Staff Reporter 

Cheney School Board hears from staff at October meeting


Last updated 10/18/2018 at 5:09pm

The Cheney School District School Board listened to several staff reports at their Oct. 10 meeting, where they gave their approval for staff to submit multiple grant applications.

The board unanimously approved a grant application for STEM equipment to increase student access to scientific technology in the classroom. Funds received would be used in classes like sports medicine, computer science and wood shop.

Also unanimously approved was the application for a transitional bilingual program meant to help English learners in the district. Staff noted that the number of “halfway to bilingual” students is increasing rapidly in the area.

Following a second reading, board members decided to approve a revised policy brought forth by district nutrition director L.J. Klinkenberg at the Sept. 19 meeting. Along with some minor language changes, the policy aims to reduce food shaming and tension brought on by the account resolution process.

The district currently prohibits staff from discussing accounts with students under 15 years old. Due to the difficulty of determining ages and the possibility of making students uncomfortable with their financial situation, a blanket change was proposed requiring that accounts be discussed exclusively with parents or guardians.

Assistant Director of Student Support Services Emma Noble gave a report to the board on the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) in the district. The program is a state-approved free preschool program for local children.

ECEAP seems to be helping young students; according to state data, in the 2016-2017 school year 9,351 students in the program made strong progress in all areas of development. A Community Colleges of Spokane study found that more than 100 students in the Cheney/West Plains area are not currently engaged in a high-quality preschool program, showing that there is a need for this type of curriculum.

The board also heard from two Westwood Middle School ASB students, who told board members about a recent sixth-grade leadership camp attended by students throughout the district. Roettger gave a brief update on the district’s capital projects.

In other news, the board listened to a first reading on possible revisions to the school board’s policy on student privacy and searches. The revised policy has undergone substantial changes and has had several sections specifically describing “contraband” removed. Now, the policy dictates that the scope of any search must be reasonable in the context of the situation and may not be “excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student and the nature of the suspected infraction.”

No action was required on this item immediately. It will go to the board for approval following a second reading at the next meeting.

Shannen Talbot can be reached at


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