Oroville School District will soon begin search for new superintendent

OROVILLE – With Dr. Ernie Bartelson planning on retiring after one more year as superintendent, the Oroville School Board will start the process of finding his replacement in the upcoming months.

“In July you asked about procedures for hiring a new superintendent next spring for the 2009-2010 school year,” said Supt. Bartelson. “Generally we have until early December before we want to get this thing rolling.”

Bartleson said there are professionals that can help with the process and that the board can address whether they want to consult with one in the upcoming months.

Three students appeared before the school board requesting that Cross Country Track not be dropped from this year’s offerings of fall sports. The board had considered dropping the program as part of a cost savings measure.

“We’ve heard that cross country was going to be cut and we don’t want that,” said Isaac Iverson, a senior, who added that there were eight kids who want to be on the team this year — about the same number as last year.

“My dad, Doug Funston, would volunteer to coach the team without pay,” said Brandon Funston. “He just thinks we should keep the cross country program.”

David Peters added, “This is me and Isaac’s senior year and we’d like to see the team get going before it’s too late.”

Although the board did not make a decision about retaining the sport for this fall, they said they would consider the student’s request.

Chief Financial Officer Shay Shaw discussed the district’s new financial software. She said that although it did not provide some of the same financial reports as the district’s old software, she felt it would be more versatile and useful to the district.

One difference is that instead of voucher or warrant numbers, the district will now use check numbers, according to Shaw.

“Once we get used to it there are actually components that are very useful. Employees will be able to log on to check on the number of sick days they have used and how many they have remaining for example,” said Shaw.

In a matter related to sick leave, Shaw said the district would have to pay for over $23,000 in sick leave buy-outs from retiring staff members.

“The state does not pay for any of that… it comes directly from the district,” she said.

Other expenses for this month include payments to a plumbing company making improvements to the elementary school plumping, the cost of the yearly fire alarm and extinguisher safety check and a two week course to instruct John Steg on training new bus drivers.

“Now that he is certified he can help Randy (Bell) train new bus drivers,” said Shaw, adding that he has already trained one new driver.

Supt. Bartelson said the district currently had enough drivers, but could use more for substitutes.

Shaw said the district also paid $7721 for a new Panasonic copy machine for the district office.

“We can no longer get parts or toner for the old one,” she explained. “The purchase of this machine covers the first year of maintenance as well.”

Shaw said the district was still paying out more for its food program than what it costs to run it.

“There may be a program available to reduce that amount, although it may cost more than what we’d save,” said Shaw, indicating that option would need more study.

“We don’t want to pay out more than we are now. We just want to see if there is a way to reduce our costs,” she said.

Bartelson said the district should be considering a new student representative to the board of directors.

“I think we should consider someone who could serve the whole year. The ESD (Educational Services District) prefers having one rep for the full year rather than changing halfway through,” said High School Principal Steve Quick.

The board approved items A through F by consent after a motion by Director Teddi Lynn Fletcher.

Among the items on the list was approval of a resolution allowing retired teachers as substitutes in the 2008-2009 school year and approval the substitute list for this year’s school year. In addition they approved a Psychologist Agreement for Services with the Okanogan School District beginning Sept. 1.

The district will call for bids for fuel for the year to be in by 2 p.m. on Sept. 12, 2008.