November 2021 All-Staff Meeting

PCS Administration updates staff on policies, projects, programs and student data
Posted on 11/24/2021
Faculty and staff listen to Ryan Schramel’s student data presentation

Plumas Charter School staff from Chester, Quincy and Taylorsville met at Indian Valley Academy on November 22nd, 2021 to discuss new policies, project updates, program progress and student data. 

Quincy Site Director, Patrick Joesph stepped in for the PCS school nurse, Danielle Plocki to start the meeting with an update on COVID-19 policies and protocol. Nurse Danielle is meeting regularly with Plumas County Public Health as well as the other school nurses in the area. PCS’ COVID numbers are currently trending down. Joseph explained that BinaxiNow testing kits are available at all sites. The BinaxiNow Antigen Testing Program is state-funded and there is a BinaxiNow lead at each site trained to administer the test and read results. The rapid tests allow administration to clear students or staff  with negative results to come back to school or work faster than the original ten-day quarantine. Parents of students and employees are able to register their consent to testing once per school year. Tests are administered when a person is symptomatic or has been in close contact with a person who tested positive. Joseph also gave an update about student athletes; masks are currently required for most indoor sports but there is an option to go mask-less by agreeing to weekly testing. 

Becky Powers, PCS school counselor presented next. She informed the staff that she currently serves thirty six clients and is unable to add any more to her caseload at this time. With new referrals coming in every week, counseling needs are exceeding resources. Those referrals are being forwarded to Plumas Rural Services and Plumas County Behavioral Health. Powers mentioned that students are struggling with a variety of issues including but not limited to family loss, conflict, addiction and identity. PCS Executive Director, Taletha Washburn informed staff that the school is looking to add an additional counselor with the new year to serve Indian Valley and Chester students. Washburn also announced that PCS has applied for a Project Serve grant to support the increase in counseling staff. 

Washburn then gave updates on the two ongoing facility projects. In Quincy, concrete footings are going in within the next two weeks and the slabs are scheduled to be finished before winter weather sets in. The project will then shut down for winter and resume in April. The projected move-in date for all Quincy students and staff is fall 2022. In Indian Valley, a temporary building will be provided by the California Office of Emergency Services for the previous Greenville Learning Center kindergarten through sixth grade students and staff. The building will reside next to PCS’ Indian Valley Academy in Taylorsville. The building will be 2,100 square feet with three classrooms, two bathrooms and an office. CAL OES told PCS the building will be there by January 1st, 2022. 

Washburn, along with the career and technical education coordinator, Courtney Gomola discussed updates to the CTE program. To date, PCS has applied for and received three Strong Workforce grants totaling $500,000. PCS has applied for additional grants; one for patient care, media and coordination, and the other for additional equipment for pathways. She announced that all CTE coordinators now hold CTE credentials. The program has collegiate partnerships with Feather River College and is working towards a partnership with Sierra College. They also have multiple industry partnerships including; Plumas District Hospital, Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, US Forest Service, Lost Sierra Food Project, Genesee Valley Ranch, Feather River Land Trust, Plumas Corp, Plumas County Audubon Society and Plumas National Forest. 

CTE is a twenty-credit program in a field of study with the goal of exposing students to local needs and job availability. Washburn and Gomola said some long-term goals of the program are to get the same level of access across sites via technology and for every PCS student to complete at least one CTE pathway upon graduation. PCS currently offers eight pathways and two more are in development. Read more about the program here. 

An attendance policy update was then proposed by Joseph. PCS is funded by average daily attendance (ADA) which is calculated by work completed by students throughout each learning period as opposed to being calculated by physical attendance in the classroom. This allows for a flexible model of independent learning in conjunction with classroom instruction offerings by PCS. Under the previous policy, students would have to complete work for any missed days even if they were out sick. Joseph proposed the addition of excused absences teachers could use at their discretion to excuse students from the assignments of that day. The school wouldn’t be paid for the excused absence but it would no longer negatively affect the students attendance record. The updated policy was presented and approved by the board of directors on November 22st, 2021. 

Indian Valley Academy Site Director, Ryan Schramel then concluded the meeting with a presentation and exercise about student data and student action plans using cross-level programs. Teachers and administrators are able to use online tracking tools to evaluate student academic history, gaps, past actions taken and individual growth reports for students. 

PCS administration, faculty and staff will come together again on December 17th, 2021 for a workshop training put on by THRIVE in Taylorsville.

By Rachel Goings, Public Relations Specialist

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In the photo: Faculty and staff listen to Ryan Schramel's student data presentation