Washington School Board Discusses Budget, Facility Needs - The Missourian: News

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Washington School Board Discusses Budget, Facility Needs

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Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 2:00 pm | Updated: 7:16 pm, Sat Jun 22, 2013.

Washington School Board members looked at budget projections and discussed facility needs at a workshop last week.

Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer said the district’s main goals are to attract and retain a quality staff by offering a competitive pay schedule, while providing a 21st century learning environment with adquate classroom space and technology for students and staff.

“There will have to be some restructuring due to Prop I (bond issue) not passing in April,” VanLeer said. “But we have maintained healthy reserves and with the previous cuts we made, we are in position to meet some of our goals. What it will look like exactly, I’m not sure yet.”

The 2012-13 budget will be approved in June.

VanLeer said the board discussed leasing moduluar trailers for some schools next year and possibly shifting classrooms from one building to another.

“Having a preschool at Clearview Elementary looks unlikely for next year and the preschool class at Washington West will be moving into one of the modular trailers already on that campus,” she said. “We are continuing to hold meetings with principals on how other programs can be moved to alleviate space issues.”

The district’s Challenge program, currently located at Washington West, also may have to be relocated to another building next year.

Home track meets also seem unlikely next year, the superintendent said, due to condition of the track and a lack of money to fix it adequately.

“We have discussed a possible increase of gate fees at sporting events,” she said.

Technology

Technology needs remain a big priority and a big concern, VanLeer said, due to costs with getting wireless infrastructure in place, equipment purchased and finding adequate space for it.

“How we get there still has to be decided,” she said. “We will continue our discussions at the next board meeting.”

VanLeer said technology has to be upgraded because new state assessments being phased in will require students taking tests online and on tablets.

“We currently don’t have the infrastructure in place to support our technology needs,” she said. “We are going to be looking at piloting some technology, such as iPads or some other tablet, at specific schools hopefuly next year.”

The superintendent pointed out that none of the elementary schools have wireless infrastructure and some don’t even have computer labs.

“This requires money and will require us to reorganize the budget,” she said.

Additionally, VanLeer plans to form another focus group in the fall which will be charged with improving student achievement in the digital age. This group will be part of the Washington Way project started last year which includes focus groups for student achievement and facilities.

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