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Local school district to emphasize "safe and secure"


Lake Roosevelt Elementary Vice Principal Margo Piver hands out a packet of forms to student Taloulah Day and her mother, Danika Le'roi Day, during Back to School Night last Thursday. - Jacob Wagner photo

School bells chimed today (Wednesday) for the start of the new school year.

School personnel gathered Tuesday to hear Grand Coulee Dam School District Superintendent Paul Turner give an outline of activities scheduled for this year, the main one emphasizing "Goal 2" of the district's Strategic Plan, providing a "safe and secure learning environment."

Turner emphasized that the district is conducting a "year-long" training period for all employees, focusing on the "whole child."

The superintendent said the district will be spending the bulk of "the professional development time learning about 'restorative justice,' 'right response,' and student mental health."

The district has contracted with its Educational Service District to attain the services of behavior specialist Candis Coble to work with the entire staff on behavior problems.

While some of the details are still be worked out, Turner said, it might be possible for teachers to wear cameras to enable Coble to monitor situations in classrooms and provide an instant response to them.

The district had been under fire earlier this summer on issues of student behavior after a union survey turned up discontent among staff members on the district's response to complaints.

Turner emphasized "training" of staff as the key to student conduct and stated that with the training teachers should be equipped to handle more of their problems right in the classroom.

School day hours this year for students will be 8:20 a.m. to 3:05 p.m. For teachers, the hours are 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

The district expects more than 700 students the first week of school.

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