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Sunnyside School Board Briefs

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District passes transportation inspection

Last Thursday night, Sunnyside School District Transportation Supervisor David Taylor talked to the school board about the recent transportation inspection. He explained that the district's fleet of vehicles in inspected by the Washington State Patrol twice a year. He said there is one surprise inspection in the winter and a more thorough inspection done just before school starts.

Taylor said during the most recent inspection 38 buses were looked at and only a couple of issues came up. Taylor said there were seven lights out among the buses, but considering that each bus has 42 to 50 lights the ratio isn't too bad.

Taylor said two buses were pulled out of service, one was a mini bus and another was a bus the district plans on using for parts.

"Both of those buses were from the early '80s," Taylor said.

Overall, Taylor said the district fared well in the inspection.

Board works to set up sex education committee

Thursday night, Sunnyside School Board members came together to find a way to appoint a Health, Family Life and Sex Education Ad Hoc Committee. The formation of the committee comes after parents voiced concerns about the sex education curriculum taught in the district.

Superintendent Dr. Rick Cole explained that more than 20 people had shown interest in serving on the committee, meaning the only task left was deciding how many members the committee would be made up of and who would serve on it.

School board member Bill Smith suggested the board be made up of three community members, one student, one teacher, one administrator and a chairman.

Cole expressed concern that one teacher wouldn't be able to represent the concerns of all teachers in the district when it comes to the subject of sex education.

Ultimately, the board decided the committee would be comprised of three parents, two teachers, one student and one administrator, with the group coming together to select a chair.

Board approves discipline handbooks

Sunnyside School Board members voted Thursday night to approve the discipline handbooks for the 2004-05 school year.

Administrators from each of the schools in the district presented the board with a copy of their handbook, which was presented to students at the beginning of the school year.

SEA contract changes approved

Changes to Sunnyside Education Association (SEA) contracts were approved by the Sunnyside School Board last Thursday night.

Superintendent Dr. Rick Cole pointed out that some of the changes included in the contract were provisions for elementary planning time and changes in leave language. For example, he noted that maternity and adoption leaves are now both called family leave.

Overall, board chair Joanne Kilian said the bargaining process went well this year.

"It was a very good process," Kilian said.

According to the board, the SEA ratified the contract changes Tuesday.

First day of school draws 4,684 youths

Thursday night, Executive Director of Business Dave Plesha talked to members of the Sunnyside School Board about enrollment numbers.

Plesha said the first day of school, Aug. 25, there were 4,684 students in the district, which does not include kindergarten students, who didn't start classes until Aug. 27.

Plesha told board members that the number of students registered in the district increased by 265 students on Thursday, Aug. 26.

He noted that the official count is set to take place Tuesday, Sept. 7.

Early Learning Center has 20 students attending

Executive Director of School and Community Resources Ruben Carrera told members of the Sunnyside School Board Thursday night there are currently 20 students enrolled in the district's Early Learning Center.

He added that the number of infants enrolled in the center is at capacity and there is already a waiting list for those wanting to attend classes at the facility.

WASL scores release date announced

Thursday night, Executive Director of Instruction and Learning Gary Vegar, announced that the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction is set to release Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) scores Wednesday, Sept. 1, at 10 a.m.

First day of school runs smoothly district wide

Administrators representing schools from throughout the Sunnyside School District reported to members of the school board that the first day of school ran smoothly this year.

"It went really well," said Harrison Middle School Principal Janie Hernandez.

Dennis Birr of Sunnyside High School said despite a few glitches, everything went fairly well the first day.

"The teachers were great," Birr said. "Everyone was upbeat."

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