December School Board Notes

December School Board Notes
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The Omak School board met Dec. 19 for its regular meeting and held a public hearing regarding Impact Aid and Indian Education programs from locals.
Parent Advisory Committee President Heidi Sam suggested one change to the Impact Aid policy document, which was adopted later by the board.
JOM/Title VI (Indian Education) staff members also shared a presentation about their programs. Across the district, there are 504 students eligible for these programs, 36 of whom are seniors this year. Staff have done crafts, food, language and other educational projects to help students learn more about their heritage and history.
Two parents also shared their concerns, encouraging a deeper collaboration with the Colville Tribes in formulating District policy and procedures. The board thanked them for their input.
The board also heard an update from Fiscal Administrator Scott Haeberle that the District is pursuing “quad” portables for East and North this coming year. At East, the increased enrollment requires an additional four classrooms, so the District intends to install a four-classroom portable, which also features a hallway and office space, connected to the rest of the building by a breezeway. They also intend to explore possibilities for expanding the parking and bus loop areas to help with traffic flow.
At North, the old preschool portables (estimated over 40 years old) are beyond their typical lifespan and need replacement, and the preschool program itself is seeking to expand. The District will work on installing two four-classroom portables, as well as create a safer drop-off and parking area and a new playground.
All projects combined are estimated to cost about $5.5 million. About three-quarters of that would be paid in this budget cycle, and a quarter in the next. The District had set aside about $4.7 million this year for capital projects, including these.
Portables will likely be ordered in January and installation would begin this Spring. The board approved two contracts with GeoEngineers to begin prepping the ground for portables at both sites.
In other business, the board:
- Voted on this year’s positions and representatives. Kathie Brown will be Chairman, Dennis Carlton Vice-Chairman and WIAA Representative. Pete Sirois will continue his term as Legislative Representative. Sirois and Brown will both be standing committee members for Paschal Sherman. Marjorie Thompson will serve as the Performing Arts Center Representative.
- Approved the FCCLA request to travel to Top Chef and STAR event Regional competitions at Sun Mountain Lodge Jan. 17-18.
- Approved Club Shred’s request to travel to Schweitzer Mountain Ski Area Jan. 17-20, after a discussion with club President Emily Little.
- Heard that brick and mortar enrollment is at 1,519 FTE in December, down a few from last month, but still up 48 from last year. WAVA enrollment is at 3,450.
- Approved a contract with GeoEngineers to design a plan to repair the geothermal well at the high school, which has been offline for some time.