u 2012 Special Election 2012

West Valley School District Resolution No. 11-20

About this measure

Three-year M&O levy amount: $23,520,000

Cost per $1,000 assessed value now: $4.29

Estimated new rate: $4.69

Jurisdiction

West Valley School District

Related coverage

West Valley students to do ‘Nothing’

The West Valley High School drama department is presenting “Much Ado About Nothing,” by William Shakespeare today, tomorrow and Saturday. The play is at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5 in advance or $8 at the door. Read more

SVHS’s Mary Collins named state’s classified employee of year

When Mary Collins, 64, decided to return to work when her son was back in school, she found a job working at what was then Spokane Valley Alternative High School in 1984. Twenty-eight years later, Collins has been named the 2012 Washington State Classified School Employee of the Year. Read more

Sementi stepping up

He’s been a pipefitter, an electrician, a firefighter and a teacher. Now Gene Sementi, 53, will be the next superintendent of West Valley Schools. Sementi grew up just outside of Pittsburgh. When he was a junior in high school, his father moved the family to Kennewick to take a job at Hanford Nuclear Reservation. When the younger Sementi graduated from high school, he worked there as well, working with the pipefitters. Read more

Always work in progress

Polly Crowley, 65, almost didn’t work in education at all. She went to college thinking she would become something much different. “Actually, for a while I thought I was going to be a dietitian,” she said. “I was thinking I might go that direction just because it sounded cool to do a residency in a hospital and do some of the things they do to get that training.” Read more

West Valley’s Crowley to resign in June

West Valley Superintendent Polly Crowley announced Wednesday that she will retire. “What a pleasure and honor it has been to serve our children and our community,” Crowley said in a statement during the regular school board meeting. “I have the deepest admiration and respect for your willingness to take risks, for your continual hope, creativity and excitement to make magic happen in our schools. My words cannot begin to convey my thankfulness for your influence on my learning and my life’s journey.” Read more

Education takes flight for teen with autism

For a child with autism, stepping into a new environment can be terrifying. For one Spokane Valley girl, West Valley’s Outdoor Learning Center has helped her step out of her shell and share what she has learned there with others. Ava McLeod started volunteering at the West Valley Outdoor Learning Center last summer. Read more

Board approves purchase of buses for West Valley

The West Valley School Board approved the purchase of six new buses during its meeting Wednesday. The district received a $700,000 loan through Banner Bank to purchase the buses and will use funds it receives from the state for depreciation of its current fleet to repay that loan. Read more

Marchers with a message

Students at Orchard Center Elementary School in the West Valley School District learned a lesson in civil rights this week to commemorate the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. Friday’s assembly included a skit by the leadership students. Read more

Students get musical holiday send-off

The last day of school before the holidays is always exciting for students. At Centennial Middle School in the West Valley School District last week, not only did they get a fun concert, but they were reminded that they did something to help children in need this Christmas. Read more

West Valley’s truancy board a model program

Bored with his West Valley High School classes, Harrison Calligan thought skipping school with friends might be more challenging. The teen figured out how to block the school’s numbers from his home phone so his mother couldn’t be alerted to his absence, and after lunch he’d leave school. Read more

Home away from homelessness

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

Foreseeing good signs

It was April 20, 1999, when two gunmen, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, opened fire on their classmates at Columbine High School in Colorado. The two gunmen killed 12 students and a teacher and injured 27 others before killing themselves. Read more

Enrollment increases in most Valley districts

Continuous Curriculum School in the East Valley School District has seen a 69 percent enrollment jump this year, most notably because students now have a whole building to attend classes, rather than just half. At the end of last year, the district closed Skyview Elementary School which occupied one half of the building. This year, the Continuous Curriculum School was able to open enrollment to more students and Executive Director of Operations Brian Wallace said the district budgeted for about 375 students at the K-8 school. Read more

Murals depict life at, around – and after – SVHS

Students at Spokane Valley High School, 2011 N. Hutchinson Road, in the West Valley School District, were treated to a surprise in their common room when they returned from summer vacation last month. At the end of last school year, the room was dreary and drab. The walls were plain white and barren. Read more

West Valley teachers worried over changes

More than 100 teachers and staff members from the West Valley School District turned out for the school board meeting Wednesday to voice concerns about program changes due to an almost $750,000 budget shortfall. The district did not lay off any teachers – savings were made through attrition and staffing changes. Around 16 staff members spoke. Read more

Students deluge districts

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

School boards approve budgets

With the first day of school just around the corner, school boards have been busy approving the budgets for the coming year. • In the East Valley School District, the board approved the 2011-’12 budget Tuesday during its regular meeting. There are five funds that make up the budget: general, associated student body, debt service, capital projects and the transportation vehicle funds. Read more

Brighter days at Centennial

Students attending classes in the southwest wing of Centennial Middle School this fall might have a brighter view of their studies. The West Valley District school at Broadway Avenue and Ella Road has been undergoing renovations that include bigger windows in the classrooms. Now, instead of a room which requires artificial lighting throughout the school day, students will be greeted with natural light. Read more

West Valley Outdoor Learning Center holding open houses

For Harry Potter, visiting with owls is an everyday occurrence. For the rest of us, there’s West Valley Outdoor Learning Center, 8706 E. Upriver Drive. Read more

Senior’s artwork destroyed on last day of school

The artwork of student Johnny Martinez at Contract Based Education in the West Valley School District has been exhibited prominently in the school. He created 22 pieces over the last year, some of which sparked controversy within the student body, since he isn’t afraid to push the envelope. He graduated earlier this month. His artwork was still hanging on the walls when students and staff went outside to celebrate the end of the school year with a barbecue on June 14. Between 11:20 and 11:45 a.m., while everyone was having fun, two 16-year-old girls entered the building and destroyed 11 of Martinez’s 22 paintings. Read more

Penberthy retires from WV career of championing the underdog

After almost 40 years in education, Cleve Penberthy, 63, principal at Contract Based Education, is retiring from the West Valley School District. Penberthy has come full circle in his career – when he started in education, he helped to build an alternative school in Newark, N.J., called Changes, Inc. He had been studying to become a preacher at the time – he was a divinity student at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Read more

Director positions in large school districts uncontested

In the three large Spokane Valley school districts, none of the board of directors positions will be contested this fall, with only one candidate filing for each position. Freeman and Liberty districts each will have one contested race. Candidates for this year’s Aug. 16 primary election were required to file their intent to run by June 10. Read more

West Valley bond refinancing to save $850,000

The West Valley School District has refinanced around $14 million of the bonds it has sold since its last construction bond, saving taxpayers about $850,000 as the district pays off its capital projects. “It’s like refinancing a house,” said Deputy Superintendent Doug Matson. He said he was first approached for this idea in September, but felt if the district couldn’t get at least a 5 percent savings it wouldn’t be worth it. Read more

WVSD expecting about $780,000 in cuts

The West Valley School District is expecting about $780,000 in cuts from the state budget this year. In order to make up for those cuts, it held the first of two public forums Tuesday to learn what programs are priorities for staff and parents. Superintendent Polly Crowley said that some of the items suggested to be cut – such as salaries – are under contract and must be negotiated with the unions. Read more

Efforts bring higher graduation rates at area high schools

Fewer students in Spokane are dropping out of school. Spokane Public Schools improved its on-time graduation rate by 8 percentage points in 2010, state data showed Thursday, and officials credit efforts to update how students are tracked and dropout intervention programs. Read more

At CBE ‘Our Town’ goes nontraditional

High schools often stage plays, elaborate productions with sets, music, costumes and lighting. It is part of the high school experience if you go to a traditional high school. But one nontraditional high school in the West Valley School District staged its very first play this week. Read more

Class honors Iditarod mushers

Traditionally, the first Saturday in March is the beginning of the annual Iditarod Sled-Dog Race held in Alaska. Mushers and their sled dogs travel from Anchorage to Nome, about 1,100 miles, through subzero temperatures and frozen landscapes. The third-grade students in Melissa Fennen’s class at Pasadena Park Elementary School in the West Valley School District spent time earlier this year learning about the race, the dogs and the mushers and even created centerpieces which will be placed on the tables during the banquet mushers attend to find out their starting order. Read more