Board hired new legal counsel, received updates on genderless restroom design plans, more.

In the first meeting after winter break, the West Linn-Wilsonville School Board addressed a hefty agenda.

While the big-ticket item on the agenda was the reopening of schools for in-person learning, a proposal that passed 5-0, the board also discussed the hiring of a new law firm and genderless restroom designs.

District hires new law firm

The school board approved the resolution to hire the law firm of Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP to provide general legal counsel to the district.

Naomi Haslitt, an attorney at the law firm, will be the primary point of contact for the district.

Haslitt told the board she looks forward to the opportunity.

The search for new legal counsel was brought on by the retirement of the district's former counsel, Peter Mersereau, from Mersereau Shannon LLP.

District receives 'Grade A' audit

Chief Financial Officer Son Le Hughes introduced the financial auditor Jeremy Gingerich to present the audit report to the board. The district's auditor, Wilcox Arredondo & Co, gave the district a clean audit. State law requires an annual audit of the district's financial standing.

Gingerich said they didn't find anything that stood out as problematic.

"In school district terms it's a 'Grade A' good job," Gingerich said.

He recommended the district add a second review to the claims reimbursement process for federal grants before they get sent off to the Oregon Department of Education.

Update provided on gender-neutral bathrooms

Bond Program Manager Remo Douglas brought new information on designs for gender-neutral bathrooms to the board.

The district held a community listening session on the topic last November. The bond team visited health classes at the middle and high school levels to hear students' concerns and feedback. They also took feedback from the high schools' Gay-Straight Alliance clubs.

Douglas said the feedback they heard was that students want the option of gender-neutral and traditional restrooms in all facilities.

He said the challenge is meeting the request of having a variety of restroom options within the existing footprint of a building under renovation.

He said the goal was to ensure there are enough single-stall gender-neutral restrooms in each facility so that students can easily access them in between classes.

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