NASELLE — The Naselle-Grays River School District Board of Directors held their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 20, and learned local students are doing much better in biology than peers elsewhere in Washington state.

Principal Karen Wirkkala briefed the board on the results of last spring’s test scores. Of special note, End of Class testing for biology, an upcoming requirement of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, resulted in a score by Naselle-Grays River students of 92.0 percent compared to a statewide average of 63.5 percent. Starting with the class of 2017, high school students will be required to pass this test to graduate.

In other tests, most Naselle-Grays River classes exceeded statewide averages in English/language arts and math.

During her superintendent’s report, Lisa Nelson noted the Washington Department of Natural Resources has resumed off-campus work projects for students at the Naselle Youth Camp School (NYCS). Those programs were suspended following an escape and attempted suicide by a NYCS student while on an off-campus, firefighting-related project this summer.

Nelson also briefed the board on the Columbia Virtual Academy online educational program. Nelson discussed improved methods of keeping the board informed on the district’s general fund and reported the balance in the general fund was $1,029,140 as of the beginning of October.

Nelson led the board through first reading of several policies and policy amendments for adoption during the November meeting. These policies include 2030-Service Animals in School, 6114-Grants, 6115-Gifts and 6101-Federal Cash and Financial Management.

Action items for the board included: hiring of Karl Johnson as the drama director. He replaces longtime director Barbara Swanson, who has retired after a celebrated career.

The board approved purchase of 40 Chromebook computers with Rural Grant Funds for an amount not to exceed $19,000; approved buying 12 Apple computers for the Technology Lab for an amount not to exceed $18,000; approved fall overnight travel for athletic teams; approved a resolution allowing newly elected board members to attend the Washington State School Directors Association’s training conference in the latter half of November; adopted Policy 4220 entitled “Complaint Process” and adopted Policy 6250 entitled “Cell Phone Policy.”

The next monthly meeting of the School Board is scheduled for Nov. 17, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the middle school commons.

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