Fife Public Schools
A Message from Superintendent Alfano
January 14, 2022
Greetings and Happy New Year to all,
I wanted to take a moment and communicate with you regarding our upcoming replacement levy votes in February. It feels like we have communicated at nauseum with you this school year regarding COVID and construction updates, but the upcoming vote on replacement of our Educational Programs & Operation (EP&O) Levy and our Capital Projects Technology Levy are very important for our community. Overviews of both are contained below, and you will see more information in the coming weeks.
On February 8th, voters will have an important choice to make on two levies that support all students enrolled in Fife Public Schools. I can’t stress enough that both of these levies are replacement levies - a continuation of current levies that are expiring at the end of 2022. These two levies are titled Proposition 1 - Educational Programs & Operations Levy and Proposition 2 - Capital Projects Technology Levy.
Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) Levy
Fife Public Schools relies on three (3) primary sources of revenue to support our schools - state funds (70%), federal funds (13%), and local approved levies (17%). The EP&O levy fills the gap of resources needed that are not funded by state and federal agencies. It provides important funding for special education, health services, psychologists, counselors, and additional teachers and support staff to keep class sizes low. These levy funds also support student safety, extra-curricular activities, transportation, and instructional materials.
The cost of these two important levies are expected to increase in the first year by approximately $2.25 per month based on a home assessed value of $300,000. Subsequent years are estimated to result in a decrease per month. Fife Public Schools is proud to have one of the lowest rates in Pierce County. The chart below shows our district compared to our neighbors.
*Previous year's data
Instructional Technology Levy
On February 8th, you'll also have the opportunity to vote on an Instructional Technology Levy. This is a reinstatement of our current technology levy and will be used to carry forward the many great technology improvements made in recent years.
A significant focus for this past technology levy was around digital equity. We wanted to ensure that every student had access to the digital learning tools they would need to be successful. The most significant move towards digital equity was to implement a 1:1 program, providing a Chromebook for every student in the district and allowing teachers to count on every student having access to a device at any time. It was because of this levy we were able to pivot to remote learning so efficiently when the COVID pandemic arrived. With this past technology levy, we also made necessary upgrades to staffing, staff-training, network infrastructure, and digital curriculum to support our 1:1 program.
With a reinstated technology levy, we'll be refreshing student and staff devices, continue to make improvements in our infrastructure and support systems, and upgrade the instructional (presentation) equipment in classrooms to meet the needs of today's learning environments.
What did we do with the previous technology levy?
Successfully implemented a student 1:1 program, providing a Chromebook for every student in the district
Expanded digital curriculum and communications tools
Upgraded network infrastructure to support 1:1 including wifi access points in every classroom
Transitioned students and staff to remote learning during the COVID pandemic
Replaced phone system (in coordination with building bond program)
Added staffing and staff training to support our 1:1 program
How will this reinstated technology levy help students and teachers?
Refresh our student 1:1 Chromebooks
Refresh our staff computers
Upgrade classroom instructional/presentation technology
Improve and maintain our technology infrastructure, network, software, and data systems
Continue staffing and staff training to support best-use of instructional technology
Additional information will be provided in the coming weeks and in your voters pamphlet sent to you from either King or Pierce County. In the meantime, please feel free to review information on our website at this link.
Thank you for your continued support. Fife Public Schools is proud to serve this community!
Kevin Alfano, Superintendent