Opinion

Notes from Larry Nyland

by Dr. Larry Nyland

Superintendent

Marysville School District

SLC Selection Process Nears Completion for 2009-2010

Our 3,500 high school students now select from eight SLCs. SLCs have 400 students each (Pathways has 1,200) and focus on relationships, relevance and rigor. eighth-grade students recently selected SLCs for next year. Nearly

90 percent got their first choice. About

9 percent got their second choice. And 2 percent (16 students) got their third choice. Thanks to Cindy Erickson, Sherri Crenshaw and Corrine Deitman for observing the lottery process along with Gail Miller and Tracy Suchan Toothaker. Transfer students and Special Education students were also assigned through the lottery process.

Budget Work Continues

The Governor’s budget would require about $5 million in local cuts … about half of that in Basic Education and half in special programs. We think the Senate Budget could have a similar impact with more cuts on the basic education side. The House Budget seems to require nearly $7 million in local budget cuts. Jim Baker has worked with the budget committee to identify about $4.5 million in budget cuts to address the BEA cuts.

We had hoped to release the ABC priority listing on April 13, however the huge contrast between house and senate budgets may delay that process. The legislature is scheduled to complete their work by the end of April. That gives us only two weeks to determine the impact and notify any certificated/teaching staff before the May 15 deadline. We will be working with labor leaders and posting information on the staff forum as it comes available. This will be a difficult budget year across education, Washington, and the entire nation. We will do the best we can to balance those budget impacts and at the same time keep the focus on insuring the training and instructional materials needed to improve student learning.

Facilities Update

Getchell remains on track to open one year early … in the fall of 2010. Steel girders and concrete floors are going up. The buildings will start to take on their finished outside look over the next few months. The City of Marysville is bidding out the road improvements that will connect 88th near Cedarcrest with Ingraham Boulevard and 84th at the top of Getchell Hill.

Phasing in Athletics at

Marysville Getchell

So far, we are on schedule to open Getchell one year early in 2010. Getchell will then have 1,600 students. M-P will have 1,200. Slightly more athletes and coaches are scheduled to attend Getchell than M-P. The three options being considered are to start Getchell varsity athletics in … 2012 … 2011 … or 2010.

Tours

John Bingham, Capital Projects Director, hosted a group of citizens from the Citizens Planning Committee on a tour of M-PHS, Cascade and Liberty schools. The group learned where the newer, and older, portions of M-P and got to see the condition of our oldest elementary schools.

School Closures

The board has postponed school closure decisions until June of 2010. That gives time to look at budget and enrollment information over the next year. While not preferred, school closures save about $400,000 per year in operating costs.

Energy Upgrades. The Maintenance Department continues to improve energy conservation by doing

lighting upgrades in many gym facilities. Sites have included Cedarcrest, Kellogg Marsh, Quil Ceda,

Marshall, Allen Creek, Pinewood, Shoultes and Sunnyside. Total savings year to date are $112,088 and over

$55,000 in rebates from Snohomish County PUD with an annual savings of $21,000 from our electrical bills.

The lighting was also replaced in the bus garage and exterior bus parking lot lights for improved safety.

– Keith Stefanson, Maintenance Manager

School Board at Work: The Marysville School Board recently:

o Met with Tulalip Tribes about how we can better work together for the success of Native students.

o Held a retreat session to plan more community involvement in the evaluation of the board.

o Approved the graduation dates for 2010: A & T, June 12 @ 2:00 PM; Heritage, June 12 @ 6:00 PM, MP

Campus, June 15 @ 2:00 PM, and MMVHS, June 16 @ 7:00 PM.

Partnerships with the City of Marysville. The district opens our facilities to the Marysville Police who

schedule several practice routines in schools to orient officers to campus layouts in the event of an

emergency. The City of Marysville recently doubled their SRO presence in our schools. The City and the

district recently participated in a disaster simulation to insure good communications and cooperation in the

event a real emergency.

District Fundraising. Not surprisingly we have seen an increase in those asking the district to

participate in fund raising. As one of the largest employers in our community we do want to be a good

neighbor and partner. We also want to protect employees from overly frequent requests for money. Our past

practice regarding district wide fund raising seems to include the following:

o Fall: United Way

o Christmas: Food Bank / Operation Marysville Christmas

o Winter: Marysville Foundation

o Spring: Walk for the Cure

These seem to benefit Marysville students, families and community; have a reputation for wise spending and

minimal overhead; use fund raising approaches that honor and respect staff; and enjoy broad support from

staff. Does this seem like about the right number and mix of organizations we as a district might support?

More work to be done in this area.

Student Leadership. The M-P campus leadership program comprised of student ASB/ Council members

was recognized as one of the top five leadership programs in the state of Washington. Congratulations!

A & T Robotics Team Places 2nd in State. Congratulations to the A & T Robotics Team (Pengbots)

for their hard work and effort to make it to the final rounds in the state competition. In the fourth match the

team had the highest score in the competition but was foiled by a hit to the electrical system that made

steering difficult. The team took second place winning – and a silver medal – in the 64 school competition.

event involved 64 schools. Congratulations to the Pengbots and their coach, Katherine Jordan! – Terri

Kaltenbach, A&T Principal. Michael Kundu, Board President adds, “Please share my praise for the students,

and tell them we are all (entire board) proud of them. Competitions like these are one good way of

encouraging our kids to pursue the STEM fields.”

Everett Symphony Support. The Everett Symphony is providing musical instruments and instruction

for a strings program at our own Tulalip Elementary and Hawthorne Elementary in Everett. The goal is to

begin an extended day strings program that will enhance the students’ education and have a long term impact

on their lives and well-being. Thanks to Ron Friesen, the instructor, the Everett Symphony and Barry

Manilow (yes, that Barry Manilow) for their support. We are most appreciative of the donation of this

program for Tulalip Elementary. – Kyle Kinoshita, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning

M-P Hi Q-Team. Hi-Q Team from Pathways, beat out strong competition from Stanwood and Arlington to

win the Hi-Q finals in March. Hi-Q is the oldest continuous academic quiz competition for high school

students in the nation. Hi-Q is sponsored locally by Fred Meyer and Everett Community College (which

runs the matches). Questions are based on 14 high school courses, including chemistry, geography, history,

math, and Shakespeare. Hi-Q team advisors are Jeff Riechel and Allison Welch coach team members:

Michael Doronio, Nate Verge, Zach Henderson, and Danny Ekdahl. Congratulations to the team and the

advisors!

Elks Lodge Awards.

o Fifth grade Liberty Elementary student Litzahaya Macias took first place in Washington State and will

compete at the national level in the lodge’s Americanism Essay Contest. Litzahaya read her essay, and

was recognized, at the board meeting on April 6th.

o Pathways’ student, Colleen Mack, placed second in the local lodge’s Most Valuable Student Contest and

will advance to compete for state honors and scholarships.

o The Elks Lodge also made a recent donation of new books to Tulalip Elementary School.

A&T Senior Presentations. Sherri Crenshaw, board director, recently visited A&T to assist in judging

students’ senior projects. Sherri shared with teacher Trishka Dargis: “Thank you very much for allowing me

the opportunity to judge your students’ senior presentations. The experience was tremendously eye-opening.

It was truly wonderful to see such talented and inquisitive students present their informative projects.

Thanks for all that you and your fellow A&T teachers have done to nurture and instruct our students.”

Washington Scholar. Nicholas Forsythe, senior in the Bio-Med Academy has been chosen as a

Washington State Scholar by the Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB). Nick and his

parents have been invited by the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP) and the HECB to

celebrate Washington Scholars Day in Olympia later in May. Congratulations, Nick!

GAC Awards. The General Advisory Council for Career and Technical Education awards two students per

quarter the “student of the Quarter” award. Third quarter winners include two students from Bio-Med: Katie

Miller and Nick Forsythe. Students were honored with a certificate, pin, and an engraved plate on the plaque

at the monthly advisory council luncheon. – Peni Nickell-Mathis, CTE Secretary

Snuggle Up and Read. Quil Ceda Elementary hosted a “Snuggle Up and Read “ night. Author Bonny

Beckler read “A Visitor for Bear” and students had a chance to ask the author about how she creates

children’s books. To show students how far she has come as a writer, she shared with them her first “book”

which was a school essay. School Librarian Randi Krumm shared “her visit enhances children’s reading and

writing experiences when they see who’s behind the stories they enjoy. Anything they can learn about the

process makes it more meaningful”.

Middle School Advisor of the Year. Congratulations to Tammy Caldwell who has been chosen as the

Washington State Middle Level Advisor of the Year by the Association of Washington School Principals.

She will honored at the Washington Activities Coordinator Association conference next week.

Congratulations Tammy, on this well-deserved award! - Pete Lundberg, Principal

Heritage Student Featured. Demitri Robinson, a sophomore at Heritage High School, is to be featured

on KANU-TV 99 on a special report titled Demetri Robinson, A Tulalip Wrestler’s Journey. The one-half

hour program documents his winning performance at the Washington State Mat Classic XXI Wresting

Tournament at the Tacoma Dome. The program includes footage of Demetri getting ready for the matches,

short interviews, and recaps of the four matches he competed in during the two-day event in February. The

program tells a story of determination – Demetri overcame an initial loss to come back and prove that he is

one of the best wrestlers in Washington State. “I just can’t say it enough, I’m so proud of him” says

wrestling coach Tony Hatch. “He is doing great things”. Demetri’s story was recently told in the See Yaht

Sub paper.

Resiliency in Tough Times

We are doing good work and we are accomplishing much as we work to build a strong future for our

students. Our culture of continued improvement and growing greatness can and must be sustained.

Although our gains may be slowed by the budget cuts, we owe it to our students to renew our efforts.

We are blessed with a strong staff, caring teachers, administration, and support staff. We have an important

job to do – providing powerful teaching and learning for every school… every classroom…every

student…every day. We can and will meet this challenge. In the words of my friend, Barbara Viniar, “It is

learning, individually and collectively, which makes us strong, gives us hope, and carries us forward.”

“The more learning, the more life.” – Pirkei Avot

“Character is what you do when no one is looking.”

“Life is difficult, pray hard.”

“Tough times don’t last. Resilient people do.”

For a complete copy of Notes From Larry, go to www.msvl.k12.wa.us.

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