Saturday, April 10, 2021

Work continues on former Muldown building, speech team honored

Whitefish Pilot | March 24, 2021 1:00 AM

The Whitefish School Board of Trustees at its March 9 meeting considered several discussion and action items.

Topics included:

Former Muldown

The building project connected with the former Muldown Elementary school building is still ongoing and remains under budget, reported Dow Powell, Whitefish School District’s owner’s representative.

Significant progress is being made on the new maintenance and receiving building constructed east of the new Muldown building. Stone work on the outside is completed and the interior is framed into different offices and rooms.

The annex, which is the previous kindergarten wing from the old Muldown building, is awaiting warmer weather for exterior paint and will soon have new cabinetry and technology installed.

The buildings are anticipated to be completed by mid-April, and only landscaping will remain at that point.

A pathway that will run from the high school to the annex building, and also will go directly by the Hope Garden, was approved and paving will soon take place as warmer weather increases.

Speech and Debate Team honored

The Whitefish High School speech and debate team was honored for winning the Class A state championship this year. Members of the team joined the meeting virtually.

“We competed virtually all season… it was definitely odd,” head coach Sara Mueller said. “But we are so grateful to be here and I do want to thank the board for including us in this meeting.”

In February, Whitefish speech and debate clinched the state title with 200 sweepstakes points over Columbia Falls’ 167 points and broke the Wildcats 15-year state champion streak.

“Your creativity, your resilience, the way you all made it work is inspiring — congratulations on an awesome season,” Board Chair Katie Clarke said in the meeting.

Teacher vaccines

According to teacher’s union president Lisa Bloom, the Whitefish COVID Task Force is helping to secure COVID-19 vaccines for teachers in the district.

“That doesn’t go unnoticed by teachers and I’ve heard a great deal of relief on their part, that they feel like the end is in sight and their health is not so much in danger,” Bloom said in the meeting.

Curriculum review cycle

The school board must approve any changes to the district’s curriculum.

During the meeting the board discussed and approved a proposed change to the Curriculum Development and Assessment policy.

The policy now includes this sentiment regarding the process of reviewing the curriculum. Also due to the pandemic, the wording now includes potential to postpone the review due to emergency circumstances.

“The district will, through a representative committee process, review the curricula at least every five years or consistent with the state’s standards revision schedule, and modify as needed to meet educational goals. In the event of emergency circumstances the review may be postponed temporarily,” the document states.

COVID-19 update

Superintendent Dave Means gave an update on COVID-19. He stated that as cases across the valley have dropped in the last month, cases are also down in the school district. Internally the district has only seen six positive cases reported from Feb. 22 through March 12.

There have been a total of 170 positive cases reported between students and staff since the beginning of the school year; cases across the district spiked the highest in mid-October and late November.