By Ingrid Burke
Special to Plumas News
The Plumas Charter School board of directors convened a special meeting April 12 to discuss an upcoming proposed material revision to the school’s charter. Members also heard details about oversight by the Plumas Unified School District, received a COVID-19 update, and approved a grant spending plan.
“The primary reason for holding this meeting is to keep the board appraised of the material revision needed based on our facility change,” said PCS Executive Director Taletha Washburn.
She reported that PUSD, which oversees PCS, had identified the potential need for a change in the PCS charter due to PCS’s progress toward building a new school facility at 1425 E. Main St. in Quincy. The move to this new facility would mean a change of address for the school, whose Quincy Learning Center currently operates out of three different rented spaces in Quincy.
Washburn informed the board that PUSD board members would be hearing a “presentation of the expectations around the material charter revision” during their April 21 board meeting. After that meeting, Washburn said she would know “what form the revision needs to take.”
The board authorized Washburn to draft and deliver a material revision to the PUSD board during its May 12 meeting, in accordance with the requirements set forth by PUSD.
As part of the discussion around the charter revision, Washburn showed the board how oversight by PUSD currently works. She presented a shared cloud location that serves as a “repository of all the information PUSD might want.” The goal for this system, said Washburn, is to be “completely transparent and consistent.”
She specifically discussed a pivotal 12-page document called the Annual Performance Report, which will serve as the basis for presentations to PUSD and the application for the charter change.
In reviewing the data in the document, the board members discussed reasons and explanations for various trends. “This data doesn’t tell one story; this data tells lots of stories,” said Washburn. Unfortunately, external student testing data are not available for last year or this year due to cancelled assessments. However, PCS still conducts internal student assessments.
The full draft report is available as part of the agenda posted on the school’s website, plumascharterschool.org (click the round Board Meeting button on the home page).
PCS’s school nurse, Danielle Wagner Plocki, told the board that new guidance from state and local authorities has allowed PCS to drop some minor symptoms from the daily COVID symptom screening list. This ensures PCS is “not sending kids home and excluding them unnecessarily,” said Plocki. There is also no longer a need for teachers and staff to record detailed daily symptom screening data.
A new field trip policy has also been approved by the Plumas County Public Health Agency, allowing teachers and students more freedom to plan educational off-campus excursions. In addition, nonessential visitors and parent volunteers are now allowed on a limited basis.
Plocki shared that PCS’s “numbers have been really good,” with no recent positive cases and only one instance of quarantine due to exposure. However, “we’re still holding true here,” she said. “We’re on the right track; we’re continuing to be vigilant with our protective measures.”
“Thank you for your excellent reporting,” said board member Bianca Harrison.
Finally, the board approved the 2021 Expanded Learning Opportunities Grant Plan. This COVID relief money will fund extended instructional aide time, proposed after school and summer school programs, community learning hubs that provide technology and other academic support, and two additional teachers: an elementary grade teacher for the Greenville Learning Center, and a middle school teacher for the Chester Learning Center.
The next regular meeting of the PCS board of directors is set for April 26 at 3:15 p.m. Attendance is virtual, and more information is available by clicking the round Board Meeting button on the home page at plumascharterschool.org. The public is always welcome to attend board meetings.
Ingrid Burke is the public relations specialist for Plumas Charter School.