Eighth-grader Seairra Rice comes from a family of wrestlers, but she’s the first girl in her family to participate in the sport. “She wanted to show the boys she could do what they could do,” said her dad, Chris Rice, who watched his daughter during a recent wrestling practice at Spokane’s Chase Middle School. “She took a lot of flak from the girls at first for doing it, but she pushed through.” Read more
Spokane School District Resolution No. 2011-20
About this measure
This is a proposed three-year property tax levy.
Voters in District 81 are being asked to approve an excess levy of $4.46 per $1,000 of assessed property value, which would raise an estimated $217.5 million annually for maintenance and operations beginning in 2013 to supplement the district’s state funding.
The school district’s current levy of $3.94 per $1,000 of assessed property value is expiring.
If approved by voters, the owner of a $150,000 home, for example would pay $669 per year.
A copy of the Spokane School Board’s resolution authorizing this levy request can be found here.
Information about the levy compiled by District 81 can be found here.
Spokane Public Schools District 81
Spokane Public Schools’ board agreed Wednesday to ask voters in February to consider paying more taxes in a levy to compensate for potential state cuts to K-12 education. The region’s largest district is not alone. Read more
Britain Webb has been homeless twice while attending University High School. Domestic violence forced the 17-year-old’s mother and siblings out of their Spokane Valley apartment the first time, Webb said. The second time, their house burned down. Through all his turmoil, school has been a constant. “Going to school is a very big part of life in general,” Webb said. “That’s how you get through it. … Being at school was pretty much the highlight of my day.” Read more
School buses could become scarce in parts of Washington as the state grapples with budget shortfalls. Among the list of cuts Gov. Chris Gregoire is considering: State funds to help transport students to and from school could be eliminated. Although not one of Gregoire’s preferred cuts, it would save $220 million and is on her list of ideas to deal with a $2 billion budget shortfall. Read more
Gonzaga Prep recently inducted new members into its Hall of Fame. The 2011 Hall of Fame inductees include: John Stockton, Gonzaga Prep graduate, class of 1980. Stockton made All-Greater Spokane League in basketball as a senior at G-Prep and attended Gonzaga University. He was drafted by the Utah Jazz in his senior year and remained on the team for 19 seasons. His honors include All-NBA First Team, 1994 and 1995; All-NBA Second Team, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993 and 1996; All-NBA Third Team 1991, 1997 and 1999; NBA All-Defensive Second Team, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1995 and 1997; 10-time NBA All-Star; Olympic gold medalist, 1992 and 1996; and One of 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, 1996. Read more
Campaign contributions for elected offices in state, county and city governments are limited to a maximum of $1,600. But smaller political races, such as school board, fire commissioner, park board and water district commissioner, have no limits. Washington voters in 1992 overwhelmingly approved restrictions on donations to legislative candidates and the law was expanded last year to include all county, city council and mayoral candidates. Read more
The Spokane Education Association, the union for more than 3,000 Spokane Public Schools employees, placed ads featuring local candidate endorsements in a publication distributed in the district’s elementary schools – a violation of state law and district policy. In September’s issue of the Kids News, the union’s monthly ad had an explanation of why the union endorses candidates and listed the union’s choices for school board and Spokane City Council. In October, the same space displayed the three endorsed candidates’ answers to three questions. Read more
Despite failing nearly every class since the sixth grade, Tyler Thompson is now a freshman at a Sandpoint high school. When his mother questioned school administrators in two North Idaho school districts about why they were continuing to send her son on to the next grade level every year, she remembers their explanations focused on his size and age – he’s 15 years old, 6-foot-5 and built like a linebacker. Read more
Students in the Spokane Public Schools District need to turn in their free or reduced-price meal applications by Monday. Beginning Tuesday, students who were on the meal program during the 2010-’11 school year, but have not turned in their applications will be changed to a paid meal status. Families in the district that have not reapplied for the meal program have been notified of the deadline. Read more
Since the Spokane School Board decided to relocate Jefferson Elementary as part of a school bond-funded remodeling project, opponents of that decision have campaigned tirelessly to stop the move. Recently, the Hart Field Preservation Organization filed a lawsuit against Spokane Public Schools saying that moving Jefferson onto part of Hart Field violates that property’s deed, and that the proceeds from the school bond may be used to modernize, replace or renovate the existing Jefferson Elementary, but not to move it to a new location. Read more
Spencer Enquist knows working in Shadle Park High School’s student-run espresso shop could give him an edge over other applicants at Starbucks. At Bagpipers Bistro, the 17-year-old has learned the importance of customer service; how to operate a computerized cash register and handle money; how to work an espresso machine and make coffee drinks; and the necessity of cleanliness. Read more
Whitman Elementary Principal Bev Lund was recognized for her excellent communication skills and creativity when she was recently named the Dick Stannard Distinguished Elementary Principal of the Year. The award was named for a Spokane Public Schools’ principal who died in 1996. According to a press release from Spokane Public Schools, the special recognition honors principals who show purposeful leadership, excel at instructional leadership and resource development and possess exemplary interpersonal skills. Read more
Students and teachers at Hillyard’s On-Track Academy have taken learning to the next level. For the past year, students have researched sustainable gardens and put together plans for how to build and grow one. The plans were approved by Spokane Public Schools; now the permanent garden is a reality. Read more
Megan Elliott is an experienced elementary school teacher, but she wasn’t prepared for an overcrowded kindergarten class. “We are just actually getting to the point where we can function,” said Elliot, who has 29 children in her class at Spokane’s Whitman Elementary School. “It will be easier when the class is smaller.” Read more
Head back to Rydell High School with the T-Birds and the Pink Ladies in “Grease,” when Saint George’s School puts on its first production of the school year on Friday and Saturday in the school’s Founders Theater. The summer lovin’ and greased lightning begins at 7 p.m. on both nights. The audience will be doing the hand jive and singing along with the Saint George’s cast that includes Justin Heftel, as Danny Zuko; Hailey Hyde, as Sandy Dombrowski; Jacob Kwasman, as Kenickie; Zoe McMahon, as Betty Rizzo; Alaina Jacobsen, as Marty; Hannah Kwasman, as Jan; Morgan Cambareri, as Frenchy; Nate Graham, as Roger; Jacob Withers, as Doody; Amara Becker, as Patty; John Hatheway, as Eugene and the Teen Angel; Drew Doughty, as Cha Cha; and Kira Renfro, as Miss Lynch. Read more
School is back in session and for parents that means getting their kids to class on time. But, each Thursday, beginning today in the Spokane Public Schools District, students will head to school 30 minutes later, due to teacher collaboration. Every Thursday, buses will run 30 minutes later than their regular pick-up time. Read more
Nutrition directors in Spokane Public Schools, Mead and Coeur d’Alene school districts have worked hard in recent years to make breakfast and lunch options better for students. Pizza, for example, is one of the most popular choices for elementary school lunches; to make it healthier nutritionists use whole wheat or whole-grain crust and low-fat mozzarella. That’s why school nutritionists here feel like they’re prepared for new National School Lunch Program guidelines that go into effect early next year. The program will closely follow new federal nutrition guidelines, which suggest people eat more fruits and vegetables, eat 50 percent more whole grains and switch to fat-free or 1 percent milk. Read more
Students attending Rogers High School might be groaning a little louder than other Spokane teens about the fast-approaching school year. That’s because they start earlier than any other high school in the region’s largest district. Additionally, each school day has been extended by 30 minutes. Read more
A notice of determination of nonsignificance, which has to be filed under the State Environmental Policy Act for new construction, was posted recently on the site where a new Jefferson Elementary School will be constructed. The deadline for comments or an appeal to be submitted to the school district is Wednesday. Read more
As students in the Spokane Public Schools district head back to school in the next couple of weeks, many will begin the new school year with a new principal or assistant principal. Among the changes are new principals at North Central and Shadle Park high schools. Chris Lynch, formerly the principal at Shaw Middle School, will lead NC. Eric Sylling, an assistant principal last year in the Sunnyside School District, is the new Shadle Park principal. Read more
The percentage of students taking remedial math classes at Spokane Community College and Spokane Falls Community College is an eye-popping statistic. Of the 2009-’10 graduates from Spokane Public Schools who were admitted to the community colleges, 86.8 percent required remedial math after taking placement tests. For Central Valley School District students it was 92.4 percent, and for Mead School District students, 81.1 percent. Read more
Spokane Public Schools adopted its 2011-’12 budget Wednesday, but reaching the finish line was a challenge, as district officials tried to offset a $13.1 million shortfall. “We certainly have experience reducing our budget,” said Mark Anderson, associate superintendent. But this has been the “toughest budget year, next to the year we had to close an elementary school.” Read more
Spokane Public Schools adopted its 2011-12 budget Wednesday, but reaching the finish line was a challenge as district officials tried to offset a $13.1 million shortfall. Read more
Just two weeks away from adoption of Spokane Public Schools’ 2011-’12 budget, dozens of instructional assistants’ jobs remain on the chopping block. The district administration has balanced the budget and plugged the $13 million hole, and on Wednesday recommended bringing back up to 40 of the 59 positions – all of which are designated to the classrooms of children with mild learning disabilities. The state gave the district $500,000 more than anticipated for special education. Read more
Five Spokane residents want the chance for a voice on Spokane Public Schools’ board of directors. The candidates’ platforms range from one or two issues, such as math curriculum, to a broader view of holding the administration accountable for overall student achievement. Read more
Staci Vesneske, Spokane Public Schools’ assistant superintendent of human resources, is leaving to take a job in a Las Vegas school district. Read more
Dong Phung, a student at St. Aloysius Catholic School, was recently honored for his artistic talent and was chosen as the grand prize winner in the Catholic Campaign for Human Development’s annual multimedia Youth Arts Contest. In his seventh-grade art class this spring, Phung created a color pencil artwork that depicted four biblical scenes in modern settings, with a narrative written in Vietnamese and translated by the Rev. Jo Hien, pastor at St. Anthony’s Parish and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Phung’s piece was chosen from among 20 entries. Read more
Spokane Public Schools officials agreed to a 2011-’12 preliminary budget Wednesday that does not increase any class sizes, but there’s still work to be done. About $1 million remains to be cut to bridge the $13.1 million deficit. Read more
Spokane Public Schools seventh- and eighth-graders living in low-income families may be eligible for a College Bound Scholarship, on the condition that the students sign a pledge to graduate from high school. The pledge must signed by next Thursday. According to a district press release, students must make good on their promise, demonstrate good citizenship and seek admission to a college or university. Their family income will be rechecked and college admission will be confirmed after the student graduates from high school. Read more
Spokane Public Schools’ officials agreed to a 2011-12 preliminary budget Wednesday that does not increase any class sizes, but there’s still work to be done. About $1 million remains to be cut to bridge the $13.1 million deficit. Read more
Nutrition is vital to sustain a child’s growth and learning, and for some children school is the only place where they can get a balanced meal. The summer meals program – created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the ’80s – is intended to bridge the vacation gap. The federally funded program is already under way in North Idaho, and it kicks off Monday at more than 30 sites in the Spokane area. Central Valley’s meal site opens June 27. Read more
Spokane Public Schools principals have agreed to a voluntary 3 percent pay cut, a move that will help the school district offset a $13.1 million budget shortfall. Additionally, the remaining 85 teachers who received layoff notices last month will be recalled, thanks in part to staff retirements and a new plan to maintain existing class sizes in middle school as well as at the elementary level, district spokeswoman Terren Roloff said. Read more
Adams Elementary Cathy Hawley, teacher, 17 years of service Read more
Garfield Elementary School, Spokane Public Schools’ APPLE program and the city of Spokane’s Water Stewardship program are helping the city save water. On Tuesday, Mayor Mary Verner recognized the students for their water conservation efforts, after the kids and staff upgraded the faucets at the school with automatic faucets that turn off when not in use. Read more
Spokane Public Schools recalled 100 teachers Monday after the school board decided to not increase class size in the elementary grades. Of the 238 employees who received pink slips in early May, 85 remain on the recall list, said Staci Vesneske, assistant superintendent. Fifty-three counselors were called back last month. Read more