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School Board Feb. 16 Meeting

Summary of Reports & Actions

The White Salmon Valley School Board of Directors held its February business meeting on the 16th in the Columbia High School library. A quorum of Chairman Paul Mosbrucker and directors Debby Bergstrom, Tom Stevenson, Kris Kreps and Jeff Cooper was present.

During the meeting the board heard the following reports and took the following actions.

Enrollment.

District enrollment as of Feb. 1 stood at 1,133.53 full-time equivalent students (FTEs), an increase of 6.8 FTEs from January and 17.58 FTEs ahead of the beginning-year projection of 1,116.

Moreover, enrollment in Giant Campus's Columbia Tech High continues to grow; in the past week the program enrolled another 102 part-time students.

District Instruction and Learning.

Supt. Jerry Lewis reported the district had a successful launch of its new instructional framework on Feb. 2. He said facilitator Sandy Austin helped the administrative team and teacher advisers "gain a deeper understanding of how the framework can support our teaching and learning work, and the steps required for successful implementation." He added, "The staff feedback from the district-wide training was positive."

Since that session, the administrative team has developed a plan that focuses on one of the components of the instructional framework involving student engagement.

"Our district-wide Professional Learning Communities will be given a variety of resources as they determine, for supporting their teaching and learning," Lewis noted. "In May, district staff will come back together to share what we have learned and work on next steps."

As an aside, the administrative team met with the White Salmon Valley Education Foundation board to discuss the district's funding priorities for the 2011-12 school year. Priorities discussed included district-wide teacher professional development, curriculum planning and assessment.

State Budget Update.

Lewis informed the board that school district are still awaiting final decisions from the Legislature regarding funding cuts in this year's and next year's budgets. Versions of the state supplemental budget have been introduced by Gov. Chris Gregoire and the House and Senate budget committees.

"The area of greatest concern for our district involves cuts to our K-4 funding formula," Lewis explained. "Also, the district will experience reductions in our Special Education funding next school year."

In any event, he said the district will be required to prepare for a worst-case scenario; if programs or staff must be reduced, those reductions must be approved before May 15.

Columbia High Award.

Lewis announced that Columbia High School had received a letter from Supt. of Public Instruction Randy Dorn and the State Board of Education informing CHS of its selection as a 2010 Washington Achievement Award recipient.

Columbia High was one of 186 schools to receive an achievement award. CHS's was for Overall Excellence.

Awards will be presented on April 27 at Lincoln High School in Tacoma. Lewis and CHS principal Troy Whittle will represent the district.

Jewett Sports Complex.

Rebecka Cooper, representing White Salmon Community Youth, submitted a letter asking the district's permission to use the name Jewett in new signs being donated to and purchased for the Center Street/Aeolus Field area. Research of Klickitat County records showed the property was donated to the district by the Jewett family in Jennie Jewett's name. School board members concurred the Jewett Sports Complex name would be appropriate.

Employment.

The board accepted the resignation of Steve Larsen as Henkle Middle School head track and field coach, and approved the hiring of Christopher Cramer as head coach of Columbia High's boys soccer program.

In addition, Michael Hannigan, social studies and science teacher, will be returning for the 2011-12 school year. He is on a one-year leave of absence.

Next Meeting.

The school board will hold its March business meeting on March 16 at Henkle Middle School, starting at 7 p.m.

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