OROVILLE – The Oroville School Board met for their February meeting last Monday and heard a report on the new In-House Suspension rooms the board agreed to staff at their previous monthly meeting.
“It’s been used nearly on a daily basis, although there have been a few days when no students had been sent there,” said Kristin Sarmiento, high school principal. “We’ve had no complaints from the parents or community… there has been some grumbling from the students, which is we know because they don’t want to be there.”
Director Kolo Moser asked if there had been a decrease in disruptive behaviors in the classes since the In-House Suspension Room had been enabled.
“The numbers, according to how many students have been sent to In-House have peaked a little, probably because the room is now available to the teachers. As a whole we are not flooded with kids in there,” said Sarmiento, promising a full report on both the high school and elementary for the March school board meeting.
The principal said that some kids get sent to the room for only a period, while others get sent for half a day or a whole day, depending on whether they are multiple offenders. She said the teacher generally determined when the student could reenter the classroom.
“Well, we’re using it… most of our kids don’t get a whole suspension day,” said Joan Hoehn, the elementary principal, adding, “Our full time person doesn’t start until March 1.
Director Mike Egerton, the board’s chairman was participating via teleconference because he could not attend in person.
“My main concern is there are all sorts of WAC codes we have to adhere to. Parents need to be notified. I want to do this with fidelity to comply with state laws,” said Egerton.
“Paras (para professionals) can’t just send the student back to the classroom without the principal and teacher conferring. The teacher has to agree to it,” said Superintendent Steve Quick.
“Is the councilor being utilized so they can bring the student back into the classroom faster?” asked Egerton. “Are the teachers being educated on the WAC codes as to how the system works?”
Hoehn said the elementary had a great councilor that works with the student before and after being sent to In-House, as well as when they are there.
Sarmiento said that the high school had a surge in referrals to In-House but expected it to drop once the students learned that they were not going to be sent home for suspension. Parents, however, have the right to have the student serve suspension at home.
“We have had 84 negative referrals and 20 positive referrals,” said Sarmiento. “I do thing the negative numbers should be dropping as the students figure out they don’t want to be there.”
In other business, Travis Loudon and Moser will make up the board’s facility committee; Egerton and Frazier will be part of the curriculum committee and the discipline committee.
Under Good News and Announcements Supt. Quick commented on the work that has been done to fix the bleachers in the elementary school gym.
“The bleachers have been repaired the four aisles now all have handrails, it is way safer than it used to be,” said Quick.
Under Public Comment, Phil Barker, a former school board member, said that the school should settle any litigation it might be involved in. He said this without indicating what litigation, but Director Fraizer, who has brought suit against the district, asked to be recused from the discussion.
“Settle it, the board has the power to settle it and that would be best for all concerned,” said Barker.