District Administration October 2017 - 14

BeyondtheNews
NUTS AND BOLTS

Mold infestation leads to modernization
By Steven Wyman-Blackburn
Mold growth at California's KlamathTrinity Joint USD three years ago was
an asset in disguise.
It required the district to reconstruct
six of its seven schools, a $65 million
endeavor that superintendent Jon Ray
saw as an opportunity. His classrooms
were out of date and lacked the latest
technology, so Ray decided to not only
renovate the rooms, but to modernize
his learning spaces.
"We weren't going to just put a
Band-Aid on the problem," Ray says.
"We were going to fix it right by changing the way we taught, and giving students a first-class learning institute they
could be proud of."
With state funding and state politicians who advocated on behalf of the
district, Klamath-Trinity reconstructed
its buildings and filled them with new
technology and furniture.
Students in grades 3 through 8 now
use interactive whiteboards and can
hear their teachers better thanks to surround sound speakers. Desks are movable and can connect with other desks
for group projects. As the district continues to upgrade classrooms, it is also

Klamath-Trinity
Joint USD
* 1,053 students
* 85% of students live on
nontaxable Native American
reservations
* 90% of residents do not pay any
state income tax
* 90% of students are Native
American
* 90% of students qualify for free
or reduced-price lunch

14 October 2017

BEFORE

AFTER

THEN AND NOW-Originally Klamath-Trinity's students, including kindergartners
at Trinity Valley Elementary (left), sat at tables. Now students have their own mobile
desks, just like third-graders at Hoopa Valley Elementary (right).

embarking on a $40 million initiative
to give all K8 students a Windows-powered Chromebook and to issue iPads to
each high school student. "After eight
years of using Windows and four years
on Macs, students will be proficient in
both formats by the time they graduate," says Ray.
Seeking solutions
A mold, lead and asbestos problem had
already been discovered in one of the
elementary schools when Ray was hired
in June 2014. "It was like opening Pandora's box," says Ray.
After finding problems in other
buildings, Ray closed gyms, kitchens,
cafeterias, libraries, administrative offices and multiple classrooms at six of
the district's seven schools.
Quarantining classrooms and cafeterias limited where teachers could teach
and where students could eat. Educators taught in hallways and on covered
outdoor walkways, while the district
purchased food trailers from private caterers to feed students.
Seeking funds was also a challenge.
California districts receive school construction funding through the State of
California's General Obligation (GO)
bonds according to a formula based on

local property and income taxes. But
many families in the Klamath-Trinity
district live on nontaxable Native American reservations, and most do not pay
California income tax. As a result, the
district collected only about $4 million
from the GO bonds, leaving $61 million to be found from other sources.
Ray spearheaded the plan to close
the gap in 2016 in part by reaching out
to his state representatives, who helped
the district gain state funding due to
the presence of mold, asbestos and lead
as a health and safety concern.
Realistic renovations
Ray wanted to ensure his schools met
ADA requirements and earthquake
safety standards.
ADA regulations were met by
widening doorways and adjusting the
height of bathroom sinks and water
fountains. Seismic upgrades required
architects to bolt cabinets to the walls
and to stabilize buildings by installing
larger footings in the floor.
The electrical system also received
upgrades: Most rooms had only three
or fewer outlets, and plugging in multiple devices usually shorted the circuit.
Construction teams moved overhead
power lines underground because wires
District Administration



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration October 2017

District Administration October 2017 - Cover1
District Administration October 2017 - Cover2
District Administration October 2017 - 1
District Administration October 2017 - 2
District Administration October 2017 - 3
District Administration October 2017 - 4
District Administration October 2017 - 5
District Administration October 2017 - 6
District Administration October 2017 - 7
District Administration October 2017 - 8
District Administration October 2017 - 9
District Administration October 2017 - 10
District Administration October 2017 - 11
District Administration October 2017 - 12
District Administration October 2017 - 13
District Administration October 2017 - 14
District Administration October 2017 - 15
District Administration October 2017 - 16
District Administration October 2017 - 17
District Administration October 2017 - 18
District Administration October 2017 - 19
District Administration October 2017 - 20
District Administration October 2017 - 21
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District Administration October 2017 - 31
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District Administration October 2017 - 38
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District Administration October 2017 - 46
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District Administration October 2017 - 53
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District Administration October 2017 - Cover3
District Administration October 2017 - Cover4
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