White River considers sale of downtown Buckley property

No one spoke for, or against, the White River School District’s plans to get an appraisal for its downtown Buckley Educational Service Center and perhaps put it on the real estate market.

As part of its regular meeting May 13, the White River School Board hosted a public hearing regarding the potential sale of the building, formerly the city’s post office, at 146 S. Cedar St. The building currently houses the school district’s online learning program that will move to White River Middle School.

Superintendent Tom Lockyer told the board the district will go through the appraisal process, but with the current economic state of the real estate market, may choose not to sell the building at this time.

“I think it would be poor to taxpayers to sell it just to sell it,” Lockyer said.

Money from the sale of the building would go to the district’s capital projects fund.

In other business, the board:

• increased a variety of athletic user fees, some class and fees and facility user fees. The fee increases range from a White River High School football user fee that increased from $85 to $100, and includes a $15 helmet reconditioning fee, to a $75 increase for renters of the high school theater.

• announced there will be no school Monday due to Memorial Day.

• set its next special meeting for May 27 and next regular meeting for June 10, both at 6 p.m. in the district board conference room.

• received its final White River High School Associated Student Body report from outgoing president Brandon Skyles, who reported Katie Jo Clinkingbeard would be his replacement for the 2009-10 school year. He said she will have to continue working on the school’s perception issues with its own students and the community. His vision for 2010 would be to make school mean something to each student. ASB also plans to present its remastered constitution to the board at its next meeting.

• heard from Elk Ridge Elementary School Principal Christi Ellenwood, teachers and students. The students demonstrated work from their classroom in the areas of math and language, while staff updated the board on intervention programs. “Our staff is most proud of student learning and progress students have made,” Ellenwood said.

• approved a telecommunications policy regarding personal electronic devices.

• approve out-of-state travel for White River High School special education curriculum leader Pamela Stern to attend LANGUAGE! Training in El Paso, Texas, and in Yuma, Ariz.

• was updated on the district’s Response to Intervention program by Mike Jacobsen, assessment and curriculum director.

• sponsored a public hearing on Initiative 728 money. Should the district receive the anticipated $544,000 from the state, leaders would use the bulk of it for teacher training and professional development. The voter-approved initiative is earmarked for specific areas and is expected to be heavily reduced this year. In the past, the district has received $2 million in I-728 funds.

• approved the surplus of seven outdated buses, technology equipment, textbooks and food service equipment.

• heard information about potential changes in the 2009-10 student calendar which could push spring break back to the first full week in April and move the last day of school to June 11.

• approved requests for leave from teachers Teri Fleming, Tam Jewwell, Kimberly Ludwig and Jennifer Smith, custodian Heather Gillespie and technology paraeducator Betsy Schultz.

• accepted retirement from teacher Linda Schmitke.

• terminated bus driver Wanda Zumwalt.

• accepted resignations from bus driver Elizabeth Campbell, instructional paraeducator Alicia Garvin and teacher Julie Miller.

• hired long-term substitute building technology paraeducator Leeanne Needham, bus driver Robert Howard Pine, school psychologist Sandra Riano, program support specialist (2008-09 school year only) Elmira Sines and longterm substitute custodian James Whitlatch.

Reach Brenda Sexton at or 360-802-8206.

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