School District planning its reopening strategy

by Richard Uhlhorn

he Lake Chelan School District board of directors unanimously approved the hiring of Earth and Sky Studios (parent company of Cevado) to develop the District’s new website.

Stefani Morgan, the District’s On-line Coordinator/Website Specialist, worked with a group of staff, students and others to find a new website developer for the District. “Georgia (Mashayekh) and I narrowed it down to five companies,” Morgan said. “We presented all five companies to high school students and staff.”

Morgan told the board that these companies were checked out on computers, I-Pads and cell phones. “I’ve gotten a ton of feedback from students… all bilingual and we narrowed it down to Cevado,” she said.

The other companies came in at $10,000 to $15,000 to develop a site, but would also be charging $5,000 to $8,000 a year. Cevado came in at $25,000 to set up a website, but would only charge $1,400 a year for maintenance. The other companies also all had templates to work from, but Cevado’s proposal would be for an entirely new design.

Boardmember Lynda Foster said she would like to see other school websites Cevado hass designed. Morgan replied that they haven’t worked with a school, but she brought up several websites (Okanogan County) that are similar to what the school needs.

Foster asked if Morgan would be the administrator? Morgan said she would and the only time Cevado would charge extra is if something needed changed in the site’s design. “We can change photos, calendars and other stuff,” said Morgan.

DePaoli asked what the transition time frame was? Morgan stated that the basic new site would be up in 10 days for approval and three weeks to hand it over the District. “Our deadline would be November,” said DePaoli. “We have had a lot of people frustrated including our staff. I’m excited about that.”

Boardmember Ken Brunner said Cevado was a great choice and told the board that Chelan Fresh uses them for all of their website design. Foster added that she appreciates that Cevado is a local business.

The big item for many on the agenda was a Re-Opening Schools update from Superintendent DePaoli. “This early in the game it is hard to tell if we can re-open,” said DePaoli. He told the board that California, Texas and Virginia have decided to continue remotely. “Our transmission rates are up,” said DePaoli. “Hopefully, those will change.”

In order to be prepared for the scheduled School year, DePaoli has prepared three scenarios which include:

  • A full re-opening,
  • Remote learning, or a
  • A Hybrid model with a K-4 and a 5-12 model

The Re-Opening Plan is an ongoing process that DePaoli said would be revised over the summer months. The District is committed to finalizing a plan by August 11 to present to the community.

DSC09883

The priorities for re-opening will depend on the following:

  • Health & Wellness – “We will be following the CDC’s guidelines,” said DePaoli. He added that Joyous Van Meter would be coming up with protocols for the District’s re-opening.
  • Equity & Inequities – will provide students with additional individual support if needed.
  • Instruction – DePaoli stated that the District is dedicated to giving high quality instruction to its students. “We know families who will want to keep their students home and go on-line. We are going to do a survey to find out where people are at,” said DePaoli.
  • Training for Staff to be prepared for all models
  • Communication with all of the District’s Stakeholders.

DePaoli told the board that a lot of work has been accomplished by Rosy Burkhart on the safety operations planning front. “She is beginning to order PPE.”

He also said that re-opening is “probably a dream at this point.” DePaoli said the District would most likely be remote.”We should be well prepared.”

Camisha Hughbanks asked if it was possible to request having groups of five to 10 kids together on off school days if the District opens on a every other day schedule to push each other with homework and studies. Foster liked the idea of collaboration.

DePaoli shared a Re-opening Plan Overview including:

  • Physical Wellness
  • Social Emotional Wellness
  • Food Services
  • Facilities
  • Transportation
  • Technology

“We are waiting for some guidelines from OSPI so we can hit the ground running,” said DePaoli.

DSC09902

Residents and visitors have been taking advantage of the free parking option at Chelan High School and it has gotten so big that some residents are beginning to wonder why the District isn’t charging for the space.

Another issue that has come up is the boat trailer parking at the High School. “I went over and counted 108 boat trailers. They were everywhere,” said DePaoli. “There are a couple of concerns.” Some resident are wondering why the District is not charging for parking. The other concern is getting the trailers out of there when school is reopening. “We have no way of getting in touch with people. This is the year to have that conversation,” DePaoli said.

It could become a great fund raiser for the District and DePaoli said that the District would have to consult with legal counsel about liabilities of charging. He also brought up the fact that it is not inexpensive to repave those parking lots.

Laura Clinton said she has local hotels telling people they can park their trailers there. “Maybe they should be making a donation to the School District. Many of those people aren’t paying property taxes here.”

DePaoli said that at $10 a day it would generate $1,000+ a day. “Over 60 days that is a lot of money,” stated DePaoli.

Chairman Jeff Fehr said he thought it was OK initially but that it now seemed to become a dumping ground. Foster stated that it is a public space. “We need to move wisely. I think of how many times we have needed that space for fire camps and so forth.” DePaoli added that the District does need a method to evacuate the lots.

DePaoli asked if any of the board members could meet with him, the Mayor and City Administrator regarding traffic that is now backing up around town. Foster said she could attend.

The other issue is the use of District property for AAU programs that have traditionally had free use of outdoor and indoor facilities.

Financially the District is laying out $70,923.49 to Dell Computers for staff and another $73,149.20 to Wenatchee Valley College for Running Start Students from last year.

The School Board meets every second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. Currently the meetings are remote and community members are able to attend via telephone or computer. If interested, call Georgia Mashayekh at 509-682-3515 or email her at mashayekhg@chelanschools.org.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s