Kinross and Oroville Booster Club donate to buy reader board

OROVILLE – Kinross Gold Company and the Oroville Booster Club have donated $22,000 to the Oroville School District towards the purchase of a new programable electronic reader board to replace the current sign at Oroville’s Triangle Park.

The school board approved the $12,000 donation from the Booster Club and $10,000 from Kinross at their Monday, Feb. 27 meeting. The two-sided electronic billboard will cost about $32,000 with taxes and installation, according to Superintendent Steve Quick, who researched the project for the Booster Club.

“We got three different bids and that was by far the best deal,” said Supt. Quick. “It will be wirelessly programmable from the school. Everyone is pretty excited because we’ll be able to get school events up in a more timely manner and also be able to run some city events during the summer.”

In addition to accepting the donation, the board also approved a field trip to Washington, D.C. for five students and their teacher, administering the Healthy Youth Survey, accepting Linda Zosel’s retirement at the end of the year, adding Diana Luca to the substitute teachers list and having Kristin Sarmiento and Walt Arnold as co-coaches of the tennis team.

Under ‘Good News and Announcements’ Quick commented on his gratitude to the community for passing the two-year Maintenance and Operations levy by 63 percent.

“That’s huge, it only passed by 55 percent last time,” Quick said.

Shay Shaw, district business manager, reported that the district has 631.34 FTE students enrolled.

“That’s still above what we budgeted for, but we did see an eight student drop from January through February. That often happens because parents who are planning a move usually plan it around semester change,” said Shaw.

She added the numbers in kindergarten through first grade are going up, saying she hopes the trend continues as the high school is graduating a large class in June.

“We usually check with pre-schools and Head Start to estimate what our incoming kindergarten classes will be. They did screening early last year and we still had about 15 more in kindergarten than we expected,” she said. “We have a big class graduating so it would be great if the numbers in the lower grades go up.”

The board briefly discussed rumors of bus route changes that were brought to the attention of Director David Nutt.

“I got another phone call from a person in my district about rumors of bus route changes. I emailed Steve (Supt. Quick) and he said of course anything is possible, but no changes are planned in the immediate future,” Nutt said.

“We are just looking at the routes, there could be changes if we could combine two routes on the hill and determine if the kids could have less time riding the bus on a combined route,” said Quick.

Director Christine Rise said she was concerned that there could be a trickle down affect if a senior driver bumps one with less seniority leading to a driver who doesn’t know the kids on a particular route.

Director Phil Barker, chairman of the board, said he would like the board to consider readdressing student policy that makes a Running Start student ineligible to be named class valedictorian. He also said he felt the district had violated his right to privacy when it printed an email he had sent to a school employee that was on the district’s server.

There was disagreement among the board, as well as those in attendance, about whether the email on the district’s server was covered under a federal law protecting electronic correspondence or under the state law which would make it a public record.

Barker argued that printing it out would require either his permission or a court order. While others argued that as a public official his correspondence regarding school matters was considered part of the school record.

Supt. Quick suggested Ed Naillon, who teaches technology, attend a future board meeting to discuss the ins and outs of privacy in regards to what’s on the district’s server. He said the other option was to pay the district’s attorney to come to a board meeting and discuss the issue.

“Having Ed come and address the board would be a good first start,” Quick said.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are the Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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