Edmonds School Board Report: first reading of technology and capital improvement levy

By Florine Gingerich

Edmonds School Board members at their meeting last week heard a first reading of the $31.4 million Technology and Capital Improvement Replacement Levy scheduled to go before voters in February 2012. The school board had discussed the proposal extensively at a meeting in June. If approved by voters, the measure would become effective in 2013-2016.

Under the proposal, the amount raised would be the same as that raised under the current capital levy, approved by voters in 2008. The allocation would be changed compared to the current levy, with $2 million now going to technology instead allocated for capital improvements. This will permit faster roof replacement, a priority identified by the Citizen Planning Committee.

The board approved an agreement under which the Public Health District No. 2 will provide over $300,000 per year over the next three years for a before- and after-school program designed to expose students to games and activities consistent with lifetime fitness. At any one time, 600 district students will be enrolled in the nine-week program and participate in activities such as running, walking, tennis, dancing and biking.

The school district and public health district, whose boundaries are almost the same, hope that the program will increase fitness and reduce obesity. The district will measure outcomes so that the program can be modified if needed.

Also at the meeting:

– Assistant Superintendent Ken Limon introduced the board to new administrators, including elementary and middle school principals and a high school assistant principal.

-Debby Carter, executive director for human resources, and Brian Furby, Citizen Planning Committee Chair, asked board members to consider attending both the initial meeting of the committee, to show board support, but to also attend other meetings, perhaps on a rotating. Carter and Furby also sought input from the board about the committee’s work this year on English Language Learning, which has been expanded to include more schools this year. Board Member Gary Noble said he hopes for a before-and-after picture of the program, comparing last year to this in such areas as how many ELL classes are taught and how successful such classes are in preparing ELL students for mainstream classes. Susan Phillips suggested that the committee’s analysis should include how the program might change in the future if this population continues to grow, and Susan Paine said she would like  information about optimal class size.

Florine Gingerich

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 fgingerich@purcelladams.com.







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