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

School board covers budget, other issues


The Wahkiakum School District Board of Directors discussed curriculum, Chromebook policies, and held a budget extension hearing before taking action on several items at their June meeting on, July 21.

After the budget extension hearing, the board approved a budget extension to the general fund in the amount of $460,000. The extension increased the general fund from $6,687,949 to $7,147,949.

“I felt like there was a very good chance that we would be going over the budget amount approved when we set the original budget amounts for the 17-18 general fund,” Bob Garrett said at his final school board meeting as acting superintendent. “It sounds pretty high, but you remember when we set the budget last year, we didn’t know that we would be giving staff the tri-days that we ended up giving them. And as we had 35-38 more students, there was additional revenue and there were additional expenditures required to make sure we are supplying the kids all the things that they need to have. We’re doing a phone system at the grade school, and those expenses are even higher than we anticipated.”

“It doesn’t mean we’re going to spend all that money,” he said. “It just means we have the capacity to do so.”

Principal Nikki Reese requested that a new K-5 English Arts curriculum be adopted a year sooner than it was scheduled to be done, because it had been 10 years since the students had gotten new material.

The board agreed.

Talk turned to Chromebook policies and procedures, including the importance of making sure every student had access, vandalism and discipline, the number of repairs and types of repairs, thefts, use of loaners during repairs, and costs to replace and repair the devices.

“I think screen breakage is a bit excessive and could be worked on,” Principal Stephanie Leitz said. “We could teach them different techniques to prevent that.”

“Next year’s seniors will be the first class to have them all four years,” she said as a matter of interest.

Students beginning with the class of 2019 have a new science credit requirement. Two of their three credits have to be lab sciences. Wahkiakum offers several options, including physical science, natural resources, biology, fisheries, environmental science, robotics, and more. The board approved the list of courses.

Reese reported that there were currently 41 students signed up for kindergarten next year.

The board also approved the district’s involvement in a feasibility study with districts in Cowlitz and southern Lewis counties for a skill center in the region.

After an executive session, the board approved the 2018-2019 contracts for both principals.

In other news, the board accepted resignations from Jeff Rooklidge as the high school assistant volleyball coach, and Tina Merz’s resignation as the middle school volleyball coach. Merz will take over the position vacated by Rooklidge. They also accepted a resignation from Sarah Lawrence, who worked as a para-educator.

The board is expected to meet for an executive retreat on July 10 after meeting with legislators Dean Takko, Brian Blake, and Jim Walsh regarding school funding at 11 a.m. that day in the high school library. The public is welcome to attend the meeting at 11 a.m.

The July school board meeting has been changed to Thursday, July 26 at 5:30 p.m.


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