Anderton and Bjerke join the CDA School Board
Welcome Allie Anderton and Lesli Bjerke to the CDA School Board!
It has been a long road to get a win with the CDA School Board and the January 3rd general meeting was finally the second “win” we have had since C0vid began. The first win was the school board begrudgingly relinquishing the mandate on masking children back in May.
If you would like to view the entire board book from the meeting, click here.
Annual Reorganization of the Board of Trustees
Every year they vote on new positions and they didn’t really change for 2022 because Casey and Rebecca are the only experienced members returning this year.
Trustee Chair: Rebecca Smith
Trustee Vice Chair: Casey Morrisroe
Treasurer: Shannon Johnston
Clerk: Lynne Towne
Custodian of Records: Lynne Towne
Acting Clerk: Pamela Westberg
The one major change is the Treasurer. Newly hired Chief Finance Officer Shannon Johnston is the new Treasurer, who will be replacing Katie Ebner as she transitions over to the Post Falls School District. Shannon was joining the meeting over Zoom as she is still in San Diego, CA and hasn’t moved her family up to Idaho yet. She will be local in the next 3 weeks.
Maintenance Department Annual Report
The Director of Operations stood up and gave a presentation about the interesting predicament they are finding themselves this year (as with most of the US): staffing. Operations consists of two parts: custodial and maintenance. In the custodial portion, the district is short 7 personnel for the elementary schools and the Director plus his foreman are helping clean the schools, most of the time in the morning before school begins. This is only at the elementary level; the middle schools custodial work is contracted out and they’ve been stretched to the max, and the high schools are also contracted out but that contractor is also having difficulty keeping a full staff.
On the maintenance side of the district, they have open positions for an HVAC tech, plumber, carpenter, electrician, and a grounds keeper. Seven maintenance crew members quit before the beginning of the year due to receiving higher-paying positions in other school districts. Because of that, they are stretched to the max and are asking for 2 new positions: 1 new HVAC tech and 1 new groundsman.
One last note about maintenance. The director wants to stress the urgency of appropriating funds for a new HVAC system at Coeur d’Alene High School. The current HVAC system has been installed since 1994 and, although the maintenance crew has been very economical when it comes to repairing the system, it is definitely past time to replace it. They are asking for appropriations to replace the system as soon as possible because if it goes out unexpectedly, they will be forced to cancel school until the system can be replaced, to the tune of $1.5M-$2M.
Resolution 21-22-002 – National Incident Management System (NIMS)
This little nugget of a resolution was slipped into the middle of the consent agenda, resolving to establish the FEMA-created National Incident Management System (NIMS) as the district standard for incident management. This is the first time that the National Incident Management System has ever been discussed, the first time in many years a conversation about any sort of emergency procedures has been brought up, and The Shocker wanted to slip this into the middle of the blanket consent portion of the agenda.
Here’s the problem with this resolution, as was pointed out by many of our fabulous public during public comment:
There is no definition of the word “incident.” In this resolution it wants the Federal, State, local, and tribal governments to work together “to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size or complexity.” Would the lies of the CDA Press regarding the parents and the mask issue be considered an “incident?”
They want all the partner agencies to “coordinate efforts to provide…incident management.” Who is the incident manager? Who appoints the 6 people underneath that manager? How long would the manager have complete control over said incident?
They want to standardize terminology, organizational structure, personnel qualification standards, etc. In the NIMS handbook it dedicates a glossary to over 700 words to help standardize glossary. Who in the district oversees that this handbook is adhered to on a regular basis?
The resolution also states that standardizing procedures based on the NIMS guidelines will “improve the State’s ability to utilize federal funding” for readiness and to streamline incident management processes.
The 9/11 Commission, yes THAT 9/11 Commission, recommends adopting the standardized Incident Command System.
Also, this NIMS has been going on since 2004, why all of a sudden is it trying to be slipped into the consent agenda now?
This resolution was pulled out of the consent agenda to be discussed further. Dr. Shon Hocker, aka The Shocker, said that this resolution is a result of going through all the policies and procedures and noticed that we don’t have anything on the books. The Shocker mentions that his reason for it is to align ourselves with our local first responders. He says that he thinks it’s important for them to gather information, to share it out to parents and the public, and there’s no urgency. Lastly, The Shocker states that everyone here – The Shocker included – “we don’t want any federal intrusion of anything; we want to do things our way and supportive of us so I’m just all for leaving doors open [in regards to the federal grant money].”
This resolution will be discussed further during a future workshop where the board can gather information and get the details of every piece before making a final decision.
Portrait of a Graduate Progress
I encourage you to watch his presentation during the meeting as it will give you a lot of insight into what is being presented to the public, but I highly recommend reading between the lines about the Critical Race Theory ; Idaho Freedom Foundation published an article about the CDA School District and their equity toolkit, and then published a follow up article responding to Scott Mabel’s argument against the equity toolkit pushback.
Mid-Year Budget Update
A couple of notes about the budget:
Up until last year budget was formulated based on average daily attendance (ADA). Now, due to C0vid, the last 2 years have been formulated based on enrollment.
The State also froze the Public Education Stabilization Fund which is legislature-approved appropriations budget to be used in case the K-12 budget goes over. Joke’s on the taxpayers because the state goes over on budget by about $33M per year! This year when the schools didn’t have this safety net everyone lost out on millions of dollars but that was supplemented by federal ESSER funds. Those funds have been known as CARES funds, ESSER funds, or ARPA funds, depending on the timeframe of those funds given, or the bucket of $$ from which they came.
The legislature controls the funding and the ability to permanently change the way the funding is formulated. Any questions you have about that I recommend you contact your legislators.
Information for the Board
The CDA district has announced that they will be reviewing all pamphlets handed out during the “Girls Night Out” and “Boys Night Out,” the events for 5th graders that teach them the basics of puberty.
Currently the events are opt-in (meaning the parents have to sign a permission slip before the child can participate).
The pamphlets will be reviewed by a subcommittee during the months of January and February, and then give a recommendation to the board during the March meeting. They are hoping to get this process completed and approved by April so they will have the correct pamphlets by the May events.
From Katie Graupman, Curriculum Director: The pamphlets given to students were free to the district and provided by Proctor and Gamble. They contained topics that included, “Your Body is Changing”, “Changes to the Reproductive System”, “Staying Confident and Healthy”, and Healthy Relationships”. Last year, Proctor and Gamble included a section called, “Sex, Gender and Society”. Once we learned this, we stopped handing them out, and decided we needed to look for our own district-approved resources to give to students. We are letting the Board know we are now starting this work.
The subcommittee will be set up in the next month “comprising of a diverse group of individuals including parents, guardians, and community groups.” No word on how to apply but if you would like to apply for the subcommittee I recommend emailing Lynn Towne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New policies are up for public review. These policies include #2340: Controversial Issues and Academic Freedom. Reason: Trustee Morrisroe reached out to ISBA to see if they were developing a policy around the HB377. (That is legislation that deals with CRT.) ISBA and Trustee Morrisroe proposed recommended language to policy 2340. The District has redlined both versions of the attached policy.