School board looks ahead to 2021
January 21, 2021
On Tuesday, the Wahkiakum School District Board of Directors got an update on the budget, some of the superintendent’s thoughts about ways to fund renovations at the high school, and plans to return more students to a more regular schedule next week.
Following a brief discussion about who might attend a Washington State School Directors’ Association’s legislative conference in February, Business Manager Shelby Garrett gave an update.
“The general fund balance is a little lower than last month, but we are still in good shape,” Garrett said. “Next month you’ll see the changes in apportionment we’re going to receive because of decreased enrollment. I’ll do a comparison of what we were getting September through December to what we will be getting January through August.”
There are currently 474 students enrolled at WSD, with 465.35 at full time equivalency.
Garrett also said that the school had received $14,700 which was dispersed by OSPI for technology, and will help pay for 20 chrome books, and 20 laptops.
“That was CARES Act funding,” Superintendent Brent Freeman clarified.
“We know that there is another CARES Act funding coming through,” Freeman added. “We’ll get a little more money than we did the first time, and we will have a little more expanded usage. I’m starting to think about how we want to use that for HVAC systems and those types of things.”
Freeman is continuing to brainstorm ways to fund renovations and repairs needed around the 60 year old campus. He said that Weatherguard had been taking advantage of the nice weather to patch four or five roof holes on Tuesday.
There is a change coming to the schedule next Monday, with the new semester. Since school started in the fall, students attending in person have been following a hybrid schedule with some cohorts on campus Monday/Wednesday, and others on Tuesday/Thursday.
On Monday, the school is ready to try bringing kindergarten through seventh grade students, and 75 percent of the high school back to school four days week, with Friday remaining a remote day.
They can’t make it work for the eighth grade class right now, Freeman said. There isn’t enough space or teachers. In the meantime, they have added another position, a certificated substitute teacher, which will likely cost the district another $25,000.
“It’s a small price to pay to get all of our kids to finish the year out in person,” Freeman said.
They are hoping to bring the remaining high school students and the eighth graders back later this year.
Freeman acknowledge the number of covid-19 cases in the county, but said, “we have taken logical, well thought out, well planned steps to bring as many kids as are positive we can maintain control over…”