Opinion

Notes from Larry

by Dr. Larry Nyland

Superintendent

Marysville School District

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Getchell Still One Year Ahead of Schedule — Drive up to the top of Getchell and take a look. One of the SLCs is now has the steel beam structure in place. Concrete floors are being poured and walls should start appearing before too long. We continue to be on budget. Rebids on landscaping, asphalt, and kitchen equipment are expected to reduce project cost.

School Closure Decision Put Off for at Least One Year — At the Feb. 17 meeting, the school board decided to put off school closure decisions until June 2010. This will give more time to look at enrollment trends, talk more about the criteria for closing schools, and avoid confusion during the bond/levy discussions in February 2010. Schools included on a 2010 bond issue, that passed, would therefore no longer be a part of any future closure decisions. While not preferred by anyone, school closures could be required in the future due to declining enrollment and revenue. School closures (one) save about $400,000 per year in operating costs.

SLC Administration Costs — Several staff members have asked about whether we couldn’t save money by reducing the number of SLC principals. We currently have less administrative staff at the high school than we do at any other level.

• Elementary schools have one principal and a .5 TOSA. One administrator for 333 students.

• Middle schools have three administrators each. One administrator for 266 students.

• High schools have one administrator for each 400 students.

Administrative reductions are being considered for next year … at the elementary and middle levels. Everett HS, Monroe HS, Lake Stevens HS each have about 1,600 students … what we will have at Getchell when we open. They each have one principal and three vice principals … for a total of four administrators. We will have four SLC principals … the same level of four administrators for 1,600 students. One administrator for 400 students.

According to our current salary schedule for principals (all from the lowest step on the schedule):

• One HS principal ($110,253) + three vice principals ($95,606) = $397,071.

• Four SLC principals ($97,991) = $391,964.

We actually save a small amount with the current SLC administrative levels.

Planning Ahead for Summer Maintenance — Power upgrades are planned for Shoultes, Sunnyside and MMS.

Traffic revisions will be made at Cascade, Shoultes and M-PHS. Completed small projects for Health and Safety from the 2006 bond include:

• Waterline replacements at Cascade and Liberty.

• Heating and ventilation and fire alarm upgrade at Cedarcrest.

• Gym flooring at Kellogg Marsh.

• Carpet renovation at Marshall.

• Road, parking, and power upgrade at MMS.

• Auditorium seats, power upgrade and heating and ventilation at M-PHS.

• Floor covering at MMVHS.

• Sewer hook up at Pinewood.

• Capital Projects department construction.

• Power upgrade at Totem.

• Floor covering at Tulalip.

Other planned projects include siding at M-PHS, plumbing improvements at Totem, wiring upgrade at Tulalip. Some projects that were initially on the list are no longer needed due to adjustments to controls, relocation of programs, or repair, resulting in a savings of nearly $700,000. Capital Projects staff is working with schools to further develop the list which is intended as a guide of district needs. Projects may be added, delayed or eliminated as we move forward based on new needs, program changes, budget revisions, or other issues. Bond dollars must be used specifically for building, remodeling, or completing these types of small health and safety projects.

For a complete Notes from Larry visit the Marysville School District’s Web site at www.msvl.k12.wa.us.

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