The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

School board hears alternative learning, okays staff raises


August 31, 2017

The Wahkiakum School District board of directors heard a report on the alternative learning program, approved golf course rental agreement, and, after going into executive session, new contracts with raises for employees.

Here's how Superintendent Bob Garrett explained the raises:

"The state gave a 2.3 percent increase to all employees. The district added another 2.7 percent to classified staff, giving them a 5 percent increase. There were a couple of instances where a few classified employees received a larger “bump.”

"Teachers received just the 2.3 percent increase plus any movement on the salary schedule resulted from additional experience and/or additional education. Teachers also received an additional 7.5 supplemental days for one-year only (the 2017-18 school year.)

"Coaches received higher percentage increases because they had not received an increase over the last three years. So in essence they are receiving 4 percent for each year, or 12 percent total."

Wahkiakum High School Principal Stephanie Leitz described the Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) program which provides off campus instruction with flexibility to serve "all types of students."

Students work with a staff member to establish a student learning plan.

"The learning activities need to match what we offer here," Leitz said.

The staff supervisor meets with the students on a regular basis to review progress.

The school probably averages 7-10 students in the program each year. At times, the ALE students come to the school for specialty classes such as art or robotics.

Director Dan Wilson queried the board and administration on the feasibility of paying a fee for the golf team's use of Skyline Golf Course.

The team has used the course for years free of charge, he said. He said he had surveyed other courses and fees they charge school teams; fees range from $500 to $1,300.

Directors agreed the district should pay to use the course.

"One thousand dollars wouldn't be out of line," said Director Paula Culbertson.

"If the course can't be maintained, obviously, we won't have a team," Garrett commented.

Directors agreed. "One thousand dollars is cheap," said Director Sue O'Connor, "compared to other programs."

"You could accept a proposal from the owners," Garrett said. "They can just submit an invoice."

Wilson said he would pass the word to the owners.

Nikki Reese, new principal for the elementary and middle schools, said she is feeling more and more at home with each day on the job.

The school will hold their open house/meet the teacher night tonight (Thursday), 6 p.m. for the elementary school and 6:30 p.m. for the middle school.

In other business, the board accepted resignations from para-professional Roberta Reichert and bus driver Erla Crouse, and vocational arts teacher Kyle Hurley resigned from his middle school boys basketball job.


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