Friday, December 20, 2013

School board meeting shy in attendance

A School Board meeting for Joint District #171 was held Dec. 16, at Orofino High School. Attendance was low, as music concerts and holiday programs were taking place throughout the district. A comment was made in regard to planning next year’s events around the board meeting.

The evening’s agenda was approved without additions or changes.

The board approved the last meeting’s minutes and bills to be paid.

Certified and Classified Employees of the Month were announced by board member Amy Jared. They are: OHS Principal Dan Hull and Jerry Bordoni, respectively. Next Volunteers of the Month, Earl Vicory and Rex Robinson were introduced by Mr. Hull. Watch for articles in the near future featuring these incredible and dedicated members of our school community.

Superintendent Vian reported that enrollment is up 14 over last year at this time.
Committee reports

The Wellness and Nutrition Committee met to select policies which were long overdue to be updated. Policies changed were presented before the board for approval later in the meeting listed under “Action Items.”

Due to the recent survey results not being available, the Strategic Planning Committee will postpone their discussion scheduled for the December meeting until the meeting in January 2014.

Building and Program Reports were exceptionally brief. It was noted that some parents and the principal were attempting to attend all the events in one evening. The board watched them scramble from one site to the next in order to attend everything. Unfortunately, OES Principal, Mrs. Brooks was ill and had spent the day at home. Hence, most building and program reports were postponed.

The board did receive a report from Mr. Jenkins with the Transportation Department. He explained that everything had been running up to par, therefore he had little to report other than news of the three furnaces which received a good cleaning and a little maintenance for better efficiency

Technology report

Next, Russ Miles, informed the board that there had been a disconnection of internet service from Friday, Dec. 13, until sometime Saturday afternoon on Dec. 14. The reason for the disruption was due to the district implementing an increase to the broadband width available for students

Superintendent’s report

Mr. Vian reported to the board that he has signed a contract with the National Guard to provide food service to the Youth Challenge School in Pierce for the second half of the school year, Jan. - June 2014.

The contract amount is $228,852.46 and is for “Reimbursement of (to) Joint School District 171 for actual costs and related expenditures for approved food services provided by the school district.”

Because Youth ChalleNGe students attend school seven days a week and are there all day long, food expenses are higher per student than those for the rest of the district. By providing the food service to the new school on the hill, the district makes 14 % of the contract amount for compensation.

Next, Vian explained that engineers from Aerton Environmental Control Systems visited Orofino Elementary School. Orofino High School and Timberline Schools in late November to help the district control energy usage. The team will return to the district with some heating and window contractors to submit quotes for renovation. Aerton will give the district an estimate for a control system for the heating and ventilation units.


Both high schools continue to work on Accreditation. Site visits will take place in February. Accreditation occurs on a six-year cycle and assures that student transferring to other high schools and moving on with a post-secondary career or education will received credit for their high school learning.

District vehicles

The district needs to make a decision concerning the vehicles which are tired, and which vehicles need to retire or be repaired. A direction for the future needs to be determined, to either purchase newer vehicles, convert to a mileage system, or purchase a couple of vans for multi-employee use and have individual trips bill mileage.

Drivers Education faces the same issue, as the cars are worn out. The district subsidizes driver’s education. Newer vehicles will mean larger subsidizing in the future. We should consider whether we want to continue the driving portion of driver’s education or turn it over to a local business.

Last in his report, Mr. Vian gave a PowerPoint presentation on maintenance projects which were completed over the summer, to include before and after pictures of the boilers and water heaters at OES, the patchwork and painting of Timberline Schools and the roof and skylight repairs of the bus barns. A new covered walkway was constructed to access the new portable.

Bob Reggear exercised his first opportunity to thank Mr. Vian for his tireless efforts in moving education forward and in his leadership of the school district to date, during the Public Comment section of the meeting.

As mentioned earlier, the board listened to the first reading of suggested policy updates recommended by the Wellness/ Nutrition Committee. These include: Policy # 8200 Healthy Lifestyles; #8210 District Nutrition Committee; #8220 Food Services, #8230 Child Wellness; #8235 Water/Energy Drink Consumption; #8240 School Meals; #8245 Competitive Food Services; #8250 Individual Food and Beverage Sales; #8260 Vending Machines.

Before adjourning, board member Charity Robinson thanked other board members for sharing information they received from the November conference in Coeur D’Alene, as she was unable to attend.

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