New K-8 Science Curriculum Proposed, Unexpected Drone Controversy
The March 14 Hillsboro School board meeting was standing room only. In addition to the blue Hilhi shirts worn in support of Adam Reese, which have become standard at recent meetings, a group of students and families from the Brookwood Elementary School STEAM club were present to present their windmill projects. Another group of students and parents were present to represent the Chicas Youth Development Program.
Public comment was again dominated by students and parents speaking on behalf of former Hilhi football and wrestling coach Adam Reese. They asserted that the issue is now a Level 3 grievance and would be coming before the school board. Members of the school board reiterated that they do not hire or fire coaches and their role is to review whether or not policies were followed, not make decisions about individual staff members.
Travis Reimann, Assistant Superintendent, led a presentation by the Science Study Team. They are recommending the Amplify Science curriculum be implemented at all Hillsboro elementary and middle schools. The decision was based on external research and a survey of teachers who participated in the piloting of this and several other science materials. The curriculum is expected to cost just over one million dollars; they district has rolled forward a significant portion of his $400,000 a year curriculum budget for the last three years in anticipation of this investment. Unless they receive public comment, the board will likely approve the recommendation during their April 25 meeting.
Casey Waletich, Executive Director of Facilities, Safety, and Operations presented two updates to existing school district policy. The first was an update to the Emergency Procedures and Disasters Plan. The second, relating to unmanned aircraft or drones, met unexpected resistance from the school board. Wayne Clift was concerned about the colloquial use of the word drone and its possible mischaracterization. He also had questions about the insurance requirements in the policy. Monte Akers reported that has been negotiating to bring a drone demonstration to a Hillsboro school and wondered how the policy would impact that process.
The board voted unanimously the endorse Ballot Measure 34-273: Renewal of Current Operating Levy for Police, Fire, and Parks (City of Hillsboro).
Additional presentations during the meeting:
- Members of the Brookwood Elementary School STEAM club presented projects on windmills and renewable energy. They were led by fourth grade teacher Michele Powers.
- Several Hillsboro students shared how the Chicas Youth Development Program, an initiative of Adelante Mujeres, has impacted their lives. Last year, 100% of their seniors participating in the program graduated from high school and went on to higher education.
- The Special Education Parent Partnership Group provided a report on Inclusion. Two parents shared their experiences with inclusion at Rosedale Elementary School. The school board reaffirmed their commitment to inclusion.
The next meeting will be on April 25 at 7pm.