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Board Meeting Highlights from December 6, 2022
Here are highlights and recognitions from the December 6, 2022, NTPS School Board meeting.
- The Board recognized Pizza Klatch for their commitment and dedication to students in North Thurston Public Schools. Pizza Klatch’s mission is to foster resilience in LGBTQ+ youth and create a safe and positive school experience through support, education, and empowerment. Pizza Klatch provides support to secondary students in partnership with NTPS student-based clubs.
- Gretchen Maliska was elected Board president, and Jennifer Thomas was elected Board vice president. Dave Newkirk was elected as Board representative to the North Thurston Education Foundation, and Graeme Sackrison was elected as Board representative to the Thurston Regional Planning Council.
- The Board received an update on the K-12 school library refresh process, which aligns with Strategic Plan Goal 3: Critical Thinkers and Solution Seekers. NTPS is in the fourth and final year of refreshing school libraries to help ensure materials reflect our diverse student and community population, eliminate inaccurate and out-of-date information, and remove damaged or underused materials.
- The Board passed Resolution 8-22/23 outlining NTPS priorities for the 2023 legislative session:
- Support for the Basic Education Compensation Rebase to ensure sufficient and diverse staff.
- Ensure learning recovery, health, and safety for students and staff by advancing mental health supports; increasing access to free and nutritious meals; and funding highly qualified diverse staff to facilitate learning in safe and healthy buildings.
- Fully fund special education services.
- Update the outdated funding formulas for school construction.
- Increase preschool and early learning programs to support school readiness.
- Assistant Superintendent for School Leadership Nikki Grubbs updated the Board on opportunities for student voice, which is an outcome under Strategic Plan Goal 2 - Responsible, Resilient, Empowered Learners. Encouraging students to advocate for and pursue their educational passions leads to empowered, engaged students who are more academically motivated and have increased purpose and persistence. Some of the ways we encourage student voice at NTPS:
- Our student advisors on School Board
- The 32 voices on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council
- Principal Student Advisory Councils at all 24 schools
- Student surveys across all schools
- The Board issued a Determination articulating the Board’s vision on Kindergarten readiness. The Determination is a result of the Board’s October 18 Community Conversation with stakeholders. The Determination confirms Strategic Plan Goal 1 – Success in the Early Years is essential and Outcome b - Increased percentage of children ready for kindergarten is an important, measurable outcome. The Determination also recognizes NTPS has provided well-received family programs, and providing space for early learning programming is critical to Kindergarten readiness.