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10/9/2019
SB to consider policy revisions: Board to discuss superintendent eval


By SAM ALLEN
Daily News Staff Writer

The first Ketchikan School Board meeting after the municipal election will look a little different.

Three School Board members will be sworn in to start the board meeting Wednesday.

Bridget Mattson and Leslie Becker were elected to continue serving on the School Board. Mattson, who was appointed to the board in October 2018, was elected to a three-year seat. Becker had serviced since being appointed in April, and has been elected to a one year term.

 Jordan Tabb is a new face on the council. He was elected to a three-year seat.

Next, the board will organize.

The board will elect a president, vice president and clerk-treasurer position.

After, the board, among other items, will resume previous discussion surrounding the evaluation of Interim-Superintendent Beth Lougee.

In previous meetings, the board has discussed hiring Lougee long-term or opening up the hiring process. The board decided not to make a decision until after the election.

Lougee is expected to give a report on the district Wednesday. Part of the report centers on new data from statewide testing. School evaluation data for Ketchikan schools and school statewide is available online at education.alaska.gov/compass.

The evaluations look at English language arts scores and mathematics, as well as improvement since last year.

The table below includes some of the data included in Wednesday's School Board meeting materials.

For grades three through six, Point Higgins Elementary tested highest in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District overall.

For grades three through six, Fawn Mountain Elementary had the greatest percentage of students who missed 10% or more classes at nearly 27.5%.

The data also showed results for grades seven through nine. However, data for Revilla Jr/Sr High School and Fast Track was unavailable for some grade levels due to low student numbers, according to information in the school agenda.

In other business, the board may change several policies.

The School Board may pass a policy update in the second reading related to student activity funds.

The policy currently reads: "Student funds shall be managed in accordance with sound business procedures designed to encourage the largest possible educational return to students without sacrificing the safety of funds or exposing students to undue responsibility or unnecessary routine."

The update would change the language of the first part of the sentence: "Student funds shall be managed in accordance with Board Policy and best practices for use of public funds designed to encourage ... "

Another proposed policy revision deals with purchasing procedures. The update requires the board to approve purchase orders more than $25,000.

In the same section of policy, additional language addresses conflict of interest surrounding federal awards. The language includes benefits to immediate family members and accepting gifts. Violating the new policy could result in termination.

Another proposed policy revision deals with purchasing. Weekly or monthly food service purchases would be removed from the list of items that may be exempted from formal bid procedures.

Later this week, the board policy committee will also review a new policy created by the Association of Alaska School Boards. The policy deals with professional boundaries between staff and students.

The School Board meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the White Cliff Building. There is time for public comment at the start of the meeting.