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Students feel safe, want to be challenged

Enumclaw students, parents and staff continue to feel welcome and safe at schools, they believe the Enumclaw School District staff is prepared, competent and caring and all consider communication an important part of overall expectations.

Students note they are encouraged to do well and balance their lives between activities and scholastics.

On the flip side, the group as a whole would like to see more technology in the classroom, particular technology students can use. Students said they’d like to be challenged more in those classrooms. For their part, secondary staff would like texts and curriculum to meet individual needs and diversity of students. Going hand-in-hand with communication, all would like to see the technology support systems, SWIFT and Family Access, bumped up.

“The value of what people want has stayed consistent,” Human Resources Director Kathleen Lockyer told the Enumclaw School Board during its Jan. 18 meeting as she presented the results of the district’s latest Climate Survey. She said in most cases, those who participated provided thoughtful and perceptive responses.

Students, parents, staff and community members were invited to participate in the online survey in November. Lockyer said this year’s participation numbers were a bit lower than in 2009, likely due to the three days school was canceled due to snow. Those days fell during the survey window.

The district reports 293 high school students participated in the 2010-11 survey, down 896 from 2009-10. Students generally take the survey as part of class and this year those classes were canceled. Eight more staff, 259 versus 251, took the survey, while parent/community numbers were down – 285 participated in November, while 409 got on board in 2009-10.

Superintendent Mike Nelson said the annual survey provide everyone with a voice.

“Are we hearing from our students? Are we hearing from our parents? Are we hearing from our community?” Nelson asked. “This gives us a way to do that.”

A summary of the results is available on the district website at www.enumclaw.wednet.edu.

In other business, the board:

• was updated by Nelson on the governor’s proposed budget and what toll it will take on the district.

Nelson and Business and Operations Director Tim Madden said the district could lose $400,000 in money dedicated to keeping kindergarten through fourth-grade classroom size small.

Another $261,000 could be lost in local effort assistance. The loss of $39,000 would eliminate the highly capable program. National Board Teachers’ stipends would go away, resulting in a loss of $175,000. There would also be no pay increases based on experience or education, no cost of living increases for staff, no return of I-728 funds and a change in the school bus depreciation schedule.

Nelson is also projecting enrollment to fall again, a pattern the district has witnessed for more than a decade.

“We’re hoping to adjust to stay healthy this year,” Madden said. “It’s very disheartening. We’re in a stable position in the short term to absorb some of this.”

“Short term is really one time only,” Nelson said.

• swore in Tamarah Knapp Hancock as its latest director.

• hired Mark Berryhill as an agriculture mechanics teacher at Enumclaw High School.

• accepted the retirement of Westwood Elementary School teacher Roberta Morrison, EHS teacher Susan Stedham, EHS librarian Martha Blodgett and Black Diamond Elementary School teacher Laura Perkins.

• rehired Madden for the 2011-12 academic year.

• granted a half-time leave request for Enumclaw Middle School teacher Tara Kaelin.

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