The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Dena Wood
The Times 

Waitsburg School Board Update

February 8, 2017


Elementary Principal’s Report:

The fifth grade ski program is underway and the costs are being offset by sales of a K-12 School Cookbook. Proceeds will support students for this year and future year.

Elementary students held their Jump/Shoot for Heart fundraiser kick-off. The actual Jump/Shoot event will be held Feb. 22.

The Home and School association Father-Daughter dance was a huge success. The HASA is raffling a trout carving that will be raffled at the annual school carnival on April 21.

Secondary Principal’s Report:

All MAP testing has been completed at the high and middle schools. End of Course tests in biology and algebra 1 have been completed. Most sophomores are taking the SBAC Test Prep class with Mrs. Leid. Parents are able to visit and take practice tests with their students. Teachers are able to perform targeted testing and access immediate feedback.

Teacher collaboration on Feb. 1 centered around learning strategies to assist students with brain injuries or concussions. The Feb. 8 collaboration looked at MAP scores with a focus on how to help sixth graders transition to high school.

The Harvest Ball is Feb. 24. Prom will be held at Preston Hall on April 22 and the theme is “Black and White.”

Athletic Director’s Report:

Basketball brackets were not available but regional playoffs will be in Spokane on Feb. 24-25 with state playoffs on March 1-4, also in Spokane. The boy’s basketball team is still in the running.

Spring sports begin Feb. 25.

The board approved a request that head high school girls’ softball coach, Angie Potts, will also serve as head middle school softball coach. The school received several applicants for head middle school coach, but none had prior coaching experience. This solution will allow for one veteran coach (either Potts or high school assistant coach Allan Wilson) to be present at all games and they will provide mentoring for new coaches. Middle and high school would practice together, with the practice being extended for high schoolers. Ten middle school girls plan to turn out with three Dayton girls expressing interest.

Superintendent Report:

Enrollment is down from 292.71 to 290 for February. The average for the year is 290 which is above budgeted and puts the district in a good position for enrollment apportionment.

Dr. Clarke said the school has received questions regarding certain medical treatments and said the school follows OSPI Infectious Disease Control Guide protocols. Clarke said guidelines change over time and it is no longer the practice to exclude children who arrive at school with lice. Instead, the school is instructed on how to inform and work with the parents. Clarke said it is also that confidentiality also be maintained.

The board discussed how the three snow days would affect graduating seniors. During the discussion it was expected that seniors would still graduate June 2, but diplomas would be withheld until seniors meet attendance requirements by attending school the mornings of June 5-7 to take finals. Another snow day occurred following the meeting but Clarke said plans remain the same.

Student Achievement Update:

High School Principal Stephanie Wooderchak gave a presentation on how teachers organize and utilize the data from test scores. Wooderchak said staff has done a great job of embracing data and making changes as needed.

Superintendent Search Update:

Dr. Clarke gave an update on superintendent search timeline. See story on page 2.

Capital Projects Update:

The district had received three Request for Qualifications for an architectural and engineering firm to oversee the projects, with two days left before the submission deadline. Forte Architects of Wenatchee, EHM Architecture of Seattle and Tri-Cities, and Design West Architects of the Tri-Cities, all submitted ten copies of RFQ’s, as requested. A fourth firm sent one copy and Dr. Clarke was trying to reach them to request the other sets.

Committee members Ross Hamann and Christy House will identify which firms to bring in for an interview. The board has also been looking for a construction manager. Hamann and House interviewed a candidate, whose qualifications will be discussed in executive session, Clarke said.


The board approved the hire of Dan LaRue as full-time custodian, Rick Suchodolski as part-time custodian, and Joe Rhymes as head coach for middle school baseball.


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