The North Bend Eagle

 

 

School board disusses adding tobacco to new drug testing

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 8/21/19

Amidst the routine and annual business that made up most of the Aug. 12 North Bend Central Board of Education meeting, there was some debate on the school’s new drug testing policy.

The board gave second and final readings to 22 board policies and a first reading to three.
When it came time to vote on accepting the policies as a group, board member Justin Taylor said he would vote against them.

“I just feel strongly testing for tobacco should be included in the drug testing that we are going to do,” Taylor said.

High school principal Brenda Petersen said that testing for tobacco could be added to the testing.

“I’m really nervous about implementing the drug test,” Petersen said. “We have already informed the students what we will be testing for and we have not mentioned tobacco. We can add it later, but we need to inform the students.”

Taylor then asked Petersen if it was true she found vaping paraphernalia at the school. Petersen said that she did and agreed that testing for tobacco use might need to be added, but not at this time.

The new policies were adopted on a 5-1 vote, with Taylor dissenting.

The board also looked at the school’s vehicle fleet. NBC is one 61 schools awarded a rebate of $42,000 to purchase a new bus. The school received a similar grant last year making it a $82,000 savings in two years.

School maintenance director Kevin Ferguson said that with the number of vehicles the district has, it is very tight with activities every day except Wednesday and Sunday. Ferguson said that an additional, newer vehicle would be welcomed. The board voted to give superintendent Dan Endorf permission to look for and buy a new bus.

The board voted once again to offer the early retirement incentive program. Endorf said there are seven teachers eligible, and one of the benefits to the school is that teachers are required to inform the school if they are going to take early retirement by Jan. 1.

“We are first one out of the chute to hire new teachers,” Endorf said. “That advantage is enormous.”
The board reviewed a policy for the Tiger Cub Preschool. The school had a book of guidelines it used, but it was not previous adopted as official board policy.

Elementary principal Tessie Beaver said that there are very specific guidelines for preschool.

“The kids are coming in to kindergarten ready,” Beaver said. “We’ve had to bump up expectations in kindergarten, first and second grades.”

Endorf said the theme for this school year is “Raising the Bar.”

“We’ve had a lot of success and awards this year,” he said. “We won’t settle for that. We’ll raise the bar.”

In other business, the board approved hiring of Kim Byrd and LeAnn Sillivan as paras; Jan Eaton, Arlo Winkelman, Judy Wesely for kitchen help; Tyler Baumert for bus driver; and Kris Sharp and Melanie Derengowski for the after school program.

 

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