elven, who brought it to the school board’s attention at the April meeting. Board member Gus Hoene at that time ordered a copy of the book for each board member so that they could read it for themselves and not depend on hearsay and reviews. Young said he was very impressed that the local board would do something like that as it is not something that was done anywhere else he has taught.
Young advocated that it is a powerful book but yes, it does have some controversial issues. So does a lot of literature that is approved for schools such as Huckleberry Finn and many others. What he was struck by in the book is that it teaches the power of family.
Issues concerning board members, patrons and administrators were the foul language used and some of the sexual situations. Also making it a mandatory reading was a concern although Young said he would’ve had alternatives available.
Hoene said he thought it was a great book while board member Tara Klapprich said it was a really hard book for her to read as some things in it hit very close to home.
After the discussion the board voted against approving the book but had no issue with the book being available in the school library. Elven said it has been in the library for at least a couple of years.
The board thanked all the patrons that attended with Joe and Charlene Rehder, Megan Rambo, Shelley Schlader, Annette Wemhoff and Jim Chmelik (who works with many of the students in the church) all sharing their thoughts on the book.
In other business the board approved going out for bids on a new school bus. They are looking at getting it for the 2023-24 school year but David Shears said the lead time for ordering a new bus has lengthened considerably in the past couple of years.
The board approved a 4% salary increase for staff dependent on passage of the levy. Hoene stressed that the levy money will be going to maintenance and operations but it would free up money in other places to pay for the raise.
The board also approved going to the new state insurance plan starting with the 2022-23 school year. Clerk-Treasurer Denise Uhlenkott said they had budgeted for a 3% increase in insurance but then their insurance carrier came back with a 9% increase prompting investigation into the state plan. The state plan would save each employee about $300 a month and would also cut the cost for insurance to the District.
Resignations were accepted from 8th grade boys basketball coach Tim Scheffler, girls high school assistant basketball coach Angela Wemhoff and football assistant coaches Jarod Cash and Forrest Partlow.
Wes Riener was approved for the summer maintenance position.
Dena Francis, currently at C.V., was approved for the 7th-8th-9th grade English position.
Scheffler was approved as the new high school boys varsity basketball coach with Teel Bruner approved as the boys assistant basketball coach.
Jennifer Enneking moved from her Elementary Para Professional position to the high school open position with Cami Shears approved for the Elementary position.
T.T. Cain was approved as the new head football coach. He was at Challis for several years and moved to Cottonwood after retiring from Challis. Elven and Ryan Hasselstrom had known him for several years when he coached at Challis. Approved as assistant football coaches were Tanner Ross and Hayden Uhlenkott.
The board approved the use of the football team equipment for the football camp that is coming up in June.
The attendance policy for 7th-12th grades was discussed with Elven making changes in the high school handbook so that it matched district policy. The changes he recommended plus another change suggested by Klapprich that Elven had apparently missed when going through the current policy, were approved by the board.
One student did his senior project presentation in front of the board as he was unable to get it done on the designated days at school. Jose Ove’s senior project was repainting the concrete barriers at the football/track facility. The paint on them had shown some wear and he repainted them in school colors.
In his Administrative Report Elven share the SAT, ISAT and MAP testing results with the board.
Prom was May 7 with 46 couples and a handful of singles attending.
In ASB elections Amelia Uhlenkott was elected president. Tara Schlader was elected vice-president. Mary Schwartz was elected secretary. Riley Enneking was elected treasurer and Julia Rehder and Kristin Wemhoff were elected as spirit leaders.
9 FFA students competed in several events at Timberlake High School on May 11-13.
6th grader transition was held May 13.
On May 17 sophomores and juniors would attend the Dream It. Do It. Conference at LCSC.
Suzi Quintal has added a sewing class elective for junior high students for next year.
The high school awards assembly and junior high field trip will both be held on May 27. The junior high students will be going to Lancer Lanes in Clarkston.
Jon Rehder also shared ISAT results for the Elementary students.
He has completed the summative evaluations of staff. These reports need to be uploaded to the state by June 30.
In the facility report he said the storage container has been ordered for the Auxiliary Gym. It should be delivered by the end of May. Rick Forsmann has had gravel put down where it is to be located.
They are still waiting to hear from CompuNet on when they plan to start installing the new surveillance cameras.
They will be refinishing all 3 gym floors again this summer. It will take place on July 24-25.
Colleen Sonnen’s room needs a new heater. They plan to install 2 new wall heaters and keep the current one for backup.
The new water pipes at the Elementary are nearing completion.
The proposed high school gym foyer expansion/gym restrooms estimates came in higher than expected.
Carpet tile installation at the high school is set for June 6.
New water heaters for the Elementary School are being ordered. They are changing over from 3-phase units to single phase. They still working on how to removed the old water heaters.
With the rebates from Avista, the new LED lighting at the Auxiliary Gym will cost a lot less than expected.
In his superintendent report Rehder said he is moving classified staff from G3 to G4 on the salary schedule while not a huge increase it is substantial and a way to pay the classified staff for all their hard work.
They had a bus engine go out and it looks like it will cost about $25,000 to replace. 85% of that will be reimbursed by the state.
Regarding the April 14 bus accident, the insurance carrier is working with the occupants of the other vehicle. Jack Duman is finishing up work on the bus and they hope to have it completed by the middle of June so it can be paid for this fiscal year.
Bus drivers are needed. Contact David Shears if interested in pursuing certification.
Shot clocks for basketball are being ordered to be ready for installation for the 2023-24 season. Donations have been set aside to cover the costs. No district money will be needed.
Rehder said they are not having much luck in finding a music or ag/shop teacher.
The board meeting adjourned to an executive session at 9:15 p.m. The next regular meeting will be Monday, June 13 at 5:30 p.m.