Nome School Board Meets in Regular and Work Sessions

Exterior of Nome Elementary School, an off-white building with a smiling polar bear as its mascot.

The Nome School Board met in regular session last week on Tuesday, November 20, and again in a work session last night.

At the November 20 meeting, the Board approved their budget timeline and the FY ‘18 audit. A presentation on student assessment results showed that where elementary school students lag behind in terms of scores, Nome-Beltz middle and high school students seem to be excelling. There was also a presentation on the success of the Migrant Summer Program from this past summer focused on science.

During the community comment section of last night’s meeting, Nome resident Kristine McRae spoke on why she thinks improving teachers’ health insurance should be a key focus of the board.

“[To] prevent an exodus of good teachers from the district based on this spike in health insurance premiums this year… socially and professionally, I encounter teachers all over the community, and I’m hearing things like ‘I’m out of here,’ ‘I’m leaving,’ ‘I feel disrespected,’ … ‘nobody seems to care about it’.”

She offered the board an idea for addressing the increasing premiums. Board member Darlene Trigg informed McRae that no action could be taken at last night’s meeting, as it was a work session and not a regular meeting. Here’s board member Sandy Martinson:

“Every time we have a normal regular board meeting, the superintendent is giving updates. So every first meeting of the month, we’ll get an insurance update in where we’re at.”

The Board ended up tabling most of their planned items for discussion at the work session, as the president and vice president of the Board, Brandy Arrington and Barb Amarok, were unable to attend.

At the next work session, the Board will discuss Strategic Plan Goal #3, which involves educating staff, educators, and administration on local culture and history, as well as racial equity. They will also discuss Strategic Equity Framework Initiative 3 regarding Cultural Competence and the CRESEL grant.

The next regular meeting is Tuesday, December 11 at 5:30. The date of the next work session will be decided at that meeting.

Photo at top: Exterior of Nome Elementary School, August 22, 2018. Photo: David Dodman, KNOM.