Farm Bureau - Melissa Wheeler

The North Bend Eagle


Board debates option enrollment

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 6/6/06

Option enrollment has been a bonus for North Bend Central because of the state aid it receives for the additional students, but it is causing a few problems this year.

On a yearly basis the board of education sets a limit for the number of students who can be in a class. If the in-district students do not reach that number, then students who live outside the district and apply to attend North Bend schools are admitted.

At the Dec. 14, 2020, board meeting the capacity enrollment for the kindergarten class was increased from 37 to 45. Principal Tessie Beaver explained that there were a number of kindergartners who did not attend the 2020-2021 school year because of COVID-19. When the current school year started, additional in-district students showed up on the first day, bringing the kindergarten class number up to 48. As a result of these surprise students, an additional kindergarten teacher was hired.

NBC offers preschool, but it is separate from the formal public education offered. Anyone can enroll their child in the NBC preschool whether or not they live in the district, to a limit of 40 students. Of the 34 children currently enrolled in the preschool, nine are from outside the district.

In reviewing its policy on enrollment of resident and non-resident students, much discussion followed as to how to decide which out-of-district option enrollment students will be allowed to enroll if there are more applicants than available spots.

Applications can be made starting Sept. 1 until March 15 and were considered in the order that they applied. Priority is given to: 1. those required by law to attend NBC; 2. those with siblings attending NBC; 3. those without siblings at NBC. Another option would be to randomly draw applications for consideration if there are more applicants at a certain priority level than there is space for in a particular class, rather than the current method of chronological order of application being the tiebreaker.

There was prolonged debate from the board on this topic. A vote to update the policy to use a random draw rather than first come, first serve failed with Justin Taylor, Doug Hoops and Bob Feurer voting against it. The board then agreed to discuss the capacity enrollment for the kindergarten class at a future meeting before deciding how option enrollment applicants would be considered.

Tim Ripp from the Clark-Enersen Architectural firm shared the updated plans for the elementary school with the board. There are six or seven classrooms that need to have asbestos removed. It was decided to try to get this scheduled as soon as possible to not interfere with construction next summer.

The board requested that Ripp make a digital model of what will be done in the classrooms so the teachers can visualize it.

It was decided that ESSER III (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funds can be used for the elementary school door and window replacement. The board voted to use the ESSER funds at the savings of $100,000 from the cost of the remodel.

The board received the Sept. 27 teambuilder sessions. The focus groups will meet again Nov. 4 to develop a plan to build a culture for success at NBC.

In other business the board:
• looked at two options for the 2022-2023 school calendar. There was more discussion, review needed.
• heard the multicultural education report.
• reviewed the school safety and reunification plan in case the students would ever have to be removed from their classrooms.
• discussed how to celebrate American Education Week.
• heard a report on Hudl usage.
• accepted a bid for $130/hour per unit for snow removal at NBE from Mike Settles.
The next meeting of the board will be Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.


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