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New reader board a possibility in Riggins, among updates for school district

— Despite currently having a reader board, Salmon River Joint School District Board of Trustees met Monday, Aug. 15, in a regular meeting and discussed the purchase of a new LED reader board, among other updates.

Junior/Senior High Principal Dennis Fredrickson advised the board regarding specifics on a potential new reader board. The board is considering the purchase of a two-sided, 4-foot by 8-foot color LED reader board with video display.

Classes begin Aug. 30

Salmon River schools begin classes Aug. 30, marking the beginning of the district’s 10th year. The next board meeting for Salmon River Joint School District is planned for 6 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Junior/Senior High School.

Fredrickson researched two businesses for specifications, warranties and pricing. Neither were official bids as this is preliminary fact finding.

“At the minimum this is going to be $11,340 and the next higher option is over $15,000,” he said. “I think our max budget is going to be $20,000.”

Each option carries a three-year warranty, including coverage against vandalism. Fredrickson did note the lower price is only a three-color, lower quality display which would not display video well.

Board members questioned whether community advertising options could help build a fund to cover maintenance for the board. Superintendent Jim Doramus and Fredrickson agreed to check into the specifics of that option.

Doramus also gave an update regarding a conceal and carry policy the board has been researching. He spoke with Greg Alexander, superintendent of the Garden Valley School District, about a policy instituted in its district.

The school district in Garden Valley, Idaho, approved in June 2015 the purchase of guns to be stored in camouflaged safes at the school. Discussion had been ongoing for the previous two years. The impetus for the decision was the emergency response time to the school can at times be as long as 45 minutes.

Alexander advised Doramus the time to open the safe and retrieve the weapon is 13 seconds. This raised concerns for board members who questioned what type of entry the safe required. Doramus was unsure if it required a key or keypad.

Doramus stated his hope is the policy and the safes in the school will act as a deterrent to gun violence in the schools.

The board asked Doramus to follow up with Alexander and request a site visit before the issue comes back to the board for further discussion.

Other updates included:

Fredrickson advised coaches will be receiving evaluations similar to teacher evaluations. A policy also was instituted stating a coach will be the first in and last out of all locker rooms during activities.

“We need to have as much supervision as we can in that locker room,” he said. “Even if it’s just tripping and falling, any incident that occurs in there could be a liability.”

An online tool through Powerschool is being investigated allowing parents to make fee payments online. Another tool allows staff to send update messages via e-mail, text, landline, cell phone, Facebook and Twitter. Fredrickson noted this will be especially beneficial to parents with students in activities as staff can notify them of changes in arrival times.

Update on the football co-op with New Meadows: The agreement has increased student involvement in the sport and Fredrickson said the last game of the season will be played in New Meadows. This allows New Meadows to host its first homecoming game in many years, he said.

Doramus spoke about the Continuous Improvement Plan. In it the goal is that all high school students will set a four-year plan, improve math scores district-wide, and the district will reach a 100 percent graduation rate.

The district had the highest SAT scores in the state and is ranked 2,050 in the nation, Doramus said.

“I think we’re doing a great job and I want to say (the board) is doing a great job,” he said. “I’m excited about the new year.”


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