The Kootenai School Board Trustees approved the teacher service agreement for this school year at their regular meeting Monday night, passing the measure 3-2.

Tom Reinhardt and Amanda Reinhardt opposed passing the agreement. Carrie Hugo, Richard Meyer, and Heather Wilcox voted in favor. Financial concerns were the biggest factor in the decision; district superintendent Wade Pilloud said he didn’t think the agreement was sustainable given the district’s current funding, particularly because the district could not raise its tax levy to increase revenue.

“I think we have great staff and we’ve been doing awesome things in this school district, but I’m incredibly disappointed in where we’ve gotten on this,” Amanda Reinhardt said. “I feel like we could have gotten to a solution that compensates staff without putting the district in a position where we’re agreeing to things that potentially are not sustainable, or before we have voter support.”

Earlier in the meeting, the board also disclosed a potential issue regarding Idaho’s open-meeting law. Trustee Carrie Hugo had sent some clarifying emails about board policy earlier in the summer, which could have been interpreted as the school board making policy outside of public view. Though Hugo discussed the issue with the board of trustees’ legal counsel and felt like the emails were not a violation of the law (they were clarifying decisions already made, not making new ones), she entered them into the public record at this meeting just to be safe.

Scott Davis, principal for the district, provided two reports that laid out plans to improve communication and engagement with parents and also to improve how the schools develop their programs for gifted and talented students.

Superintendent Wade Pilloud provided several other updates and reports on the district, including finding grants that would fund the Kid’s College program and emergency preparedness at the schools. He also gave an update on the Holiday Bazaar, which returned this year and was held Nov. 6, featuring vendors and a talent show (see page 12).

More information, including a detailed outline of the board meeting is available at the district website, sd274.com.

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