OROVILLE – While Oroville’s two school principals’ contracts were renewed by “default,” Superintendent Steve Quick’s contract was not extended for a third year after a motion to approve failed for lack of a second.
The motion was called for as part of the agenda from the last school board meeting held Monday, June 29. School Director Todd Hill said he wanted to move to “disapprove” the contract extension, but was told that a motion could only be voted on for approval and that if it did not get enough votes it would be considered “disapproved.” However, Director Amy Wise’s motion to approve the one-year extension didn’t get a second and failed.
“The motion dies for a lack of a second,” said Director Rocky DeVon, the board chairman.
This doesn’t mean Quick is going anywhere, he still has two years remaining on a three-year contract and the board could elect to readdress an extension at a future meeting if they choose.
The situation regarding the two principals, Joan Hoehn at the elementary and Kristin Sarmiento at the high school, was even more unusual. When it came to voting on renewing their contracts Hill stepped in at each vote and said they were renewed by “default” because their contracts are renewed automatically unless they are informed that they won’t be by mid-May, which they weren’t.
“I move to take no action… after consulting legal council the contract is renewed by default,” said Hill.
Teaching Staff to Fight Back
The school board briefly discussed two programs that would aid teachers and other staff how to diffuse or end a threat to the school. The first is called GAP Security Officer Training the other would involve special training that would allow certain staff to have be armed on school grounds.
“I really like the GAP training, it teaches staff how to fight back. If you’re not trained often people tend to panic,” said Director Hill, who is Oroville’s Police Chief.
“We’re not talking about arming teachers?” asked Booker.
“That’s a different type of training, but it could be part of the equation,” said DeVon. “Three schools in the state have gone through this process.”
Booker said having to arm teachers would be a “sad state of affairs,” although he was not adverse to the GAP training.
“Honestly Ed, it would not be open to every staff member, there would be a screening and selection process,” DeVon said.
Hill added that Supt. Quick, who was not present, said it was something to talk about and perhaps have a public forum.
“I think we have to have a discussion about this, it doesn’t mean we have to do it,” said Director Mike Egerton. “I think we nee a healthy debate, I want to know what the community things, what the teachers think.”
Hill added, “We don’t even know what our insurers would say.”
Students at the schools he had visited felt it was a positive step, according to DeVon.
“But GAP and firearms are two separate issues.
College & Telescopes
In her report Principal Sarmiento said the high school was moving from the Running Start program, to College in the High School. Both programs allow students to earn college credits while in high school, however, Oroville is offering more opportunities for students with different two- and four-year colleges. Next year students students as young as tenth grade will the allowed to participate.
“We offered a lot of running start classes…more than anyone else around, probably double the classes of anyone else around,” said Sarmiento.
Teacher Ed Booker gave a brief update on the telescope was given to the school by CalPoly to help record data surrounding Pluto, while there are over 50 schools all the way down to California that are involved in the program, Oroville is the northernmost, he said.
“We did our first oscillation for the research program,” said Booker, who added that the $10,000 telescope becomes the property of the school and will be an asset to the district for years to come.
“The reason we did the program is because we got a $10,000 telescope, you can see Jupiter and its four moons, as well as Saturn’s rings,” said Booker.