Aberdeen Schools

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Aberdeen School District No. 5 -- September 6, 2019

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School Board eyes February ballot for bond to build a new Stevens Elementary School

Levy to continue support for music, athletics will also appear

Our district is one step closer to asking voters for the authority to build a new Stevens Elementary School following the School Board’s meeting on Tuesday, September 3. The School Board has directed Superintendent Alicia Henderson to continue with due diligence and fact-finding on the costs and other factors related to construction of a new school at the current location.

Superintendent Henderson reconvened the Stevens Task Force as an advisory group this week. Its first task is to assist in developing a relocation plan for Stevens students during the year the school is being built.

Thanks to a federal FEMA grant, the new school will include a “vertical evacuation” platform to protect Stevens Elementary and Miller Junior High students in the event of a tsunami.

The Board will receive regular updates this fall. The district must notify Grays Harbor County in November of its desire to place a measure before the voters in February 2020. A formal recommendation for Board action will be presented at the October 15 meeting.

Also coming due is the local enrichment levy (formerly called the M&O levy), which supports music and athletics in our district. The Board is studying a proposal that will also ask voters in February to continue the levy at the current rate of $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

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Business before the Board on Sept. 3:

President Sandra Bielski convened the regular meeting of the Aberdeen School District Board of Directors at 5 p.m. in the Community Room at Aberdeen High School. Directors present were Bill Dyer, Jennifer Durney and Erin Farrer, along with Superintendent Alicia Henderson and 35 patrons and staff.

The meeting began with the Flag salute.

Minutes, Bills, Trips & Gifts

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which included:

  • The minutes of the meeting on August 20, 2019, and
  • General Fund vouchers totaling $193,496.86 and ASB Fund vouchers totaling $1,478.60.

Comments from the Board

President Bielski commented that she enjoyed the back-to-school celebrations that she was able to attend.

Comments from the Audience

Jessica Giffin, a parent new to the district, commented that her experience enrolling her students at Miller Junior High School and McDermoth Elementary School has been inclusive and welcoming every step of the way.

Policy 4260 – Use of School Facilities

The Board approved an update to the policy, procedures and fee schedule regulating public use of school facilities. Superintendent Henderson noted that the changes were developed in consultation with user groups and that the fee schedule is structured to cover district costs while not placing an undue burden on local groups who work with students.

Find the Fee Schedule

Superintendent’s Report


Superintendent Henderson reported that the 2019-2020 school year began August 28 and is off to a smooth start. With 6th Graders moving to Miller, there are some bus schedules being ironed out, but overall, schools are operating smoothly.

Bond and Levy Update:

The Board directed Superintendent Henderson to proceed with due diligence and fact-finding with the goal of asking voters to approve a bond issue for a new Stevens Elementary School and a renewal of the local school levy in February 2020.

Communications Update:

Superintendent Henderson provided an overview of the various communication tools the district employs in the ongoing effort to keep the community and staff informed about our schools. The tools include the annual activity calendar, a periodic newsletter, a regular e-newsletter, social media such as Facebook, and, for emergencies, FlashAlert and BlackBoard.

Miller Modular Update:

Superintendent Henderson reported that portions of the modular building for Miller Junior High School have arrived and are being stored at the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport. Additional sections will be arriving in the coming week with September 9 as the day scheduled for moving the building onto the site.

Data Sharing:

The Board approved a data sharing agreement with the Washington Schools Information Processing Cooperative (WSIPC) to collaborate with Student Data Services on keeping student data secure while creating required reports.

Teaching and Learning Report

Teaching and Learning Director Traci Sandstrom provided her department’s report for August.

  • Under Academics, she discussed the new science curriculum; a grant to implement basic coding in K-3; an upcoming review of the K-8 math curriculum; how Imagine Learning software is being made available to all students, and how Edgenuity (formerly Odysseyware) is being used in the district.
  • Under Behavior/Social-Emotional Learning she discussed this year’s focus on Tier II strategies, implementation of the Character Strong curriculum, the ongoing partnership with Behavioral Health Resources to provide therapy at the schools, the ongoing implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and the discussions taking place with elementary counselors on priorities following the reduction in staff.
  • Under Technology she discussed student Chromebooks, staff insurance for their devices, the updated Acceptable Use Policy, and the new intercom system that will be installed after the Miller Modular building is completed.
  • Other topics she discussed included a planned review of how staff obtain clock hours, a planned review of the health curriculum and the secondary trimester system.

Instructional Coaching Contract

The Board approved a contract with ESD 113 for Daniel Kent to provide up to two days per month of math coaching for teachers in exchange for the use of office space in the Stewart Building in 2019-2020.

YMCA / Century 21 After School Contract

The Board approved a contract with the YMCA of Grays Harbor to provide staffing, supervision and support to the 21st Century After School Program.

Skills Center Agreement

The Board approved renewal of the agreement to operate the Twin Harbors Skills Center as a branch campus of the New Market Skills Center in Tumwater.

Early Childhood Services

The Board approved renewal of the agreement with the South Sound Parent-to-Parent Support Program to provide Birth-3 special education services and family support services.

New Speech Language Pathologist

The Board approved a contract with The Hello Foundation to place Susan Ashbury in the district as a speech language pathologist. Superintendent Henderson explained that the therapist will deliver services both in the district and remotely. It’s a new model the district is trying because the position has gone unfilled with no applicants due to the shortage of SLPs.

Personnel Matters

The Board approved the Personnel Report.

Next Meeting

The next regular meeting is set for Tuesday, September 17, 2019, in the Community Room at Aberdeen High School.

Miller 6th Grade Modular Construction Update

Check out the "modules" below waiting to be moved to Miller Junior High School next week starting Monday, September 9. Thank you to the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport for letting the district stage the modules at the Seaport in South Aberdeen.

The crew reports that the project continues to be on time for completion in October.
Additional photos and information can be found on the district web site.

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Preliminary overview for a new Stevens Elementary School

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This preliminary scenario above was presented to the Board on August 20 and will be further refined before the October 15 presentation and formal decision placing a bond measure on the ballot.
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Visit: flashalert.net and follow the prompts.

In cased you missed it in the August 23 edition ...

Here's the "annual" rivalry video between the Aberdeen and Hoquiam superintendents.

(Thanks again to our producer, Matt Mahon)

Aberdeen Vs. Hoquiam Football Game 2019