School Board elects officers, authorizes elementary school improvements

ESD-color-flush20leftOn Tuesday night, the Edmonds School Board elected officers for this year.

The new legislative representative is Carin Chase. Ann McMurray is the new vice president. Susan Phillips is returning to her position as school board president. She was president of the school board before stepping down in 2014.

Diana White was the prior president of the school board. She says she is glad to turn the reins back over to Phillips.

“I am very happy to turn it back over to you because I feel like this is the way it should have been,” White said. “I am looking forward to working with you.”

White also got some recognition on Tuesday night. She had stepped into the position of president without much help.

“I thank you for coming into it and just taking it on,” Board Member Gary Noble said.

The board heard two reports Tuesday night.

The first spoke about trying to reduce the number of kids going to truancy court because it’s not an effective way of getting kids to go back to school. Fewer kids are being taken to truancy court now.

A committee is working to quantify what is an acceptable number of unexcused absences.

“There is research to support that if you have 10 or more absences, you’ll be in trouble, either academically or emotionally,” Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Justin Irish said. “A number like that is something principals can use to deal with absences on a timely basis before there are problems.”

The Equity of Opportunity group also reported on a new position in the district targeting staff members who want to become teachers.

“It could give them an opportunity to go back to school with the understanding they will serve as a teacher in our district,” Irish said.

The School Board moved forward with the sales of two pieces of property east of Martha Lake. The district previously did a study on the land and found the substantial amount of wetland there would make it too difficult and expensive to build a school there, so they are selling it to a developer.

The board also authorized the Greene Gasaway architecture firm for a project to improve traffic and pedestrian safety at Cedar Way Elementary.

Lynnwood Elementary and Mountlake Terrace Elementary schools will also be getting some much needed renovations.

“It’s about time,” White said. “It’s been a long time coming.”

The board also reviewed an amendment to Board Policy 6815. It was created in 1993 and no one noticed the word “Retaliation” was spelled incorrectly until recently. Since fixing the typo is technically a revision to the policy, it will need to be revisited at the next board meeting before the change can be approved and the title can be switched.

–By Natalie Covate

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