During a pre-meeting work session on January 9, 2013, the D9 School Board discussed security in the district’s schools. Superintendent Cynda Rickert pointed out that, “Children can’t learn if they don’t feel safe.” Local police and sheriffs have met with D9 personnel, from individual schools to the administration level. Evaluations revealed some security issues that need addressing, but parents and the community can rest assured that the schools are safe and that the principals and their staff are trained and prepared. Procedure manuals exist and schools routinely practice fire drills and earthquake drills, with each school assessing its unique location and building. They have also practiced incident lockdown drills, where local police responded immediately and gave kudos to the school’s performance. Rickert said the district would research security issues carefully and at a reasonable pace, for rash and uninformed decisions can also do harm.
At the beginning of the general meeting, student representatives Micaela Saling and Hunter Hoeptner reported on a first place for EPHS in the Third Annual Southern Oregon Cheer Classic, and that the leadership class sponsored a clothing drive for homeless teens.
White Mountain Middle School Principal Paul Cataldo honored two students, Daniela Mendoza and Jorge Alfaro. Both students have excellent GPAs, are impressive in their work ethic, and found to be reliable and trustworthy. They want to learn and are a positive influence in the classroom. He then cited Janean Nodine as an outstanding teacher. A fellow teacher commented on her tireless energy—“The woman never sleeps.” Principal Cataldo counts it a pleasure to work with Janean, noting her compassionate and effective ways with students. Both students and the teacher shook hands all around and received certificates of recognition.
In her Superintendent’s Report, Cynda shared some guidelines for 2013 that she shared with the District Leadership Team: stay out of trouble, aim for greater heights, stay focused, exercise, practice teamwork, rest and relax, smile, and realize that nothing is impossible. She closed her remarks with, “Here’s to a great 2013!”
Business Manager Scott Whitman reported that district general funds are in good shape.
School Improvement Director Tina Mondale recapped the results of a parent survey as to their student’s school performance, covering topics such as school-parent communications, questions about bullying and student safety, how well the school meets the student’s needs, the quality of instruction, and suggested areas needing improvement. The overall responses were positive (over three quarters of the parents thought everything was great). Individual schools can be highlighted and any needed action taken.
The state dissimilated more information about the Achievement Compact Action Plan, the state mandate to insure high school graduation for all, with schooling beyond. They will continue to revise the plan over time, but D9 deems the basic requirements sound and happily implements them.
David Whitehead, recently hired as Information Technology Supervisor took the microphone and spoke about technology in layman’s terms. In his two-month tenure he has assessed what the district has and found it to be a good foundation with good equipment. Gaps exist, of course, so he spearheaded a reorganization of the IT Department. He sought volunteers to train as Dell warranty repairmen, enabling the district’s own personnel to order parts and repair equipment, thus saving time. He is also working with other school districts in order to share knowledge and expertise, since not everyone can know everything.
The next school board meeting will be at Shady Cove School on February 13, 2013.