PUSD superintendent shares information on the state of the district

By Debra Moore

[email protected]

From weather challenges to key staff changes, the 2022-23 school year was one for the books — or at least the annual report presented by Plumas Unified School District Superintendent Bill Roderick.

During the school board’s June 28 meeting, Roderick gave a rundown if the year that began with the weather. He described the extreme heat during the beginning of the school year and the seemingly never-ending winter that resulted in eight snow days throughout the district and flood warning days in Portola. Initial forecasts are calling for another long winter.


Staff changes

Roderick enumerated four key staff changes in the district office — positions that he described as “my right-hand people.” Mallory Marin replaced Lisa Cavin as Chief Business official; Meghan Daun replaced Scott Cory as Human Resources Supervisor; Jessica Stone replaced Kevin Bean as the SELPA and SPED Coordinator and Melissa Leal will become the new Community Resources Director. Leal, the former principal at C. Roy Carmichael  Elementary, will also help the three first-time principals that have been hired: Jordan Blanton at QES Alder campus; Kevin Cooper at QES Pioneer campus; and Nicki Rodriguez who will lead the Greenville schools. QES Alder principal Lara Hollister will take that role at C. Roy Carmichael Elementary succeeding Leal.

Additionally, Alan Kuentz is being hired as the IT engineer.

One person who is staying in place is Assistant Superintendent Kristy Warren, and Roderick acknowledged the important role she has played, particularly with the people who are new to their positions and going through the learning curves.


Challenging attendance numbers

There is a startling number of students with chronic absenteeism (students who miss 10 percent or more school days.) The district is hovering at 38 percent. Roderick attributes part of that to a post COVID mentality among parents. “We have families that are convinced that kids don’t need to come school since they still learned during Covid,” he said. It’s been well documented that student learning suffered during the months away from the classroom and he wants to get the message out that students need to be in school.

Behavior issues

Student behavior has been challenging and Roderick discussed what is being done and the effort that is made to not take kids out of school. “We are trying to address the issue with our multi- tiered support,” he said.

Student services coordinators, who are averaging 375 contacts per quarter, are doing interventions, redirection or first line of services.


 “We are still teaching that there are consequences,” Roderick said. Despite the various intervention there were 153 suspensions districtwide last year.

Fiscal situation

Roderick said that all school budgets can meet their commitments and requirements for the next three years, including Plumas Charter School.

And while Plumas Unified is losing COVID 19 funding now that the pandemic has been declared over, it is in a far better position than many school districts. “There are some districts that are getting ready to fall of the fiscal cliff,” Roderick said, adding that Plumas is careful not to use one-time funds for ongoing expenses. To remain fiscally strong, district administrators are carefully evaluating each open position to determine if it needs to be filled.

Charter school enrollment

Roderick shared the enrollment numbers for Plumas Charter School.

Quincy campus

K-8 118

High School: 83

Chester: 55

Indian Valley

K-6: 25

7-12: 67

Long Valley Charter in Eastern Plumas


K-12 72 students

Where is the district headed?

Superintendent Roderick said these four questions need to be asked and answered to ensure student learning:

What do we want all students to learn?

How will we know if each student has learned it?

How will we respond when some students do not learn it?

How will we extend the learning for those who have shown efficiency?

Roderick stressed that the last question is very important to keep students engaged and continuing to learn rather than languishing in a classroom.

Roderick also discussed goals for attaining academic achievement, continuing to recruit for quality staff and ensuring that the district remains fiscally sound.

As for the campuses, several maintenance projects are underway including solar installations, asbestos abatement and new flooring at QES and CES, softball concession at GHS, roofing at CES; two new portables at CRC, slurry seal GES playground, Electrical breakers for air-conditioning units at GES, softball field CHS – hydro seed not sodded, and tennis court repairs at QHS.


Roderick summed up his report by saying he was very thankful for his leadership team.