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Board Meeting Highlights from July 18, 2023

Highlights from the July 18, 2023, School Board meeting:

  • Assistant Superintendent for Operations Troy Oliver updated the Board on the work of the Facilities Advisory Committee. The committee met at school sites four times during the 2022-23 school year. The committee confirmed identified areas of need in the district:
    • Technology (including security video management upgrade and refreshed student/staff devices)
    • Maintenance, construction, and design (including roof, sewer system upgrades, boiler mechanical upgrades, and fire alarm panel upgrades)
    • Food and nutrition (including replacing aging and obsolete equipment, including ovens and dishwashers, and rebuilding walk-in refrigerators and freezers)
    • Young Child and Family Center (to enhance preschool and community facility capacity)
  • The district will come to the Board in the fall with a resolution for a capital levy and a renewal of the Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) levy.
  • Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services Sarah Rich provided an update on district efforts to support culturally responsive instructional practices and curriculum. Examples include:
    • Continuing district-wide implementation of Since Time Immemorial, a curriculum to support the teaching of tribal sovereignty, tribal history, and contemporary tribal affairs.
    • All elementary schools are participating in the One School, One Book program, in which students read and discuss a unique book each month as a school. The ten chosen books explore our social justice standards and help build a sense of school community.
    • Expanding our Dual Language program to grades K-3 at Lydia Hawk and kindergarten at Mountain View.
    • Engaging with the Embracing Equity Leadership Residency to cultivate the skills and capacity needed on an anti-bias, anti-racist journey for organizational change. The program includes a robust equity audit, goal setting, coaching, and communities of practice to build and sustain organizational change. Last year two schools completed the residency, and this year district office staff and school board members are participating.
    • Providing district-wide mandated equity lessons for all staff which focus on the Social Justice Standards.
    • Providing professional development for more than 50 teachers to become trained Ethnic Studies teachers.
    • Developing diverse course offerings, including English through Native Perspectives, U.S. History through Native Perspectives, and Civics through Native Perspectives.
    • Using Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to give all students an equal opportunity to succeed. This teaching and learning approach offers flexibility in how students access material and show what they know.
    • Implementing restorative practices at all levels and opening restorative centers in our high schools. These practices foster healthy relationships by responding to student behavior in a way that repairs harm and builds the community.
    • Our Multicultural Action Committee mini-grants support multicultural celebrations in schools.
  • Executive Director of Financial Services Teena Barnes presented a draft 2023-24 budget. Learn more about the NTPS budget process at www.nthurston.k12.wa.us/budget.

The 6-member board sits at a table and speaks while audience members listen.