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School Board May Meeting

Summary of reports and actions

The White Salmon Valley School District Board of Education held its monthly business last Wednesday, May 18, in the Columbia High School library. A quorum of Chairman Paul Mosbrucker and Directors Debby Bergstrom, Jeff Cooper, Kris Kreps and Tom Stevenson was present.

During the meeting, the board heard the following reports and made the following decisions.

Enrollment.

Dr. Jerry Lewis, superintendent of White Salmon Schools, presented the final enrollment count of the year. School district enrollment in May was 19 full-time equivalent students above the 2010-11 budget projection of 1,135.03 FTEs.

"We projected conservatively and we're going to do the same for next year, because it's insurance for our district," Lewis noted.

District Instruction and Learning.

Lewis reported that individual buildings will be presenting actions items that will address recommendations deemed necessary for continued improvements in instruction and learning in the district. He said the recommendations were the result of the collaborative work done by staff in their Professional Learning Community teams.

2011-12 District Budget Forecast.

With the Legislature still at work on a new state budget that will set funding levels for K-12 education, Lewis said no further decisions regarding the next school district budget can be made until concrete funding information is received from the Office of the Supt. of Public Instruciton.

County Road Improvement.

The school district's maintenance department has removed the rock art installation on the corner of Loop Road and Bruin Country Drive and placed it in storage until a new location can be determined. The installation was taken down at the request of the Klickitat County Road Department, which plans to build-in a right turn lane during this summer's reconstruction of Loop Road.

Administrative Internship.

Henkle Middle School teacher Jeff Lindstrom reported on his year-long experience as an administrative intern under Henkle Principal Rick George--an internship he undertook as he pursues his administrator's credential.

Lindstrom said the internship, spent working mainly with teachers and students in Henkle's 5/6 wing, provided him the opportunity to see "behind the scenes" into the daily workings of the school. He recommended the experience to other educators.

Pool and Performing Arts Center.

Mosbrucker informed the board that the Mt. Adams Park and Recreation District is moving forward with planning for a swimming pool and a performing arts center. He said the Park and Rec District continues to ask for school support, as per the resolution passed last year.

He noted the Park and Rec District does not expect a financial commitment from the school distirct, but is still interested in surplus school district land. He added that more information will be forthcoming to allow the board discuss what commitment the district is willing to make toward these endeavors.

Moreover, as a point of information, Mosbrucker said a meeting to discuss pool ideas is set for May 25 at noon, and a meeting for the performing arts centers is set for June 14, at 5 p.m. Both meetings will be held at the Klickitat County Pioneer Center.

Giant Campus.

Stevenson moved, Kreps seconded, that Lewis continue pursuing the renewal of a contract between Columbia Tech High School and online education provider Giant Campus.

The current contract expires June 30.

Giant Campus offers online technology classes as electives to high school students from all over Washington. Students who enroll in an online course become part-time students of Columbia Tech High during that period of the day.

"We think this is going to be the wave of the future, to provide educational opportunities to students that supplement what they are getting in their local schools," said a Giant Campus representative. "It's the best of both worlds because they get the classes they want online but stay enrolled and involved in their resident school district."

Noted Lewis, "We want to build a flagship program here."

Enrollment for the next school year looks promising for the Columbia Tech High-Giant Campus partnership. To date 283 students have enrolled in fall courses.

School Lunch Pricing.

On a motion by Stevenson, seconded by Kreps, the board approved a 40-cent increase in Whitson Elementary School's lunch price, raising the new price to $2.50, as per a mandate from the Office of Supt. of Public Instruction.

Resignations.

The board accepted the resignations of Sally Wells, sixth-grader teacher at Henkle, and Sara Campbell, agriculture/horticulture teacher for Columbia High's Career and Technical Education program.

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