Marysville takes on bigger role in Regional Apprenticeship Pathways plan

MARYSVILLE – Chris Nation noticed.

In a work session discussion of the Marysville school board about the fledgling Regional Apprenticeship Pathways, the director said it looks like the district is going to be responsible for more than what was originally thought.

For example, he mentioned $1.5 million for the program that would come from the district over two years.

“There’s more on our plate. First, we were just going to provide the building” at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, he said. “Now we have to staff it.”

Donneta Oremus, director of Career and Technical Education, talked about many other changes for the RAP program as it continues to develop.

One key to it even happening is $750,000 in state funding for equipment and to upgrade the building. It needs to stay in the governor’s capital projects budget.

Superintendent Jason Thompson said RAP likely would have to be delayed if those funds are cut.

“Lawmakers are always onboard until there’s a cost,” Nation said.

Oremus admitted a number of things still need to fall into place, but, “A lot of things have fallen into place already. We have so much interest.”

Director Pete Lundberg said later that CTE skills are in such high demand he hopes enrollment will go up as a result of RAP.

“It’s such a need in our district,” he said.

Oremus reminded the board that the idea for RAP came from the local trades industry because it needs qualified workers as Baby Boomers retire and the construction boom continues. Snohomish County has pledged $200,000 for the program.

“Our community is crying for more trades,” she said, adding they have told the district, “We have an emergency on our hands here. We are in crisis mode.”

Oremus said initially the program would start with classes for electricians, laborers and carpenters – although trades such as plumbers and sheet metal workers also eventually want to be involved.

“We need to get our feet underneath us, and then expand,” she said, adding she anticipates 25 students to enroll in a.m. courses and 25 more in p.m. classes.

Another change the board heard about is some college students could be part of it, like a “reverse Running Start,” Oremus said, adding that would provide some additional funds.

She said Marysville Getchell, which already offers classes in the trades, would be a feeder program into RAP. Most of the students would be high school seniors devoted to a career in the trades. Oremus said the program will have an application process and be highly selective.

“They will have a clear understanding of what they are getting into,” she said.

Oremus said trade industry professionals are helping to develop the curriculum and will provide some of the training.

“They’re in,” she said, adding the program will meet state and national standards, along with trade industry competencies.

In other school news:

•Assistant superintendent Scott Beebe talked about community groups being formed to deal with controversial district issues.

“We’re getting a pretty good cross section of folks,” he said, adding a few more members are needed.

Regarding the panel that will look at geographic boundaries for the two major high schools, he said the first few meetings will be mostly background. But by May 23, he would like the board to set some parameters for where to go from there.

“The heavy lifting will be the early part of next year,” he said.

As for the equity panel, that is not as far along, he said, as facilitators are still being sought for that committee.

•In gifts to the district, the Marysville Kiwanis Club donated $3,532.66 for the Key Club to attend its district convention; the Marysville Getchell Booster Club donated $1,829.10 to help the boys soccer team buy uniforms; anonymous donated $800 to help pay down free and reduced food service accounts at Marshall Elementary; and Warm Beach Senior Community donated $300 for two ceramic kilns.

•Assistant principal Christine Hinojosa was introduced as the new principal at M-P next year, after David Rose retires.

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