Oroville School Board goes 'paperless'

OROVILLE – The Oroville School Board went “paperless” at their Monday, Sept. 24 meeting, trading the large stacks of paper they once had to wade through, for iPads with the documents preloaded prior to the meeting.

“I think we saved one tree just in this meeting alone,” said School Director Rocky DeVon, board chairman, under “Good News and Announcements.”

Also under Good News and Announcements, Director Amy Wise said, “Kids are busy all over… it looks like the numbers are up in sports as well.”

Principal Joan Hoehn reported on several activities in the elementary school. She said numbers in the kindergarten are a little low and that the first grade kids had gone to the county fair.

“The second grade is excited because they received their worms for science. They get to keep them all year. The third grade is studying the physics of sound for their science projects and the Conservation District is bring up a stream table.”

Hoehn said the fourth grade went for a swim at Veranda Beach’s pool and toured Chief Joseph Dam with the PUD. They are also studying Native American Cultures, she added.

“The fifth grade is getting ready for their salmon eggs to raise and the sixth grade has been fine tuning their math,” she said. “The PTO is helping with the spelling bee.”

High School Principal Kristin Sarmiento said the school was in the process of recruiting student representatives to the school board. She also said that Running Start, history and CWP were going great.

“We are having mid-terms Friday, we are already halfway through the first quarter,” Sarmiento said, adding that the high school has met all the standards for the bilingual program.

The principal said that Challenge Day is scheduled for Oct. 10 and 11 and those wanting to participate should contact Maria Griffith.

“It’s a great program that we haven’t had in seven years,” she said.

Superintendent Steve Quick reported about changes in the state standards.

“We hear more and more that teachers should teach to state standards. Teachers are in a quandary and this new training should help dispel some of the differences,” he said.

Quick said that enrollment was averaging 617 for September, lower than last year at this time, but the budget was built on an enrollment of 599 FTEs so the district was still within budget projections.

“It has been a little rougher because enrollment did not come in as high as we hoped,” Supt. Quick said.

The superintendent added that construction of a new well at the elementary school should help to take care of problems with the heating and cooling system. He added that the cost of drilling the well was being paid by the installers of the HV/AC system because it was their original mistake.

Directors DeVon and Todd Hill commented on WASDA tour of three successful schools on the west side of the state in the Highland School District – Aviation High School, Big Picture and Mount View and the different ways they approach education.

“They felt that facilities didn’t make the education,” said DeVon, who was impressed by Mount View’s dual language program which is instituted starting in kindergarten.

“They teach in both languages making all the kids multilingual,” DeVon said, adding that he and hill feel that the Oroville District might consider implementing their own multilingual program.

“By the fifth grade they feel the kids will be fully ‘bi-literate’ in reading, speaking and writing,” said Hill.

“Todd and I think it is important because our kindergarten is near 50-50, with about half Hispanic kids,” added DeVon.

The board approved hiring Billy Monroe as the second assistant coach for junior high football and Wendie Valliant as the high school assistant volleyball coach. In addition they approved the resignations of Walt Arnold as junior high wrestling coach and high school tennis coach and Kristin Sarmiento as high school tennis coach.

The board accepted donations from the Oroville Booster Club of $1352 for basketball jerseys for the high school girls team and $1126 for junior high volleyball uniforms.

After hearing the financial report from district business manager Shay Shaw the board went into executive session regarding the superintendent review.