School board approves historic designation of Pioneer Center, discusses student discipline policy

Center to become first public building listed on Pullman Register of Historic Places; discipline policy to emphasize due process, learning options for students



The board agreed to prepare a resolution indicating written owner consent of Pioneer Center’s historic designation.

MELINA ERNST, Evergreen reporter

Pullman Public Schools board members unanimously approved the historic designation of Pioneer Center during a meeting Wednesday evening.  

The center will be the first school district-owned and public building listed on the Pullman Register of Historic Places, said board member Allison Munch-Rotolo. 

Approximately 15 properties are on the register, Munch-Rotolo said. College Hill’s brick-paved streets are one of two public properties listed on the register, she said. 

The center, located at the previous location of Franklin Elementary School, 240 SE Dexter St., currently houses the school district’s administrative office, according to a Daily Evergreen article

The board agreed to prepare a resolution indicating written owner consent of Pioneer Center’s historic designation.

Munch-Rotolo suggested the board prepare a solution authorizing the superintendent to sign on behalf of the school district. Doing so would expedite the center’s nomination for historic designation and prevent any administrative delays. 

The board also discussed the removal of Policy 3200 Student Rights and Responsibilities.

Assistant Superintendent Roberta Kramer said Policy 3241 Student Discipline will replace the existing policy. Policy 3241 incorporates revised content from Policy 3200. The district started working on the policy transition in 2018, Kramer said. 

“It’s really the whole shift from a punitive system of discipline to a restorative and learning system of discipline,” she said. 

Policy 3241 emphasizes family and student engagement, due process and continued learning options for students impacted by classroom exclusion, suspension or expulsion, Kramer said. 

“In the past, we didn’t continue that instructional component,” she said. “[The new policy] is much healthier for us as a system.” 

The policy emphasizes the importance of pursuing other behavior management strategies before resorting to student exclusion, suspension or expulsion, according to the policy document presented at the meeting. 

The board also discussed the district’s contract with US Foods, which is up for renewal for the 2021-2022 academic school year. 

Superintendent Bob Maxwell said the district benefits from an agreement with Spokane School District No. 81. The agreement allows Pullman Public Schools to receive the same food prices negotiated by Spokane School District.

If the contract is renewed, US Foods will remain the primary vendor for groceries, bread and produce, Maxwell said. 

“This will still allow us to buy locally,” he said. “This gives us more flexibility to purchasing foods at a good price.”