PAYETTE — As Payette School District officials work to fine tune their efforts to attract and retain staff, as well as improve operations year-over-year, the district’s Board of Trustees will meet Aug. 2 for a work session on district hiring practices and its continuous improvement plan.

Last month, we had a great presentation on some new hiring practices, some paperwork that we’d like to see so we have a better idea of those candidates,” said board chairman Andy Kirkendall. “I think we just need to tailor it to our school district and make sure we have the information that we want on there, whatever that may be.”

Kirkendall said discussing the improvement plan in a work session is needed to get a clearer idea of what changes are needed, following Superintendent Robin Gilbert’s participation in a webinar on the topic this Thursday.

“We’ve been talking about this a lot in the last couple of months, and I just think it’d be a good idea for us to have a work session so we can be in one room and discuss what the expectations are, what we are looking to have in this continuous improvement plan, so we’re able to get that submitted.”

After a brief discussion on what times worked best for everyone, the consensus was that a Monday was ideal for everyone on the board. Kirkendall suggested the first Monday of next month, Aug. 2, which trustees accepted.

In an email to the newspaper Tuesday, Board Clerk Barbara Choate detailed the need for such work sessions outside of regular board meetings.

“By Idaho Code, the trustees are responsible for hiring all certificated staff (teachers and administrators). Our board takes the recommendation of administrators into consideration,” wrote Choate. “They would like to discuss formalizing that process.”

As for its improvement plan, Choate noted that such needs to be reviewed annually, thus its name.

“The board will address all aspects of the continuous improvement plan. The [plan] is the action plan that comes from the strategic plan. The strategic plan sets the direction of the district, the [plan] is the design of how that is done.”

Trustee Ethan Mittelstadt moved to approve Aug. 2 at 5 p.m. as the date and time for this work session, seconded by Trustee Terrie Cathcart-Shurte. The vote to approve was unanimous, 4-0.

The work session is open to the public, except during discussions held in executive session as outlined by Idaho Code.

Under Idaho Code 33-320, the continuous improvement plan is due to the Idaho State Board of Education by Oct. 1.

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