Local grade schools will soon be getting electronic cameras to record who comes and goes out of the schools as well as improve safety throughout the buildings.
The school district administrators requested the new equipment after it was discovered that the district would have more money than expected available to spend. Those unanticipated revenues will be used to do a number of upgrades in district schools, according to superintendent Larry LeDoux.
Also last night, LeDoux brought school board members and the public up-to-date on school reconfiguration or stratification. That’s the proposal to put all the kids of one grade in one school instead of each elementary school having students in all different grades.
After a recent public hearing, LeDoux said he needed to rethink the measure. And while he didn’t throw out the idea, he said the committee responsible for recommendations is not making any quick decisions as it continues to go through the process of review.
“I would say that we are stepping back, we’re reviewing parents’ comments, we’re looking at the pros, the cons. And we’re also looking at the operational logistics, we have a lot of that done.
“But we’re going to step back, we’re going to really take a close look at the sixth grade placement that people have brought up. A number of people brought that up, we are still going to be looking at alternatives.
“And if we decide that we’re going to bring that forward as some kind of option or some alternative, and we will schedule public meetings this spring to get further input and we’re going to go back to the community and lay that out completely, including all them–just like some bus schedules–what they would look like.
“Many of the concerns that parents had, the couple of areas that I thought were really poignant from the testimony, and I’m not going to go into a lot of detail.”
In other business, Kodiak Middle School Principal Eric Anderson presented an overview of his school which highlighted a number of the different classes such as maritime studies, welding and agriculture classes.
He noted that 80 percent of the students in welding have passed OSHA certification, a pretty much unheard of achievement.
We’re talking eighth graders here. And he’s never heard of any kids this young before passing the certification, but there is no age limit. So they are ready to go forward in their training, welding and they have a lot of kids that are very excited about continuing.
And the industrial arts students who are learning to build quality products and sell them, also have had great success. They built woodworking projects to sell at the AAUW Christmas Bazaar earlier this year.
“They sold out of all their goods, which was very exciting. They made a lot of money. And so those of you that were fortunate enough to see the smoke houses that they made, they were quite nice, quality work, and it’s really nice.”
And finally, in order to turn the old pool into a gym, the district must first empty the huge storage area that currently occupies the space. That means a lot of stored items will be surplused.
LeDoux said recently that local non-profits will be able to get any number of pieces of office furniture and supplies once the items are surplused. He suggested any organization looking for good used school furniture should contact the district.