Robin Gilbert

Superintendent Robin Gilbert observes the numbers of people participating in the Aug. 10 Board of Trustees meeting via Zoom. Gilbert said there is still much to be done ahead of reopening for classes on Aug. 24.

PAYETTE — With Payette School District’s school year scheduled to set sail on Aug. 24, Superintendent Robin Gilbert’s attention has turned to tying up loose ends ahead of the first day of classes. With plenty left on the District’s to-do list, Gilbert addressed the Board of Trustees on Aug. 10 regarding the state of progress on these items:

Facilities update

At Westside Elementary, where energy efficient windows and upgraded intercom and fire alarms have been installed, Gilbert said a temporary certificate of occupancy has been issued. A permanent certificate is pending the addition of heat detectors in the attic space above classrooms, a requirement discovered by Beniton Construction during the summer.

“It was a discrepancy between how architects read the code and what state inspectors wanted,” Gilbert clarified. “We asked if we were gonna be able to get occupancy for the start of school; they said what we have in place right now is ‘head and shoulders’ better than what we previously had.”

Pressure washing also took place, removing spider webs and graffiti markings.

Due to issues with construction crews coming down with COVID-19, finishing work including markings for tennis and pickleball at McCain Middle and Payette Primary’s tennis courts was delayed to Aug. 13.

While Payette High School’s gymnasium was initially supposed to be bid on by contractors prior to this meeting, Gilbert said the bid process was pushed back to Aug. 12.

“Some contractors who were writing bids talked to the architects for some information on the fire panels … so the architects felt like they needed to be fair to all of the bidders. They backed that off until they had all of the information to all the bidders on an equal level.”

School reopening

In her notes, Gilbert relayed information from her meeting with area superintendents, Southwest District Health and the Payette County Office of Emergency Management; She said Southwest District Health officials expressed belief and support that school can be held in person “with greater precautions and safety measures.” She said this translated into possibly opening under Level 2 of the District’s leveled operating plan.

Level 2 would involve staggered in-person attendance, with students divided into two groups attending alternate days, with online learning filling the gaps in between, according to information on the District website.

Gilbert said registration was conducted under different protocols due to COVID-19

The District will hold its annual all staff meeting on Aug. 18, “with slight variations to accommodate physical distancing guidelines” according to Gilbert.

Leadership positions

Each year, the Board sets leadership positions according to Idaho Code 33-1004J. Gilbert relayed information at a meeting with site leaders beforehand.

“Administrators gave quality input as to essential positions for stipends and discussed options for other leadership positions within the contract hours,” said Gilbert in her notes. “I am setting a meeting with the [Payette Education Association] before bringing our recommendations to [the Board] for adoption.”

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