PAYETTE — As the Payette School District continues efforts to update its policy manual from cover to cover, the Board of Trustees is finding more than just masks are necessary to ensure students can breath easy. That’s because air quality is just one of a handful of policies which were weighed for a second time at the board’s regular meeting on Monday.

Following are examples of policies being considered for updates as of press time. This was a second reading for these policies, except as noted.

• Board Policy No. 2215, Air Quality Restrictions on Outdoor Activities, Practice and Competition: Besides a modest rewrite to emphasize procedures to be followed, the district would lean on air quality data from Idaho and Oregon departments of environmental quality, as found at airquality.deq.idaho.gov and oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/map, to determine current air quality two hours before outdoor activities and notify the community through available communication channels:

- Readings of 51-100 - Staff would monitor unusually sensitive individuals during outdoor activity

- 101-150: Additional rest breaks would be required for outdoor activities

- Over 150: No outdoor activities

This was the first reading of this policy.

• No. 3010A1 clarifies the district’s open enrollment policy for non-resident students, who wish to attend school in Payette. The open enrollment window would be Jan. 1-Feb. 28 each year, and be open to those who meet certain qualifications. If a student transfers from another district to Payette but doesn’t attend classes, they would not be eligible to apply again.

• In adopting No. 3000, which addresses accepting transfer students (on a two-week probationary basis for K-8 students and pending credit transfer requests for grades 9-12), defines the minimum age for kindergarten (age 5) or 1st grade (age six) as of the first day of September in the year enrolled. It strikes a line from the Idaho School Boards Association template which states that students who are victims of criminal offenses or attending a persistently dangerous school may transfer to a safer school in the district. The district only has one traditional campus at each set of grade levels.

• No. 5340 addresses evaluation of certificated personnel. It would require teachers to be evaluated under a rating system which identifies proficiency and growth over time, based on at least four rankings. A ‘1’ indicates basic proficiency, while a ‘4’ indicates an individual is “distinguished” in their subject. District officials will use portfolios to inform the professional practice portion of evaluations, with students and parents/guardians able to weigh in via surveys annually. The results of such surveys will be maintained on the district website. This policy was previously tabled at the January board meeting, but was taken from the table for a second reading through a motion made by Trustee Adam Rynearson and seconded by Trustee Ethan Mittelstadt. The vote to approve this move was unanimous 5-0.

• No. 3100 requires the district to designate an “at risk” coordinator to determine how many students in grades 1-12 are at risk of dropping out of school. The coordinator will work out a dropout reduction plan which takes into account the number of students who dropped out in the previous term, the number of students at risk for dropping out presently, the district’s goal for the next school year and programs, resources and strategies to keep students from dropping out. Such a plan will be reviewed by the board annually.

• No. 3090 would be used to determine how many foreign exchange students may attend Payette High School at any time, as well as set eligibility for a certificate of completion and participation in commencement ceremonies. The exact percentage of total enrollment allowed to be exchange students was not available as of press time.

• Addressing education of homeless children, No. 3060 would ensure access to classroom resources and services to ensure these students can meet the same academic standards as their peers. The board directs schools to accept these students whether they are able to produce documents otherwise required to sign up for school. The district doesn’t require out-of-district attendance or tuition agreements with other districts for these children.

Board Clerk Barbara Choate recommended that the board pass No. 2215 in March, following a second reading.

“I’d like to have this policy in place when we do start spring sports,” she said.

No action was taken on Board Policy No. 2215. Rynearson motioned to move all others to a third reading, with Mittelstadt seconding. The vote to approve was unanimous 5-0.

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