School district board member resignsLaura Beaton
Bob Tuerck resigned his position on the Plumas Unified School District and County Office of Education board of directors during the Aug. 14 meeting held at Pioneer School. Tuerck read his letter of resignation with much emotion, citing the offer of a job for the California School Board Association as his reason.
Tuerck said he is honored to have served on the school board and to have represented the community. He thanked his fellow board members and district staff.
Tuerck has been on the board since December 2010, and has served as clerk of the board for much of that term. The attorney, who often utilized his expertise to guide policy, said his work on the PUSD board was instrumental in the job offer from Sacramento.
His term was set to expire this November. Just one person filed papers for the position: Dwight Pierson, a retired school superintendent. Tuerck said the Aug. 14 meeting would be his last as a board member.
Russ Selken, information technology director for Plumas County Office of Education, gave an educational technology update to the board.
He presented a list of the team’s accomplishments. First on the list is that every teacher now has a laptop.
The district office’s move from the historic Church Street location to the former county probation building in East Quincy provided some unexpected obstacles for the tech team. Despite that, the team accomplished network services and new server installations, wide-area network expansion and video conferencing rollout, Selken said.
Federal E-Rate Program rule changes have delayed technology cabling infrastructure, he said, and anticipated funding sources may not be available under E-Rate. Consequently, Selken is looking toward a different solution for the district’s technology needs, such as short-term hot spots at each school.
He said he would know more in October, as decisions at the state level are made, and will return to give his next update in November.
Superintendent Micheline Miglis is meeting soon with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and said she will learn more about the possibility of state funding for Common Core and related technology.
Facilities analysis and plan
Superintendent Miglis requested approval from the board to enter into contract with D. Kevin Nolen, CRM Group, for the purposes of performing a facilities analysis and districtwide plan, phase 1.
She said that the district’s aging infrastructure is breaking down at an alarming rate.
“We have been reactionary to facilities’ issues and we have been parachuting in and intervening with every emergency. We have not had sufficient time or resources to thoroughly analyze and prioritize in order to also be fiscally prepared.
“In addition, we need to continue to review the viability of 50 Church St. and in order to do that, we essentially need data, facilities data.”
The board agreed to Miglis’ request. She said Nolen will bring a proposal to the board at the next meeting.
Superintendent Miglis was excited to introduce a new online agenda program that she says will save time, energy and paper. Right now she says her assistant, Patty McCutcheon, spends far too much valuable time copying and making packets for the board.
The new agenda format will alleviate a lot of excess work and also allow the agenda to be projected on a screen for the board and audience to view, Miglis said. Additionally, McCutcheon can record the minutes using her laptop, instead of hand writing them as she has been doing.
Miglis said the last district she worked for used an online agenda and it worked wonderfully — allowing better communication between departments and affording greater accessibility for the board and public.
Another boon of the online agenda is its low price. McCutcheon was able to negotiate a deal at one-10th the cost of most vendors, Miglis said. The first year will be at half-price and after that the price is $2,750 per year.
Miglis said a one-hour training session for each group of users (board, executive cabinet, department heads and others) will be scheduled and the online agenda will likely be utilized at the next board meeting, set for Sept. 11 at Chester High School.