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Regular Board Meeting Report – August 17, 2023

August 21, 2023

At the August board meeting, the board approved the hiring of Brittni Evans, 6th grade teacher, and Ricki Hendrix, PE/Electives teacher, for the upcoming school year, as well as accepted the resignations of David Crowe – Forestry, Eric Clendenin – K – 12 Principal, Jennie Wiley – LaHO SPED teacher, and Skip Lynch – HS Science.

Superintendent Krista Nieraeth discussed the new handbooks that will be implemented for employees, students, volunteers, and substitutes, all of which outline procedures, processes, and expectations. These handbooks are based on board policy and if at any time there is a conflict between board policy and the handbook, the board policy will always supersede the language in the handbook. These handbooks will be posted to the district’s website. Ms. Nieraeth also presented to the board a job description for each position in the district and told the board that the descriptions will be in a binder for public viewing in the district office and every employee will receive their job description and sign that they have read and understood the duties of their position. The district staff has been working hard to ensure that these two things are completed before the start of in – service. An MOU was presented to the board between the Alsea Pups Preschool and the Alsea School District, which lays out the responsibilities of both organizations. The preschool will continue to use the district’s facilities, transportation, and food services at no cost, but will pay $300 per month to cover utilities for the building.  Lastly, Ms. Nieraeth reported that OHSA had contacted her in early July to discuss payment of the $43,000 fine that was levied against Alsea in February 2021 due to a board resolution allowing masks to be optional in the school buildings. Working with the school’s legal counsel, Ms. Nieraeth reported that OSHA and the district came to an agreement to have the fine reduced to $15,000.

Don Staehely, Alsea’s business manager, reviewed the financial reports from last year, and discussed with the board the budget law, what monies were spent during the last fiscal year, and how the monies were appropriated moving into this year. He also discussed why the state uses the higher of the 2-year ADMw numbers to fund schools. The audit has also been pushed back to October.

The board voted to approve the Superintendent Evaluation Standards, Process, and Calendar, as well as Resolution 23-3, which effectively terminates the transportation contract between Kings Valley Charter School (KVCS) and Alsea School District effective August 25, 2023, and transfers all KVCS vehicles from Alsea to Fall City School District. Ms. Nieraeth discussed that KVCS will pay approximately $224,000 to reimburse Alsea for the unpaid balances on the buses, as well as payroll and administrative costs.

Chris and Nancy Giggy presented three items to the board to take action on. The first item was to approve the cost estimate for the vocational building, which shows the low and high side estimated cost to build the vocational building. The low side estimated cost was $1.8 million, with the high side estimated cost being approximately $2.1 million. The Giggys reminded the board that both prices including contingencies to help mitigate rising costs, if there are any, and those prices could be lowered through the removal of items that are deemed not necessary in the building and could be reused from already existed materials. The board voted to approve this design cost. The board also approved the fee proposal from the Soderstrom Architects, as well as the Finding of Fact document for the use of an alternative contracting method to hire a contractor in the construction of the vocational building.

Jamie Olsen reported on the OSBA conference held in Salem the weekend prior and commented on how much she had learned about processes and different legislation, as well as how excited she was to learn that there is a push for a Rural Caucus to form within the OSBA organization to advocate for the needs of rural schools throughout the state. Mrs. Olsen mentioned that the Fall OSBA Conference will be held in Portland in November.