OHS graduation moved back a week

Second at-large board position

OROVILLE – While Oroville senior students are used to graduating a week before the official end of the school year, conflicts with state playoffs means they’ll have to wait this year.

“They can’t graduate the Saturday before the last day of school because that’s state competition… student athletes that have graduated could not compete,” said Superintendent Steve Quick at the school board’s Monday, Nov. 25 meeting.

That means the seniors will have to wait until the first Saturday after the official end of the school year, putting them in conflict with neighboring district at Tonasket, which also has it’s graduation that day. The district will try and set a time where the two ceremonies are not at the same time, allowing those who wish to attend both time to get from one to the next.

M&O Levy

The superintendent and the board also discussed the replacement of the two-year Maintenance and Operation Levy in February.

“I suggest we replace the maintenance and operation levy at the exact same value… with the recent valuation the collection rate will probably go down a little. It was at $2.46 per thousand (dollars of property valuation),” said Quick.

Redistricting

The superintendent asked for and got approval of creating a second at-large school director position in an effort to fill a seat on the board that has remained open since Director David Nutt stepped down from Position 5.

“The District 5 position has been open since August last year. To do this will require redistricting, changing the borders of the three current districts to absorb District 5,” said Quick.

“I think we’ll get a lot more interest. Obviously not a lot of people from that area currently did not want to get involved.”

Reports

There were reports from two of the board members, the principals, the superintendent, student representatives, two teachers, the athletic director and business manager.

School Directors Travis Loudon and Todd Hill reported on their recent attendance, with board chairman Rocky DeVon and Supt. Quick, at the Washington State School Directors Association meeting.

“We had two full days and got some time at workshops, including on next generation science education and Common Core standards,” said Loudon.

“They were real helpful to understanding the standards a little better,” added Hill.

The superintendent said he had been able to attend a couple of workshops, including one on school safety.

“The main emphasis is on drills in the school, tabletop exercises as well as full blown exercises,” said Quick.

Elementary Principal Joan Hoehn said the grade school had been very busy, especially as the end of the year nears.

“We had children’s author Jack Gantos and also the Missoula Children’s Theatre. The production of Alice in Wonderland was so much more colorful that in past productions,” Hoehn said.

She said the Christmas Concerts at the elementary will be on Dec. 12 and Dec. 18, with the fourth through sixth graders on Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. and the kindergarten through third graders on Dec. 18 at 1:30 p.m. Early release for the holiday break is Dec. 10 at 12:55 p.m. and school resumes on Jan. 6, 2014.

High School Principal Kristin Sarmiento reported on her and Hoehn’s continued training, including a second round of training for TPEP that took place a Cheney. She also said they were learning about High Yield Strategies and learning how as administrators they can help their staff be better overall.

“Wenatchee Valley College sent an invitation to apply for a grant on how to make the transmission smother to college using Common Core,” said Sarmiento.

Quick said the district was working on the new phone system which was funded through e-rate funds. The system is a Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VOIP, based system and he said that the district was a little tentative over its implementation.

“Teachers, secretaries and the administrators all have new handsets… we’re nervous, but also excited,” Quick said. “The system goes on line Dec. 16.”

The superintendent also reported that the company installing the HVAC system at the high school hoped to have it up and running by the next week and that the awnings at the elementary school were almost finished.

“Bricks will go around the pillars,” he said.

Lily Hilderbrand and Jacob Scott, who were sworn in by Supt. Quick as the student representatives to the board at the beginning of the meeting.

“As student representatives you can’t voter, but the main reason you are here is because we need your input,” explained Quick.

Each gave a quick report to the board.

“This month wasn’t as exciting as last,” said Hilderbrand, adding that the Association of Student Councils was helping organize a fundraiser for Children’s Hospital.

Scott said that the high school football team helped with the tire disposal program at the Ellisforde Transfer Station by loading tires on to trailers. He also said the senior class was selling Hornet lanyards to help fund the senior trip after graduation.

Athletic Director Tam Hutchinson reported on the fall sports season, including highlights from his football teams run at the state playoffs, finishing their season 7-3.

“The head football coach at Gonzaga Prep (where the state game was held) even took the time to write Mrs. Sarmiento and say what a great group we were and took the time to compliment our community and school,” said Hutchinson.

Jennifer Clark, a kindergarten teacher at the elementary, discussed a grant called Leader in Me, based on the Seven Habits of Affective Leadership. She said a leadership team made a presentation at Waterville where the grant has been implemented in the school district. The program teaches students and adults how to be good leaders, be highly effective people and make good decisions, according to Clark.

“They put on a really good presentation about how it has positively affected their school,” she said.

Fellow elementary teacher Jodi Shirley also attended the workshop added, “Parents say they can’t believe the difference in their kids. They also have adult classes,” said Shirley.

“I appreciate you guys’ willingness to look into this… it’s refreshing,” said School Director DeVon.

Ryan Frazier reported on reported on the curriculum for his seventh grade student growth goals. He talked about the goals covering History, Geography and Economics.

Second at-large board position

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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