SCHOOL STARTS MONDAY AS OFFICIALS DEAL WITH ISSUES
The sound of bells, slamming lockers and student voices will once again ring through the corridors of Brookings-Harbor schools Monday, despite several unresolved issues facing the school board.
Teacher contract negotiations are still up in the air, but District Superintendent Paul Prevenas is hopeful everything will be resolved soon. The next bargaining session is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 5, he said.
Everyone is hoping we can reach an agreement at that meeting.
Also, a permanent school board chairman has yet to be elected.
Brian Larsson, whose two-year term ended in July, is acting as chairman until the board makes a final decision.
The board was not able to make a final decision during its July meeting, as it was awaiting approval of the new state policy that allows the district chairman to serve up to four consecutive years. The former policy only allowed the chairman to serve two years in a row.
At its next meeting in September, the board will have the option to re-elect Larsson, or another school board member, Prevenas said.
This year, the board will be closely monitoring the student population. Prevenas said the school principals have noted that enrollment at all grade levels is up this year, but they would not have an exact handle on who was coming back and who wasnt until after Labor Day.
Ive been told this was a very active registration period, and more students have registered than expected, Prevenas said.
Weve seen this happen before, and sometimes students who have officially registered never show up, he said. It is more than likely, though, that student population will continue to creep up over the next few years.
Construction in and around the school grounds continues, but Prevenas is optimistic that disruption of class activities will be kept to a minimum.
He said the interior classrooms are in great shape, and the only interior project that could not be completed by September was the door hardware and new lock set project.
However, a major storm drain relocation project behind Azalea and the high school will not be completed until well into the school year. Prevenas said (the construction crew) encountered several unexpected obstacles, which is inherent with this kind of underground work.
Prevenas emphasized that the safety of students is paramount, and extraordinary measures are being taken to protect them.
For example, a chain link fence will be erected to secure the area and, if necessary, nighttime security will be implemented to guard the area while the construction crews are not around.
Prevenas said there will be some disruption to the student parking lots by the construction, but it will most likely be a minor inconvenience.