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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Parent Teacher Conferences

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Wednesday, January 27, 2015 was Parent Teacher Conference day. On the afternoon of January 26, 2015, I received a phone message reminder. It’s nice that the school sent a reminder, but sad that it was the night before.

I remember a day when schools actually had parents attend these days. They gave the parents a written notice with plenty of time for the parents to rearrange their schedule. Parents can’t just drop everything and take off with a moments notice, they need time to arrange with their boss, so they can take off work.

I’m also assuming the teachers can’t see every parent at the same time, so it seems like it would be more beneficial to give at least a weeks notice so that everyone could arrange their schedule.

But that’s just me.

I’m sure the school will say that the conference days are listed on the school calendar, so parents have already had plenty of notice and that’s a fair argument.

My point is that if the school is going to send a notification, it would be nice to have it at the very least on Monday, so parents have a couple of days notice instead of getting a phone message on the night before the scheduled day. It’s kind of hard to call your boss to get permission for a day off when your boss isn’t at work. Parents have very busy schedules, and don’t always put every date in their calendar, especially when it’s several months off.

In my mind, when the school sends a message the night before, it seems as if they don’t actually want to have parents attend.

7071223009_3c49174fcc_bThe school also says that less and less parents attend every year. Why is this?

– Is it because parents don’t care how their children are doing in school?

– Is it because parents are not properly informed?

– Is it because parents trust the schools more now than they did years ago?

– Is it because standards based grading means nothing to the parents or the children and nobody understands what’s going on anyway?

– Is it because conferences are during the day when parents can’t attend instead of at night when parents have free time?

– Is it because parents have much busier schedules now and can’t drop everything on a minutes notice?

Bully Post

bullying_01_gopixpic.comI believe bullying in the Colville School District is an issue that needs to be addressed. Bullying can come from students, teachers, staff or administration. If you have a story about bullying that you would like posted, please contact me.

For this first post, I would like to discuss a bully situation that was widely discussed in our community. In February of 2013, a very brave student named Paul Brozik addressed an issue he was having on change.org. I have posted the text of the petition at the bottom of this post along with the link.

I think it’s very important to know how our school board addressed this issue. In short, I believe they buried it.

– The board had a “non” meeting to talk with the public. This means that they spoke with members of the public, but did not have a quorum of the board (3 or more members) attending, so that they did not have to post minutes of the meeting.

– The board spoke with Mr. Brozik and his family about the issue in an executive session. Our board members believe that anything they discuss in executive session may never be talked about again, so this is how I believe they muted themselves.

NOTE: Many public organizations will release minutes of their executive sessions, so it is legal for the public to know what goes on in executive session. If a public records request is submitted for executive session documents, those documents fall under the open public meeting laws and they must be turned over to the public. Unfortunately for the public, our board does not take minutes in executive session and doesn’t share the minutes or the documents – at least they have not shared them with me when I have put in a request.

– The board allowed comments in a public meeting and the subject has never been brought up again.

– I don’t have any information about reprimands of any kind. All I know is the teacher is still teaching at Colville.

I personally like the teacher discussed in this bully incident, so I was disappointed to hear she might be bullying other students. During the “non” meeting/public discussion there were several conversations about teachers that some people thought were bullies and other people thought were great teachers, so there seems to be quite a big divide in some cases with individual teachers.

As children, both my husband and I were bullied by teachers. My children have been bullied by teachers. In my opinion, my family and friends are continually bullied by the Colville administrators and school board, so bullying is one of the reasons I started attending school board meetings regularly. I have started this blog to communicate this information to the community. There have been many times that I see one thing happening, but the public is told another by our district, or the information is buried so the public cannot see it. It’s time to have all sides of the stories are out there for everyone to see. This petition is a huge part of getting the word out to the community. The petition explains the bully incident best and the multitude of comments below the petition add quite a bit to the story of bullying in the Colville school district.

Petition Text and Comments https://www.change.org/p/colville-high-school-fix-take-care-of-unprofessional-teaching-and-unjust-practices-at-chs
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