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 Little Snake River Valley School Advisory Board Minutes

April 27 Advisory Board Minutes
Brandy Gillies
Staff Writer


(These are unofficial minutes. Official minutes, kept by the secretary, will be approved at the next board meeting.)
     The Advisory Board meeting on April 27, 2017, was called to order by President Duncan at 4:17 p.m. Those present included board members: Todd Skalberg, Keith Duncan, Jack Corson, and Matt Feldman, as well as Principal Joel Thomas.
Others in attendance were 17 guests, including many of the teachers.
     There were no additions to the agenda made. A motion was made by Corson, and seconded by Skalberg, to approve the minutes of the last meeting, with all voting aye.

Principal's Report:
     Thomas submitted a written report. Enrollment at Little Snake River Valley School is 187 students, free and reduced lunch is at 26%, IDEA is 10%, and ELL is 5%. Thomas directed his report towards student achievement. He said, “PAWS testing went very smoothly this year.  WDE stopped by to do an accountability check and had great things to say about how well Mr. Gillies organized and implemented the testing process.  Our juniors took the ACT on April 19, and Thomas believe they will be very close to the goal of a 22 composite score.  "We had one student who was sick, and she will took the make-up test on May 5," he explained.
     Thomas continued, “Our master schedule is 99% complete for next year, and we plan to register students the first week of May.  Our preschool students came to school three times this month to take MAP tests so we can share data with parents during kindergarten round-up on May 9.”

Community Relations:
     Thomas said, “Jesse Klein and Gina Herrera attended the District Music Festival in Rock Springs on April 25.  They represented the Rattlers very well, receiving superior ratings on both their individual performances and their duet.  Special thanks to Ann Wille for giving up her planning time to teach music, and to Debbie Myers for giving up her time to be their accompanist.”
     The meeting moved into a discussion of the principal's report. Thomas said, “All staffing plans are expected to be approved later tonight by the school board.” The preliminary proposed budget cuts were $42K, and now the proposed expected budget cut will be $10K. Acting Superintendent, Darrin Jennings said, “We are still trying to handle the pool budget in Rawlins and trying to get overall CCSD#1 budget together at district level.  Historically, the district has taken about 50% of Rec Board funds to help with pool.  This year, they are planning on using ~60% of Rec Board funds.” Board member Matt Feldmann said, “They will be required to show how it will be collected and used. We aren't just handing money over.” An audience member asked a question regarding testing the preschool kids and whether they would be retested once they enter kindergarten because growth happens in the summer.  Mr. Thomas stated, “Within 2-3 weeks of the start of school, all K-8 students are retested.”
Corson asked about teacher salaries. Thomas said, “Salaries are still on a freeze, but it is that way across the state, and they are saying if you are at a freeze you are actually in good shape because you still have the job.”

School Board Report
     Matt Feldmann gave the school board report and highlighted the superintendent hiring. Feldmann said, “There were 18 total applicants for superintendent role, and the board interviewed two. The plan is to make a decision on the top candidate next Monday evening.  If the board does not select superintendent from the two candidates, they plan on hiring an interim superintendent and repost the role next January.”  This year the district lost a superintendent and three principals. Feldmann was asked by Corson where the district is headed.  Feldmann stated, “They intended to keep focus on attendance.  The goal is to also rebuild trust between the board and the staff and to build stronger communications.” Acting Superintendent, Darrin Jennings said, “We plan to continue the good things and go farther. Whomever demonstrates those golden qualities will get the job.” Feldmann said budget cuts will be ~$1.8M district wide.

Superintendent's Report:
     Acting Superintendent Darrin Jennings said, “First of all I want to acknowledge this school and community. We brought the superintendent candidates to Baggs first to show a bright spot in our district. Both candidates recognized it is great in Baggs. One of their wives even asked if they could live in Baggs with a commute to Rawlins." Jennings said he was impressed by the questions asked by students."The overall the process went well.” He continued, “Even though it hasn't been a good year for loosing people and a little turmoil, we still have the right things in place.” Corson asked about the funding of extracurricular activities. Jennings said, “Programs like FFA and the other vocational programs are what this community thrives on. We will be creative to make sure the programs have funding since they keep kids in school.”

Technology Report: none available

Old Business: none

New Business: none

Audience Discussion:
     The teachers in the audience complimented Mr. Thomas on his role as the principal. Several teachers made note that he supports, above and beyond, the teachers and staff and especially the students in their endeavors. Mr. Wille said, “We have never had a principal come to a lot of the events that you do, especially traveling all the way to Rock Springs to watch two students compete in a music competition. You really do care about the students, and we thank you for your support of all the clubs and organizations.” The audience praised Mr. Thomas for the positive impact he has had on LSRV School.
Skalberg moved, and Corson seconded, a motion to adjourn. The motion passed and the meeting was adjourned at 5:10 p.m.