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School issues were prioritized into three areas with district and school staff on hand to provide detailed explanations on the process at the Measure B school bond prioritization meeting held in Portola on Feb. 28. Photo submitted

Safety and Security with Measure B for Portola

Safety and security led the prioritized list presented at the Measure B School Bond meeting in Portola the evening of Feb. 28.

A long list of projects was prioritized into three levels: priority 1 included critical things that must be done; priority 2 identified necessary, but not critical, projects; and priority 3 included important projects that can be added as options to prioritize.

Both Portola school sites have critical maintenance issues that were described by district staff as being related to the aging facilities.

Crumbling concrete steps and drainage issues were among the high priority projects at the high school. Similar issues were on the list for the elementary school, especially in the aging portable buildings.

Parents, teachers, staff, students and community members have been polled at previous meetings hosted by the Plumas Unified School District to gather community input on how to best spend the voter-approved dollars.

Security was also a high-priority issue. Camera systems, window covering for security and upgraded alert systems were among the listed items at the high school.

“Right now on our site you could be in areas of our building and not hear the intercom,” said PJSHS Principal Sara Sheridan. She went on to explain that if there was an emergency, there currently is no way to contact those areas.

At C. Roy Carmichael Elementary School, beyond the facility maintenance and safety issues, services and technology led the list for how to use the dollars left to allocate once critical repairs are made.

“Smart boards” in every classroom that would integrate computers and audio visual equipment to enhance learning led the way among those present at the meeting. An intervention specialist was the other item that gathered the most marks on the list.

Students surveyed at both Portola school sites sought improvements in sport and recreation facilities — both indoors and outdoors. Seven of the top 10 priorities for high school students were sport and sport facility-related, with the top two issues related to the locker rooms. Sixty-three percent of C. Roy Carmichael students called for new playground equipment.

The process for determining the order of completion will, in part, utilize a prioritization tool described by PUSD Superintendent Terry Oestreich, “as a living, breathing document.”

“Our intent is that we will not get to the 50 million [dollars], use 30 million and get matching funds from the state,” said PUSD School Board Chairman Leslie Edlund. “We want to be respectful of taxpayers and spend the money wisely,” she concluded in reference to the state school bond also approved last November.

Anyone from the community that was not able to be present for the meeting and would like to weigh in on school priorities is encouraged to contact the principal of the school(s) they wish to discuss.

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