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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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March 10, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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March 10, 2010
 

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2A Wednesday, March 10, 2010 Feather River Bulletin School board retreat yields in-clepth reports Mona Hill you out of order and invite minimize employee expenses; be engaged in other activities, Vice Superintendent Bruce there was little input from the Staff Writer mhill@plumasnews.com Plumas Unified School Dis- trict's board of trustees met recently at the home of board president Brad Baker with the superintendent's cabinet -- directors of the district's various departments -- for in- depth reports on the district's 2009-10 finances; projected 2010-11 revenue cuts and the attendant restructuring; as well as a report on a recent staff visit to South Lake Tahoe Unified School District. Greenville resident Bill Gimple also attended the meeting to address board members. As he recognized Gimple, Baker inforned Gim- ple of his position at the meet- ing, "Let me explain your sta- tus, sir. You are not a guest in my home. You are not an invi- tee in my home. I hope you clearly understand that. You have a legal right to be here. You do not have a legal right to insult or abuse any mem- ber of any organization that is sitting here. If you do such a thing, I will personally rule you to leave. "One way or the other if you choose to go down that path, you will be leaving. Do you understand me?" Upon Gimple's confirma- tion that he understood, Bak- er permitted him to proceed. Gimple said his purpose in at- tending was to follow up on Travis Rubke's remarks at the Feb. 9 board meeting. Gimple said he thought a reserve was prudent; howev- er, along with that reserve he said there had to be an invest- ment strategy to go with it. "It looks like Travis' idea of a full-time administrator would be about 1.1 percent or 1.2 percent of a $9 million re- serve. What could be done with maybe a 3 or 4 percent in- vestment in the environment in the schools, especially if there were really innovative things done to supplement the regular curriculum already available?" Gimple said. He cited examples of ways to address student needs, in- cluding "leveraging" Feather River College classes; using consultants and volunteers to and increasing Internet classes. Gimple said everyone un- derstands competitive athlet- ics are important for school morale and community pride. He said countywide academic competitions could achieve the same improved morale and community support; in- crease student performance; and act as a "stop-loss" to de- clining enrollment. Among the ideas Gimple sug- gested were countywide sci- ence fairs, math contests and debate teams. He said students' desire to win would ensure in- creased study time and better student outcomes overall. Superintendent Glenn Har- ris commended Gimple on his solid ideas and compared it to studies that show correlations "between students' extracurric- ular activities and improved academic performance. "Districts have a tendency when budget times are tough to look at things to cut, and the history has been over a number years here that a lot of things have been cut from opportunities for kids. So you have kids that would love to but those opportunities aren't there," said Harris. He continued to outline oth- er ideas and thanked Gimple for his volunteer activities with the science fair in Greenville. With that, directors launched their status reports to the board. Yvonne Bales led off with a history of the dis- trict as a basic aid district, segueing into earmarks on the district's reserve fund. (See related story elsewhere in this paper.) As each of the directors be- gan her update, she invari- ably complimented the team approach and project mentali- ty that has breathed life into their planning meetings; cit- ing again and again that changes Harris has made en- couraged them to speak their minds; provided more struc- ture and flow; and provided for plan implementation; as well as provided a true leader- ship team. Moving on to administra- tive staffing proposals for 2010 - 11, the department heads presented reshuffle scenarios. Williams, Director of Special Education Tori Willits, Direc- tor of Business Yvonne Bales, Director of ROP Terry Oestre- ich, Technology Supervisor Ken Capistrand and Grant Co- ordinator Cathy Rahmeyer all favored an increased adminis- trative presence at Greenville High School. They also offered sugges- tions as to how to achieve that goal, including relocating some district offices to Greenville; providing one cen- tral office for all Indian Val- ley schools; or reassigning oversight responsibilities to create funding for a full-time GHS principal. Initially, Curriculum Direc- tor Kest Porter said the num- bers at GHS did not support additional site administrator time. However, as the other department heads referenced his stint in Greenville, he seemed to recognize the valid- ity of their arguments. Nearly all of the discussion was among district office staff. Except forGreenville trustee Jonathan Kusel and Chester trustee Sonja Anderson, board. Kusel repeatedly stressed the need to address the leader- ship problems in Greenville, saying 10 percent of the stu- dents take up 90 percent of staff time. He added there was an obligation to deal with what is needed in Greenville in spite of optimal staffing. Anderson wondered about combining the Greenville ele- mentary and high school cam- puses to provide for a more central access point instead of maintaining separate offices at each campus. She also asked if the special education program could be run out of Greenville as well, pointing out Willits already is principal at Taylorsville Elementm. After a report on a PUSD staff visit to South Lake Tahoe Unified School District, Harris asked for feedback from board members. Kusel thanked PUSD direc- tors for the comprehensive in- formation presented, but said he was disappointed by the lack of opportunity to discuss the information with fellow trustees. i FREE Small Soda i I with any Hamburger I ! Expires 3/31/10 ! l Hours: 11am - 7pm 7 days a week l 2043 Highway 70, Quincy  ! IQ 283-2660 I ii ! ! ! IIII II1%111 llJ i Ill:!,,i. 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