By Florine Gingerich
National Board certification, the highest credential in the teaching profession, follows successful completion of a rigorous, performance-based assessment that typically takes more than a year. This process requires teachers to demonstrate how their activities, both inside and outside of the classroom, improve student achievement. State law provides for a $5,000-per-year bonus for a teacher whose certification remains in effect, although the governor’s proposed 2011-2013 budget would suspend those payments.
In the only piece of new business, the Board approved the 36th annual Rotary House construction contract with the Lynnwood Rotary Community Foundation. As part of their vocational classwork, students will frame and landscape the house, and this year, Edmonds-Woodway students designed the home. The consent agenda included acquisition of furniture and musical instruments for the new Meadowdale Middle School, which is nearing completion.
Dr. Ellen Kahan, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Schools, reported on efforts to address the inability of Cedar Valley Elementary School, over the course of several years, to meet the yearly student progress goals imposed by the Federal “No Child Left Behind” law. Students already have the option of transferring to another school or obtaining tutoring.
At the end of this school year, if WASL tests at the school do not show progress, the school will move to a new NCLB status and the district will face one of three options: changing the principal and some or all of the staff; turning the school over to outside operation; or other significant restructuring. The principal and staff of the school, with the district administration, is working to institute pilot projects that might include more collaborative teaching methods, focus on individual student learning, and more time spent in math and literacy instruction.
Marla Miller presented the business and operations report. She first introduced representatives of the Lynnwood Parks and Recreation department, which has received a grant for a program designed to encourage kids at Lynnwood Elementary to walk or bike to school. In addition to improvements on 48th Avenue West between 180th and 183th Avenue Southwest, the city will provide bicycle safety information and enhanced law enforcement.
The cause of the burst water pipes at Lynnwood High School isn’t yet known, Miller said, but five classrooms have been repaired and are back in use. Reconstruction of the remaining three, where the pipes actually burst, is proceeding.
Financial reports that Miller presented highlighted impacts of the State’s 2010-2011 supplemental budget, adopted in December, and a preliminary report on possible effects on the district of the 2011-2012 state budget. As expected, the supplemental levy funds approved by the voters should be adequate to replace the shortfall in state funds for the remainder of this school year. Unknowns for next year’s district budget include salary levels, which by contract are based in part on compensation in certain neighboring districts, as well as the state revenue forecast and the budget actually approved by the legislature.
At the conclusion of the meeting, in their individual comments, Board members expressed sorrow for the loss of GayLynne Ullerich, a teacher at Madrona K-8 who died in a car crash Jan. 15. Several were also grateful to the voters for approval of the supplemental levy, which is enabling the district to weather the financial storm without painful cuts. Finally, the members thanked Student Adviser Jazzmine Eisen of Lynnwood High School for her service.
My Edmonds New school board contributor Florine Gingerich has a son who attended Edmonds public schools, where she volunteered in roles ranging from pouring juice in kindergarten at Madrona K-8 to serving as president of the Edmonds-Woodway Music Boosters. With her husband, Doug Purcell, she practices law at Purcell & Adams, PLLC, a South County firm emphasizing business law, real estate and estate planning. Visit them at purcelladams.com, or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.