March School Board Notes

March School Board Notes
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The Omak School Board continued their discussion regarding safety in the schools at their March 27 meeting, hearing about the status of a district-wide safety planning update and the results of recent building drills.
Administrators were able to share about recent drills with staff and students to help identify any issues in the plans and correct them. The most recent large drill was done March 26 at Omak Middle School where they evacuated to the United Methodist Church. Assistant Principal Chris Miller said that they started with a drill lockdown, then a few minutes later switched to the evacuation drill. It took six minutes for all 400 or so staff and students to reach the church and be accounted for in their designated areas. Miller said it was a bit of a tight fit, but they set up the reunification location and were able to fix a few logistical things along the way. He said the students behaved well and took the drill seriously. They were returned to their classes within 25 minutes from the beginning of the drill.              
North has also tested its evacuation without students, since the younger children might still be frightened by even a drill, Principal Jack Schneider said. But they are prepared to set up at the Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church and have set up the procedures for reuniting children with parents once there.              
East has recently changed its evacuation location to the SunOpta warehouse, so they will be testing out the logistics there.              
At North, safety improvements associated with the portables and entry/exit will be made with this Spring/Summer portable project. Superintendent Erik Swanson said that plans and estimates are being gathered to remodel the main entryway similar to work done at East.              
At the High School, Swanson estimated that a major remodel project (or several phases of a project) would likely cost $2-3 million to rework the main entry and secure the numerous outer doors and separate buildings that students need access to throughout the day.               
In the meantime, multiple staff members are working on revising the district-wide and building-specific emergency plans, with the next meeting in mid-April. Once the work group has a draft, it will be brought to the parents and community to review in a work session in June, and later brought before the board for approval.              
In other business, the board:
-Approved a contract with Cates and Erb for the 2018 portable project, which includes replacing the preschool at North and adding four classrooms at East. The bid for the groundwork was awarded to Cates and Erb for just under $1.6 million. District staff said they highly recommended the company, both because they do good work for a fair amount, and because they are a local company and the money stays in the community. (More information on the projects are included in a separate article.)
-Approved four contracts with KCDA/Modern Building Systems for the three portables and on-site work for the portables.
-Approved the personnel report, which included the retirement of high school counselor Darryl Moulton, and the hiring of three new teachers next year: Nathan White, middle school science; Mikhaila Schulz, fifth grade; Jocelyn Pearson, first grade.
-Approved several field trip requests:
Upward Bound Spring Break trip to Seattle to visit several colleges as well as popular and educational sites.
FFA State Trapshoot at the Wenatchee Gun Club April 13-14.
State Powerlifting Competition in Lacey May 4-5.
ASB/Class officers to Camp Ensign in Cle Elum July 26-28.
ASB/Leadership to WE Day in Seattle May 2-3.
-Heard that enrollment is at 1,513 FTE for March, still almost 54 students more than last year, and 47 students above the budget. WAVA is at 3,314, down from the month before, which is typical at a change of semester.
-Approved the ICOS condition report on the CTE building, an annual requirement. Maintenance Director Tim Engh reported that the building is at 90 percent after some upgrades to the system and is about as high as it can be with its age.
-Approved a contract with MPEC Consultants to assist with the updates to the PSE (classified), OEA (teachers) and OSEA (secretaries) union contracts this year. Swanson said that due to the complexities of the new laws, the district needs to be extra careful to make sure that all the decisions made are fair, legal and sustainable.
-Approved the 2018-19 school calendar for WAVA, which includes a start date of Sept. 5 and end date of June 13.
-Approved an inter-district agreement with a Skill Center for WAVA, one of many across the state utilized by online students.
-Heard from Swanson in his report that the District will work on updating the Strategic Plan with the new board goals, and that staff will also be working out a four-year budget projection, a new State requirement.