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Staff Reporter 

Medical Lake students showcase STEM activities


The Medical Lake School District board of directors received a lesson in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) from some of the district’s students at its meeting last Tuesday.

At the Nov. 26 meeting, the students went through their various presentations given at a recent West Plains Chamber of Commerce breakfast. Ranging from the high school’s robotics demonstration to middle school biomedical lessons and a run through of how a circuit works from the elementary school level.

When asked by the board what their favorite part of the program was, answers ranged from the different ways of learning to applying the subject matter in different ways. But, favorites vary from student to student.

“Honestly, the snacks,” Joy from Michael Anderson Elementary said with a smile.

During the regular meeting, the board approved slight changes regarding board members’ expenses in a document from Washington State School Directors’ Association.

Also approved were a few Medical Lake High School ASB fundraisers, annual building improvement plans and the district’s five-year maintenance plan. The latter two items were presented at the previous board meeting in October.

December’s board meeting will include the annual financial report from business manager Don Johnson.

The district’s fund balance has been declining since it hit a nearly 20-year high in 2009, topping out just under $2.6 million. In the two years leading up to the fund’s apex, over $1.2 million was put into it.

Directors reviewed their time spent at the Washington State School Directors’ Association’s fall conference, which showed Medical Lake was ahead of the game regarding some of the upcoming programs instituted by the state. Chief among those, the district was nearly a year ahead with the new teacher-principal evaluation program that will be implemented statewide in the next year.

Medical Lake has been piloting a version of the program for the past year, which focuses on keeping track of the curriculum throughout the school year.

During her superintendent’s report, Veltri showed a video regarding toxic grading systems, a recording from a presentation by Douglas Reeves a few years ago. In the presentation, Reeves said having teachers focus on completing their work, when it would otherwise count for a zero, was one of the most important motivators for success.

The next board meeting will take place Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 5:30 p.m., 30 minutes earlier than its usual time.


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