Chelan School Board discusses Sex Ed curriculum


During the July 13 Chelan School District meeting 30-40 peaceful protestors voiced their concerns on the street corners of Johnson and Sanders, and in front of the school district office, about CRT (Critical Race Theory) and Sex Education in schools, wearing of masks by students, and vaccine segregation. The group was made up of students, teachers, parents, grandparents and concerned citizens. RuthEdna Keys/LCM

CHELAN - A Chelan School Board Meeting occurred on July 13 at 6 p.m. The meeting was called to order and then there was an approval of the agenda. It was decided that discussing a suicide prevention program would occur at a later date. No one requested to discuss non-agenda items.
Trisha Schock presented the budget report. The beginning fund balance was $1.5 million dollars for the general fund. Almost $15 million in revenue was budgeted. Around  $15 million in expenditures was anticipated with an increase in revenues of about $27,000.
Even with the recent drop in enrollment, Schock was confident in the budget and felt it was more balanced than last year.  Capital projects were presented next. The beginning fund balance was projected to be $500,000 with revenues of $2.4 million. There was an ESSER capacity of $2 million dollars which was planned to be used for capital projects like an HVAC upgrade or other facilities work.
The district does not have any debt, said Schock, and has a small amount of money from interest in residual property taxes.  Then the budget report moved on to ASB funds. The beginning fund balance was $175,000 revenues were $200,000.
The last fund discussed was the transportation vehicle fund.  The anticipated fund balance was $375,000 and the depreciation revenues was almost $100,000.  A large portion of the fund balance was planned to purchase buses or provide for major repairs in advance and in case of emergency.
After that, Barry DePaoli presented the superintendent report.  He said that there were still some Coronavirus cases in Chelan, but that the cases were down.  Chelan County has about 50% fully vaccinated and Douglas is 44% vaccinated.
DePaoli said that the current guidance for wearing masks is contradictory. The state Department of Health said all school personnel must wear a face cloth mask regardless of vaccination status when students are present in the building. The Centers for Disease Control said that masks should be worn by all individuals who are not fully vaccinated.
The current masking guidelines for the fall are not confirmed, DePaoli said, and he expects guidelines to change. After that, the August Institute was discussed. The institute is starting on the 24th for new teacher orientation.
The 25th will be staff training, DePaoli said, which is guided by the book Belonging Through a Culture of Dignity.  Additionally, the staff will be hearing from Brooke Brown who is Teacher of the Year for Washington.
On the 26th, DePaoli said, Kaite Novak will present on the new framework on universal design instruction. On the 27th, the principals will work with their staff to set goals for school improvement for the year.
After discussing the August Institute, protocols for attending board meetings were discussed. The hybrid meeting option would continue, DePaoli said. In person attendees who are vaccinated do not have to wear masks and the building can accommodate up to 12 guests.  
Those who want to make a public comment should be in person to avoid confusion and if someone wants to comment virtually they need to submit the comment in advance, instead of commenting live, said an unidentified school board member. Other board members agreed.
During the meeting 30-40 peaceful protestors voiced their concerns on the street corners of Johnson and Sanders about CRT (Critical Race Theory) and Sex Education in schools, wearing of masks by students, and vaccine segregation. The group was made up of students, teachers, parents, grandparents and concerned citizens.
The Sexual Education curriculum was briefly discussed. Nicki Taylor was commissioned by the state to create a Sexual Education curriculum, said DePaoli. The curriculum is a social emotional learning curriculum. The health curriculum will be posted online in September and parents can have their children opt out of the Sexual Education program.
The board discussed changing the name of the Community Truancy Board to Truancy Engagement Board and expanding the amount of unexcused absences that are forgiven from 5 to 7. The motion was approved.
After discussing truancy, the board went over the payables and payroll. Panorama education was on the list of expenses and a board member asked what it is used for. DePaoli answered that it is a survey school that the middle school uses for a number of different purposes including social and emotional learning.

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