Marysville’s RAP center shows its ‘muscle’, builds strength for fall start

MARYSVILLE – Just a few weeks ago, the Marysville School District’s Regional Apprentice Pathway program looked a little weak.

But that changed Monday as more than a dozen local leaders and trades industry representatives came to a school board meeting to show their support.

“It’s the community muscle,” said Donnetta Oremus, Career and Technical Education director.

The “muscle” included trade union representatives, leaders of various cities in north Snohomish County, county leaders and Everett Community College.

“This is just a tiny, little piece of it,” Oremus said of the community support. “This is where we need to take our students.”

Lori Knudson, executive director of K-12 schools, added, “There’s been a lot of amazing work on the RAP center” the past few weeks.

The district now knows it will cost $500,000 to fix the building the program wants to use. Estimates had been as high as $1.2 million.

As to where the money will come from, the state has allotted $750,000 for operating costs for each of the next two years. Apparently the repair money can come from that. The county also will kick in $200,000 and if two classes of 25 sign up that would be another $250,000 from the state for enrollment.

Arlington and Marysville each expect to have about 10 students at the fall start, Darrington has one, and Stanwood, Granite Falls, Lake Stevens and Sultan are now being asked if they would have any students interested.

“We’re taking our dog and pony show on the road” trying to get interest, Oremus said, adding she has her “rose-tinted glasses on” about filling all the spots.

County Councilman Nate Nehring predicted north county districts will be fighting over open RAP spots in the future.

Oremus said even if there aren’t 50 students the state legislature is committed to making sure the pilot project is a success.

In September, classes would start in two vacated agriculture classrooms near the RAP building. Students would move there after it’s fixed in October.

Basically, RAP is an advanced program in the trades where students can receive college credentials and get fast-tracked to an apprenticeship. It goes beyond what Sno-Isle in Mukilteo and Marysville Getchell’s Academy of Construction and Engineering can offer.

Oremus, a former Sno-Isle director, said RAP is not competing against that school. Along with being more advanced, it’s tied to Everett Community College and trades apprenticeship programs. And it’s more for north county students.

“We’re not saying it’s a better pathway,” said Pete Lundberg, school board president.

“It costs a lot of money to provide redundancy,” director Chris Nation added.

The local trades industry is interested because there are a lack of trained professionals in those fields now, and in a few years the need will be only greater as Baby Boomers retire.

One person in the group said the average age of an apprentice in Mount Vernon is 28. He said many high schoolers bounce around for years before figuring out what they want to do. RAP can get students on a productive pathway in high school. Another said if students know learning certain material will help them get a high-paying job they will be more engaged.

Still another said if young people don’t learn the trades, demand will be so high in the future that costs for work will skyrocket.

“It’ll cost a lot of money in the future,” Lundberg said.

The board and school administrators seemed a lot more upbeat about RAP than they were a few weeks ago when so much was still unknown.

“This can change the landscape for our district,” Oremus said.

Community committees

Scott Beebe, assistant superintendent, then talked about enrollment, which has been dropping drastically for a number of years.

Housing starts are key to growing enrollment, and the Marysville market is just starting to recover from the recession a decade ago in that area.

He said some students were choosing to go to Lake Stevens, but they are no longer taking Marysville kids because they are too full. Lakewood, however, still is, as is Arlington.

Another issue is parents are staying in their homes locally after their children leave, meaning fewer school-age kids per household. Enrollment is one of the issues a community committee will be looking at when discussing boundaries for MG and M-P. Beebe said when school starts the committee will meet twice a month with the goal of making a decision by the end of the year.

“The biggest mistake would be to rush it and create a mess,” Lundberg said.

Regarding the equity committee, Beebe said they are starting with race, but will also look at gender, economics, ethnicity, and even equity in opportunity and outcome.

It was mentioned that Edmonds took three years to make a policy on equity, and now uses it as a filter in every decision it makes.

“It’s good to go slow,” director Vanessa Edwards said.

Beebe said those committee members are looking at what others have done on equity. It was mentioned that bits and pieces of other policies can be used to come up with one just right for Marysville.

“It’s not one size fits all,” Nation said.

More in News

Inslee: Stay home for 2 weeks

By Jerry Cornfield and Zachariah Bryan The Herald OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay… Continue reading

Fences have been put up around Marysville playgrounds to keep kids off. (Steve Powell/Staff Photos)
Marysville leaders concerned as (almost) everything’s closing

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe.com MARYSVILLE – Within hours of Gov. Jay Inslee’s… Continue reading

Briefly

Beware of coronavirus scams SEATTLE – U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran is… Continue reading

Jennifer Thompson, left, and her father Ron Thompson secure a new remembrance plaque to the Oso slide site gate on Sunday, near Oso. Ron Thompson handcrafts a new plaque for the gate every year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Community remembers Oso slide victims, survivors

By Ben Watanabe The Herald OSO — The power of remembering the… Continue reading

People gather to pick up special allergy meals before leaving Lakewood High School on Wednesday in Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Districts taking meals to students since schools are closed

By Stephanie Davey The Herald LAKEWOOD — Children wearing pajamas stood outside… Continue reading

Jon Nehring
Letter about coronavirus from Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring

This is an edited version of a letter Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring… Continue reading

DOUGLAS BUell/Staff Photos
                                Lead cook Keina Gowins with Presidents Elementary hands out free grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches to students and parents outside the school Wednesday. Presidents and AHS serve as central kitchen sites for preparing meals, which starting next week will expand to 12 delivery sites from Silvana to Oso. Right, Arlington Food Bank executive director Carla Gastineau and Mike Simpson, food bank board president and owner of Arlington Grocery Outlet, partnered with the district with their Meals Til Monday program, and gave a woman a box of donated food while at Presidents.
Arlington students won’t go hungry during the COVID-19 school closures

ARLINGTON – Arlington schools are closed through April 24 to help fight… Continue reading

Scott Beebe hands out Chromebooks to people in their cars. (Steve Powell/Staff Photos)
Marysville parents anxious to pick up school materials for kids

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe.com MARYSVILLE – A few days ago Marysville schools… Continue reading

Jon Nehring
Marysville leaders’ trip to D.C. productive

MARYSVILLE – City leaders recently obtained advice on how to get more… Continue reading

Crews will blow garbage into the street and sweep it up over the next few weeks. The city is asking people to move their cars, trash cans and recycle bins when they come around to help them do a thorough job. (Courtesy Photo)
Marysville shuffles workers due to virus, seeks public’s help for sweepers next week

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe. MARYSVILLE – From working from home to teleconferencing… Continue reading

Arlington closed until April 24 amid COVID-19 outbreak: what’s next?

ARLINGTON – When Arlington public school leaders met for a special meeting… Continue reading