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GRANADA- On Thursday night, the Granada Huntley East Chain (GHEC) School Board met for its first meeting of the school year, discussing how the year has gone so far and making plans for the coming weeks.

Shortly after the meeting began, the board heard a report from Middle and High School Principal Taylor Toinka.

Toinka reports that teacher training and student orientation have gone well. Starting last year, the district switched from a numbering system to a traditional alphabet in two-week in-school workshops. Toninka highlighted improving access to college-level courses as one of his goals for the school year. The principal said that he is pleased with the results of the district’s new mobile phone policy so far, but pointed out that it is still early in the school year.

Toninka said about the beginning of the school year. “I’m always impressed with the great student body and community support we get, and I’m naturally excited to get going as we begin another year.”

Toninka announced the addition of a new school-based treatment option for GHEC students. Beginning Sept. 13, a mental health professional will conduct therapy sessions for students who cannot access counseling or other mental health services. The provider is not a full-time employee of the district and conducts sessions at the school one day per week.

Following Toninka’s report, Superintendent Doug Storbeck updated the board on the district and its elementary division.

The district was unable to locate the 21 missing Chromebooks that were under maintenance when the company said the repairs had failed. While the district expects to receive these devices eventually, it plans to order replacement devices to maintain current inventory levels. Storbeck has announced that it plans to remove and replace some old or damaged Chromebook cases.

Storbeck noted that overall enrollment is largely the same. Overall, the district enrolled five more students in K-12 than last year.

After receiving the reports, the board proceeded to the discussion of practical matters.

The board approved long-term substitute contracts for Kindergarten teacher King Lewis and paraprofessional Melissa Engel through the current school year. They also scheduled the Dec. 8 board of education meeting for a public hearing at 6 p.m. to discuss the district’s budget and property taxes.

The board decided to approve the district’s tax certificate at the maximum amount requested. This is to ensure that the district will receive adequate funding if the upcoming ballot measure rejects their request to submit a construction bond. If the measures pass, the district could reduce taxes later this year.

After approving the action items, the board discussed information sessions regarding their upcoming ballot measure, plans to address student dropouts early in the school day, expand the school’s parking lot, and attend an upcoming staff leadership conference. The Board took no further action on these matters.

Now that the school year has begun, all subsequent school board meetings are expected to be attended by a representative of the student body.

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