The Odessa Record -

School board

Concerns expressed to legislators


November 2, 2017

The Board of Directors of Odessa School District #105 met in the high school library Wednesday, October 25, at 6 p.m., with a prior workshop held at 5:30 to review the highly capable program and the upcoming levies.

Chairman Ed Deife led the meeting, with board members Heather Valverde, Chris Crossley and Janie Steward present along with Dan Read, superintendent; Jamie Nelson, principal and Juli Weishaar, business manager. Also present were Justin Parr, facilities director; Bruce Todd, athletic director and Terrie Schmidt-Crosby, Odessa Record reporter.

Superintendent Read added, under Personnel on the Consent Agenda, the resignation of LaRee Kuchenbuch as the HS Assistant Volleyball Coach effective at the conclusion of this year’s volleyball season.

The board approved the consent agenda which included the minutes of the September 20, 2017 regular meeting; bills and payroll warrants #610341-610364 for October; direct deposit warrants #900005769-900005825, for $253,737.84; general fund A/P warrants #610365-610423, for $83,330.16; capital projects fund A/P warrant #610424, for $190; ASB fund A/P warrants #610425-601446, for $11,895.54; approval of FFA trap shooting advisors Landon Lobe and Jon Fink; volunteer junior-high asst. track coach Donald Valverde; the resignation of LaRee Kuchenbuch as high-school asst. volleyball coach at the end of this season; the 2017-2018 Highly Capable Plan.

Superintendent’s Report

Read reported an October enrollment of 233.7 full-time equivalent students.

Read also thanked the board for allowing flexibility in his work schedule so he could attend Camp Wooten with the sixth grade students last month. He presented a thank you card from the sixth-graders for the board’s support of the camp.

Read reported on a recent visit he and fellow superintendents from the area had with state representative Tom Dent and state senator Judy Warnick. He said he communicated his major concerns with recent changes resulting from the passage of Engrossed House Bill 2242. The first concern dealt with the elimination of the state teacher salary schedule and staff mix factor. Read believes this change will create additional inequities across the state and that ultimately schools will hire teachers with less experience due to funding considerations. He also said that the Enrichment Levy limitation of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value is too low and will have a significant detrimental impact on small rural school districts that traditionally have passed levies at much higher rates. Lastly, he shared his concern about the loss of local control and the elimination of flexible funding once state tax collections are redistributed throughout the state after the “levy swap.”

Principal’s Report

Nelson reported a headcount enrollment of 253 students in preschool through 12th grade.

She reported that homecoming week was a success, with great participation by the high school students. Parent activities in the building included an open house night, a middle school math night hosted by Larry Weber and a FAFSA parent night meeting led by Kimberly Ryan.

Parent and former school board member Joe Schlomer invited the elementary students to a pumpkin patch near Stratford for a field trip to pick out a pumpkin to take home. Fourth-graders took their annual trip to the Spokane Symphony and had a wonderful day. FBLA students attended their fall conference in Spokane and the FFA students are busy with potato judging and tractor driving.

AD Report

Athletic director Bruce Todd reported that fall sports seasons are winding down and playoffs will begin next week.

Todd is assembling a committee, comprising the athletic director, administrators, a board member, two each of coaches, students and community members, to review and revise the athletic/activities code for the junior and senior high schools.

Todd also presented a list of athletic facility improvement requests from coaches. The board agreed to earmark the earlier donation from the former Odessa/Harrington Titan Booster Club to install new above-ground dugouts at the baseball fields and to relocate the long-jump/high-jump/pole-vault/shot-put area to between the tennis courts, the bathroom and the outfield baseball fence. This would require installing new approaches for the long jump, pole vault and high jump, as well as removing the old asphalt runways on the football field and filling those areas with grass.

He will conduct a survey of high school and junior high girls to determine the level of interest in participation in a softball program.

Legislative report

Read told the board he will travel to Olympia in February, along with other superintendents from the area, to meet with legislators regarding education funding.

Facilities report

Justin Parr reported there were a few minor leaks in the commons area and business lab during the recent rains that fell throughout the region. He also reported that handrails have been installed at the entrances to the high school gym and the elementary school.

Financial report

Read presented the ASB balance sheet for September and the financial activity reports for the general fund for September showing an unassigned fund balance of $717,839.14.

Property acquisition

Read has been seeking bids for asbestos removal and demolition of the house recently purchased by the district from the Viola Els estate. The bids have been running higher than originally anticipated.

Read attended two city town council meetings regarding rezoning of the recently purchased property. The end result will most likely be a conditional-use agreement with the town instead of rezoning for the property.

Next regular meeting

Due to conflicts with Thanksgiving, the next regular board meeting will be held Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 6 p.m. in the high school library, with a workshop scheduled for 5:30 p.m. before the regular meeting.

The board also scheduled a board retreat for November 18, 2017, at 10 a.m. at the Coeur d’Alene Resort in Idaho.

The board approved a motion to accept a $3,000 donation to the ASB for uniform purchases from NorthWest Ag via the Odessa Booster Club, as presented by Read.

The board also approved a motion to declare the district’s 1985 Chevrolet C-10 pickup as surplus with a minimum bid of $250.

There was no executive session.


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