School board meeting highlights

Posted: Wednesday, February 04, 2004

In other action Monday, the Kenai Peninsula Borough school board:

Approved a charter for an arts and sciences-based elementary charter school to be tentatively housed at Sears Elementary School and postponed action on a proposed charter for an academics-based high school at Skyview High School. (See related story, page A-1.)

Received a midyear report on progress toward board goals, which include planning for an effective nine-member board; improving communication regarding accountability; improving employee relations; and beginning discussions of cocurricular activities.

Postponed indefinitely action on eligibility requirements for middle school cocurricular activities. The policy revision resulted from a conflict between parents at Kenai Middle School and Aurora Borealis Charter School. The board said it wanted more information on the matter and encouraged the parties involved to work together for a better compromise.

Approved teacher contracts for Audrey M. Kepp, temporary secondary school generalist at Nanwalek School, and Letha W. Sumpter, temporary third-grade teacher at Port Graham School.

Approved unpaid leaves of absence for Shirley Chihuly, Title I and migrant tutor at Ninilchik, and Maria Martushev, bilingual instructor at Voznesenka School.

Approved the district's six-year capital improvements plan, though no money for future capital improvements is expected in the coming two years. The top priorities on the list include teacher housing at remote schools; an upgrade to the Soldotna Middle School fire alarm system; a new roof at Nanwalek School; im-provements at Nikolaevsk School; and an upgrade of the bus turnaround and parking lot at Ninilchik School.

Approved an administrative policy to allow waivers for the High School Graduation Qualifying Exam in special situations, including late arrival into the state; passing of a comparable exam in another state; or rare and unusual circumstances. "Rare and unusual circumstances" are being further defined by the state, according to assistant superintendent Sam Stewart. However, he said, they presently include extreme medical situations, such as a debilitating car accident or chemotherapy.

Removed from the agenda an action item regarding an administrative policy on student records. The policy, which was postponed at an earlier meeting for further deliberation, would have been amended to meet requirements of the controversial USA Patriot Act.

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