May School Board Notes

May School Board Notes
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The Omak School Board heard a presentation from the first Microbiology class at Omak High School at the May 22 meeting.

Teacher Todd Fagerness said his undergrad degree was in Microbiology, so he was excited to bring this class to Omak. The Gear Up program purchased 15 microscopes for the 22 students to use.

Students Taylor George, Megan Dykes, Javier Ramirez, Kyle Holborn and Franshesca Carrion-Oliver (all seniors) shared their experiences in the various applications of microbiology in possible future careers.

In food services, many processes are microbial, such as making sauerkraut and sourdough. The students prepared both, noting the science behind the food.

In the medical field, students used diagnostic test “Gram staining” to identify bacteria, a process used in the medical field.

"Taking Microbiology class made me aware that becoming a Medical Lab Technician was exactly what I wanted to do for my future career because I learned to love looking at microorganisms and found it fascinating," George said.

               In other business, the board:

  • Celebrated Senior Board Representative Franshesca Carrion-Oliver, who has presented reports to the board for the past two school years as a liaison for the high school student body.
  • Approved the personnel report, which included the hiring of Cynthia Buchert as a fifth grade teacher; Samantha Peterson as a first grade teacher; Leilani Beck as Middle School Special Education/English teacher; Claudia Galvan as a family services specialist at North; and several summer school positions.
  • Approved several summer field trips:
    • Gear Up had four summer trips for students to explore possible education/career opportunities in statistics, biology, aviation and aerospace.
    • Upward Bound to Camp OrToHa June 11-15 to address college fears and barriers for potential first-generation college students.
  • Heard that brick and mortar enrollment is at 1,493 FTE students, down a few from last month, but still 43 more than budget, so numbers have been holding. WAVA enrollment is down a bit at 3,263, although still 85 students above budget. Fiscal Administrator Scott Haeberle said WAVA is looking at ways to recruit more students as there are more online schools competing for them. In Kindergarten registration so far, they have confirmed they will need 9 classes to serve at least 153 students, but registration is still underway.
  • Haeberle also said that the State has provided projected numbers for the coming year, so he is working on getting the budget together. The board will have the numbers for a work session, then requested that a special public meeting be held before the July board meeting.