Laws and Rules Don’t Seem to Apply to the Colville School District!

Breaking the Law

by Scott Martin

This is a follow up from my article What Does 20 Million Dollars Get the Colville School District where I revealed over half of the students tested in Colville School District are FAILING their state math assessment and almost as many are failing in language at a cost of $20 Million.

In this current time in US history, Rules and Laws don’t seem to apply to politicians or the Government much, but they sure apply to us tax-paying “peasants”! Try to not pay your property tax, and the government will take your house away. Fail to stop at a stop sign and you are fined while your driving record is damaged. If a student fails to follow the rules at school they are disciplined or expelled.

Fail to follow laws, rules and policies as a school board director, superintendent, or school district and what happens? Usually nothing.

So what are these laws, rules, and policies I believe Colville is violating? Here is a list of Washington laws WAC’s (Washington Administrative Code), RCW’s (Revised Code of Washington), and some of Colville School districts own rules/policies. (Links and some text from these are listed at the bottom of this article)

  • WAC 180-105-020
  • RCW 28A.655.100
  • RCW 28A.655.115
  • Policy No.2004
  • Policy No.2090
  • Policy No.2080

Why does any of this matter? Well every one of these laws/rules/policies require the Colville School District to create a yearly “District Improvement Plan”, “District Goals and Objectives” and to “involve the public in the decision making process”, yet the Colville School District has done none of these.

Let me repeat, by law, all of these should be done YEARLY.

For the last three years our Superintendent Mr. Pete Lewis and our School Board appear to have failed to follow any of these laws, rules, or policies. Not one District improvement plan has been made or even presented to the public. Not one!

Our kids are failing at an astounding rate, yet the District has failed to ask the public our opinion, failed to involve the public in any meaningful way and they have no District plan what so ever to improve our children’s test scores.

Don’t believe me? Ask them for a printed copy of a “District Improvement Plan”

Colville School Board is getting ready to spend $21 million of our tax dollars;

  • Without having a District plan to improve our children’s education,
  • Without a District plan to improve our children’s safety,
  • Without a plan that states what the District goals and objectives are,
  • Without asking the public what we want for our children,
  • Without presenting any of this information in a Board meeting open to the public.

Where is the District improvement plan? Where is that money going? Why is Colville not more effective in teaching our kids? Where do they plan to spend the money to improve our kids’ education?

Maybe the more important questions are;

  • Why does Colville School District not follow the law?
  • Why don’t they follow their own policies?
  • Why don’t they ask us “peasants” where and how we want the money spent?
  • Why don’t they tell us their plan?
  • Why hasn’t Colville bought books in three years?
  • Why haven’t we hired more teachers?
  • Why have teachers been fired, while several NEW overpaid Administrators have been hired?

I must say some of the teachers and employees in Colville are by far the best people I have ever known. They are some of the most decent, dedicated, and likable people you could hope to have involved in the education of your children. I am proud to call many of them my friend. As good as many of the people are, they have not been given the tools or environment to do their job as well as they could or should. The best auto mechanic can’t repair your car with only a hammer and a shovel.

School Board Meeting

Colville will be adopting their new 2016-17 $21 Million budget. By law (this law they kind of follow) Colville must allow members of the public to ask ANY and ALL questions about the budget they have and I will be there asking my questions.

Please join me at the next Colville School Board meeting:

Wed, July 27, 2016 at 5:15in the Aster Elementary building, 217 S. Hofstetter

Scott Martin  colvilleparents@yahoo.com

 

Performance Improvement Goals  WAC 180-105-020:

This requires Colville School District to, “adopt district-wide performance improvement goals using the federal requirements”

Performance Goals-Reporting Requirements  RCW 28A.655.100:

This requires Colville to “Annually report to parents and the community in a public meeting and annually report” ”district-wide and school-level plans to achieve the goals, including curriculum and instruction, parental or guardian involvement, and resources available to parents and guardians to help students meet the state standards”.

Outreach and Feedback  RCW 28A.655.115:

“each school shall conduct outreach and seek feedback from a broad and diverse range of parents, other individuals, and organizations in the community” and, “summarize the results in its annual report”

 Accountability Goals  Colville School District Policy No. 2004:

Requires, the Board to, “annually adopt district-wide goals and direct each school to annually establish goals and action plans that include the achievement of all students”.

It also requires, “The district and all schools shall demonstrate satisfactory progress toward the performance improvement goals”

It continues; “Once a year the Board shall issue to parents and present it in a public meeting”

  1. The district and buildings’ improvement goals.
  2. Student performance relative to the goals.
  3. District and building plans to achieve the goals, including curriculum and instruction, parents and guardian involvement”

Further, “Annually, the district will report in a news release the district’s progress toward meeting the district and building goals.

Program Evaluation  Colville School District Policy No.2090:   

“The Superintendent will prepare an annual program evaluation report, which reflects the degree to which district goals and objectives are being accomplished along with recommendations for future adjustment and planning”

Comprehensive Student Assessment System  Colville School District Policy No.2080:  

Requires Colville to, “utilize a variety of assessment procedures and measures to assess student performance including norm-reference tests, District-level and classroom-based performance assessments”

 

 

 

 

 

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Task Force letter to Superintendent – Updated

2016-02-17

Email sent Wednesday, February 17, 2016 11:25 am. We are awaiting a response.

Letter from Superintendent sent 11:00 – before we posted the above letter:

Pete 2 TF

Response to Mr. Lewis:

Response to Pete

Original letter was sent to the full board. We received a response letter from Director Rob Sumner:

From Rob

Our response:

Response to Rob

 

December 16, 2015 School Board Meeting Transcripts – Part 1

*** Agenda Item 1.01 Pledge of Allegiance ***

President Green: Let’s call the meeting to order. Would you all rise for The Pledge of Allegiance. Remove your hats, turn off your cell phones.

Audience Recites The Pledge of Allegiance

*** Agenda Item 2.01 Oath of Office ***

Superintendent Lewis: We have three board members that were elected and we need to swear you into office. Should I do this individually, or would you like me to do this all together?

(They decide they would prefer all together)

Superintendent Lewis: Some of these sentences are long, so we’ll go in order here and have you speak your names as we go, so if you would please raise your right hand.

Mr. Lewis and Board Members recite oath:

“I, Sid Green, Sarah Newman, Krista Ohrtman, do solemnly swear that I will support the constitution of the United States and laws of the state of Washington. That I will faithfully and impartially perform and discharge the duties of the office of the Colville School District number 115 Board of Directors as such duties are prescribed by law to the best of my abilities. “

Superintendent Lewis: District …

President Green: One

Superintendent Lewis: District …

Director Newman: Two

Superintendent Lewis: And district …

Director Ohrtman: Three

Superintendent Lewis: Congratulations.

(Applause)

*** Agenda Item 3.01 Agenda/Recognition ***

President Sid Green: Dr. Sumner is running about five minutes late. He’ll be here in a couple of minutes.

Ok. Agenda. Changes, Corrections, Additions to the Agenda? (Silence from other members.) Alright. Agenda stands approved as is.

Ok. Recognition of public comments. If you want to make a public comment, fill out the card, make sure that (inaudible). I see that we have evening and to let you know that if you are speaking here on policy 3211 on transgender students, we are willing to hear from you on this topic if you did not speak at the last meeting on November 18th. If you spoke at the last board meeting and have a desire to speak on another topic, you are welcome to do so. The board is not going to discuss or take action on this policy at this meeting. We will wait to hear back from the superintendent’s Non-Discriminatory Task Force before moving forward. I would anticipate it would be several months at the soonest before this happens. There is an application process with that force. Look for it on the district website if you want to fill it out, but we are absolutely not going to discuss the transgender program or policy at all tonight. Ok? Continue reading

December 16 School Board Meeting Summary

*****

Colville School Board Discriminates

Against people speaking out on the Non-Discrimination Policy!

I would like to thank everyone who showed up to endure the abuse by our school board. It was not an easy thing to sit through while the board showed a blatant disrespect and disregard towards the people attending the meeting. Your presence at the meeting was very much appreciated and while the board may not have any respect for us, I certainly have an enormous amount of respect for the people of this community. When we show up in numbers, it absolutely has an effect on the board even though they try to pretend it doesn’t.

The board refused to bring in more chairs for the people standing during the meeting.

The board refused to bring in more chairs for the people standing during the meeting.

Before the meeting started, the police were called. Two officers responded, and joked about the lack of rowdiness of the crowd. They left shortly after arriving.

  1. The meeting was held in a room too small for every attendee to fit into.  With standing room only, many people spilled into the break room and out into the hall where they could neither see or hear the meeting. Some left in disgust which is probably what the board wanted in the first place.
  2. When asked, President Sid Green refused to move to a larger room or to provide more chairs, which were easily available.
  3. There was no microphone, so the speakers were difficult or impossible to hear for those outside the meeting room.
  4. President Green made an announcement about public comments: “If you are speaking about the Policy 3211 on the transgender students, we are willing to hear from you on this topic if you did not speak at the last meeting on November 18th. If you spoke at the last board meeting and have a desire to speak on another topic, you are welcome to do so. “
  5. President Green told people they would not be allowed to applaud the speakers – Several times when people tried to applaud, he rapped his gavel – no Applause, no applause!
  6. This is only about a quarter of the number of people who were trying to listen from the hallway.

    This is only about a quarter of the number of people who were trying to listen from the hallway.

    Director Moore insistently tried to silence one speaker because he spoke at the last meeting, however, he was eventually allowed to speak.

  7. The board was so inattentive to the people speaking, that one person had to ask for the boards attention.
  8. After 8 public comments, the board went on with their regular meeting.
  9. When department updates were presented, the board was courteous, laughed and giggled with them, engaged in multiple conversations with them, and then the board themselves led APPLAUSE for the people. Yes, the BOARD APPLAUDED their own invitees multiple times. (This is not something they normally do – it was a show put on for the public.)

The mood of the public before the meeting was excited, friendly and upbeat with quiet anticipation, but after the meeting was outright anger at the boards utter contempt and condescension of the people in our community. This is the same board that is completely puzzled why they can’t get more attendees to their meetings when they are trying to pass a levy.

I have seen this same treatment of the public several times over the past 6 years. This board seems to do everything they can to discredit and discourage people in the hopes that these people don’t return to future meetings and it usually works. I sure hope this time the people will stand up and not back down.

I will post the complete transcripts of the meeting as soon as I can type them up.

A photo of the board ignoring and disrespecting speakers. Directors Sumner, Newman and Green are looking at their laptop computers during an impassioned speech about keeping our children safe from rape. You can even see Director Newman manipulating her keyboard. The elbow of the woman speaking is shown in the bottom left corner of the photo with the black leather jacket.

A photo of the board ignoring and disrespecting speakers. Directors Sumner, Newman and Green are looking at their laptop computers during an impassioned speech about keeping our children safe from rape. You can even see Director Newman manipulating her keyboard. The elbow of the woman speaking is shown in the bottom left corner of the photo with the black leather jacket.

The same directors listening to a board invited speaker. They have all turned in their seats and are looking intently at the speaker. Director Newman is even smiling.

The same directors listening to a board invited speaker. They have all turned in their seats and are looking intently at the speaker. Director Newman is even smiling.

Directors Ohrtman and Moore have also turned in their seats to listen to the same speaker.

Directors Ohrtman and Moore have also turned in their seats to listen to the same speaker.

Public Comments

The public meetings of our elected officials are FOR THE PUBLIC. That is why there is a public comment section during the meeting, to have a spot in the agenda where the public can can have a voice. While the board does have the option to limit your time, they CANNOT shut you down because of the topic you bring up. To prove this, several speakers talked about the Transgender policy, and the board sat quietly listening.

In future meetings, I would suggest that anyone who wants to speak, fill out one of the half slips at the table with the sign in sheet, present it to the board, and then the board HAS TO LISTEN to whatever it is you want to say.

PARENT MEETINGS

A parent spoke with me last night about getting some community meetings together with just the public where everyone can speak who wants to speak. We are hoping our community can coordinate together in finding ways to deal with the board in future meetings, or maybe discuss other options that we have at our disposal. I think it’s a great idea, and hope that others will stay with us on this topic so that our children won’t be bull dozed by a handful of apparent activists who have occupied our schools. I will be putting up a post when we have organized a time and place for the meeting.

How Well Does Colville Know Superintendent Pete Lewis?

Lewis

It’s important to know the people taking care of the safety and education of our children. That’s why school districts do background checks on their employees. So as parents, we should know as much as we can about the number one person in charge of our children, Superintendent Pete Lewis.

Last Position Held before Colville: Superintendent in Fairbanks, Alaska

June 9, 2014 Lewis was FIRED from Fairbanks North Borough School District

  • “… he exhibited a total failure of leadership leading up to the sexual abuse of a student on school property.” (Link)
  • “demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to perform the duties expected of a superintendent, which has resulted in potential liability to the district …” (Link)

Fairbanks School Board President Haas went on to say Mr. Lewis had knowledge of:

  • 1. significant allegations of employee misconduct towards students
  • 2. failed to ensure others took appropriate action; and
  • 3. took inappropriate action himself.

*****

The superintendent’s unwillingness to perform his duties or inability to do them exposed students to harm and the district to legal vulnerability, the board said. Despite inappropriate student contact, Fowlkes received a glowing recommendation, Haas said.

Lewis allowed an employee to routinely work mornings and nights without being paid, putting the district out of compliance with federal wage and hour laws, Haas said, and fostered an attitude of disrespect toward the board that has permeated down to other staff members, Haas said. Link

*****

Mr. Fowlkes has been convicted of 3 counts of sexual abuse of a minor and is now serving time in jail. Fowlkes has also been charged with seven counts of sexual abuse of a minor regarding allegations made by a student at Hutchinson High School in 2014. The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District has agreed to pay $920,00 to the family of this student.

*****Heidi Haas Video

Here is a video of the Fairbanks School Board Director talking about the Investigation of Claude Fowlkes III and showing her concern that the Colville School Board did not contact them for information about Mr. Lewis before hiring him. Link to Video

*****

June 11, 2014 Pete Lewis was HIRED by Colville School District as their Interim Superintendent (only two days after he was fired from Fairbanks).

December 2014 Pete Lewis was HIRED by Colville School District as their Superintendent. Normally a school district will keep an Interim Superintendent for a full year before hiring them full time. It is a curious thing that our Board chose to hire Mr. Lewis early.

Continue reading

Transgender Committee Application On Colville Website

Transgender Committee 2015-12-04The application for the Committee regarding the Transgender Procedure is now up and available on the Colville Website: Please visit: colsd.org

or click these links:

Letter

Application

We are still looking into the school selection process, and we will update you when we get an answer back from Mr. Lewis.

 

Please be aware that this will not stop the board from voting the policy in during their December meeting. They have already voted to pass the first reading, and may still be planning to pass the second reading to make it permanent in our schools during the December 16th meeting.

 

Also be aware that depending on the selection process for the committee, that you may not have another opportunity to voice your opinion on this matter.

 

If you can’t attend the December meeting, please be sure to send a letter with a friend to be submitted during the meeting, or send it to us at colvilleparents@yahoo.com so that we can present it for public record.

 

***** COMMUNITY ALERT *****

Community Alert

It looks like the School Board plans to pass the policy BEFORE they set up a committee. If this happens, they can change the procedures at will no matter what the committee says.

I believe the Board is expecting that very few people will show up at their next board meeting when they plan to pass the policy. This is very typical, people show up for one meeting, voice their concerns and assume the Board will respect those views. The Board then waits till no one is looking and does what they want. It is very important that the people show up and continue to fight this, or it’s going to go through. My view is that this current Board and Superintendent will never stop pushing this one sided agenda.

From my interpretations of the transcripts, the Superintendent will not form a committee until AFTER the policy passes.

Superintendent Lewis: First of all, if the policy passes, then I have an obligation to take that policy and implement that, so I would need to get something put out to the community to build a committee and craft a new procedure as quickly as possible.

Superintendent Lewis: I have – I think I’ve stated very clearly, we will create a committee and we will bring a procedure back, if the policy passes.

Director Sumner: … I am making a motion to table this current policy …

President Green: Ok, we have a motion to table policy 3211. Do I have a second?

As you can see, the Board voted to table the policy, NOT to form a committee.

Please show up at the next board meeting,

December 16, 2015 at 6pm

in the Aster Elementary School Building.

Even though the meeting will be during the school district Christmas Choir concerts, it’s important that people show up. If you can’t attend, and would like your statement entered for the record, please send an email or letter to me at ColvilleParents@yahoo.com and I will make sure they are presented to the Board during the official public meeting.

Transgender Transcripts Part 4

Lewis and Rockie

The second part of the meeting consisted of Superintendent Pete Lewis speaking along with the school Lawyer, Rockie Ulrich Hansen. After the last parent spoke, Superintendent Pete Lewis took the podium.

Superintendent Lewis: Good Evening, I am Pete Lewis, Superintendent of Colville School District.

President Green and members of the Board, Policy 3211 Transgender Students is before you for second reading. This policy provides additional clarity to our non-discrimination policy and I would like to point out to the Board that after posting the draft procedure on the website, we have heard from several families expressing concerns to the privacy interests of their students who may be impacted by allowing other students to utilize facilities that correspond with their gender identity. In light of these concerns, I have amended the procedure to recognize that any student who has a desire for increased privacy may be allowed to access an alternative restroom or changing area. In most cases we already have private areas within each facility that will allow a student more privacy. As the procedure says, this is done on a case by case basis.

I also want to point out that the Board approves policy, procedure is something that comes from the administration, and is something that can be changed and can be adjusted to meet the needs and to be able to comply with the law.

This is a Washington State School Directors generated Policy. It is in compliance with the Revised Code of Washington, specifically RCW 28A.642.010 (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=28A.642.010) and with the Washington Administrative Code WAC 392.190, Unlawful Discrimination (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=392-190). This policy is also in compliance with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction Guidelines and is consistent with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association rules.

It has also put us as a community and as a Board in a dilemma. A dilemma about how we go about crafting an appropriate policy and procedure that can meet the needs of our students and follow the laws of the state of Washington, which I am obligated to do, just as you are obligated to do.

It is important because of our discrimination policy and something that will be recognized by the state of Washington as something that we have to follow. We have protected classes. Gender identity is a protected class, like it or not. We have an obligation to make sure that all of our students and all of our classes are protected. We want to make sure that we craft a policy and procedure that allows us to do that, but does not stigmatize, it does not bring attention to, allows kids to be comfortable, allows kids to be safe.

It is not an easy place to sit there. It is not an easy place to be here.

1. Audience Member: Protect my daughter! Continue reading

A Slap in the Face, and Another, and Another!!!!

THE FIRST SLAP: The Colville School Board decides to create a policy to allow transgender students access to bathrooms of their gender identity choice.

Let me just say that I am short. Very short. It is uncomfortable for me to sit in chairs where my feet dangle – which is almost always. I do not get on a podium and ask people to only manufacture chairs that I am comfortable to sit in so that everyone else is UN-comfortable. That is patently ridiculous – and I’m sorry, but isn’t that what this policy is doing?

ANOTHER SLAP: The Colville School Board changes the wording of the procedure. Here are the changes with explanation:

Pete

This is the notice from Superintendent Pete Lewis indicating changes have been made to the Transgender procedure. Don’t get your hopes up folks. Continue reading

Superintendent Pete Lewis Fired from Previous Position in Fairbanks

Fired_stamp_commons.wikimedia.orgThis post is informational for the good people of Colville. I believe it is important for this community to understand as much as we can about our new Superintendent. I find it important for people to know that Mr. Pete Lewis was fired from his last position in Fairbanks, Alaska for

“significant allegations of employee misconduct towards students”

handcuffs-294516_640To put it more bluntly, an employee named Claude Fowlkes III was arrested for allegedly raping a student multiple times on campus.

Prior to this, Mr. Lewis was made aware of multiple complaints that Mr. Fowlkes was grooming students. The action Mr. Lewis allegedly took was to transfer Mr. Fowlkes to another building without informing the principal of his past behaviors. This action by Mr. Lewis is what allegedly led to the rapes and to Mr. Lewis’ own firing.

Here is an excerpt from a Fairbanks article written on the KSL.com website  http://www.ksl.com/?nid=157&sid=29870313

The board cited a “total failure of leadership” by Lewis in the investigation and retention of employees, including Claude Fowlkes III, 34, a tutor at Hutchison High School who was arrested in March and charged with six counts of abusing a student at the school.

“Significant allegations and observations of ‘grooming’ and other alarming behavior with students were either not understood or were not dealt with in a serious manner,” Haas said in a statement signed by all board members.

Problems began at Fowlkes’ previous assignment at another Fairbanks school, Haas said, but the Hutchison principal was not made aware of them, Haas said.

Fowlkes from 2008 to 2014 was the subject of at least three complaints regarding conduct toward male students or minors. He violated district policy and engaged in inappropriate behavior with a male student at Tanana Middle School, the board said, but remained employed.

The superintendent’s unwillingness to perform his duties or inability to do them exposed students to harm and the district to legal vulnerability, the board said. Despite inappropriate student contact, Fowlkes received a glowing recommendation [by Mr. Lewis], Haas said.

You can find links to more informative articles at the bottom of this page.

5222712198_a24e1ba298_b_flickr.comQUESTIONS

– Do you as a parent feel our school board was honest with us in every way?

– Why did the school board hire Mr. Lewis two days after he was fired from Fairbanks, AK?

– Why did our board feel the need to rush in a superintendent to our district that had been fired for “significant allegations of employee misconduct towards students”?

– Should this community have been properly informed of Mr. Lewis’ past mistake before he was hired?

– Did our school board do a thorough hiring process, or was Mr. Lewis rushed in? (See post ‘Questionable Interm Superintendent Hiring’ https://colvilleparents.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/questionable-interim-superintendent-hiring/ )

– Did our school board skip the steps in their own policies that require them to inform the public of a superintendent or interim superintendent search? (Once again, see “Questionable Interim Superintendent Hiring post). If so, why?

– Did our school board rush Interim Superintendent Pete Lewis into a permanent position without a proper Superintendent search (according to school policies) before the public could be informed of Mr. Lewis’ past? (See post ‘Superintendent Hiring Procedures’ https://colvilleparents.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/superintendent-hiring-procedures/ )

– Do you, as a parent, feel comfortable with Mr. Lewis in charge of your children?

Continue reading

11 Inches of Snow and No Bus Delay?

Nature Photography

The decisions by the administration at this school district never stops amazing me. Our community gets 11 inches of snow and the school says there will be no bus delay? Really? What were they thinking?

Does this community feel that 11 inches of snow is a no-brainer keep the same bus schedule or a two hour bus delay situation?

There was only about 3 to 5 inches of snow in Colville with deeper accumulations in the outlying areas. So since the city folk didn’t have any trouble getting to school, did they decide that it wouldn’t matter if the rural areas made it to school safely? Is that what they were thinking? This smells a lot like discrimination against some of the students in our district.

Not everyone has quick snow removal equipment. I have a friend that needs 9 hours to plow from their home to the highway. It takes us 3 hours to plow our driveway. We have to catch the bus at 7 am, so we would have to start plowing at 3:30 am to make the bus on time. We  were up at 5 am to plow which would have been plenty of time to make a 9 am bus.

If the school put in a 2 hour delay for the buses, like they normally do on a deep snow day, we could have made the bus at 9 am. But here’s the catch. They don’t put up the notice for the bus schedule until 7 am, which is long after rural people need to make decisions. So as hard as we worked to catch the bus, it seemed like the school chose to completely ignore the rural families.

Steven’s County Department of Public Works

aka “The Guys who Plow the Roads”

8488922849_50d4cf6a43_flickr.comDon’t take my word for it. We were very upset with having to drive in to town, so we stopped to talk to the Steven’s County Department of Public Works,  here’s their web page http://www.co.stevens.wa.us/publicwrks/

The people we talked to in their office were very upset that nobody from the Colville school district called them to ask about the road conditions. They were so upset that they had already called the school to make sure they had the contact information. The school assured them they did, but the Public Works people weren’t going to take their word for it and were in the middle of writing a letter to make sure the school had a written record of all their contact information.

It is important for the public to know that every other school district called into the Steven’s County Department of Public Works to check road conditions. The only school district that did not contact their office was Colville. Apparently Colville doesn’t seem to care about the safety of our community members. This includes, students, families, staff and teachers.

You see, these guys bust their behinds to clear the roads in time for the buses. As a matter of fact, they make a whole schedule around clearing the roads specifically for the school buses. They don’t just clear the highways, they have to clear up many county roads too. On Monday, January 5, 2015 they could not clear all the roads in time for the standard bus schedule so consequently, many buses made it to school late.

What that means is that there were many many many families who worked extra hard to get their kids to the bus stop only to;

1. Find out they missed the bus and their kids will either miss school or they have to drive them in.

– How would you like to be the family that worked their tail off to make the bus only to find out that you now had to double time it because you have to get ready for work AND drive the kids to school. I wonder how many people were late to work because of our schools decision.

2. Have their kids sitting on the buses for a much longer time before they reached the school.

– There were quite a few buses late to school.

3. Find out that the buses were traveling on dangerous road conditions.

– Un-plowed roads means dangerous conditions for the buses even when the use chains on their tires. I do not want my children riding a bus with dangerous road conditions. But I especially don’t want my children – or any children in this community riding a bus in a dangerous road condition that could have been avoided by a simple two hour delay of the buses.

Continue reading

School Board Sets Superintendent Salary

Super SalaryDuring a special board meeting on December 9, 2014, the board set the Superintendent Salary for Pete Lewis and signed a three year contract.

This post includes:

– Pete Lewis contract with details

– School Board calculations

– My calculations

– Links to all information at bottom of post

PETE LEWIS’ CONTRACT (link to original at bottom of page)

– $132,000 base salary

– 12 Days paid sick leave each year – eligible for buy back

– 25 days of paid vacation per year – accumulated days may be bought back at 15 days per year

– 30 paid vacation days may be used as salary for retirement calculations per State laws & guidelines.

– Membership dues for AASA, WASA, PDK, ASCD

– Same holidays, and leave granted to other district administrators

– Same medical, dental, vision, insurance benefits provided other district administrators

– Reimbursement for all business travel

– Cell phone service for district business at no charge to the Superintendent

– 1 computer tablet to be returned at the end of the contract

– $400 per month tax sheltered annuity payment

– Yearly comprehensive medical exam

– Residence requirement

– Evaluation and extension of contract yearly

– Disability clause

– Hold Harmless clause

– Savings clause

(Full contract linked below)

Here is the salary information history for Colville Superintendent’s I put together:

Super Salaries in Colville Continue reading

Cancelled Superintendent Search Transcripts

imagesPen_flickr.comI think it’s important for the public to know the reasons why our board members make the decisions they do. So I have transcribed the portion of the November 24, 2014 school board meeting Agenda item 5.05 Superintendent Search. These are the comments by the board that concluded with their decision to cancel a full and open search for a superintendent position.

Sid Green 5.05 Superintendent Search. Sandy?

Sandy Moore Giggles (garbled) you were going to call on me. Like you were going to tell me before hand you were going to call on me. So

Sid Green Absolutely

Sandy Moore So! Superintendent Search. We had a very, I thought,  informative (garbled – but she is speaking about the public forum for Superintendent Selection Process link can be found at bottom of this post). We had a lot of people show up at the auditorium of Colville High School and share their views about where we are with the superintendent search and where we should go. We got a lot of great input. We as a board have not had an opportunity to talk about it since that meeting and this is our first meeting since then and I would like to have this chance to talk among ourselves about where we think we should go from here.

The way I saw (garbled) at the meeting was that we had a series of options.

– One was to hire a search firm and do a national search.

– Another option would be to do a search without hiring a firm so that was another issue we covered.

– We could also offer Mr. Lewis a contract extension but continue to look for another superintendent as was suggested by one member of the audience.

– We could offer Mr. Lewis a new contract for less than three years to give us more opportunity to evaluate where we are

– Or we could offer a full contract.

So I see that as kind of a measure of options out there on the table. I’d be interested in hearing input. I certainly have my own opinion, but I’ll open it up for discussion first. Continue reading

Broken Promise by School Board

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I am disappointed in our School Board because I believe they did not meet the requirements of the Open Public Meeting laws when hiring our Interim Superintendent. I am doubly disappointed that they went back on their promise to do a full and open search for a permanent Superintendent.

Here is a clip of the job posting for our superintendent.

Job Posting Cropped 2

In the job posting for Interim Superintendent, you will see it says (during which time, the District will conduct a search for a permanent Superintendent). This was voted and passed unanimously 5-0 by the board in the May 28, 2014.

Our board did not just promise the public, they stated publicly in writing that they would do a public search for our superintendent, and then fell back on that promise. In my opinion, we can never trust the word of any sitting board member from this point on.

In the November 24, 2014 school board meeting, the board unanimously approved to cancel the search and hire Mr. Lewis. This broke their promise to our community.

 

Question_mark_1_by_valsgalore_deviantart.comQuestions:

Our school board promised the community they would do a full and open search. Why didn’t they?

Our Board will tell you that they were trying to save us the money, but there is so much distrust with our board already – why go down this path?

Was it really just about the money – or was it something else?

I can understand that they are happy with Mr. Lewis’ job performance as an Interim Superintendent, but why didn’t they do a full, open and transparent search when hiring our Interim Superintendent in the first place?

 

Superintendent Hiring Procedures

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This post outlines the Colville procedures for hiring a Superintendent – and to give you information on other school districts procedures.
POLICIES and PROCEDURES (links to Colville’s Policies and Procedures manual listed at bottom of post)

First, let me explain the difference between policies and procedures, because it can sometimes be confusing and people often use the words improperly.

Explanation:

In the most basic form, a government agency is guided by their policies, but must follow their procedures.

Policies are a guideline.

Procedures are specific instructions for accomplishing a task.

For some reason, Colville does not have a policy or procedure for hiring a superintendent. In this case, the procedure for hiring falls back on employee/staff or administrator hiring procedures. Our school board did not follow their own procedures in the hiring of Mr. Pete Lewis if they treated his hiring as an employee or as a principal which is the closet thing to hiring a Superintendent.

It is the responsibility of the School Board to Write Policies and Procedures, it is also their responsibility to follow those procedures, though, there is no penalty if they don’t. The only thing I can really do is share this information with the public to better inform people of what goes on in our district.

Here is the applicable text in the Colville School Board policies and procedures documents. While you are reading through them, check off how many of these things our school district did in the hiring process of our Superintendent: Continue reading

Community Forum – Common themes and Questions

I have several comments and about our community forum to help the public see specifics about this situation. I have numbered the paragraphs in this post the same as the numbered paragraphs of the transcripts to help with this discussion.

mobility-clipart-Person_Reading_Book_clip_art_hight_clipartpanda.comAdditional Information about Interim Superintendent Pete Lewis and the hiring process

Most of the night was full of praise for Mr. Lewis. The only information other than praise was provided by a handful of individuals.

166Lynette Martin [Pete] was allegedly

168 fired for a total failure of leadership, for the retention of an employee named Claude Fowlkes III who was a tutor at Hutchinson High School who was arrested in March and charged with six counts of abusing a student sexually in the school.

169 There were significant observations and allegations of grooming the students by this individual. Pete Lewis, or one of his employees allegedly transferred this student from the school where he was grooming students to another building and did not tell the principal that this student – that this tutor was having these problems. And that’s – after that happened is when the – that’s why Pete Lewis got fired, is because he mishandled that situation.

234 Scott Martin [Pete’s] met with the teachers union multiple times. He’s met with the secretaries union multiple times. He’s met with para educators. He’s met with nutritional specialists. He’s met with maintenance, custodian unions multiple times. As somebody pointed out, I as a public have not been involved in a public meeting with Pete Lewis. He hasn’t invited the public to give their input to him as to what’s going on. Maybe individually, but not as a public.

213 Don Robson I have concerns that the board hired someone that was just terminated from his previous position due to the results of an investigation that they performed. I’m concerned that the board, when trying to select this superintendent for our schools didn’t even contact the previous school board to get any information from them. … I can’t help but feel that that’s negligence. To not contact a previous employer especially when he was terminated due to an investigation.

215 I have had contact with the Fairbanks school board and they have a lot of information to provide. And I’m not sure if they were contacted, he would have been hired in the first place.

Continue reading

Documentation for Questionable Interim Superintendent Hiring

This post contains additional documentation showing proof of information in previous post.

April 7, 2014 Pete Lewis was put on paid leave in Fairbanks, Alaska.

http://www.k12northstar.org/sites/default/files/14-0407-minspmtg-employmentclaims.pdf

Here is the text of the meeting minutes that is applicable:

Lewis Placed on Leave Fairbanks MinutesMay 13, 2014 Michael Cashion announces resignation to ESD 101

2014-05-13 Cashion resignation email to ESD copy

May 15, 2014 Michael Cashion writes resignation letter

– Letter is placed in the Statesman Examiner and you can view it here http://www.boarddocs.com/wa/colsd/Board.nsf/files/9KCTP35D6902/$file/Resignation%20Letter.PDF

May 16, 2014 Michael Dunn from ESD 101 sends Sid Green Pete Lewis’ resume and contact information.

2014-05-16 Dunn to Green PL Resume copy

May 16, 2014 Sid Green responds to Michael Dunn saying he went online and read all the information about Pete Lewis.

2014-05-16 Sid response to Dunn PL resumeContinued conversation from Mike Dunn to Sid Green Continue reading