Washington School District

Washington School District

The Washington School Board will hold a workshop next Tuesday to review its facilities plan and budget, among other topics.

“We’ll be looking at projections for next year, discussing our staff needs and reviewing the salary schedule to see how we can stay competitive, along with revisiting our capital project needs in light of Prop I not passing in the April election,” said Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer.

District voters rejected a $65 million bond issue for new construction, renovation and technology improvements.

The bond issue, which included a 46-cent property tax increase, would have allowed the district to build a new elementary school, middle school and early childhood center, as well as renovate another building for an alternative education site, and make technology improvements districtwide.

VanLeer said none of the needs are going away and as early as next school year, modular trailers may have to be leased for some schools due to space needs.

At other sites, art and music classes will no longer have dedicated classrooms, programming may be reduced and technology upgrades will be postponed.

Officials also plan to conduct a boundary study, examine all building uses and grade configurations, and research consolidation options going forward.

Next Tuesday’s board workshop will be held from 5 to about 8 p.m. at the Locust Street administration building.

VanLeer said curriculum changes and technological infrastructure for the future also will be discussed.

“We have a lot on our plate right now and that’s why I felt we needed a workshop,” VanLeer told The Missourian. “I will talk to the board about some possible options for next year with reorganizing and moving things around to deal with our space and programming needs.”

For example, VanLeer said the need for classroom space at specific schools will be discussed and options to be explored could be moving one grade level from one building into another one that has space.

“No decision has been made on doing something like that, we’re just going to talk about all of our options,” she added.

VanLeer said possible cuts also will be discussed.

“It won’t be a comprehensive list, but it will be a start. This discussion will continue into the regular board meeting scheduled for May 30,” she said.

Citizens Groups

The following night after the board workshop, VanLeer will reconvene two citizens groups to re-evaluate space needs and long-range plans for the district.

VanLeer said the facilities focus group, along with members of the Citizens for Great Schools Committee, which promoted passage of the bond issue, as well as new recruits, will meet Wednesday, May 16.

“They will break down the election, re-evaluate the long-range plan and discuss steps going forward,” she said.

Anyone interested in joining the citizens committee is asked to call the district office, 239-231-2006.

“We welcome everyone and appreciate any and all feedback,” VanLeer said.