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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Space camp a blast

Corbin Croom, a junior at Central Valley High School, hopes to be a doctor someday, probably an orthopedic surgeon. Or, he could be a pilot. He’s not sure yet.

Parents weigh in on school budget

The Central Valley School District is mulling options for cuts to help make up a possible shortfall in state funds in the 2010-’11 school year. To help the school board decide what to cut, the district recently held three community workshops to prioritize 28 options into categories — minor impact on students, moderate impact, major impact and critical impact. The options list represents approximately $3.7 million in programs.

School board hears wish list

An interim report by the Central Valley School District Capital Facilities Committee includes recommendations for a new elementary school and returning kindergarten center students to their neighborhood schools. The committee made its recommendations to the Central Valley School Board on Monday after a year of meeting, visiting schools and holding community forums to gather input from parents and residents.

Central Valley budget cut options decided

The Central Valley School District board of directors decided on a list of potential budget cuts to help offset losses expected when the state budget is approved. The list is not final and the district hopes to receive community input to help the board make its final decisions later this year. Superintendent Ben Small told the board that he expects a $1.5 million to $2 million shortfall for the coming school year and the district must prioritize programs and services to reflect the loss of funds.

Math in Progress

Students at Progress Elementary, 710 N. Progress Road, in the Central Valley School District, are voluntarily staying after school. The students – about 140 of them in a school of 372 – stay after class until 4 p.m. for the chance to play math games that reflect the new math curriculum the district has adopted.

St. Mary’s students place in science meet

Science students at St. Mary’s Catholic School are the only ones in the Spokane area to be recognized in the national Toshiba Exploravision science competition. The annual event draws entries from more than 5,000 schools and is judged by leading scientists and engineers. Three teams of seventh- and eighth-grade students submitted entries to the competition, and all earned third place or honorable mention. The teams were in the top 10 percent of all entries. Students from seven other Washington schools earned a similar placement.

‘Mockingbird’ actress speaks to CV students

Mary Badham, the actress who played Scout in the 1962 movie, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” paid a visit to students at Central Valley High School, 821 S. Sullivan Road. Part of Spokane’s 2010 Big Read project, Badham gave a presentation to the students to talk about her experiences when she filmed the movie, answer questions and asked students to read from the book by Harper Lee.

CV, Freeman students compete in FBLA

Students from several schools in the Spokane Valley attended the Northeast Region Future Business Leaders of America Conference at Faith Bible Church in north Spokane on Feb. 3. Two high schools in the area have released their results.

Greater Spokane League spirit games

Photos from the 2010 Groovy Shoes, Stinky Sneaker and Rubber Chicken spirit games between, respectively, North Central and Shadle Park high schools, University and Central Valley high schools, and Lewis and Clark and Ferris high schools.

Healthier choices

Brittany Johnson, a sixth-grader at Greenacres Middle School in the Central Valley School District, said she usually brings her lunch to school, but when she works as a lunchroom helper, she likes the pizza the school offers. “I really like the pizza,” she said. “I like the pizza better now, because it has cheese on the crust.”

Schools on money quest

A couple years of miserable state finances have school districts looking for money from other sources, with more of them using grants to bridge their budget gaps. Whether that means money from government programs or private foundations, it’s a cycle that’s expected to continue, education officials say.

School districts winnow choices for math books

When it comes to math, high school students have long asked the question: “Why do I need to learn this stuff?” Books being considered for a high school math overhaul in the Spokane area’s two largest districts have an answer.

Posting strong numbers

First off, let’s get the name thing straight. Public address announcers throughout the Greater Spokane League introduce Loree Hill as though her first name were spelled “Laurie.” They’re wrong. When a senior is in the midst of a breakout season, you don’t want to get her name wrong.

CV bus drivers spread Christmas cheer

The presents were stacked on the table with care, in the hopes that a bus driver soon would be there. The three mounds of gifts were donated by the Central Valley School District school bus drivers for three low-income Central Valley families. Last Thursday they were piled at the district’s satellite facility in the old University High School awaiting a driver to deliver them to the counselors at Opportunity, Broadway and University elementary schools for distribution.

Trent keeps Reindeer Run going

Trent Elementary counselor Larry Snider directed traffic with a bullhorn Tuesday as kindergartners flooded a snowy field next to the school. It was time for the daily Reindeer Run. They quickly lined up, boys and girls in separate lines. “Reindeer run, reindeer run” they chanted, impatient to begin. “The kids get fired up,” Snider said.

Seal of improvement

It’s a long, time-consuming process to earn a national board certification. But it’s one that more than two dozen Spokane Valley teachers happily completed this year. “This makes us better teachers,” said Pam Craze, a library media specialist at Orchard Center Elementary in West Valley. “I did it because I like to learn new things. I like to challenge myself.”

CV could be forced to cut another $3 million

Things are not looking bright at Central Valley, board members learned during Monday’s meeting. The school district stands to lose $3.4 million if Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposed budget goes through, the same amount the district was forced to cut from the 2009-2010 budget. The proposed state budget calls for eliminating a K-4 staffing enhancement that provides extra teachers for smaller class sizes in the lower grades. The $1.7 million the district currently receives pays for 21.35 full-time equivalent teachers. Also missing from the governor’s budget would be the remainder of the I-728 money for smaller class sizes, which was already reduced this year. Cutting the district’s final $1.5 million in I-728 money would result in the loss of an additional 30.3 FTE teachers.

Maynes hopes for smooth finish at state tourney

Jarod Maynes is mapping out his wrestling season. The Central Valley junior placed third at last year’s Class 4A state high school tournament at 112 pounds and returns at that weight, where he’s currently ranked No. 2 in the state. With this weekend’s Inland Empire tournament and next week’s Tri-State tourney on his short-term horizon, he’s making plans for each stop along the road back to the Tacoma Dome and, this time, a date in the state finals.

CV prepares for more cuts

It was hard for the Central Valley school board to see any light at the end of a long, dark budget tunnel after receiving a gloomy budget prediction Monday night. Isabel Munoz-Colon, a senior budget analyst with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, relayed that the state is looking at a shortfall of $2.6 billion. While the state is required by the state constitution to fund basic education, everything else is vulnerable. That includes enhanced staffing for grades K-4, I-728 money for smaller class sizes, gifted student programs and levy equalization money.