D9 board leaders elected on 3-2 split

The first order of business at the July 8 board of directors meeting was administering the oath of office to Mark Bateman and Jim Mannenbach.

A presentation for a wrestling room-multi purporse room for White Mountain Middle School was made by WMMS P.E. teacher, Tony Stormberg. He said Club West will donate $60,000 toward it and they have a bid to do it for just under the $60,000. He listed a number of donations that have been committed. He said what he needs is a go ahead from the board and cabinet. It was not an agenda item so no decision could be made.

District 9 has cancelled their advertising for an RFP (request for proposal) for a new elementary school after receiving 15-20 calls for information, according to Randy Struckmeier, D9 business manager. We realized we need to slow down,” said Struckmeier. He said he and Ken Gruenwald, maintenance supervisor, will be meeting with a Willamette ESD representative to get some assistance in the preparation for a subsequent RFP. They will republish once details are finalized.

Peg Crowley, CEO of the Community Health Center, gave a presentation on a fluoride varnish, which would start with children in kindergarten and grades one, three and five. They hope to have it available for K-8 in the second year and eventually K-12. Crowley said the teeth get the varnish twice a year. In addition, there is classroom instruction. There is no systemic problem with the varnish and studies show it reduces decay 40 percent.

The White City Community Health Center plans to start the varnish program on their infant patients as soon as they began to get teeth.

Crowley talked to the school board about opening a student health center at the high school. Funding would be through several means including grants, the Walker Foundation, and through the district providing a small space, phone power, restroom and internet access. The second year the district would be asked to contribute $20,000.

Board member Mark Bateman wanted to know what the health center would do and who would staff it. Crowley said it would be staffed by qualified personnel such as a physician’s assistant. She also said she was in hopes they could have a bilingual staff member. Crowley said the goal is to have communication with parents. Students could come to the center with everything from having a cold to pink-eye to having suicidal thoughts. It would be three days a week, five hours each of those days.

Member Jim Mannenbach asked if they would issue birth control. Crowley said that would be something the board would need to talk about. “Just know we have lots of sexually active teens and some might not be if they had someone to talk to. We hope to be active in prevention, not necessarily distribute condoms, but we will give a pregnancy test,” said Crowley. “You can’t serve adolescents without talking about being sexually active.”

Special Education Director Doug McKenzie pointed out that the $20,000 being asked for, not next year, but in the following year, amounts to keeping just four students in school. He also noted District 9 needs mental health support for students.

Crowley concluded her presentation by noting the partnership between Community Health, District 9 and the D9 Foundation. “If everyone got behind the D9 Foundation, we could not only fund a scholarship for everyone, we could provide for their health needs.”

When it came time for the school board to approve items on the consent agenda, the school based health center was listed. Scott Grissom asked that it be tabled for additional study.

Ted Dole and Scott Grissom were each nominated to chair the board for the coming year. Each said a few words before the vote. “Starting with a new board I think it is extremely important to keep confidence in the community,” said Dole. He said his children go to school in District 9 whereas Grissom chooses to send his kids to a private school.

Grissom said as chair we would get hold of the board members once a month to see if they had concerns and had items they wanted on the agenda. “Nobody will be excluded,” said Grissom. He says he wants some committees including one for health, facilities and library books. “Anyways I will work to be sure those committees get approved,” said the candidate.

When it came time to vote, Mannenbach, Bateman and Grissom voted for Grissom.

Mary Ann Olsen was nominated for vice chair as was Mannenbach.

Dole spoke on behalf of Olsen, saying it would be completely irresponsible to elect someone as vice chair who hasn’t even been through his first meeting.

When the vote was cast, it was Mannenbach, Bateman and Grissom voting for Mannenbach for vice chair.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent


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