D9 board hears from union, discusses fund raising ideas

The Oct. 15 District 9 Board of Directors meeting was held in the large group room at EPHS in order to accommodate staff members who wished to address the board regarding negotiations. Prior to the meeting, Supt. Cynda Rickert had released guidelines to all staff members reminding them of the three minute per speaker rule and allowing a total of 30 minutes of public comment and 30 minutes after the meeting for those who wished to stay and speak to the board.


There were 10 speakers, including two community members, who spoke during the allowed time.
   
Jeff
Beals, who cares for his grandson, James Clark, addressed the board and
invited them to join him in attending one of the "special needs"
classrooms.  Beals read a prepared letter to the board and
administrators. He said one-on-one education in reading, writing and
math and three peer classes had been agreed upon last year for his
grandson and all refused this year.
   
Beals said, "I have
been in contact with a variety of professionals, officials and agencies
concerning the negative impact and unconscionable decisions District #9
has demanded." He went on to say the district’s position is that James
is unable to learn and therefore he believes they do not feel they need
to provide the tools for James to obtain the most basic education.
Beals asked anyone who would like to help educate James at a fair
hourly rate to call him at 826-9048. He has another meeting scheduled
with the district in the near future regarding James.   
   
Comparing
administrative salaries with teacher salaries, saying six school
districts had  better benefits, changing proposed in sick leave
benefits, lacking honesty, lacking equipment were some of the charges
made by the eight staff speakers. Some staff members stood around the
edge of the room holding signs, such as "We don’t want to strike, but
we will."
   
Of the estimated 100 in the audience, the minute
the public input portion was over and while the board chair was
addressing the audience, some 60 or more left the meeting, leaving very
few staff members.
   
Workshop discussion included information
that both Pepsi and Coca Cola bid on the contract, which is up for
renewal. Pepsi was selected. The district received $75,000 from the
agreement four years ago.  With the change in vending machines, Pepsi
says they have lost 40 percent of their revenue and are seeking vending
after school hours, operated with a timer.
   
Board members
Spencer Davenport and Teresa Erickson noted concession stands sell
Pepsi and by not letting Pepsi sell after hours, the district is
contradicting itself. It was board consensus that from 6 p.m. on
weekdays and weekends, under right conditions it might be okay to sell
what is approved by state regulations.
   
EPHS Principal Allen
Barber asked the school board to consider an advertising plan that
would place signs on the inside of the fencing around the fields. The
signs would be 4 ft. x 8 ft., cost $300 plus a one time $75 set up fee.
Groups selling the signs would get $150 while the athletic department
would get the other $150. No decision was made. For more information,
contact Barber at the high school.
Bruce Howell gave a report on his
review process for athletics. He reported his work thus far has been in
finance, personnel, facilities, eligibility, transportation, safety and
event management. He has begun looking into scheduling and has yet to
address purchasing, community relations and future projects for
athletics.
   
Howell gave the board a four-page draft
document on general standards for gymnasiums and  mechanical standards.
He also prepared a two-page document for evaluating coaches.
   
Dr.
Zaklan updated the board on the revenue outlook. He is working on a
two-year look at income and expenses. Zaklan said the district is
spending more than it is receiving and to assure a seven percent
carryover is the goal. In analyzing the budget, he said the process
will begin with the classroom and work out from there.
   
First
reading was held on several  board policy revisions,  among them one
that would allow the board to make decisions in a work session, if
necessary to meet required deadlines. Another policy would give
students the opportunity to recite The Pledge of Allegiance at least
once a week. Those who do not wish to participate must maintain
respectful silence during the salute.
   
Two partners were
recognized at the October meeting. They were Rotary, represented by
Barbara Hedrick and Eagle Point Lions, represented by Wiley Johnson.
They each gave a brief overview of their organization’s community
involvement.
   
The new high school student representatives are
Lindsey Grove, a sophomore, and Erin Wolff. The board will hold a
community meeting at White City Elementary, Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 5
p.m.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent

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