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

School board hears initial presentation for bond, levy


October 26, 2017

Kirk Pawlowski, from the ESD 112 Construction Services Group attended the Wahkiakum School District Board of Directors meeting and gave a presentation on what Superintendent Bob Garrett described as a preliminary discussion on a topic related to a bond measure for either a remodel or a new high school and an explanation of the services the group provides. Pawlowski is an architect and the third director of the CSG.

According to Pawlowski, the first director had realized that small school districts didn’t have people who were professionals in technical matters, experts in finance, and construction and design. The group works with approximately 90 school districts around the state.

“We are very small and selective about who we get to work with,” Pawlowski said. “We would love to work with Wahkiakum School District.”

“There’s planning activities, and there is managing the bond if it passes,” he said. “They are two very different things, but they need to come together. If you do good planning at the front end, if you build a good foundation, you are going to have a good future.”

Afterwards, the board moved on to other business.

The board approved two STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs, one of which was new, and would allow students to participate in virtual internships.

“It’s a really neat model,” Principal Stephanie Leitz said. “It’s problem based learning that is set up in the classroom. They interview students and find students that are a good match for their company. They present students with a work based problem that they have to solve and present back. Most of the internship takes place in the classroom, but they do an on site visit to the facility once or twice.”

The program will cost the district $938 for the year.

“This is not an expensive program, but it’s an opportunity to get our kids matched up with some employers,” Superintendent Bob Garrett said. “If we don’t have enough employers here, why not a virtual internship?”

The board also approved the purchase of a new bus with automatic chains for approximately $136,000. The bus will not arrive until next spring.

Unfortunately it does not solve the district’s need for bus drivers.

“We have six routes,” Garrett said. “Some days we have two or three extracurriculars going on the same day. We’re really in desperate need of bus drivers.”

Principal Nikki Reese issued an invitation to the PTO Harvest Fest, family fun activities in the Multi-purpose room at JA Wendt from 4-6 on Friday before the football game. Most activities are free, and there will be snacks.

Leitz said that the school had received two more grants, a $19,000 Jobs for Washington Grads, which will go toward the CTE (Career Technical Education) program, and the Gear Up grant was renewed for another seven years.

Garrett reported that Terry Bonny had been named the Washington Traffic Safety Education Association’s Teacher of the Year.

He gave an update on the enrichment levy, which used to be called the maintenance and operations levy. He recommended that they still run a four year levy, as they have done in the past. Much depends on how the legislature intends to fix the McCleary decision, so much is still up in the air. Garrett hoped to know more at the next meeting.


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