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Summary of the School Board meeting on Nov. 5, 2019.


Aberdeen School District No. 5

Summary of School Board of Directors Meeting

November 5, 2019

President Sandra Bielski convened the regular meeting of the Aberdeen School District Board of Directors at 5 p.m. Tuesday, November 5, 2019, in the library at McDermoth Elementary School. Directors present were Jennifer Durney, Bill Dyer and Jeff Nelson, along with student representative Madi Niemi, Superintendent Alicia Henderson and 36 patrons, staff and students.

The meeting began with the Flag salute.

Minutes, Bills, Trips & Gifts

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which included:

  • The minutes of the regular meeting on October 15, 2019;
  • Approved trip requests for the following:
    1. The Miller Prevention Group, sponsored by the Harbor Strong Coalition, to travel to a training in Yakima on November 4-6, and
    2. The Jazz Ensemble at Miller Junior High School to travel to the jazz festival at Central Washington University in Ellensburg on May 15-16, 2020.
  • Accepted gifts to the district from the following:
    1. An employee gift from Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories of Pullman, Wash., in the amount of $100 to be used to inspire learning in math and science,
    2. Multiple donations to the AHS Orchestra in memory of Karen Meikle,
    3. A 2000 Volkswagen Golf valued at $2,811 from Jeff Cook and Becky Walsh to be used in the automotive program at Aberdeen High School, and
    4. Multiple donations from local business in support of a parent effort to provide food and refreshments for staff during conferences at Miller Junior High School.

Comments from Board members

  • Director Jeff Nelson read a statement about his term on the Board of Directors. He said it has been a privilege to serve, that he is grateful for the opportunity to work with current and former board members and staff, and that seeing both the challenges to overcome and the passion for education throughout the district has given him a new appreciation for the job that is being done every day to educate of our children.
  • Sandra Bielski, Bill Dyer and Jennifer Durney each thanked Jeff Nelson for his tenure on the board.
  • President Bielski commented that the WSSDA Regional Meeting at Rochester was very informative.

Comments from Student Representative

Student Representative Made Niemi gave the student representative’s report. She commented that the student body is busy with Foodball, that the senior nights for fall sports have been bittersweet, and that the football team is playing a three-way tiebreaker to determine who goes to the playoffs.

McDermoth Presentation

Jack Ashley, ASB president at McDermoth Elementary School, welcomed the board of Directors to McDermoth Elementary School for the meeting and shared information about the school’s goals and activities.

AHS Trimester Update

Principal Sherri Northington presented information in answer to directors’ questions about Running Start, credit retrieval and discipline data that resulted from the presentation on the trimester system at the October 15 meeting. Superintendent Alicia Henderson announced that a master schedule task force is convening this month with representation from all AHS departments. A final report with recommendations will come to the board in the spring.

Superintendent’s Report

  • Bond and Levy Update: Superintendent Henderson presented financial information and a tax rate analysis about the bond and levy proposals. She reported that the $3.2 million enrichment levy will continue the existing tax and voters are being asked to extend it for four years at the current rate of $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation.

She noted that establishing the levy for the next four years is intended to provide certainty about tax rates at a time when the district is also requesting authority to build a new school.

Regarding the $46.8 million bond request to build a new Stevens Elementary School, she presented financial analysis showing that the bond payments could be structured so that the overall tax rate does not exceed the “pre-McCleary” rates in 2017.

  • Legislative Update: Superintendent Henderson discussed two efforts she’s involved with in advance of the 2020 legislative session – an effort to secure a capital appropriation to help offset the cost of a new Stevens Elementary School and working with area superintendents to keep lawmakers informed on issues important to coastal and rural school districts, especially levy equity.
  • Restorative Practices: Superintendent Henderson discussed the recent professional development on restorative practices, described as effective, research-based ways to support students before discipline results in classroom or school exclusion. The professional development was well received and she is working to bring the trainers back for the district professional development day in February.

Elementary School Improvement Plans

Following a presentation from elementary school principals, the board approved the Title I School Improvement Plans. 

Agreement with the City of Aberdeen

The Board approved a memorandum of understanding with the City of Aberdeen stating that it’s the intent of both entities to enter into a “land swap” with city-owned property adjacent to Stevens School and district-owned property known as Garley Park.

Resolution 2019-13 Bond Resolution

The board unanimously adopted by roll call vote Resolution No. 2019-13 for the February 11, 2020, ballot requesting authority to sell bonds for the construction of a new Stevens Elementary School in the principal amount of no more than $46.8 million.

2019 Bond and Levy Collections

The board unanimously authorized the collection of levy funds in the amount of $21,324.78 and bond funds in the amount of $12,380.72 that were not collected in 2019.

Interdistrict Agreement with Montesano School District

The board approved an interdistrict agreement with the Montesano School District allowing Aberdeen students to enroll in Montesano’s fire science instruction program.

Transportation Co-operative

The board approved renewal of the Pupil Transportation Cooperative with the Hoquiam School District.

Agreement with Rainier Lanes

The board approved renewal of the agreement with Rainier lands to be the home lanes for the Aberdeen High School Bowling Team. 

2019-2020 Propane Bid

The board awarded the 2019-2020 propane contract to the low bidder, Ferrell Gas.

Central Park Library Surplus

The Board declared library materials at Central Park Elementary School that are no longer used due to age or condition surplus as presented.

Comments from the Audience

Kris Koski, chairman of Citizens for Aberdeen Schools, thanked the board for approving the resolution earlier in the meeting and announced that the committee, which is working in support of both the bond and enrichment levy proposals, will now activate the website.

Personnel Matters

The board approved the Personnel Report.

Next Meeting

The next regular meeting of the board is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday, November 19, in the Community Room at Aberdeen High School.