School boards hear about opportunities for students


Siuslaw and Mapleton host October meetings

Nov. 2, 2022 — The Siuslaw and Mapleton school district boards of directors meet monthly to conduct routine business, review administrative rules, honor students and staff and provide a forum for the public to give comments, complaints or feedback.  Siuslaw meets on the second Wednesday of each month while Mapleton meets on the third Wednesday.

In October, the Siuslaw School District Board of Directors met on Oct. 12. Chair Bob Sneddon, Vice-chair Maureen Miltenberger, Director Kady Sneddon, Director Dianna Pimlott and Director John Barnett were in attendance while directors Frank Armenderiz and Brian Lacouture were not.

Siuslaw High junior Jacob Blankenship gave the board a report on the happenings at the high school. This was followed by McKenzie Perry, middle school science teacher and head of Siuslaw Middle School’s Outdoor School, who reported on this year’s program.

“The mission statement for Outdoor School is to provide opportunities for students learning to extend beyond the traditional classroom,” said Perry. “We seek to provide a learning environment which fosters exploration and outdoor literacy.”

The most significant development for this year’s outdoor school is the fact that the program will return to an overnight camp this year.

Before the official meeting, there was a work session to attempt to sync up student handbooks so they are uniform for all grade levels.

This review prompted Barnett to ask that the topic of the standards that athletes are held to academically be discussed at a meeting in the near future. He said he believes that if athletes are held to a higher standard academically, they will strive to achieve that standard and he says he’s seen it in his own household.

“I know that my kids, generally, get better grades when they’re in sports because they’re held to a higher standard,” said Barnett. “I can’t believe mine are the only ones where I know if have to hit a higher bar to do the thing they love, they will.”

To watch the full Siuslaw School District Board of Directors October meeting go to: youtu.be/4JGBaO_AWQk. The Siuslaw School District Board will meet again Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. at the district office. For more information, visit siuslaw.k12.or.us.

One week later, on Oct. 19, the Mapleton School Board met for its monthly meeting.

Board Chair Michelle Holman and Directors Andrea Milbrett, Mizu Burruss, Maree Beers and Mary Ellen Mansfield were all in attendance.

Routine business was taken care of at the October meeting, but one item of particular interest to not just those with students in Mapleton School District but to the entire upriver community as a whole was the continuing discussion about the future of what is known as the “Mapleton Pool Building.”

After months of back and forth, a plan as to how to move forward is slowly coming together.

The Mapleton School District and the Siuslaw Regional Aquatic Center (SRAC) Board met and have agreed that the focus on the pool building needs to be solely on capital investments.

Both bodies agree that vision and priority need to be securing funds for a safe, secure building that will be a benefit to the community and not necessarily for use as a pool.

“The current aim is to maximize use of the USDA grant funds that were awarded to the district and to seek additional funds for capital improvements,” said Superintendent Sue Wilson. “Both parties feel strongly that there are less expensive opportunities to open our district spaces to the community, like the industrial arts building, fitness areas, health center, etc. As the community gathers to use the campus, more funding opportunities will present themselves for the pool building. We are all committed to a Mapleton campus that promotes community vitality.”

More specific recommendations by the board will be made in future meetings.

Another interesting topic Wilson discussed was the adding of student clubs into the weekly school schedule.

“Yesterday, there were seven kids going on a nature hike who are making up the Outdoor Club,” she said. “They are attempting to identify what it means to be an ‘outdoor club.’”

Dungeons and Dragons Club, Music Club and “Tea Time” (where students play board games) were clubs that were also mentioned as options for students.

Wilson also said that those with good attendance were rewarded with first choice of club selection — which everyone hopes will help motivate kids to come to school.

“A lot of this is also really trying to promote an increase in attendance,” Wilson said.

For those that weren’t in attendance at the Mapleton Board of Directors October meeting, there is a recording that can viewed at: youtu.be/Dnwmxfkw8HA. The board’s next monthly meeting is Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. at Mapleton High School. For more information, visit mapleton.k12.or.us.

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