Notes from Larry ...

Budget cuts larger than normal next year — Washington’s reliance on the sales tax means that economic slow downs cut revenue dramatically. For the first time in 30 years the state has cut school budgets mid year. The impact on this year is small, however the proposed impacts for next year are large. Typically we cut about $1 million per year to keep up with competitive salaries, cost of living and state funding reductions. The impact for next year is likely to be three times as great, or more.

School board appreciation month — January is School Board Appreciation Month. School Board members Michael Kundu, Sherri Crenshaw, Cindy Erickson, Don Hatch and Darci Becker were honored at the Jan. 20 board meeting. Board members meet nearly every Monday night, read incredible amounts of material, go to many school and community events, and meet in retreat sessions several times each year to set and review district goals/progress. Michael Kundu was recently elected as board president for the coming year. Cindy Erickson was recognized for her service as president during the previous year.

Progress on Getchell High School — Getchell High School was promised for 2011; however the district continues to work toward earlier occupancy … hopefully sometime in late 2010. Utilities, site work, foundations and paving were completed on schedule before winter break. Concrete towers that house elevator shafts and utilities are now rising three stories out of the ground. Prefabricated steel will arrive near the end of January. By late winter the buildings will begin taking shape.

Loss of a Teacher and a Friend to Many — As many of you may have heard, Mona Early passed away peacefully on Saturday, Dec. 20, at home with her family by her side. While in Marysville, Mona taught at Heritage, MAHS, Cedarcrest and M-P. Her lasting legacy is that she made many friends at each of her schools as well as touched many students’ lives.

Pre-planning for Obama School Construction — The economic stimulus plan being considered nationally may have funding for school projects which can be “shovel ready” in six months. Our advanced work on Cascade and Liberty means that we could meet that deadline. We own those plans and have already done engineering work to know that the Grove plan will fit on each of those sites. Potential projects include: Cascade, Liberty, M-P and something at the middle level. The Citizen’s Planning Committee, now meeting twice each month, is asked to bring a recommendation to the board by June 30.

End of school moves to June 16 — The school year was scheduled to end on June 11 (Thursday). Due to the loss of three snow days just before the Christmas break, the school year will now end on June 16 (Tuesday). And we’ll hope that we have no more missed school days for weather.

Thank you to our cold weather crews — Thank you to bus drivers who drive in bad weather. To Joe Legare who drives roads at 2 a.m. to keep students safe. To mechanics who keep the buses running in cold weather and help chain them up when needed. To custodial crews that come early even on snowy days to fire boilers and do what they can to clean walkways. To maintenance crews that attend to broken pipes, flooding roofs, heating issues to keep us operational. To principals and secretaries who come early to attend to phone calls (“If we are two hours late, when will the bus come?”) and insure that students are safely taken care of. And to each and every one of you that get up early, watch the news, and make plans to get here in inclement weather.

To view the complete Notes from Larry, visit the district’s Web site at www.msvl.k12.wa.us.

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