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Sheridan Elementary shines at school board meeting

By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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Five items in the action, discussion and information portion of Tuesday night’s school board meeting were quickly discussed and approved. Prior to that, Kris Knutson, Sheridan Elementary School principal, gave a presentation about his school. Tuesday’s Western Placer Unified School District board meeting was at Sheridan Elementary School. “This year has been one of tremendous beginnings,” Knutson said. “The bypass is just about completed. It makes Sheridan a key center for new building and construction.” Knutson was referring to the Highway 65 Bypass. The principal also spoke of an $80,000 grant the school received for a technology upgrade and also discussed upgrades made to sidewalks and paths students use to travel to school. “It’s a cool thing to watch kids walk and ride their bikes to school,” Knutson said. The board then approved five items with little discussion on each item. The board adopted a proposal between the district and Western Placer Teacher’s Association to reopen negotiations for teacher contracts. According to previous News Messenger reports, negotiations for the contracts of 315 teachers and certificated staff should begin this month. The teacher’s association asked to open two articles of their contract for negotiation, which are safety and class size, according to previous News Messenger reports. The district is asking to negotiate salaries and benefits “that reduce employer costs and/or achieve a fiscal savings for the district,” according to previous News Messenger reports. The school board then approved the establishment of district goals and objectives for this school year and adopted new and revised policies, regulations and exhibits. The dates of school board meetings were changed for December and January through a vote by the school board. December’s meeting date was changed from Dec. 6 to Dec. 13, and items on that agenda will be the first interim budget report, school board reorganization and budget reduction ideas, according to Superintendent Scott Leaman. The Jan. 3 meeting was moved to Jan. 10, since Leaman said Jan. 3 is the day after district employees’ return from their “negotiated furlough week.” The Jan. 17 meeting will take place Jan. 24 so that meetings are two weeks apart, according to Leaman. The board also approved Single Plans for Student Achievement for each school site in the district. “The Single Plan for Student Achievement is the guiding document that each school-based leadership team writes to support student achievement through use of categorical funds at their site,” said Deputy Superintendent Mary Boyle. “Each school annually reviews its most recent achievement date, identifies areas for improvement and writes goals to match those needs.”