Quail Call

April 20

Dear Families-Read on for the News

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Quail’s Eye View

Dear PPCS Families,

Welcome spring! I hope you are enjoying the longer days, sunny weather, and - for many of us - more regular schedules. I’m writing to update you on current PPCS school board priorities and address questions about board communication.

Board Priorities --

  1. Election Time: Palouse Prairie’s board is elected and each board member serves one or more three-year terms. This year, there are four board seats in play, and we hope you’ll consider running. There is more information below from our intrepid Election Coordinator, Jeff Lonneker (jlonneker@palouseprairieschool.org)

  1. Policy Updates: This is not the most glamorous task, but it is one of the most important functions of a school board -- we ensure that our school policies are up-to-date so that when operational questions arise, the school has clear and consistent guardrails for decisions. The PPCS board tackles policies each month, because we are always receiving updates from the state, and it is good practice to continually review and revise our school policies. Lauren Crawford, our Vice Chair, is our primary Policy Wrangler, along with Debbie Berkana, PPCS’s wonderful business manager.

  1. Executive Director Evaluation: One of our critical roles is to supervise Ms. Jeneille Branen who serves as both our school system’s superintendent and principal! We have a formal evaluation process at least once a year, using school achievement data, feedback from families and staff, and other operational measures.

  1. Budgeting for 2021-22 School Year: The school board has fiduciary responsibility for the school so we spend time with the budget each month. As we finish this school year and look to the next, we will be working closely with Debbie and Jeneille to develop and approve a budget for next year.

  1. Playground Fundraising: We are so close to finishing our school’s beautiful and extra fun nature-based playground. Keep your eyes out for a spring fundraising push to raise the final $25,000 that we need to install swings, slides, a basketball court, and landscaping this summer.

Board Mysteries, Solved!

Why can’t I contribute during school board meetings?

If you’ve ever observed a board meeting, you might have felt frustrated that you couldn’t simply jump in and talk things over with the board. School boards operate using Idaho’s Open Meeting Law, which has very specific requirements. One requirement is that the board post our agenda 48 hours in advance and not deviate from that posted agenda.

Open meeting law also requires that meetings are always open to public observation. This means we conduct our business transparently and in public view, but our meetings are not “open meetings,” in which everyone can chime in. The board is asked not to respond directly to public comment during the meeting (unless the topic is already on the posted agenda). This prevents situations in which we end up in a discussion that we did not properly post 48 hours in advance, as legally required.

As I was researching this topic, I learned that school systems are not required to include time for public comment during school board meetings. However, the Palouse Prairie board has always built public comment periods into our agendas so that we can hear from our community, either in writing (this year) or via brief remarks. In the past, public comments were very rare, but we have been thrilled to hear from more of you over the last year.

So, if you have comments for the board, your best bet for now is to put them in writing -- an email or a letter -- and send them my way (jbearman@palouseprairieschool.org). These comments are always read in full by all members of the board and school leadership, unless their content is operational (eg: issues with teachers or specific school situations) and more appropriate for the school’s staff leadership, in which case I will respond to you to discuss next steps.

As we start to think about transitioning back to hearing public comments directly at the beginning of our meetings, we are developing a process for members of the public to sign up in advance if they would like to make a public comment. Written comments will always be welcome too.

Our next school board meeting is Monday, April 26 at 6:00 pm. The agenda will be posted 48 hours prior to our meeting at the school building and on our website: https://palouseprairieschool.org/school-board/.

All the best,

Jessica Bearman

PPCS Board Chair, on behalf of the PPCS Board of Directors

School Board Election 2021

The Palouse Prairie Charter School Board of Directors is recruiting candidates to fill 4 open Board seats with terms running July 2021 – June 2024. The PPCS Board of Directors plays a critical leadership role in maintaining the foundation of the EL model through the educational program as well as the long-term sustainability of the school. The board is also responsible for ensuring that the school has strong leadership, sound finances, effective fundraising, and high academic achievement.

Serving on the PPCS Board of Directors is a compelling and rewarding commitment. It might be right for you if:

  • You are able to consider decisions in light of what will best serve the whole school community, including students, teachers, and families.

  • You would like to share your experience in fields like finance, operations, education, law, human resources, marketing, fundraising, construction, landscaping;

  • You have 8 to 10 hours a month, year-round, to devote to board service and commit to attending board meetings (typically once a month);

  • You welcome the opportunity to serve as an active ambassador for the school, telling your friends and colleagues about the school and its mission;

  • You are willing to help PPCS raise money by connecting the school to people in your network, making a personal donation and asking others to donate, and participating in fundraising events;

  • You are able to hold information in confidence and speak with professional discretion in matters concerning our school.

Please consider serving on the Palouse Prairie Charter School Board of Directors.

Interested candidates should submit a one to two paragraphs biography to Jeff Lonneker at jlonneker@palouseprairieschool.org by May 6th.

Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week May 3 - 7

Show our wonderful staff and teachers how much we value them!

The Parent Crew is working on a special lunch for teachers and staff to be held on Wednesday May 5th. You can give in a variety of ways.

1. Contribute to a gift card for take out from Maialina restaurant.

- drop off cash or a check made out to "Maialina" in an envelope marked "Parent Crew" at the PPCS office.

- details on how to contribute with a credit card will be in next week's Quail Call.

- Donations are due May 3

2. Sign up to bring a dessert or drinks for the lunch here.

3. Personal cards and gifts from students and parents are always so valued by our teachers and staff and can be delivered to the school at any time during Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week.

Run the Palouse!

Run the Palouse is a yearly fundraiser to raise money for our Adventure Program, where students experience activities such as hiking, skiing and rock climbing. The program has been on hiatus this year but will be back next year as pandemic conditions allow. Kids get pledges of financial support from family and friends to exercise the equivalent of a marathon (26.2 miles) over a period of 2 months. This year on June 8th, the last day of school, each grade will run the last 1.2 miles together as a crew. Grades will run separately from each other and all runs will take place starting at PPCS.

Here are a few things you should know:

  • Donation envelopes and pledge forms should have come home with your student last week. Check backpacks if you haven't seen them. :) Pledges from friends and family should be noted on the form and cash/checks collected in the envelope. Donations also can be made on the PPCS website.
  • Students need to collect a minimum of $20 in donations to receive a race shirt but may participate in the run at school on June 8th regardless.
  • Donations are due at PPCS on May 3rd.
  • You can read more on our website, palouseprairieschool.org

If you have any other questions please contact our Parent Crew at ppcsparentcrew@gmail.com

PPCS Book Fair at Book People

This semester the book fair will be online and in the Book People of Moscow store. Order any item from Book People of Moscow, tell the store that you are supporting the Palouse Prairie Book Fair, and your money will not only support a local business but will also support our school! You can see teachers' wish lists for their classes here: https://www.bookpeopleofmoscow.com/ppcs-book-fair

Co-op Food Drive

Palouse Prairie School is working with the Moscow Food Co-op to provide food for any family in need. If your family would like to receive food from the Co-op's food drive, please contact the office. A variety of shelf-stable food is available, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables upon request.

Support for the Co-op's Community Food Drive is always greatly appreciated, and will allow for more donations directly to local schools and food banks! Pre-packed $10, $20, and $50 bags are available at the Co-op, or donations are accepted in any dollar amount. Thank you!

Last week to purchase yearbooks!

You can purchase your yearbook online until 4/23. There is a limited quantity. Click on the button below or head to our website to purchase your yearbook today.

Covid Self Health Check

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If you or a family member is experiencing any of the above symptoms please keep your student home and follow CDC guidelines.

Spread the Word

2021 Fish and Wildlife Virtual Film Fest

We will be sharing this year’s festival with you online through a YouTube premier showing on

April 16 and 23, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

Each night will feature a separate line-up of award-winning and selected films, and we ask that you register separately - although we’d love to have you join us for both events!

Register for April 16, 2021

Register for April 23, 2021

We will be holding people’s choice awards and Q&A with film makers on Zoom after the live showings, and look forward to seeing you there.

If you are busy during our premier showings, you can still register for the festival and receive the YouTube link which can be viewed any time after our premier.

Read more on our website www.uidaho.edu/fwff and please pass this on to others you think might be interested.

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Parent Meet Up - Zoom

Are you interested in joining the Peaceful Parenting Group? Our next and last Zoom session for the school year will be on Thursday, May 6th from 7:30 - 8:30 pm.

We will have a special guest and local author, Sara Zaske, join the group and share insights from her book Achtung Baby and engage in a Q&A.

“Ideal for parents of young ones…Unlike many parenting books, Zaske’s is not judgmental, prescriptive or didactic. For that, American parents may soon be saying Danke and sending Achtung up the [bestseller] charts, too.”USA Today

If you are interested in joining, please email catherine.hogue@gmai.com and/or erinemiko@gmail.com to be added to the group. You need to request to be added to the group in order to receive meeting/Zoom information.

Philips Farm Looking for Hire

The Friends of Phillips Farm, Inc. (FPF) is accepting applications for an Educational Coordinator and Assistant Coordinator to lead this summer’s three week Nature Camp at the Phillips Farm County Park: June 14-18, June 21-25, and June 28 - July 2nd, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. The Education Coordinator and Assistant will be responsible for developing and carrying out nature activities with children going into grades 1-5. The goal of the camp is to help children gain an appreciation for nature and the outdoor world through hiking wild trails, exploring pond critters, and

participating in fun, interactive learning. Those interested in applying for either position can send a cover letter and resume to Gail Cochran at gcochran27@gmail.com

by April 26, 2021. For more information about the camp see our website https://friendsofphillipsfarm.weebly.com

Click on the button below to join our K-5 Community Circle every Friday, 8:30-9 a.m.