With a few April Showers, we are beginning to see signs of Spring, both in greenery and in student exuberance. The field trip season is beginning. It was so fun to see 4th-grade students and parents driving off in their Malakoff Diggins garb.
State testing has started and seems to be going well. The work we have done to increase the availability of computers and connectivity appears to be paying off. A special thanks to all the teacher’s, but especially to Chairun Combs and Ellie Glusman who are making it work on a day to day basis.
The board approved adjustments to the budget. Blue Oak has paid off all borrowing and is on track to complete the year with over the required 3% reserves. There is still work to be done to build savings. Our annual income will more than cover budgeted expenses, however, Blue Oak continues to struggle with poor attendance. The board shared ideas on possible strategies to support better attendance. We have struggled to address it due to the Camp Fire this year but will increase our focus on attendance moving forward.
SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM
Special Education (SPED) implementation is moving forward. SPED Teachers are in the classrooms, their job there is to support the classroom learning, keeping students together learning with their peers and part of their classroom community.
BCOE has offered us additional counseling services as a part of their offering of Camp Fire support. Mary Lou Snodgrass, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, will be available to students on Mondays and Tuesdays, and on Thursday afternoons to consult with parents and teachers. We are very grateful to BCOE and the Butte County SELPA for supporting these much-needed services for our school. We are also very grateful to the North Valley Community Foundation for their contribution.
Parents have been volunteering to take special care of our teachers and staff during this final push to the end of the year. It is lovely to see the expressions of gratitude and appreciated. Even little things bring smiles. Thank you.
STAFFING, re: EDUCATION DIRECTOR
We have had the posting for Education Director open for a number of months now. We are not getting qualified responses. This is an important position to address the Waldorf curriculum and support of teachers. We are looking at options, talking to various Waldorf mentors and those in the public Waldorf education field for options.
The Safety Sub Committee has completed work on a rough draft of the Safety Plan. Final revisions, including board policy approval, are in process. I was able to meet with the Chico Police Department to get input on their needs concerning lockdown and fire drills. We are making some changes to match their procedures and suggestions. Lockdown and earthquake drills are scheduled twice a year, fire drills are monthly. We are grateful for the committee’s hard work to move this document forward towards completion.
The board continues work in closed session on real estate negotiations to secure a school site. We need to keep this confidential for now, but we will announce as soon as we are able.