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Summary of the School Board meeting on January 21, 2020..


Aberdeen School District No. 5

Summary of School Board of Directors Meeting

January 21, 2020


Following a 30-minute delay due to a tornado warning, President Sandra Bielski convened the regular meeting of the Aberdeen School District Board of Directors at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 21, 2020, in the Community Room at Aberdeen High School. Directors present were Jennifer Durney, Bill Dyer, Jessica Jurasin and Suzy Ritter, along with student representative Madi Niemi, Superintendent Alicia Henderson and 55 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 January 7, 2020;
  • December payroll vouchers totaling $3,043,998.30;
  • General Fund vouchers totaling $580,625.92, ASB Fund vouchers totaling $13,293.80, a Capital Projects Fund voucher in the amount of $17,818.23, and a Private Purpose Trust Fund voucher in the amount of $120.00, and
  • A gift to the AHS Orchestra from the family of Karen Meikle in the amount of $10,000 that was matched by the Capital Group Foundation bringing the total gift to $20,000.

Comments from Board members

  • The audience applauded Director Bill Dyer’s remarks expressing appreciation for the large donation for the AHS Orchestra that was accepted in the Consent Agenda.
  • Director Dyer also commented that the Aberdeen High School and Miller Junior High School jazz bands are to be commended for their outstanding performances during the Grays Harbor College Jazz Festival.

Comments from Student Representative

Student Representative Madi Niemi provided a report on student activities at the high school and in the district. She noted that student conferences are upcoming, that rehearsals for the upcoming production of The Addams Family have begun, the basketball teams have been playing doubleheaders to make up for games postponed due to weather and that the Music Boosters are preparing for the annual auction.

Comments from the Audience 

  • Katie Hirschfeld, a teacher at Harbor High School, offered comment in support of AHS Principal Sherri Northington. 
  • Jenn Gillies, president of Out and Proud Grays Harbor Coalition, offered comment about incidents that took place during a demonstration by Gay Straight Alliance students at Aberdeen High School and the follow-up by the superintendent and Director Bill Dyer. She offered to lead a Safe Space training in the district.

Policy 4130 Parental Involvement

The Board approved an update to Policy 4130 Parental Involvement, a required Title 1 policy.

Superintendent’s Report 

  • Bond and Levy Update: Superintendent Henderson discussed the work taking place in support of the bond and levy on the February 11 ballot. She noted ballots are being mailed this week. 
  • Legislative Update: Superintendent Henderson discussed House Bill 2237 and Senate Bill 6075 that have been introduced by local lawmakers to address inequities in local levy funding for property poor districts. She noted that she will testifying during a hearing in the Senate on January 22. 
  • Drug Free Schools: Superintendent Henderson discussed the K-9 sweep that took place at Aberdeen High School on January 14. She noted that the enforcement is just one piece of a larger effort to maintain drug free schools while also offering instruction and support so students make healthy choices and establish positive relationships. Two parent meetings are planned:
    • 6 p.m. Thursday, February 20, at Miller Junior High School for Miller families,
    • 6 p.m. Monday, March 16, in the Auditorium at Aberdeen High School for AHS and Harbor High School families. 
  • Food Service: Superintendent Henderson discussed the district’s third year of providing free breakfast and lunch, and some of the challenges of maintaining eligibility for the program. 

Fiscal Status Report

Business and Operations Director Elyssa Louderback presented the Fiscal Status Report for December. With 33 percent of the year elapsed, the district has received 30.32 percent of expected revenue and is at 33 percent of expenditures.   

Bond Counsel

The Board approved a contract with the firm of Foster Garvey of Seattle to provide services as bond counsel upon passage of the bond measure for a new Stevens Elementary School. 

Policy 3122 Absences

An update to Policy 3122, Excused and Unexcused Absences, was introduced for first reading. 

Policy 3211 Gender-Inclusive Schools

An update to Policy 3211, Gender Inclusive Schools, was introduced for first reading. 


Comments from the Audience

Kelly Silveira, a parent of three students in the district, offered comment asking the superintendent and Board of Directors to read a study she presented that was done in the Yakima School District regarding civility. 

Amanda Hayden Sauer, a student at Aberdeen High School, offered comment in support of AHS Principal Sherri Northington and Vice Principal Lonni Tegelberg. 

Tricia Sorenson, a parent in the district, offered comment asking the board to reconsider the decision to reassign Principal Northington. 

Personnel Matters

The board approved the Personnel Report and conducted the superintendent’s mid-year evaluation. 

Next Meeting

The next meeting of the board is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday, February 4, at A.J. West Elementary School.