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Community gathers to hear changes for the new school year at GHS

 

By Andrea Singer

[email protected]

  Plumas Unified School District Superintendent Bill Roderick came to Greenville once again on May 22 to address the upcoming 2023-2024 school year and the future of Greenville High School in a community forum. Since last visiting in March, Roderick has made numerous changes to the previously outlined school year, showing the community he is listening to their concerns and open to making changes in order to provide the best education possible for the children while being fiscally responsible. 

  Roderick opened the meeting by asking the community “How do we get to, I’m losing my tail trying to educate children while not having a significant result, to being in the ballpark of fiscally responsible and having a school here in 5 years, 10 years, and 20 years from now.” He believes it starts by cutting the number of staff until enrollment rises and altering classes so students are drawn to enroll in GHS because of their unique programs. Initially in March it was stated the number of FTE (full time equivalent) teachers would drop from 4.65 FTE teachers to 1 FTE teacher, but on Monday, Roderick informed residents he modified the number to 3.17 FTE teachers costing $364,830 and 3.0 classified staff at $180,000. These staff members will make it possible for more in-person classes to be offered instead of the previously stated online options. In-person classes will include culinary, ASB, band, Ag science 1 and 2, Ag biology, Ag business/horticulture, SPED support, math, PE, and FFA while also offering community college classes online through FRC for grades 11 and 12 in a cohort so that students can learn together and online APEX classes for grades 9 and 10 supported in a small class environment with a teacher for support. 

  Currently $46,000 is spent on materials for the school year, that number is projected to rise to $75,000 simply because it is a completely new program being rolled out and the school does not currently have the materials to support it. 

  It currently costs $1,056,066 to run GHS at a loss of $400,000 a year. This coming school year, after making the outlined changes they will operate at a cost of $841,830, after small school funding projected to be $718,000, the loss will be significantly less than previous years at $123,830. The goal is to increase student attendance to receive increased state funding.

  At the elementary school GES will be a kindergarten through 8th grade campus.  Kinder, First, and second grades will be taught individually while the upper classes will combine (3rd/4th, 5th/6th, and 7th/8th).

  When it comes to athletics, there will be a multi-school agreement with Indian Valley Charter so the children can continue to participate in sports together as one team. There are also ongoing conversations between Plumas Unified School District  and Indian Valley Charter to bring the two schools together on one campus thus further helping to alleviate the financial burden, but that is something that will not be happening this 23/24 school year. 

  While the general consensus about the upcoming school year seemed to be be moving in a positive direction, there were still major concerns about the $2 million set aside to help the schools affected by the Dixie Fire. Indian Valley Charter is the only school that was destroyed by the Dixie Fire and with the fire damage to both GES and GHS citizens are infuriated to think the money would go anywhere else but directly to the sites that were damaged and are currently financially struggling. Since losing his home in the Dixie Fire, Dave Keller,  the board member in charge of representing Indian Valley, now resides in Quincy, leaving many at the meeting feeling as though they were not properly represented. Keller stated he gets his information about how the residents in Indian Valley are feeling through email, an answer that brought more concern to the already troubled citizens, fearing the sincerity and passion of their concerns are not significantly felt through the keystrokes on a keyboard. 

  Travis Rubke, a 33 year veteran of PUSD who taught science at GHS and has knowledge of the ED code, expressed how important it was for the school board to look outside the box and challenge themselves to new ideas. He said, “As a school board you have tremendous power in terms of making exemptions and rules, and doing things to make education happen. I know this school is very creative and is very capable of doing great things. This school generated many school programs that are still being used in the district today such as senior projects, earth science curriculum, outdoor programs all came from GHS. So give the teachers some power, allow some discussions, and think outside the box. Greenville is in trouble, looking at the numbers Chester not far behind,  this is a discussion you will be having again, to help the small schools get out of this trouble, empower the schools.If the school board would support some of those programs we could have a lot of the creative innovations that we had through the 80’s and 90’s that made this a great school, its just a matter of them to support and look at it a different way and as a school being held accountable for what needs to happen. Allow schools to utilize what they have, utilize what they have, utilize their resources, put together plans, so they can be approved by the school board so the school can operate given the resources they have”.

   Although the number of attendees at the community meeting wasn’t as well attended as the meeting back in March, it seemed as though it was a positive one. It was clear that Roderick and PUSD is committed to giving students a quality education, they are listening to the concerns of parents, staff and community members alike, and are willing to make changes to the program so it is one that is suitable for everyone. Volunteers are encouraged to reach out to the school if they are interested in sharing their knowledge, passions, or tutoring with the younger generation (fingerprint and background check will be required but will come at no cost to the volunteer). 

The next community meeting concerning the future of Indian Valley Schools will be held Thursday, June 15 at 6 p.m. in the Greenville Elementary Cafeteria. 

To view the full meeting, you can view the video live-streamed on Facebook courtesy of Dan Kearns. https://www.facebook.com/jfdsaf/videos/1656647491468292/?mibextid=cr9u03

 

One thought on “Community gathers to hear changes for the new school year at GHS

  • Mr. Keller needs to step down as he has not been a resident of the IVSD, one expects their representation to be visible within their district. The PUSD needs to incorporate the IVA this year, and adapt to their teaching methods and teachers to make GHS successful. The PUSD would do well to abolish the teachers’ union as well, pay teachers the appropriate salaries, and eliminate non productive teachers.

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