School Board Report--Februrary
The monthly meeting of the Oneida School Board was held on Tuesday, February 21, 2023. Board member Tresie Carter participated via Zoom because of bad road conditions between Malad and Stone. Kory Kay, Malad High School Assistant Principal and District Athletic Director was honored as the Oneida School District “Employee of the Month.” (See accompanying article.)
The MHS Dragonettes were honored for placing 3rd at State with their winning routines in Kick and Military. With their combined 3.74 GPA, the Malad Dragonettes earned 1st place academic honors, competing against all dance teams at all levels at State.
Building administrators presented short reports. Superintendent Jon Abrams reported that the students at Stone Elementary School had been rewarded for their academic improvement with “Fizz and Fries” at nearby Molly’s Café.
Ms. Sarah McIntyre, Principal of Malad Elementary School, thanked the Oneida County EMT’s for providing equipment that would assist if someone were choking. She also thanked the Malad Lions Club for their support of the backpack program that provides students with food to take home on weekends. She recognized the PTO for their help with the Missoula Children’s Theater workshop that concluded with the students presenting “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”
Mr. Bob Hannah, Principal at Malad Middle School, thanked Kami Willie and the Malad High students who put on a Career Fair for the 8th graders. Nacona Smith, MHS Counselor, has been working with the 8th grade students to develop their 4-year academic plans. Mr. Hannah reported that the MathCounts Team had participated in the regional competition at Idaho State University and were able to attend the ISU Physics Show. Several students participated in the District V 7th Grade Honor Choir at Marsh Valley.
Mr. Michael Corbett, Principal at Malad High School, stated that athletics, even when teams do not do as well as they would like, produce good students and good citizens. The basketball teams are not going to State, but 15 boys and 2 girls will represent Malad at the State wrestling tournament this weekend. During the upcoming FFA Week, students will be wearing Western clothes or blue and gold (FFA colors).
Dr. Terri Sorensen, Executive Director of the Idaho Home Learning Academy, reported that the five IHLA counselors are encouraging students to do acts of kindness during Kindness Week. Instructors are excited about implementing the grant-funded Project-Based Learning modules. Registration for year 8 of IHLA has started. She expressed appreciation to Christy Jenkins for her help with registration.
Superintendent Abrams reported that meetings about the upcoming bond election have gone well; so far, he has met with the senior citizens in Malad and Stone, the Oneida Quilters, two groups of Republicans, Cherry Creek citizens, and others.
To introduce an online program, Care Solace, Mr. Abrams stated that students are showing more signs of stress and anxiety. School counselors are not therapists, but schools need to provide help for students who need services. Oneida School District will consider signing a contract with the Care Solace company.
Mr. Abrams introduced Chris Bateman with TVI in Idaho Falls. This company invests public funds to get a better return than available through local banks. The company currently works with both Malad City and Oneida County on public fund investing. Because the company uses a brokerage model, fees are minimal.
Christy Jenkins, representing IT, introduced Go Guardian Beacon, an online way of helping protect students from self-harm and of preventing students from violence toward others. As explained in a PowerPoint, “Go Guardian Beacon is a suicide and self-harm prevention software for schools. It is installed on school owned devices and sends alerts to administrators during school hours whenever a student uses certain words related to self harm, depression or harm to others.” Parents would be notified if risk factors are identified. In answer to questions about privacy, Board members were reminded that students sign agreements about their use of school-owned devices, including laptop computers, and the agreements state that the school may monitor use. Christy noted that students need help in asking for help and that Go Guardian Beacon may provide that help.
Mr. Abrams and Board member Brent Evanson reported on the ISBA “Day on the Hill” where they met with legislators and Department of Education personnel. They were encouraged to use technology and other means to tell the stories of the good things that schools do. Legislators seem to want to use discretionary funds to benefit schools, including increasing teacher and classified staff salaries.
Discussion and Actions
Jean Coburn, Director of Food Service, informed the Board that the District’s procurement policy is not in compliance because no mention is made of using minority- or women-owned businesses if such businesses are available to provide the products and services needed. Jean will use a template from the State to update the policy.
Kelly Hill, Director of Transportation, described the problems the bus in Stone was having with diesel gelling during extremely cold weather, resulting in school cancellations on January 30 and 31. The Board approved the purchase of a gasoline-powered bus for Stone and bringing the current bus into town. In answer to questions about longevity of gas buses versus diesel buses, Kelly said that the manufacturers have improved gas buses and included as many features as are available on diesel buses, including length of service. The Board voted to auction off two used buses or sell them through Bryson Bus Sales.
The Board approved MHS softball and baseball overnight trips to Glenn’s Ferry for April 14-15.
The 2023-2024 school calendar was approved. It is very similar to this year’s calendar with school beginning after Fair Week (except for teacher meetings) and the last day of school being on May 23.
The Board approved a motion to begin negotiations to purchase property south of the high school for future projects.
Administrator contracts for the following people were extended one year:
Sarah McIntyre-MES Principal; Robert Hannah-MMS Principal; Michael Corbett-MHS Principal; Kory Kay-MHS Assistant Principal/Athletic Director; Terri Sorenson-IHLA Executive Director; Jill Daniels-Special Education Director; Jamy Corbett-Assistant Special Education Director; Wendy Eastman-Special Education Administrator; Rachel Jensen-IHLA High School Principal; Collette Haws-IHLA High School Assistant Principal; Becky Jones-IHLA High School Assistant Principal; Megan Price-IHLA K-8 Principal; Kendra Lanier-IHLA K-8 Assistant Principal; Jeanie Reeder-IHLA K-8 Assistant Principal; Hailey Sweeten-IHLA K-8 Assistant Principal.
The following personnel were approved, pending their passing the State-mandated background checks: Tia Talbot-MMS track coach; Meagan Glecker and Elizabeth Godfrey-MMS volunteer track coaches; Ted Bennett-MMS paraprofessional aide; Jana Davis-bus aide; Shannon Worrell-MHS volunteer band helper; Callie Werk-IHLA speech case manager; Justice Esplin-substitute teacher; Tanner Olsen- MHS assistant baseball coach. The following were approved as MMS assistant football coaches for the 2023-2024 season: Lex Smith, Brian Thomas, Matt Thornock and Bryan VanBebber (volunteer).