Mule hoof prints will soon decorate the road to Wahkiakum High School thanks to student Cody Hauff’s senior project.
Hauff plans to paint hoof prints from the school access road’s junction with State Route 4 up to the high school’s front door. Hancock Timber and Home Depot have donated the materials needed for the project.
Wahkiakum School District board members voiced their support for Hauff’s proposal at their October 23 meeting.
Board members also heard from a student leadership group working to curb bullying and harassment in Wahkiakum schools.
Four students from Wahkiakum High School (WHS) and one student from Naselle High School attended a prevention conference over the summer. They returned with plans to make a change in their schools.
A 2010 student survey showed both schools had bullying levels that surpassed national averages. Students cited lack of enforcement and lack of consequences as two root causes.
“Students are fearful of reporting bullying instances because they figure they will be further victimized if they report it,” said WHS student Brook Calvert.
The student group plans to organize anti-bullying assemblies at both schools, get WHS graphics class students to create anti-bullying posters, and provide feedback about current disciplinary policies. They would like to start a senior-freshman mentoring program for the next school year.
WHS student Marissa Washington thanked school administrators and teachers for increasing efforts to monitor the halls between classes and after school in order to deter bullying.
Board members thanked the students for their leadership.
By consensus, the board agreed that they did not support Initiative 1240, a ballot measure that would allow public charter schools in Washington.
The vast majority of school boards in the state are already on the record as opposed to the initiative, said Board Chair Lee Tischer.
One concern is that money that normally goes to fund public schools would be redirected to charter schools, said Superintendent Bob Garrett. “Charter schools have been on Washington’s ballots three times in the past without success,” he said.
In partnership with United Way, WHS has launched a program to award varsity letters to students that complete a minimum of 145 hours of community service, said high school principal Stephanie Leitz.
Elementary / Middle School Principal Theresa Libby said she and Leitz had attended a meeting October 16 about the accreditation process. The district has submitted the application to begin the assessment process.
District enrollment grew to 411.90 full time students in October, said Garrett. He reminded the board that the district’s budget was based on the projected enrollment of 432, meaning that the district will need to use money from reserves to balance the budget.
During an executive session, the board approved collective bargaining agreements with teachers, support staff, and coaches.