Here we are again with another busy week under our belts.  The weather is teetering on winter and spring and so far we have been fortunate that the roads have been in good enough shape for buses thanks to the road crews.  I am sure that winter is not over yet so keep in tune as we coordinate to make the best decisions we can.

As usual, there are loads of things happening in the district and in the state.  I will start with the state legislature.  This week the House Ed voted to not renew the curriculum standards for English, Math and Science.  In addition, the teacher certification rules were not renewed.

These two items now go on to Senate Ed where they will vote to approve or not. I spoke with Senator Crabtree and he assures me that they will approve the current rules with the understanding that they will be rewritten this summer.

These changes have a huge impact on our teachers and students.  We are keeping a close eye on this to make sure we end where we need to end.  Another major concern has to do with supplemental levies and when and how often they can be run on a ballot.  The legislature feels they should be moved to more common election times to ensure more voter turnout.  They are also wanting to limit districts to running the levy only once annually, pass or fail.

Once again, we need to keep an eye on these happenings as people who are not in the field of education are attempting to impact education without input from the professionals in the field.  Our networks are connected throughout the state and we are pursuing what is right for education in our state.

Locally, our policy committee is moving forward at warp speed.  After “catching up” and reorganizing the committee is now reviewing the latter part of the numerous policies to ensure the district has the most updated version that continues to keep the uniqueness of the district intact.  Thank you to those who continue to contribute their time and input.

The OES health fair was held on Thursday and what a great outcome.  Volunteers giving their time to ensure the students learn more about themselves and the area to help them become more healthy and productive citizens.

Thank you to everyone who helped organize and present and to the personnel who helped it move smoothly.

I was able to attend the Chamber meeting and listen to Orofino Police Chief Jeff Wilson discuss the department.  I was very impressed by his statements that the school district and law enforcement have a great relationship and help each other out better than ever before.  I feel exactly the same way.

I have been very impressed with OPD as well as Clearwater County Sheriff’s Department in regards to the support they give our district and the relationships we have developed.  I look forward for this to continue.  I was also able to speak for a moment about our upcoming levy and to hand out a fact sheet.  Thank you for allowing me the time to do this.

Rotary this week was a great place to learn about our Magistrate Judge Judd. He did a great job of explaining his role in our community and the different responsibilities of his job.  We also learned that the 2020 Census is upon us and the information gathered is valuable to the influx of billions of dollars to the state of Idaho which includes money for public schools.  

The Blue Cross Community Grant members met this past week.  The main portion was determining how to get a strong cross section of views from our student youth population. We will be gathering that information in the coming weeks at our schools in Orofino.  Mr. Lee was on hand to help out with the logistics.  This should be exciting to see where the leads.

Our leadership team met on Tuesday and had some great discussions about the future of the district. We are still in the accreditation process.  The actual on site visit will take place on May 4 and 5. We are excited to see how this will help our focus on areas of improvement.

We also began discussion of credit requirements for grade advancement as well as overall for graduation.  The district is currently at the state minimum requirement. The district is also looking into the structure of next year’s curriculum planning and support.  

I will be out of the office the latter part of next week and the first part of the following week.  The 19th - 21st will find me in Boise at the Idaho School Board Council meeting as I am a board member of this organization.  We are meeting with Blue Cross of Idaho to help keep benefits affordable for our districts.

I am also attending the Superintendent Network meeting which has proven to be a valuable networking and informational system. Depending on schedules, I hope to have a quick meeting with our legislatures as well.  

As with every week I want to end by saying thank you to everyone who continues to support our efforts to help make JSD171 the best district it can be for our kids and communities.

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