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Summary of the School Board meeting on September 15, 2020


Aberdeen School District No. 5

Summary of School Board of Directors Meeting


 September 15, 2020

President Sandra Bielski convened the regular meeting of the Aberdeen School District Board of Directors at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 15, 2020, via webinar following guidance for conducting remote meetings in compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act. Directors present were Bill Dyer, Jessica Jurasin and Suzy Ritter, along with Student Representative Katlynn Smith, Superintendent Alicia Henderson and 58 patrons and staff watching remotely. Director Jennifer Durney was excused.

The meeting began with the Flag salute.

Minutes, Bills, Trips & Gifts

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which included:

  • The minutes from the meeting on September 1, 2020, and the workstudy on August 25, 2020;

  • Payroll vouchers totaling $3,499,105.80;

  • General Fund vouchers totaling $756,457.20;

  • ASB Fund vouchers totaling $16,467.01, and

  • Private Purpose Trust Fund vouchers totaling $13,103.57.


Comments from Board Members

  • Director Dyer read a tribute in appreciation of Lynne Lerych, retired Grays Harbor College instructor, former School Board director, musician, playwright and author, who passed away recently in Spain. President Bielski commented that it was a true pleasure to serve with her on the board.

  • President Bielski spoke in appreciation of the Technology Department, specifically the efforts by the technology crew to work with students to provide devices and ensure access to the internet.

  • Director Ritter spoke in appreciation of the start of school overall, commenting that her students’ teachers made it smooth and easy to access their classroom remotely.

Comments from Student Representative

Student Representative Katlynn Smith reported school is going well and students are adjusting to Canvas and the block schedule for distance learning.


Superintendent’s Report

Distance Learning Update: Superintendent Henderson reported that the “Smart Start” to distance learning was very successful, with parents expressing appreciation for the opportunity to meet with teachers and learn Canvas before classes were fully under way. In addition, the Connection Teams are working hard to contact families that did not come to a Smart Start conference or who have indicated they needed help to get ready for school. While there have been some snags, primarily related to technology, she said the entire district should be proud of the persistence, creativity and commitment by staff to provide a distance learning program of such high quality to the students of Aberdeen. Superintendent Henderson also praised the work of principals and the Technology Department.

COVID-19 Response: Superintendent Henderson reported that Grays Harbor County remains a “high risk” county with a rising case count. She noted that Aberdeen is among the many districts experiencing lower enrollment due to the pandemic and that the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Chris Reykdal, announced earlier today that the state is extending the count date to September 30, which means any students who begin school this month can be counted for funding purposes.


Fiscal Status Report

Executive Director of Business and Operations Elyssa Louderback provided the Fiscal Status Report for August. She reported ending fund balances of $2,356,235.94 in the General Fund, $316,795.58 in the Capital Projects Fund, $2,393,120.10 in the Debt Service Fund, $293,120.49 in the ASB Fund, and $299,093.42 in the Transportation Vehicle Fund. With 100 percent of the year elapsed, the district has spent 97 percent of budgeted expenditures, but she said there are additional expenditures that will be paid in the coming weeks that will be charged to the 2019-20 school year.

Director Dyer asked about the apparent shortfall in federal revenue of $1.15 million. Mrs. Louderback said this is the decreased revenue in Food Service due to fewer students being served, along with some programs and grant funding the district wasn’t able to claim due to the closure last spring. She explained that Food Service is reimbursed based on the number of meals served. This year, the challenges were significant in Food Service as fewer students were being served, but costs were higher. She noted that some CARES Act funding was used to help offset the lower revenue. It will remain a significant challenge this year, as well, to keep Food Service solvent, she said.


Enrollment Report

Executive Director of Business and Operations Elyssa Louderback reported that enrollment after the first count day in September was more than 160 less than budgeted, which will result in a revenue shortfall of about $2 million when factoring funding of $12,802 per student. Connection Teams are continuing to reach out to families that earlier reported plans to attend. Enrollment declines are being seen around the state, she reported, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction has extended the count date to September 30 so that any students that are added to the roster in September can be counted for funding.


Highly Capable Annual Report

Principal Bryan McKinney presented the High Capable Annual Report. He reviewed program offerings last spring, before and during the school closure, and outlined plans for 2020-2021. There are currently 88 students in the program and 37 referrals to be considered.

Nursing Director Contract

The board approved a contract with Lindsey Kargbo to serve as nursing director in the Professional Medical Careers program at the Twin Harbors Branch of the Skills Center.


Policy Updates

The board approved updates to the following policies as recommended by the Washington State School Directors’ Association:

  • Policy 3122 – Excused and Unexcused Absences
  • Policy 3250 Procedures – Sexual harassment of Students Prohibited
  • Policy 3414 – Infectious Disease
  • Policy 5610 Procedures – Substitute Employees


Next Meeting

The next regular meeting of the board is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday, October 6, 2020, to be conducted remotely with proper notice and access provided under the governor’s emergency provisions of the Open Public Meetings Act.


Personnel Report

Following an executive session, the board approved the personnel matters.


Memorandums of Understanding

The Board approved MOUs with three bargaining units – Public School Employees, Maintenance and Operations (AFSCME), and Food and Transportation (AFSCME).


Superintendent Goals

The Board approved the superintendent’s goals for 2020-2021.