Oroville School District working on facility improvement plan

OROVILLE – Superintendent Steve Quick told the Oroville School Board he had met with the pre-bond facilities committee and they were working towards a “solid” plan to finance improvements to the district’s buildings.

Quick made his remarks during his superintendent’s report at the Monday, Oct. 24 meeting of the board. He said the survey of the facilities had been completed.

“The facilities survey document gives our buildings a rank which the state uses when grant or loan money comes up,” Quick said.

In addition, the superintendent said a roofer had also assessed the elementary and high school buildings’ roofs.

“I think we learned more from him on the roofs’ condition. We were looking at spending lots of money on the grade school roof and in lots of ways the high school roof has more problems,” said Tedi Fletcher, chairwoman of the board.

On a different subject, Quick said the state was looking at additional potential cuts.

“We don’t know the quantity or where, or whether they will be retroactive like last year,” he said.

The superintendent said he had met with the classified staff to discuss their contracts and also had met with the OEA (Oroville Education Association) about the certified staffs’ contracts.

“I met with the OEA on Oct. 4 to talk about the 1.9 percent pay cut and they said they’d have a proposal on Oct. 5. I’ve been waiting for the document… I still haven’t seen it,” he said.

Finally, Quick said a plaque was awarded to Clyde Pock for his more than 50 years of service as a referee and umpire for school sporting events up and down the valley. The presentation was made in honor of the octogenarian, who is still going strong, following Oroville’s Homecoming game. The plaque will be on display at Coulton Auditorium, according to the superintendent.

In her principal’s report for the high school, Kristin Sarmiento said fall sports were winding down. Sarmiento also reported on the success of the recent college fair held at the high school. She said there were many college and military representatives at the event, which was organized as a senior project by one of the students.

“We heard a lot of comments about how professional our students are,” Sarmiento said.

The principal turned the floor over to Drivers Ed teacher Walt Arnold. He reported that the class, which he took over at the beginning of this year, is going well and that there are just two weeks of classroom time left for this semester.

“It is going real well, but we’re putting in a lot of hours. The car runs well and we did the Loomis Loop the other day… fortunately we didn’t hit any deer,” said Arnold. “Just watching the kids grow and realizing how much multitasking is involved… the dynamic is fascinating.”

Arnold said the students will be practicing their parallel parking next week and that they will drive to Omak so the students can practice where there are stoplights.

The board approved a consent agenda which contained multiple items, including hiring Julie Tyus as the third kindergarten teacher, Mike Pitts as head boys soccer coach and Terry Mason as a regular bus driver. The consent items also included acceptance of a donation of a tenor saxophone and a practice drum and case for the elementary school. In addition the safe walk zone was part of the consent agenda. The zone was established near the main entrance to the elementary school as a safe area for pick up and drop off of students.

Elementary Principal Joan Hoehn reported that with the new kindergarten teacher on the job, there are now three classes of kindergarten with 20 students in each. She also reported that the fifth grade class was getting ready to observe salmon from the Similkameen Trail.

“The Missoula Children’s Theatre is coming and auditions have been scheduled for Nov. 7 at 3:15,” Hoehn said.

The production of King Arthur’s Quest will be preformed on Saturday, Nov. 12.

She also said that the elementary school was working on a wellness program called “Have you filled your bucket today?” which encourages doing nice things for other people.

“If everyone’s bucket is being filled rather than dipped out of your whole house is better, your whole school is better and your whole community is better,” she said.

Shay Shaw, district business manager, gave the board a print out of the current enrollment in the school district along with her financial report. The district had 643.55 FTEs in September and 648.67 in October. This is nearly 50 more students than the board built its budget around and means the district will be getting increased basic education funding.

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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