Camas, WA — The Camas School Board held its regularly scheduled meeting Monday night, where they listened to the Superintendent’s Report, discussed capital projects, dealt with normal business issues, and honored the Odyssey Middle School Tech team for their ingenuity, among other agenda items.
Camas School District (CSD) Superintendent Jeff Snell honored the tech team at Odyssey Middle School for creating a fire alarm system that allowed them to start school on time. They dealt with a system that failed, and worked hard to configure their own fire alarm system that met city code.
“They worked hard to get our occupancy permit just in the knick of time,” said Snell.
Their work was extensive, and the Camas Fire Marshall approved their efforts just before school started.
During the public comments time, Camas Education Association (CEA) President Shelley Houle spoke on behalf of her union.
“I speak to you today on behalf of the CEA, which is grateful we came to an agreement,” said Houle. “We had 391 members vote 100 percent for the agreement, which is the most that have ever showed up. We believe the McCleary promise has been fulfilled. Thank you for your part in that.”
Ken O’Day, a parent of child at Odyssey Middle School, publicly expressed his concern about what the McCleary legislation, and the recent teacher’s agreement are going to do the CSD budget, which projects budget deficits in 2-3 years. He feels the recent agreement is going to put CSD into a bad financial situation.
The board unanimously approved the updated Grass Valley Elementary School Handbook, which changed its dismissal procedure.
Snell reported that CSD is still in negotiations with CAEOP, CAP — the principals and classified unions.
“It’s challenging with the new funding model,” said Snell. “The reason it was so complicated is the complexity of the new law. In the short term we are OK, but without changes, we are facing uncertain times ahead. We talked about the challenge of having to work together. There will be adjustments. We will continue to plan, but when we look out 3-5 years, the math doesn’t add up.”
“We’re at the whim and mercy of the legislature, and we need to be thoughtful of our planning, and look for efficiencies, and we need to advocate with the legislature. We are fortunate we worked it out. There are conditions that make it challenging for each district. We just need to keep thinking about where we’re at, and where we’re going. We need to hold our legislators accountable for the legislation they create. More to come on that. It’s a challenge.”
Policy Review Committee
Snell said he’s been part of the Policy Review Committee, and will work toward moving those items to adoption, which is a two-step process. Snell is a WASA legislative representative, and they presented their proposed legislative agenda, which includes levies, what to do with the new funding model, along with staff mixes, and fully funding special education. He asked the board to review the contents of that proposal.
The annual State of the Community will be next Tuesday, and Snell, along with Camas Mayor, Scott Higgins, will present a state of both the city and the school district to the general public.
The Jack, Will and Rob (JWR) Center has undergone program changes that are resulting in a successful after school program that financially sustains itself. Over the summer, JWR had 148 camps, which included seven brand-new camps, such as robotics and cooking, along with sports, math, and reading programs. More than 2,600 kids participated from the Clark County area.
Heidi Rosenberg reported on expenditures from CSD capital programs, which include the new schools: Lacamas Lake and Discovery High School.
“We’re doing well and spending the money like we’re supposed to,” Rosenberg said.
Discovery High School is not totally completed, but it is operating.
“The learning stair at Discovery is constantly being used for something,” she said. “It’s like Christmas — something new happens every hour. It was a team effort to get it opened on time.”
She also reported that the Garver Theater Modernization will begin in 2020, which will make the theater usable again.
Steve Marshall’s team discussed what their doing to keep the district’s 14 buildings safe and operational. He reported that it requires 31 custodians, and that they completed water lead testing.