Good News, Tacoma Dome, ASB, Levy Funds

Tacoma_Dome_Station_en.wikipedia.orgOur Colville Indian Varsity Football team played for state championship this year for the first time in the history of Colville. While we came in a heartbreaking second, losing only by one point or one inch, whichever way sticks in your mind the most, it was still an overwhelming experience for our whole community. Our family was listening to KCRK 92.1 radio breathlessly from the beginning to the end of the game – except when I had to leave the room to calm down. I found myself shouting at the radio for some of the most absurd calls by officials I have ever heard in a football game. A do-over down because the ref’s weren’t ready? Ummm, they blew the whistle didn’t they? They were always ready when we had a loss in yards … but that’s not really what this post is about, let’s hope our team can get there again soon and beat them by yards.

I would like to give my Congratulations to the entire Colville football community for their hard work, dedication, and for bringing so much excitement and team spirit to our community. This includes the cheerleaders, and marching band because they brought even more pride and enthusiasm to the whole football season.

04_28_49---US-Dollar-Bills_web_freefoto.comWhat I want to present in this post is something that I haven’t ever seen in the Colville school district. The ASB club gave each football athlete, cheerleader and band member a $30 food allowance for the trip. My jaw was on the floor when I heard this money was from levy funds that were given to the Colville High School.

This is a first from my experience and I want to say thank you to Principal Kevin Knight for using our Levy funds for the kids so they could have the experience of a lifetime. Mr. Knight explained that many kids would not have been able to go on the field trip because their families couldn’t afford the food allowance. I think it’s clear that Mr. Knight understands the real issues of many families in this district. He showed a compassion and a kindness I haven’t seen from our school officials in this district for many years. I couldn’t have been happier. Let’s hope we hear more use of our levy funds for important things like this that really mean a lot to our students.

Bully Petition – Transcripts of Public Comments from School Board Mtg.

TranscriptsThe school board held a regular meeting on March 26, 2014 to address the Bully Petition.  One of the things they discussed during the meeting is a survey that was taken at Colville High School. After the board discussed the survey, they turned to the large grouping of community at the meeting for input.

A few interesting notes about the meeting:

– Many ASB students showed up.

– While the room could hold quite a bit more people than it was set up for, I could not get any school board director to organize it so more people could sit down. I asked them to get more chairs because there were people standing up and people spilling out into the hallways. I asked Director Krista Ohrtman to help get more chairs so people could sit down and she said she wasn’t sure she had the authority do do that. I asked Sid Green for help and he said, “That’s not my job.” By the way, any director has the authority because it’s their meeting. I have seen many more people sit in that room than what it was set up to accommodate for this night.

In my opinion, the board sure seemed to be trying to keep people out of the meeting, or uncomfortable enough to want to leave. The bully incident was scheduled fairly far down on the agenda and didn’t start for nearly an hour. That means, the board left many people who wanted to speak standing for well over an hour. I consider this reprehensible behavior by the board because you never know when someone has a medical condition that makes it difficult for them to stand. The individuals sitting in the hall had a lot of trouble hearing what was going on in the room and weren’t able to speak. Seems like if the board wanted the discussion to be heard, they would have accommodated everyone equally, but that’s just my opinion.

Incidentally, I have since found that a person can do a “Point of Privilege” and ask the board to accommodate these individuals per the Roberts Rules of Order:

Point of Privilege: Pertains to noise, personal comfort, etc. – may interrupt only if necessary!

I also found this on the Attorney Generals page:

While the OPMA allows the public to attend all meetings, it does not allow for the possibility of insufficient space. Presumably, if a nearby location is available, the governing body should move there to allow attendance.

– As an FYI – I gave up my seat for someone else to sit in and sat in the hall for the meeting, so I wasn’t able to speak.

As always, I apologize for mistakes with anyone’s names.

School Board President Sid Green Ok (garbled) go on. (Inviting public comment). Paul?

Paul Brozik One thing I would say would be that – One thing that happened at the high school would be that when doing survey’s with the students is that for one, the teachers take them more seriously and the students take them more seriously to know that there really is an issue in the – possibly by doing this – by putting the (garbled – excessive audience noise on tape) complete.

Sid Green The whole idea is we put the survey out there, whether they take it seriously or not, we can’t force them. You know, we can’t sit behind them and say take it seriously. And you’re going to get that.

Student Plus isn’t the whole idea of there being an issue still kind of speculative at the moment? That was one thing that raised the concern in the first place.

Sid Green Whether there is an issue?

Sid Green That’s …

Sid Green You don’t think there is?

Student I personally don’t. I love all of my teachers, I interact with them amazingly. I have no problems. Continue reading

ASB Cards

Child-exploitation_isanjay.inPrior to the school year 2012/2013, ASB cards cost $20 and I was never forced to purchase one for my children.  In 2012/13, my son brought a notice home that said:

“As a participant in Colville High School sports, you are required to purchase an ASB card from the main office for $20.00. If you have not purchased your card by Friday, April 12th, you will not be allowed to participate in your sport. If you have any questions please see Kelly Carr.”

This notice to students was a violation of the law. The law on ASB cards is very clear:

RCW 28A.325.010

“The board of directors of any common school district may establish and collect a fee from students and nonstudents as a condition to their attendance at any optional noncredit extracurricular event of the district which is of a cultural, social, recreational, or athletic nature: PROVIDED, That in so establishing such fee or fees, the district shall adopt regulations for waiving and reducing such fees in the cases of those students whose families, by reason of their low income, would have difficulty in paying the entire amount of such fees and may likewise waive or reduce such fees for nonstudents of the age of sixty-five or over who, by reason of their low income, would have difficulty in paying the entire amount of such fees”.

Let me accent a few points in this law:

Point 1:

“may establish and collect a fee …  at any optional noncredit extracurricular event”

Point one very simply means that the school CANNOT collect a fee at an event where any students are required to attend for a class that provides a credit.Threatening to kick a student out of a class for not paying a fee is flat out illegal.

– In Colville, sports used to apply for a PE credit.

– If the band is required to attend football games as part of their grade it means that the school cannot legally require people to pay a fee at the gate. They can, however, collect voluntary fees.

Point 2:

PROVIDED, That … the district shall adopt regulations for waiving AND reducing such fees in the cases of those students whose families, by reason of their low income, would have difficulty in paying the entire amount of such fees.

Point two establishes that the school district is required to have a regulation that reduces and waives the fee entirely for low income members of the community. INTENT of the law is to provide a situation where ALL children can participate in after school activities no matter what their financial situation.

We sent a copy of this law to the school district and we were told they would look into it. Next thing we know, two things happened.

  1. Students could no longer use high school sports as a PE credit.
  2. ASB fees were raised. Below is the chart the school board approved in their June 26, 2013 meeting agenda item 5.12 on BoardDocs

Continue reading