February Board Meeting Notes

February Board Meeting Notes
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The Omak School Board approved several contracts for projects, the 2018-2019 schoolyear calendar, and talked about safety at the Feb. 27 board meeting.
Several administrators, teachers and other staff struck up a conversation with the board regarding the safety and security of Omak’s school buildings and what is being done to make them better. Superintendent Erik Swanson said he had a conversation with student board reps about the student body’s concerns in light of the nationwide youth activity regarding school safety.
At that point, no demonstrations had been planned, but Swanson said students want to be part of the conversation on safety, and their input and passion is welcomed.
Staff shared how the current structures were not specifically designed for active shooter or similar situations, so steps have been taken and are being taken both to prevent the situation as well as to mitigate the threats.
For instance, Swanson said the school has been building its mental health services over the last few years with Okanogan Behavioral Healthcare, and the district has recently began partnering with Family Health Centers as well.
The recent renovation to the middle school entrance creating a controlled portal is just one of the projects planned for the buildings. Contractors are looking at both North and the high school for solutions to better control access.
In the meantime, a school work group is revising the Emergency Operations Plan, specific to each school as well as the broad policies and procedures for the whole district. Evacuation locations have been solidified, drills are being done and more are in the works.
The district also recently added more and better surveillance capacity at both the middle and high schools, so incidents of any sort can be viewed in real time.
More is in the works, and the board emphasized that safety is a priority for them, and will add the item to the agenda for the next meeting to hear reports and updates from the buildings on work done.
In other business, the board:
- Approved contracts with GeoEngineers, Fulcrum Environmental and BLRB Architects for various aspects of the new portable projects beginning this Spring. At North, the preschool area will be completely renovated, including parking lot and playground. At East, an additional four classrooms will be added, along with additional parking.
- Recognized both Classified Employees Week (March 12-16) and School Retirees Week (March 19-25) as designated by the State of Washington.
-Approved the 2018-2019 schoolyear calendar. First day is Aug. 29, last day is June 12. Spring Break is April 1-5.
- Approved a contract with PeopleAdmin to move employee applications online. The site is up and running now.
- Heard an invitation from East Elementary students to attend Leadership Day March 9, where students will showcase their projects, give school tours, share music and cultural dances and more to celebrate “The Leader in Me” process they have worked on over the year.
 - Approved field trip requests:
Xtreme Challenge Powerlifting to Ocean Shores for competition March 2-3
FFA to State Horse judging competition in Ellensburg April 17-18 
- Heard brick and mortar enrollment is at 1,513 FTE, still up 55 from last schoolyear. WAVA is at 3,459, only one student difference from last year at this time.
- Accepted the personnel report, which includes the retirement of Sheila Crowder, Special Education Director and Preschool Director; and Judy Bevier, North Elementary librarian.
- Learned that the district is working on partnerships with local agencies to begin programs to trained skilled laborers, including apprenticeships for students 16 and older. Swanson said he is working on auto mechanic and HVAC programs to begin with, hoping to see things fall in place during the next school year.