December Board Brief

1. PLMS goes above and beyond.

Superintendent Pingrey shared the following email he received regarding PLMS:

According to the Idaho State Board of Education, Payette Lakes Middle School has been identified as a top performer for underserved student populations in Idaho. The defined “underserved” populations include: Economically Disadvantaged, ELL, and Special Education. The Idaho Commission for Education Excellence met Thursday, Dec 8th from 9:30 am to noon on Zoom and invited Principal Olson to participate and answer any questions the Commission had on how Payette Lakes Middle school has been so successful with underserved student populations.  Along with 5 other schools across the state, Mr. Olson participated and gave feedback as to what may be the leading indicators in his building that led to this success.” Way to go Principal Olson and PLMS teachers and staff!

2.Plan ahead with 2023-2024 school year schedule set.

MDHS Principal, Tim Thomas, presented the draft 2023-2024 calendar on behalf of the calendar committee. He explained what goes in to creating the calendar, including a survey every two years to get community input. The next survey will go out Spring 2023 to get feedback for the next two years of planning to give plenty of time to make adjustments as needed. Be on the lookout for more information on this! The board chose to adopt the 2023-2024 calendar presented. School will begin on Tuesday, August 29th, 2023 and end Thursday, June 6th, 2024. Thanksgiving break will begin Wednesday, November 22th. Winter break will be Saturday, December 23rd through Sunday, January 7th. Spring Break will be the week of March 25th, 2024.

3.Instructional coaches making meaningful connections.

Lisa Pingrey and Lesley Doane presented their update on how the High Reliability Schools Professional Development is being utilized through the district. They are meeting with the 14 new certified staff members twice a month face to face to see how they could use more support. They are also receiving an increased number of requests from teachers district wide for model lessons, problem solving, and collaborative conversations. As teachers learn who the instructional coaches are they are receiving spontaneous invitations to come observe in the classroom setting. Lisa and Lesley have provided over 20 hours professional development via book studies and professional learning community trainings, including time spent with our administrators. The book study and shown to be the most impactful, and these methods are being used in classrooms and student engagement has increased. They are planning to offer the book study again after offering a survey and more teachers wanting to participate. The book study is helpful for not just math, but across all areas.  There will be teachers and administrators from each school attending the High Reliability School Summit in San Antonio in January to help gain more knowledge and become more engaged in the method.

4.Developmental pre-school has more room for the move.

Superintendent Pingrey shared that the lease developed in collaboration with Crestline Academy provides room for 4 classrooms for the developmental pre-school move and the beginning of the new semester. The district will put in 2 temporary doors so that the developmental pre-school and Crestline Academy operations are completely separate. Crestline will occupy roughly 5500 square feet until the end June 2023.

5.Brainstorming ways to help provide stability to employees.

Policy 5460 – Housing Assistance Program – has been sent back to the housing committee and they found they need more time to provide input on the topic. The current policy was adopted in December 2013 and created broad assistance for housing issues, but did not provide specific guidance. The committee is currently collecting data from other districts on how they handle housing shortages. The goal is to discuss during the January board meeting. 

6.Consultant chosen to advise on growth in the District.

The board approved singing a contract with Clearwater Financial as a consultant to advise on future growth and development. Valley County and the City of Donnelly also work with Clearwater Financial and were able vet how they have helped with their fundamental growth as well. If we look at the past 10 years to current and look an additional 10 years out, 48% growth is expected to continue, but Clearwater Financial can provide better information on those projections and what will be needed to keep up. They also partner with Idaho School Board Association, so we received a 33% discount on their services.

7. Technology advances.

Director of IT, Matt Cavallin, shared his 5 year outlook for intended upgrades. Supply chain issues have made it hard to keep up with failing laptops, as parts have not been available, or get phased out once they are 4+ years old. He has planned for replacing laptop carts in the majority of the schools, which consist of more laptops than they used to so there is some room for growth. He also explained that we will have the opportunity to save money on phone and internet services as our phone contract is up for renewal and we will be able to cut but on point to point circuits on internet with better infrastructure that has already been installed. Once goal he has is to outfit with rest of the district with the same technology the elementary school benefited from ESSER funds for. This will include smart boards in classrooms as well as projectors.  He did explain that he consulted the technology committee, which includes 2 members from each school, on what to upgrade.