Sequim School Board directors are continuing talks about a one-year extension to interim superintendent Rob Clark’s contract, but spent more time at the board’s Jan. 6 meeting talking about whether the “interim” tag should remain on his title.
Directors this week had a brief discussion about Clark’s contract to keep him with the district for one further year plus one option year past the expiration of his current contract on June 30.
While no terms were discussed in the meeting, Clark noted that he was seeking copies of similar contracts in the state to give the board a point of comparison.
Several board directors noted the inherent instability an “interim” title suggests, and said the district needs stability now with Clark preparing details for a bond initiative on the November ballot.
But as board director Brian Kuh and others noted, Clark’s intention to only stay for one or two more years essentially leaves him as an interim until a long-term hire can be made.
No decision was made on the interim title, and board directors indicated there would need to be more considerationbefore a decision can be finalized.
CTE in focus
Steve Mahitka made a presentation to the board about Sequim High School’s Career and Technical Education program, highlighting the program’s work to improve the options and future for SHS students.
The board recently approved a five-year plan for the CTE program at SHS, and Mahitka spoke briefly about that plan but more at length about their implementation of the Skillmation program started in Port Townsend to give SHS students even better access to knowledge in their chosen industry.
Mahitka also noted that he wants to start bringing more CTE programs to Sequim Middle School, which currently has few CTE classes.
“We want to expose these kids to as many options and experiences as we can,” he said. “Kids don’t know yet what they like, so we need to help them find that.”
Mahitka also noted that the CTE program will be receiving a federal Perkins grant worth $27,245 to help pay the salary of a career counselor at SHS, the Skillmation program costs and buying monitors that will be put up around SHS to advertise CTE activities and other school programs.
There are two upcoming CTE program events that Mahitka is organizing: a STEM Night that will give practical examples of several CTE program areas on Jan. 16, and a Skilled Trades Day that Mahitka is organizing for Feb. 19.
• A first draft of the district calendar for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years was shown to the board, with school starting the week before labor day in both years and ending on June 14 in both years. Clark noted that after survey data gathered from staff and parents, spring break was being aligned with the Port Angeles School District. Some details remain to be finalized, with Clark saying that the biggest decision still to make will be whether parent-teacher conferences will stay as four days of early release, as it’s been done in recent years, or if the district will take two full days off for the conferences, with a waiver from the state so those days won’t need to be made up.
• A new tobacco policy update was unanimously voted into place, but board directors Larry Jeffryes and Eric Pickens noted the board will need to better address non-tobacco vape product use in the near future. Clark agreed, and noted that new Washington state law makes it a criminal infraction for underage users to be caught with associated paraphernalia, and that the Sequim Police Department officer Kindryn Leiter, the district’s school resource officer, will be at a meeting in the coming weeks to discuss the issue with directors.