Aberdeen Schools

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Aberdeen School District No. 5 -- February 7, 2020

Our district has two measures on the Feb. 11 ballot. Don't forget to mail or drop your ballot off before the deadline on Tuesday.

Thank you!

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Showcasing A.J. West

A.J. West Elementary School hosted the School Board meeting on February 4. Thank you, Principal John Meers and ASB presenters Bryanna Varner and Gabriella Abruscato.
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Business Week

Aberdeen High School conducted another successful Business Week for the junior class on Feb. 3-7. Many thanks to the members of the community who donate their time and talent to help make this program a fantastic experience for our students.

There are more photos on the district Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AberdeenSchoolDistrict5/

News from the School Board meeting on Feb. 4

President Sandra Bielski convened the regular meeting of the Aberdeen School District Board of Directors at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 4, 2020, in the gym at A.J. West Elementary School. Directors present were Jennifer Durney, Bill Dyer, Jessica Jurasin and Suzy Ritter, along with student representative Molly Scroggs, Superintendent Alicia Henderson and 41 patrons, staff and students.

The meeting began with the Flag salute.

Minutes, Bills, Trips & Gifts

The Board approved the Consent Agenda, which included:

  • The minutes of the regular meeting on January 21, 2020;

  • A trip request for the HOSA Club (Health Occupations Students of America) at Aberdeen High School to travel to Spokane for the state leadership conference on March 5-7, and

  • A gift to the district from the Grays Harbor Community Foundation from the Marian Weatherwax Endowment Fund in the amount of $58,500 and from the Marian Weatherwax Scholarship Fund in the amount of $4,000.

Comments from Board members

  • Director Suzy Ritter said she is excited to participate in Business Week at Aberdeen High School and will be taking part in the Legislative Conference at Olympia.

  • Director Bill Dyer thanked all those who took part in the Music Booster Auction over the weekend.

  • President Sandra Bielski expressed appreciation to the Weatherwax and Meikle families for their generous gifts to the district.

Comments from Student Representative

Student Representative Molly Scroggs provided a report on student activities at the high school and in the district. She reported that Business Week is taking place this week for the junior class, rehearsals are ongoing for the school play, “The Addams Family,” and the senior nights take place this week for the boys and girls basketball teams.

Welcome from A.J. West students

Bryanna Varner and Gabriella Abruscato, ASB leaders at A.J. West Elementary School, presented information about their school.

Policy Updates

The board approved updates to two policies: Policy 3122, Excused and Unexcused Absences, and Policy 3211, Gender Inclusive Schools.

Beyond Survival Materials

CTE Director Lynn Green discussed the “What to Know Before You Say Go” materials that Beyond Survival will be using in small group meetings at Aberdeen High School. She reported that the parents of students who have been invited to participate have been offered an opportunity to review and discuss the materials, as well.

2020-2021 Calendar

The board adopted the calendar for 2020-2021. The first day of school will be Sept. 2; Winter Break will begin Monday, Dec. 21; Spring Break will be April 5-9, and the last day of school will be Tuesday, June 15.

Comments from the Audience

  • Angela Brandt, parent of a student at Aberdeen High School, offered comment about the decision-making process that resulted in the decision for new leadership at the high school.

  • Kris Koski, chairman of Aberdeen Citizens for Schools, shared information about the 2020 campaign for renewal of the enrichment levy and passage of a bond for a new Stevens Elementary School. He invited all to visit the Stevens2020 web site for more information and encouraged everyone to vote by Feb. 11.

  • Lisa Rasmussen offered comment in support of the Gender Inclusive Schools policy, and recommended that students be offered training in addition to the training for staff called for in the policy.

  • Eric Morgan also offered comment in support of the Gender Inclusive Schools policy and offered to assist the district in providing training to students and staff.

Personnel Report

Following an executive session, the board adopted the Personnel Report, which included the retirements, after the 2020 school year, of John Benish at Aberdeeen High School, and Phil Braaten and William Stricker at Miller Junior High School.

Superintendent's Report

Bond and Levy Update: Superintendent Henderson discussed the work taking place in support of the bond and levy on the February 11 ballot.

The Local Enrichment Levy would renew the existing levy for four years at the current tax rate of $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. This local levy supports day-to-day operations by providing and/or enhancing programs important to the community such as band, orchestra, drama, chorus, athletics, swimming, field trips and transportation for trips. The funds are also used to "enhance" state and federal dollars for graduation support, credit retrieval and classroom supports. Fifty percent voter approval is required.

The Stevens Bond Measure authorizes the sale of bonds to build a new Stevens School in South Aberdeen adjacent to the current school.

The chart below shows the total combined tax rate for the Levy, AHS Bonds (which are paid off in 2023), Stevens Bonds and the state schools tax.

Anyone with questions or who would like to invite the superintendent to speak about the proposal, may call (360) 538-2002.

Read the article announcing the February 11 election

Legislative Update:
Superintendent Henderson discussed House Bill 2237 and Senate Bill 6075 that have been introduced by local lawmakers to address inequities in local levy funding for property poor districts. She reported that she testified at a public hearing before the Senate committee on January 22, and that she is hopeful the committee will decide to move the bill forward.

Mid-Year Retreat: Superintendent Henderson and the board discussed scheduling a mid-year retreat on a Saturday in March.

Legislative Conference: Superintendent Henderson discussed plans for attendance at the annual Legislative Conference on Feb. 9-10 in Olympia. Directors Suzy Ritter and Jessica Jurasin will be attending.

Governor Inslee Visit: Superintendent Henderson announced that Gov. Jay Inslee will be at Aberdeen High School on Feb. 12 to hold an assembly with students about financial aid for post-secondary education. John Ball, an AHS alumnus, will be joining him.

OSPI Opioid Policy: Superintendent Henderson shared information from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction about a new state law requiring school districts to obtain and maintain opioid overdose reversal medication at each high school effective with the 2020-2021 school year.

BAC Committee: Superintendent Henderson provided an update on the work of the Budget Advisory Committee, which met on Jan. 28. The committee discussed a decline in student participation in the school lunch program, how it is impacting revenue, and efforts under way to encourage more students to eat lunch. Superintendent Henderson also said there is a need for a teacher and a community member to fill vacancies on the board.

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Bond and Levy Information Page

The district has created an informational page about the upcoming enrichment levy and bond for a new Stevens School. It will be updated as materials are produced. Your questions and comments are welcome, call Superintendent Henderson, 360-538-2002.

Athletic Director's Report

Aaron Roiko presented the Winter Athletic Report. The report included:

  • A presentation from Larry Fleming, Miller P.E. teacher and AHS soccer coach, who would like to start a boys’ soccer team at Miller Junior High School;

  • Information from the Harbor Strong Coalition recommending the adoption of a Prescription Opioid Misuse Prevention contract to include as part of the student athlete contract in the district;

  • Information about WIAA Winter Team Academic Awards, and

  • News about various athletic achievements. This news included the following:
    * Elementary boys' basketball is in full swing with 90 players from the five grade schools and 6th grade at Miller taking part. The season finale tournament will take place on Saturday, Feb. 22, at Sam Benn Gym.

    * The Aberdeen High School girls’ wrestling team has taken 1st Place in five of six invitational tournaments this year.

    * Annika Eisele, a senior and state swim champion, has signed a letter of intent to swim at Pacific Lutheran University this fall. The two-time champ has been accepted into the nursing program at PLU.

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Next meeting is Tuesday, February 18

Please join the School Board when they meet at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, February 18, in the Community Room at Aberdeen High School.
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Snug Harbor Spaghetti Feed

Mark your calendar for the Basket Bingo Spaghetti Feed & Silent Auction to benefit Snug Harbor Day Care at Harbor High School. It's planned for 6 p.m. Friday, March 6, at Immanuel Baptist Church in Hoquiam. Tickets for the spaghetti feed are $5.

Budgets aren't boring!

There are currently two vacancies on the Budget Advisory Committee. The committee is a diverse group of community members and district staff who come together to study the district's finances and offer feedback to the superintendent before recommendations go to the School Board. The committee needs another community member and an educator. If you are interested, contact Dr. Henderson at (360) 538-2002.

Sign up for Weather Alerts

Cold weather is upon us, and you can be among the first to know whether school is delayed or cancelled by signing up for FlashAlert. By signing up, you will receive the same official message via text or email that goes out to the radio and television stations.

Visit flashalert.net and follow the prompts. This application needs to be renewed every year.

The district also sends out a "robo call" to school families after 6 a.m. and posts information on the web site. However, FlashAlert is the only proven reliable method for emergency closure notices and we highly recommend that our school community create an account.

Let your name go down in a history brick

It's never too late to help write history at J.M. Weatherwax High School by ordering a brick on the walkway. Great gift idea! Place your order using the form below.