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School Board April Meeting

Summary of reports and actions

The White Salmon Valley School District's Board of Education held its monthly business meeting on April 20 in the Whitson Elementary School library. A quorum of Chairman Paul Mosbrucker and Directors Debby Bergstrom, Jeff Cooper and Kris Kreps was present.

During the meeting, the board heard the following reports and took action on the following agenda items.

Enrollment.

The April 2011 count revealed district-wide enrollment stands at 1310 full-time equivalent students (FTEs) over the district's September 2010 budget guideline. Enrollment in April increased by 1.55 students for an FTE total of 1,129.

District Instruction and Learning.

District staff conducted its fourth facilitated Professional Learning Community training session in April.

"The facilitator's trainings have been a valuable component of moving our PLC efforts forward this school year, and in supportng our building teams in the collaboration process for improving teaching and learning," Supt. Jerry Lewis told the board.

2011-12 Budget Forecast.

The administration projects the district will lose about $200,000 in state K-4 and special education funding. Dr. Lewis noted, however, that reserves, along with the shifting of programs, should sustain the district. He added that no reduction in force is expected.

Through budget savings of nearly $232,000, Lewis said the district "would counteract the loss of funds from the state and still retain all current programs."

Should the need arise, however, the board of directors could meet in special session the second week of May "if further unexpected cuts were to come from the state," Lewis said.

County Road Improvement and Art Work.

A contractor for the Klickitat County Road Dept. will begin construction on Loop Road in June. At that time the donated art work in front of Henkle Middle School will have to be partially moved to make way for the proposed right-turn lane entering Bruin Country Road.

Lewis asked the board for suggestions and/or recommendations for the relocation of the art work. The board tabled further discussion until its May 18 meeting.

Irrigation Water.

As part of an ongoing effort to save the district money, Director Kris Kreps reported he has been researching water rights laws and current well uses for irrigating athletic fields. The district now has access to two wells that serve CHS and the Transportation Center.

Because further research is warranted, the board recommended the district get bids from professionals for information and requirements to expand water rights and possible well uses.

Insitu Lease.

A three-year amendment to the Park Center lease has been received from Insitu, which proposes to pay $194,484 per year in rental. Included in the agreement will be a $65,000 credit on improvements, such as painting of the Park Center exterior, carpeting of the downstairs entry and installation of fire alarms. The $65,000 will be reduced over the length of the amendment to reflect payment to the district of $14,401 monthly. The board approved the amendment and authorized Dr. Lewis to sign the agreement.

Ski Helmet Safety.

Last month Director Jeff Cooper expressed concern over the lack of helmet safety during school-sponsored ski trips. Dr. Lewis followed up with Educational Service District 112's risk managers and presented their recommendations "to stress helmet use, inform parents and students of dangers and liabilities, require parental signatures acknowledging this notification, and require parent-signed waivers for students refusing to comply."

Taking these steps, said Lewis, "will protect both students and the district." The board concurred with the recommendations.

Whitson Breezeway.

Cooper moved and Debby Bergstrom seconded to accept the construction bid for placement of a breezeway at Whitson Elementary School, with the understandings that construction would be done during the summer and that payment would be issued from the 2011-12 budget in September. Motion carried.

Employment.

On a motion by Kreps, seconded by Bergstrom, the board approved the hiring of Kevin Liddiard as CHS After-school Math Teacher and Omar Sankari as CHS After-school Language Arts Teacher. Both positions are being funded by a Klickitat County At-Risk Grant.

Kreps also moved, with a second from Bergstrom, the district hired Brad Martin to fill the separate positions of CHS Physical Education Teacher and CHS Head Football Coach.

Leave Request.

The board granted Henkle Para-professional Justin Cole a two-month unpaid leave of absence.

Next Meeting.

The board will hold its next business meeting on Wednesday, May 18, in the Columbia High School library, starting at 7 p.m.

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