Summary of the School Board meeting on April 21, 2020
Aberdeen School District No. 5
Summary of School Board of Directors Meeting
March 21, 2020
President Sandra Bielski convened the regular meeting of the Aberdeen School District Board of Directors at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 21, 2020, via webinar following guidance for conducting remote meetings in compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act. Directors present were Bill Dyer, Jennifer Durney, Jessica Jurasin and Suzy Ritter, along with Superintendent Alicia Henderson and up to 88 patrons and staff watching remotely.
The meeting began with the Flag salute.
Minutes, Bills, Trips & Gifts
The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which included:
- The minutes from the regular meeting on March 16, 2020, and the special meeting on March 18, 2020;
- March payroll vouchers totaling $3579,211.52;
- General Fund vouchers totaling $730,692.58, ASB Fund vouchers totaling $13,023.97; Capital Projects Fund voucher in the amount of $5,143.30, and Private Purpose Trust Fund vouchers totaling $982.79, and
- Correspondence from Grays Harbor County regarding the availability of the Juvenile Detention Center in 2020-2021.
Comments from Board members
- Director Bill Dyer read a statement on behalf of the Board of Directors regarding the need for budget reductions and a reduction in force due to the inequitable state funding model that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Comments from the Audience
An opportunity was provided to the public to submit comment via email prior to the meeting. There was no public comment.
- Pandemic Update: Superintendent Henderson provided an update on measures the district has put into place for distance learning and food service in response to the COVID-19 crisis and the governor’s order extending the statewide school closures through the remainder of the school year.
- Budget Update: Superintendent Henderson provided information to the Board on the need for revised budget projections and outlining the reasons for her recommendation that the district prepare for a reduced educational program in 2020-2021. A presentation to the district’s Budget Advisory Committee was shared with the Board. Superintendent Henderson noted that prior to the pandemic, the district was preparing for reductions totaling $2 million and was developing a plan to balance the budget through attrition. The situation has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and she reported that the needed reductions in order to keep the district solvent are now forecast to be $6.5 million.
Fiscal Status Report
Elyssa Louderback, executive director of business and operations, provided the Fiscal Status Report for March. She reported that with 58.33 percent of the year elapsed, revenue is at 54.21 percent of budget and expenditures are at 57 percent. Under enrollment, she reported the district budgeted for 3,290 FTE (full-time equivalent students) but as of the last count, the FTE was 3,231. She is recommending a reduced enrollment projection for 2020-2021.
CARES Act Waiver
Elyssa Louderback reported that the district has applied to the U.S. Department of Education to allow carryover of unspent Title 1 funds into 2020-2021 due to the pandemic. The district is awaiting guidance on the percentage that will be allowed.
Reduced Educational Program
The Board adopted Resolution 2020-04 Reduced Educational Program, which is a resolution directing the superintendent to prepare for a reduced educational program and reduced staffing for 2020-2021.
President Bielski commented that the Board would not be authorizing reductions unless absolutely necessary. She noted that in the past, the district has been able to recall many notified positions once more information is obtained from the state and budget numbers are fine-tuned, but given the information currently available, a plan for reductions is needed in order to prepare a balanced budget.
Emergency Waiver for Graduation Requirements
The Board approved an application to the State Board of Education for an emergency waiver of credit-based graduation requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Any graduation requirement credit waivers would be considered on an individual basis only after ensuring a good faith effort was made to complete requirements.
The Board approved renewal of a contract with the Hello Foundation to provide various therapy services for 2020-2021, including the placement of Autumn Schreiber and Jennifer Cockrell as psychologists, and Sandra Lucas, Kelsey Baggs and Kayla Jordan as speech language pathologists.
The Board approved a contract with Soliant Health LLC of Tucker, Ga., to place speech language pathologist assistants in the district for 2020-2021.
The Board authorized the superintendent to enter into a contract with DocuSign of San Francisco, Calif., for the management of electronic contracts and agreements, and for the use of e-signatures.
Following an executive session, the board adopted the Personnel Report.
The next meeting of the board is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 5, 2020, to be conducted remotely with proper notice and access provided under the governor’s emergency provisions of the Open Public Meetings Act.