Community Forum #1
June 3, 2021
Note: At this point the state is still requiring masks on everyone when inside a school so please wear a mask. We will be in the library because of lighting and acoustics. If we have too large of a group, we will move to the auditorium.
Thank you for attending tonight. This is an opportunity for us to listen and learn about your concerns. Below is a summary of some items we will be implementing over the summer. These all started several weeks ago. We will learn about more that needs to be done tonight.
I would like to complement the staff, students and parents for a job well done this school year. Students attended school all 5 days for over 170 days in the middle of a pandemic. School went on through masks, social distancing, testing and active cases. It is a testament to our staff, students and community. Students did learn. While most other schools in the state were hybrid or remote, we were not. While in other parts of the state, the staff did not want to come back and teach, our staff wanted to come back. We had athletics, activities and clubs. The ASB at all three schools kept up the school spirit in trying times. We asked for and needed grace several times. I believe we are nearing the end of Covid and am hopeful fall will be mostly back to normal. If it is not, our staff and students are amazing and we will adjust.
In addition to this Community Forum I will be hosting several more this summer. I am taking two weeks off in mid July to ride my bike from Crescent City to San Francisco so that is why there is a pause there. The additional forums will be June 17th, July 8th, July 29th and August 12th. Tonight we will be asking for volunteers to join staff on some focus groups around specific topics.
As always you can call, text, email or come meet with me individually or in a group.
Sincerely, Guy Strot, Superintendent of Schools
1) Intervention and Substance Abuse Counselor
In partnership with ESD 123 we are hiring an intervention and substance abuse counselor. This is mostly paid for with state money that flows through the ESD.
2) Environmental Sensors (including the chemicals in vape)
The company name is Verkada. These would go in the bathrooms, locker rooms and two common places inside the high school. Below is a link to a white paper from Verkada.
3) Video Cameras
We plan to install 46 cameras around the school district this summer. We are working with NextGen, our IT provider to get this done. Below is a link to the cameras.
4) K-12 Counselor
We are hiring a K-12 counselor. The external posting went out today. We posted the position internally for 5 days and are now posting it externally. We hope to have three counselors next year, this K-12 counselor, the intervention counselor and the counselor Blue Mountain is providing us. The state should pick up 75% of the cost after next year.
5) Rework our Discipline
We have been working on our current discipline model. At the elementary level we will be adding progressive discipline and empowering all staff to be a part of the process. We will continue to use Skyward to communicate with parents. We have a committee that has been working on changes to the current model.
At the MS / HS level we are adding progressive discipline, increasing parent communications, empowering staff and giving staff additional consequences they can assign without involving an administrator. Teachers will be able to assign a lunch detention, after school detention or Saturday school. We need to work out the details of Saturday school.
The laws have changed over the past 2 years. We are not allowed to suspend or expel students in many situations. As an example, we cannot long term suspend or expel a K-4 student. Legally we must also consider lesser forms of consequences. In addition, if the student is on an IEP they have many more rights. Federal law states that students must be with their peers to the “maximum extent possible”. We are bound to the IEP and cannot automatically put all behavior students in a room by themselves all day.
This summer the administration, teachers union, and ESD 112 from a Special Education perspective will all meet and discuss discipline in the classroom. Our school attorney will be involved as well. The goal is a document outlining what will happen in certain situations and a framework where we can all work together and make all our students more successful and our staff and students feel safe.
6) Learning Center at the MS/HS
We will be turning the high school library into a learning or tutor center. The look will be the same except for moving some books and putting in some work cubicles. We will have 2 paraprofessionals. One will arrive at 7:30 and the other will stay until 4 PM. It will be available for students before and after school and be available for teachers to send students down during the school day. It will also house lunch and after school detention as well as Saturday school.
7) Behavior Specialist
I hope to have a behavior teacher for the next two years. This is NOT for sure yet, it is a proposal. This position would be a partnership with ESD 112 with us paying for half and ESD 112 paying for half. This person would have two main responsibilities. First would be as a behavioral specialist for students on an IEP. They would give the student strategies to make them more successful and offer a place to come when they need it. The second part is professional development for staff. We will continue to get students with diverse behavioral needs. Most of these students will be in general education classes. This person will be a resource for our general education teachers to give them tools and strategies and work side by side with them.