School board website criticized for being out of date

WCPS trustees concerned about lack of updates on board website.

  • Nov. 11, 2015 3:00 p.m.

As the saying goes you only get one chance to make a first impression and as concerns the Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) website, that impression isn’t the best it could be.

It was brought up by trustee Bob Huff, during the school board’s meeting on Thursday, Nov.5, that there were more than a few facts and other items that were out of date on the division’s website.

“I have some concerns that what is on our website hasn’t been updated or doesn’t align properly or is no longer relevant with respect to our vision and mission statement,” Huff stated at the meeting.

He went on to explain several facts such as progress on certain projects and the figures regarding their budget haven’t been updated to reflect the current status of the division, in addition to a number of other items remaining on the site as futuristic plans despite having long been complete.

Trustees Pam Hansen and Donna Peterson also expressed their concern that the website need to be made current, as the outdated state makes it hard for parents wanting information to receive the right information.

Joe Henderson, secretary treasurer of WCPS, told trustees that staff would begin work immediately to correct the website and bring all of the information up to date, including all work on projects that are in progress.

Trustees also approved a motion that will see them review the website annually, in June, to ensure the information being provided for the next school year is as up-to-date as possible.

Looking long term

An item on having a look into what the future may hold for WCPS, which was brought to the board table by Huff last month, returned for some further discussion and some input from trustees.

What is being called a long term plan based on demographic needs, trustees are hoping to get some advice from an expert on what the division can expect to see in the way of growth/decline of student populations at each of its schools, how growth/decline of various communities will affect education and program availability, what it will mean for specialty programs such as English as Second Language, Welding and other trades courses, what affect this will have on recruitment of staff/teachers and how this will all integrate with transportation needs.

Henderson stated that all of these items will need a certain amount of time and level of expertise to compile, given the five to 10 year length of time trustees want to look at in the report. He added administration will look into who would be best to compile such a report, and when questioned on how much it could cost for the report, Henderson estimated it may reach over $10,000.

Trustees decided to let administration continue investigating who could complete the report, how much it may cost and what it should include, then have it come back to the board for a final decision on whether they still wish to move forward with it.

Program in doubt

The School Resource Officer (SRO) program that is running in various schools throughout WCPS may soon be coming to another crossroads as trustees discussed its future.

Last year, principals raised concerns regarding how the program was operating and explained they didn’t want it in their schools unless some changes were made. What followed were a series of meetings to talk about potential modifications, which then saw a letter forwarded to the division in August stating the program would come to an end in 2016 unless certain criteria and funding commitments were not met.

That’s what precipitated the item being placed on the board’s agenda for the meeting with Huff expressing concerns about the division’s expectations from the program, its accountability and how its being monitored.

“We need to be fair to all of the stakeholders involved along with the personnel and our staff,” Huff said during the discussion.

“We know administration supports it, but how do we judge how its working and what are we expecting from it?”

Trustee Barb Walker added that in order to know where they stand on the program, the board needs information on what contracts are currently in place, how SROs are funded and under what criteria the current program is being evaluated. She also said the board needs that information prior to the start of discussion on the WCPS budget in order to be able to make the best decision for students.

It is anticipated that information will be brought forward for trustees to look at for the board’s next meeting on Thursday, Nov. 19.