Edmonds School Board honors food service staff; gives green light for construction projects

Edmonds School DistrictDuring Tuesday night’s meeting, the Edmonds School District Board honored food service staff members Barb Lloyd, Sara Conroy, Jill Harrison, Susan Schulz and Margo Phelps for meeting the requirements of the National School Lunch Program and the goals of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act.

“Auditors said the reviews were as close to perfect as humanly possible. There were no errors found whatsoever,” said Stewart Mhyre, the District’s Executive Director of Business and Operations. “This is truly outstanding.”

Mhyre also noted that the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) reviewed the lunch programs at various schools within the district, and they all met the USDA-recommended guidelines. For most districts that are the size of the Edmonds School District, OSPI takes a week to review lunch programs. But since there were no errors in Edmonds, it only took the auditors three days.

“We want to honor you not only for this glowing report, but also for what you do for us all year round,” School Board Member Diana White said.

Mhyre also gave his monthly business and operations report, including the four individuals responsible for the ASB budget at the district’s high schools. The board had asked at a previous meeting about the collective $1 million of ASB funds between the four high schools and all of the elementary schools that seems to never get spent.

Board members learned that in the cases of the high schools, the ASB budget is not large enough, or is barely large enough, to accommodate upcoming projects, such as improving sound systems for the auditoriums or stadiums.

As Board Member Ann McMurray put it, the ASB budget is like a pool of water with a river flowing through it. That pool is always there, but it is never the same water. The board just wanted to check that the pool is an appropriate size for the inflow and outflow of money.

Additionally, according to the guest speakers responsible for the ASB budget, the total ASB budget includes funds that clubs may have raised for a club activity, such as a trip or a pizza party, and this money is strictly used for the club’s purposes.

Following the update, the board unanimously approved nine items:

– Adoption of the elementary school music curriculum.

– A decision to petition the OSPI to increase the transportation vehicle fund from $1 million to $2 million, and to then transfer the additional $1 million from the general fund to the transportation vehicle fund, provided there is a successful petition to the OSPI. This will allow the school district to purchase more buses during this school year.

– The preliminary budget of $1 million to replace Lynndale Elementary School. “It’s so exciting to get the ball rolling with this,” McMurray said.

– The preliminary budget for additional portable classroom space at eight elementary schools.

– Preliminary projects and budgets for the expansions of Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace and Spruce Elementary Schools and a new maintenance and transportation facility.

– Funding to provide musical instruments to be used in conjunction with the new elementary school music curriculum.

Board members acknowledged that providing musical instruments, as well as moving forward with the construction projects, are possible because of the levy and bond measures that were passed by voters two weeks ago.

“I’m so glad we’re getting instruments for elementary music,” McMurray said during board member comments. “If you want your child to get to a certain level, you have to start early and instruments are expensive. Up until now it has been the parents, and I’m thankful that now it’s us, the district.”

“Thank you for allowing us to do this much-needed construction,” board member Gary Noble added, referring to voters who approved the bond measure. “It’s great to finally be improving some decrepit schools in our district.”

Also during board member comments, Diana White, who works closely with the Nick of Time Foundation, reported that 555 students received heart screenings at Meadowdale High School on Feb. 12. Eight were referred for additional medical attention.

“We got one email from a parent who found out her child had a heart defect, so it’s just a testament that these tests do save lives,” she said.

Following the passage of many budget items, Superintendent Nick Brossoit gave another nod to the Edmonds school district voters.

“We are just so thankful to our community,” he said.

– By Natalie Covate

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