Spending on hold in Marysville until enrollment figures known

MARYSVILLE – The Marysville School District is putting a hold on major purchases and hiring until it can figure out its fluctuating enrollment.

At its first of 10 official count days throughout the year, the district had 10,019 students. That is down 69 from what was projected. Since the state pays about $10,000 for each student, that would mean a $690,000 shortfall in the budget.

Finance director Mike Sullivan said at Monday’s school board work session that the district already had planned to have 190 fewer students than last year. But that almost $2 million less from the state already has been figured into the budget. The district had not planned on having about 260 fewer students.

However, in an unofficial count later, the district was only down 25 students. “We picked up forty-four in one week,” Sullivan said.

So, he wants to wait until the next official count in October before taking any major steps.

As for the numbers, he said Marysville Getchell High School is down 37 students in the 11th grade. Pinewood Elementary is down 18 in grade 2. Overall, kindergarten through third grade is down 80 students, by far the most of any grouping. He said sixth-graders are up 30 at Cedarcrest Middle, but down 19 at Marysville Middle. Director Chris Nation asked if those were in-district transfers, but Sullivan said he hasn’t analyzed the numbers yet.

Also, Brynn Marcum, director of Curriculum and Assessment, led an interesting discussion on the future of science in schools.

Director Tom Albright said he took science many years ago and not much has changed.

It will soon, Marcum predicted.

She said there are many components to science.

“They will be integrated in the next generation,” she said. “We want to get ahead and be prepared.”

Marcum said science will center around story lines for real-world problems.

As an example, she said if water is 12 degrees warmer different sciences will be used to come up with the answer why. She said integrated science will be used at every grade level with math and writing part of it, too, using cross curriculum strategies.

The directors and school administrators also talked about Since Time Immemorial, the curriculum to learn about Native Americans. The Tulalip Tribes have written lessons, and at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, students can now get their two years of world language by studying Lushootseed.

Superintendent Jason Thompson said he’s proud of the progress. “Before we were paying it lip service,” he said of STI. “Now, we’re doing it.”

Nation, as the district’s legislative representative, said he will be attending a state conference to vote on the top issues for the next state session in Olympia.

He mentioned things like school safety, focused graduation requirements, supporting the whole child and more professional development for teachers. Albright said he sees the need to fund more counselors.

Nation said he sees the need for an emergency proposal to see if the new state funding methods are working. As it is, there is no review process.

“It’s like building a freeway for traffic now – not ten years from now,” he said.

The measure passed at the following school board meeting. Also being approved were resolutions regarding hispanic month and wellness month.

Also at that meeting, the district recognized Premier Partners who go above and beyond to make a positive difference in the lives of students and families. Recognized were: Courtney Jefferson and Jessica Bustad, representing The Tulalip Tribes Youth Services; Jenny Roodzant and Virlee Garmon, representing the Salvation Army; and Christie Veley, representing the city of Marysville.

The Salvation Army and the city worked together to distribute nearly 600 backpacks filled with school supplies and the Tulalip Tribes Youth Services distributed 1,400.

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