PAYETTE — With winter break upon us, Superintendent Robin Gilbert has made her to-do list and checked it twice. Regardless of who’s naughty or nice, she still delivered her Superintendent report for the month of December to the Payette School District Board of Trustees during its regular meeting on Dec. 13.
Following are examples of talking points addressed in the report, as obtained by the newspaper Monday.
Two construction projects are underway; An addition to the Payette High School lunchroom, and the renovation of the Presidio Alternative School campus.
Following is the latest progress made, according to the latest update from Beniton Construction as obtained by the newspaper Thursday:
• Disability parking stall installation is complete, which includes a wheelchair ramp. Striping and signage are to be installed.
• Interior painting is underway
• Window fittings are en route to the building
Payette High cafeteria
• Re-roofing of the existing cafeteria is complete
• Slab-on-grade is in place
• Existing building structural demolition is complete
• Installation of masonry is underway
District Data Team
Gilbert said she and her district data team spent time in November working on the district’s continuous improvement plan, strategic planning, and data from the Idaho Reading Indicator and STAR testing programs. She reports that results indicate a disconnect by teachers and students on usage of STAR testing results.
In December, her team reexamined STAR data points. She said that evidence suggests timed tests like these indicate lack of purpose and effort which may skew these results, she told the board in her report.
Gilbert wrote that she has commissioned her team to share the history and purpose of the STAR tests with teachers and students. She wrote that her goal is to earn reliable results during the January testing window.
Program Quality Initiative technical
According to Gilbert, Payette High assistant principal Marci Holcomb wrote for and received a grant for the district’s Agricultural Leadership and Communications pathway. This includes curriculum and materials for leadership, hydroponics, horticulture career cards, a milking simulator, butcher beef cuts and meat posters, and a plant systems package.
Pay for tech staff
Gilbert noted in her report that the district’s technology funds are being stretched to cover one director, one assistant and a $2000 stipend for its webmaster. She reports that the district receives $15,448 for information technology staff, equaling $7.43 per hour for one full-time employee.
“Industry non certified IT staff are making $25-$35 per hour, certified technicians in [the] industry are making $50-$75 per hour,” Gilbert wrote in her report.
According to Gilbert, the district received $115,369 in classroom technology funds for the school year, and that all but $4,800 went to technology salaries. Software licenses and hardware are paid for through the district’s supplemental levy funds.
“[The] business manager is making $3,000 less than she did in [the] private sector in 2000,” she added. “Yet she oversees budgets and reporting of approximately $15 million.”
Gilbert further stated that discretionary funding is used to cover $736,000 in health benefits, salary shortfalls for staff and the district-s operating needs,
“FY21 funding was $703,000 short. We rely on our taxpayers for supplemental levies, and we have no fund balance remaining.”
The district will be on winter break from Dec. 20 through Jan. 2.