Tonasket School Board still deciding on levy amount

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TONASKET – The school board was still deciding on the amount they will be trying to pass with the 2010 levy after their meeting on Monday, Nov. 23.

“I think the biggest thing is the state’s got no money and it’s going to get worse,” Paul Turner, superintendent, said. “When setting an amount, we need to decide on one that we can get community support on.”

Board Chair Catherine Stangland said the school board needs to know whether or not the district will be receiving Levy Equalization Act funds since those funds are in the 30 percent which the state is allowed to cut from districts.

“We may not know before we go to the taxpayers what the state’s going to do and we’re dedicated to being honest and transparent,” Stangland said.

Board Member Patti Baumgardner said the school board may have to present two scenarios to the voters: one which will include the LEA funds and one that will show what the district will need to cut if they do not receive LEA funds.

“We need to make sure we communicate the needs of the district to the community,” Lloyd Caton, chairperson, said.

Turner and Stangland stated the bottom line in regards to the levy are that the district needs to choose an amount they can get passed and that they need to do what’s best for the students.

Before the board meeting, the Tonasket High School drumline performed for the board. The drumline members are Shane Long, Damon Halvorsen, Stephen Hulse, Collier Brereton, Zach Villalva, Melody Wolen, Chevelle Yeckel, Kyle Williams, Bryson Hires and Keegan McCormick.

“They did an excellent job at the Veterans’ assembly and at the football games where they performed,” Turner told the group of students, who are instructed by Patti Middleton.

The board then heard the ASB report from senior April Webber, the ASB school board representative. Webber told the board that the junior class won the coin drive to raise funds for the United States Armed Forces Legacy Project and that the high school is now doing another coin drive to raise money for the food bank for the holidays. Webber said the first basketball games will be on Friday, Dec. 4 with the girls’ game beginning at 6 p.m. and the boys’ game beginning at 7:30 p.m. She said the first wrestling match will be on Thursday, Dec. 3 in Brewster.

Tonasket Middle School Principal Ed Morgan told the board the middle school will be having a chocolate selling fund raiser and that the annual food drive will begin in December around the fifth. He said 275 conferences were held recently and that the students had a lot of fun at the fall sports assembly at the end of October.

Jeff Cravy, Tonasket Elementary School principal said over 82 percent of the parent conferences were during conferences week and that a number of teachers had a 100 percent attendance at their conferences.

“Kathy Duchow again offered childcare for parent teacher conferences,” Cravy said. “This was the fifth year in a row. Liz Moore recommended high school students from her teaching academy class to help. On Wednesday we served 41 children from 22 families and on Thursday we served 54 children from 24 families. This has been a huge success and many thanks to Duchow for all of her hard work organizing this activity. The students who participated were Dakota Bogart, Bobby Salaza, Dakota Fry, Rhiannon Scarberry, Ryker Marchand, Maribella Alvarez, Guadalupe Alvarez, Isahura Ramos, Tonie Smith, Adrian Ramos, Michelle Carlson and Shea Smith. The students received a certificate as well as community service hours.”

Finally, the board approved the retirement of Birdie Garner after 31 years of working for the district as well as the hiring of Bobbie Jones as the John’s Landing bus route driver, Tim Cork as the seventh grade boys’ basketball coach, Gene Jones as the assistant junior varsity softball coach, Shane Spangler as the junior varsity bosy’ baseball coach and Dave Kirk as the high school c-squad basketball coach.

The next school board meeting will be on Monday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. The board will also have a work session on Monday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. and a consent agenda meeting on Thursday, Dec. 17 to approve the accounts payable for the month of December.