At the April 10, 2014 Vernonia School Board Meeting:
Instructional Calendar Approved-The Board approved a 175 day instructional calendar for next year, recommended by the Calendar Committee, with the stipulation that if more funds become available through the budget process, more days will be added. According to the approved calendar, the first day of school will be September 2, graduation would be May 23, and the last day of school would be June 4. The calendar includes four Snow Make-Up Days, 6 Teacher Work Days and has one full week off at Thanksgiving, 2 full weeks off for Winter Break and one full week for Spring Break.
Board Approves Superintendent Contract-The Board approved a contract with Aaron Miller to serve as part-time, interim Superintendent. Details of the contract were not discussed. Last month the Board also approved the extension of Miller’s contract as VES Principal for three more years.
Board Approves Travel Request-The Board approved a request for Out-of-State travel for Aaron Miller, Barb Carr and Ronda Lennon in August to attend a work conference in Vancouver, WA, as well as a request for Debbie Stalnecker and Gienah Cheney to attend a conference on Language Assessment this school year.
Athletic Program Receives Grant-Athletic Director Gordon Jarman told the Board that he has applied for and been awarded a $10,000 grant for field improvements at the new school campus. The grant is a Participation Grant through the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA). Jarman’s application, called “Fields of Dreams” would put top soil and goal posts on the proposed football field at the new school, improving the practice area and allowing 8th grade football games to be played there. The grant calls for $8,200 in matching funds, which Jarman says still need to be raised.
VES Attendance-Vernonia Elementary School Principal Aaron Miller provided the Board with an updated attendance report. Miller told the Board that the school currently has 232 total students and that 100 students have missed 4 days, 82 students have missed 8 days, and 23 students have missed 12 days. Parents of these students have been contacted by school staff. Miller also noted that 86 students have 5 or less absences this year.
Principal Report-High School and Middle School Principal Nate Underwood was not in attendance but provided a written report which noted that 14 students were inducted into National Honor Society; that spring sports have begun; current enrollment at VMS is 132 and at VHS is 189; and that 14 VMS students will travel to Washington DC from April 13-17 as part of the Close Up Program.
Winter Sports Report-Athletic Director Gordon Jarman presented the Board with a report on winter sports. He told the Board that the wrestling team started the season with 18 wrestlers and ended with just 12. Jarman said he is working with head coach Chris Barnes to find ways to keep members on the team. 4 wrestlers went to the state tournament. There were also 3 VMS wrestlers who were district champions.
Boys basketball struggled this year and missed the league playoffs for the first time in several years. Jarman said the team was young this year and lost several close games. 2 players were named Second Team All-League.
Jarman said the girls basketball team was the highlight of the winter season, going 22-3 on the season and reaching the state playoffs for the second year in a row. All 5 starters received All League recognition and head coach Steve Whiteman has been selected to coach the All-State Team later this summer.
In VMS sports the 7th grade boys basketball team finished with a 5-4 record and the 8th grade boys finished with a 7-2 record and have a combined record of 16-3 over the last 2 years.
Graduation Requirements- Superintendent Ken Cox gave the Board a copy of the new Graduation Requirements Administrative Rule, which reduces the credits required to 25.5. This update also includes that 40 hours of Community Service hours are required to graduate. There was no Board action needed to implement this change.
Healthy Teen Survey Report- DeAnna Pearl gave a report to the Board on the results from the 2013 Healthy Teen Survey which is administered to 8th and 11th graders. The survey includes questions regarding physical health, mental health, school success, and nutrition. Pearl reported that, since the 2012 report, use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and prescription drugs has dropped, in some cases very significantly. Pearl also reported that student’s perception of parental and peer disapproval of use of controlled substances has also decreased-meaning students think their parents and peers don’t disapprove of use. Pearl’s reports covered numerous topics and statistics and ended with a brief discussion about Positive Youth Development which Pearl says contains six components: emotional and mental health, physical health, feelings of competence, self-confidence, support from a caring adult in school and service to the community. Pearl said students reported a lack of volunteerism and supportive adults.
Lemay Named to Budget Committee-The Board approved the application of Maria Lemay to serve on the VSD Budget Committee.