Name of Observer: Robin Porter
Observed Meeting: March 22, 2023
Date of Meeting: March 22, 2023
Members present: Observed via zoom; not able to see board member name placards via zoom. It appeared that all board members Andrea Downs, Joe Greenheron, Marnie Jackson, Ann Johnson and Director Brook Willeford were present. Dr. Jo Moccia, Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent of Business & Operations and Dan Poolman were also in attendance.
Members absent: Unknown.
Others present: members of the public, including teachers, parents and students.
Summarize the main issues discussed at the meeting:
The School Board formally voted to support the $80 million bond proposal [Proposition No. 1] which will be voted upon during an April 25 Special Election. Board members commented that if passed by district voters, the general obligation bond monies would be used to address “critical needs” of the school district. One of several examples offered by the board during the meeting is a “leaky roof” at the middle school. No public comments were offered on the bond issue during this meeting.
The board approved purchase of its first electric school bus from RWC Corp, following receipt of a Federal grant awarded to SWSD. The grant also covers other related costs (charging station and 13-year warranty on battery). The grant money will be reimbursed by WA Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) before the bus is received by the district. Total cost: $435,000.
SWSB Affirmative Action Plan Goals: Board members addressed their 5-year plan. This includes: 1) recruiting women administrators, 2) equity trainings, and 3) prevent employment discrimination based on gender.
Teacher, Mrs. Richards, made a presentation to the board highlighting projects within the Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) program. She said there are currently 66 students in the program, with a student teacher ratio of 22:1. Twelve middle school students also presented to the Board regarding their experiences during the current school year.
Financial and Enrollment Report (current fund balance $4.9 million; Student enrollment – 1152) presented by Dan Poolman, Assistant Superintendent of Business & Operations.
The Board also approved twelve additional Memoranda regarding district policy on: updating the ‘Child Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation Prevention’ policy; updating Conflicts of Interest/Principles of Operation as these apply to Enrollment policy; approving the Financial Education Mastery-Based Learning and Credit policy; approving the Students in or Released from an Institutional Education Facility policy; updating the Student Privacy and Searches policy; approving the new School Director Legislative Program policy; updating Students on Governing Boards policy; updating the Executive or Closed Sessions policy; updating the Infection Control Program policy; updating the Holidays – Leaves policy; updating the Temporary Administrators policy; approval of the School Bus Purchase.
List any issues on the agenda relevant to any LWV state or local positions or programs:
Do you recommend local League action or study on any of these issues? No
Was the meeting conducted in an open, business-like, and civil manner? Yes
Consider the following questions and respond if relevant.
FEATURE EVALUATED COMMENTS
Was the agenda made available prior to and at the meeting? Yes
Did members adhere to the provided agenda? Yes
Were any non-agenda items discussed? No
Was there adequate discussion of issues? Yes
Were any “Executive Sessions” called? No
Was there adequate opportunity for public input? Yes
Was background material available to the public? Yes
Did any member recuse themselves during the meeting? No
List any other concerns or observations: During the public comment period one person, Mark Eger [sic], identifying himself as the parent of a senior student athlete, requested that the board consider changing a policy that buses carrying students returning from extracurricular activities be allowed to stop for food. Director Willeford and Superintendent Moccia responded to the request. Willeford said that this issue was not considered a school board issue, as the board is not creating policy on it. Moccia clarified that this was an administrative decision based on both equity and cost issues.
Also, that exceptions are sometimes made for specific student trips. The Board’s Student representatives also advocated for food stops.
Observer E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Date submitted: March 26, 2023