The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Justin Jaech
The Times 

Dayton school board held work session

The board approved new coaches, discussed budget and “balanced calendar.”


DAYTON – The Dayton School Board met for a work session at 6 p.m., on May 3, 2023, in the High School library. School board members present were Grant Griffen, Zac Fabian, and Aneesha Dieu; Korinda Wallace did not attend. Superintendent Rich Stewart and Business Manager Jana Eaton were present.

Included in the Consent Agenda, the board approved hiring Clayton Strong as HS Boys Head Basketball Coach and Owen Lanning as HS Boys Assistant Basketball Coach. The board also approved Kelly Steinhoff as a volunteer MS Track Coach and approved a GEAR UP overnight retreat. They also accepted a donation for the 100-year Pietrzycki Celebration and a $500 USA Football grant to purchase equipment.

Eaton presented the budget status to the board. Most significantly, the loss of COVID-19-related Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds next year. Eaton said the district is waiting to hear if it will receive funds from several grants it has applied for. She said it is difficult to pinpoint the precise budget without that information.

The district applied for the Digital Equity Grant and was awarded $84,000 to purchase two hundred Chromebooks and other computer equipment. Also, the district was awarded a food-service grant to buy a retail-type refrigerator.

Stewart discussed planning for next year and developing a calendar for the administration and board to accomplish goals. He described the evening’s meeting as a brainstorming session.

Stewart also touched on the topic of a “balanced calendar,” which he said was designed to reduce the time between the end of school and the fall beginning of school. The OSPI website suggests ‘intersessions” hosted by schools during the breaks. He said students, particularly in elementary grades, benefit from having a more consistent school year with vacation time more evenly distributed throughout the school year. The number of school days during the year would remain the same. He said he was “planting the seed for future discussion.”

Stewart spoke about Professional Learning Communities (PLC) and the book, “Learning by Doing.” The administration is considering incorporating this teaching method into the primary and secondary schools. Stewart called the process “embedded professional development.” Board members discussed different teaching models, for example, focusing on either rote learning of math or more applied learning, formerly known as story problems. Dieu inquired how these teaching initiatives are being enforced in each classroom, which Stewart said was the principal’s job to observe and provide quality control.

There was no executive session and the meeting adjourned at 6:59 p.m.


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