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Camas School District (CSD) Superintendent, Jeff Snell, provided additional clarity today about how to assess student learning for the remainder of the school year.

He said the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) convened a task force to consider the challenges school districts are facing across the sate.

“Our staff has been working diligently to create meaningful learning experiences for your students,” he said. “They also want to provide relevant and helpful feedback to each student in their growth journey. Trying to determine an equitable way to assess student learning during these extraordinary times is very challenging. We appreciate the thought and care that went into this guidance, which you can access at Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance & Resources: https://bit.ly/2KDuAgR.” 

Below is a summary of how the Camas School District will assess student learning for the remainder of the school year, which includeS adjustments to the CSD high school model based on OSPI’s guidance.

“Your student’s schools and teachers will be communicating more details with you in the weeks to come,” said Snell.  ”Tomorrow, we will be sending a survey link to share feedback about the remote learning experience to date.  We’re hoping you can share what’s working and any feedback about how we can improve.”

Kindergarten through 5th grade

During this period of remote learning, each grade level team at every elementary school has identified essential standards for instruction beginning May 4. Grading and feedback for K-5 students will only be for those essential standards that each grade level team has identified. These are the same essential standards that are being used by teachers to design learning experiences for their students. 

Elementary school report cards will be completed at the end of the school year in June, like in previous years. For the third trimester, to align with OSPI’s expectations, each student will receive a mark of 2, 3, or 4 for the essential standards identified for this period. The language and rubric to be used for a 2, 3, or 4 are those currently displayed on the report card. Standards that were not addressed (those not identified as essential) will be left blank.

”The practice of teaching and learning continues during this time and our teaching staff is committed to providing engaging learning opportunities for each student and family,” said Snell. “Students are expected to participate and engage in the remote learning activities that are being provided by classroom teachers and specialists.“ 

Learning
www.Arktana.com

Middle School

Final grades during remote learning for middle school students will be a pass or incomplete for non-high school courses. Middle school students taking high-school level courses will be graded in the same manner as high school students (see below).  Schools will provide continuous learning through the end of the school year and learning feedback to students and families about progress made on prioritized learning standards. This feedback will be used to help students transition into learning next year. 

High School (including any middle school classes for high school credit)

Teachers will provide continuous learning for each student. Students will be awarded letter grades in the C to A range, or receive an incomplete. Students have the opportunity to raise their grades from whatever their grade was on March 13, 2020, which was the last physical attendance date. That grade will be the baseline grade for the student moving forward. No grades will be lowered below that baseline grade if students engage with remote learning opportunities offered by their teachers. Teachers will assign grades or assign an “incomplete” for students that cannot engage in an equitable way. The schools will continue to provide multiple ways for students to engage. In the event an incomplete is assigned, there will be opportunities for students to convert that incomplete to a grade after the school year concludes.

The Camas School District (CSD) continues to make adjustments related to the COVID-19 outbreak and its lingering effects on education. This article contains the latest CSD updates.

School Board Meetings

The CSD School Board has now conducted their second school board meeting remotely. If you’re interested in joining in the future, you can do so through the information provided at http://www.camas.wednet.edu/about-csd/school-board/meeting-info/

School Communication

Schools will be sending information about the remote learning week with any announcements and special events. CSD will be continuing to work at streamlining this communication with you. 

Video Conferencing

Earlier this month, CSD notified families they were delaying video-conferencing between students and teachers as they researched the safety and security of various platforms. As of Wednesday, April 15, Google Meet will be supported as the teacher-student video-conferencing platform for Camas School District. 

  • CSD Netiquette – Message to Families: Please review these guidelines with your student(s), if you have not done so already. The information includes an explanation of video-conferencing and an opt-out process, should families so choose. Complete the opt-out process by Tuesday evening, April 14, as teachers may begin using Meet the following day.
  • The Zoom video-conferencing platform will still be used for some teacher-parent communication.

Print Resources

Please contact your school administrator or teacher for more information if you are having difficulty accessing resources online or need additional support. The team continues to find creative ways to problem-solve with you. 

Grading

High School: Due to the emergency closure of schools by Governor Inslee, high school students and middle school students earning high school credits will have two options for how final grades will be posted. Additionally, the governor has stated that student grades will not be harmed as a result of the closure. Students not meeting minimum passing requirements shared by their teachers by the end of the term will receive an incomplete and be given opportunities to work towards the credit.  Please review the grading expectations document for more important details.

Senior Project: Camas High School will be adjusting the criteria for completing senior projects. High school staff will provide information and support to help students complete projects with adjusted criteria. 

High School Credits: Students will still be required to meet the 24 credit requirements. Should students receive a No Credit or Fail a course, they will be required to make up work for those classes as needed to meet core graduation requirements. Class of 2020 students who were previously on track to graduate may be eligible for additional considerations due to new waiver legislation. 

For middle school trimester three final grades, students will be receiving a pass or no credit grade. Middle school students taking high-school level courses will be graded in the same manner as high school students. Students can select a pass/no credit or the grade option by June 1. 

Elementary school report cards will be completed at the end of the school year in June, like in previous years. Teachers will record marks for all applicable areas which apply under distance learning circumstances; some areas will not be able to be assessed and will be left blank. Our practice of teaching and learning continues during this time and our teaching staff is committed to providing engaging learning opportunities for each student and family. 

Graduation

Graduation is such an amazing celebration for each student, their family, and our community. CSD will be working with staff and students to plan a virtual ceremony in June, and they will also plan on having a traditional graduation ceremony at the earliest, safe date allowed by our state. CSD is committed to providing a graduation ceremony for all of our seniors.

Lacamas Magazine will keep you updated on Camas schools when new developments arise.

Camas School District responds to Governor Inslee’s order to keep schools closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. Here is the statement from Dr. Jeff Snell, Superintendent of Camas School District:

Dear Camas Community:

I’m writing to share some important news. Governor Inslee made the decision to close schools for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year this evening in a press conference. The extended closure is an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community safe and healthy. During this closure extension, all school facilities will remain closed, however, student learning will continue, albeit in the new remote learning world.

I hoped that we would be able to welcome students back to school this year. Our staff members love seeing and serving your children at school! Instead, we will be focusing all of our effort on making remote learning the best it can be. 

We understand that the continued closure of schools presents many challenges for students and families. It also raises many questions. The information outlined below is what we know now. We will continue to share further guidance as decisions are made and as information becomes available. 

  • Remote Learning: Remote learning will continue through the remainder of the school year. We have created a remote Learning Website as a resource to support distance learning: (https://bit.ly/2Vb8EhX).  This week, teachers will connect with students regarding learning plans and recorded lessons. If you have concerns about access please let us know. School administrators are tracking all concerns, and we’re doing our best to address them quickly. Email your teacher or principal if you need additional support.  We are currently exploring ways to do live video conferencing lessons. As we previously shared, this is still a work in progress.  We will continue to update you on all of the questions that naturally come up with this new announcement including grading, graduation, etc…
  • Technology: Devices have been deployed for all students grades 3-12. If your child needs internet access, wifi is available near our school buildings and near strategically placed buses from 9 AM to 4 PM on weekdays. Visit this map for exact locations (https://bit.ly/2wg2g0a). If you have technical difficulty, please contact our technology department at [email protected] or call the Chromebook helpline and leave a voicemail at (360) 833-5432.
  • Nutrition Services: We will continue to provide meals to students that need them during weekdays for select routes (https://bit.ly/2XdG3er) and for onsite pick-up from 9 – 11 AM at Liberty and Skyridge middle schools, and Woodburn, Lacamas Lake, Dorothy Fox, Prune Hill, and Grass Valley elementary schools. 
  • Child Care: We will continue to provide child care for children of first responders and health care workers. To arrange for childcare, please contact Mary Weishaar at [email protected].
Parks
www.lilyatelier.com
  • Medications: If your student has medication at school, please watch for additional information related to pick-up arrangements. For immediate questions or concerns, please contact Carol Bruce, Health Services and Nursing Supervisor at 360-335-3000, ext 75746 or [email protected].  
  • Personal belongings:  If your student has essential belongings at school that need to be picked up, we will be developing a process that ensures safety and allows for pick up.  We will share more with you about that process in the coming weeks.
  • High School Seniors: High school seniors will receive support from their school administrators and counselors on opportunities to earn credits needed for post-secondary transitions. We are working closely with the state’s college system to ensure smooth transitions.
  • Graduation Ceremonies: In-person graduation ceremonies will change to virtual ceremonies and/or be delayed. A final decision related to graduation ceremonies will be shared by the end of April.  We want to do our best to create meaningful culminating activities for our seniors given the circumstances.
  • School Activities: All school events, including sporting practices and matches, field trips, dances, etc. will be canceled during the extended school closure. We are engaging with students to come up with creative alternatives to celebrate milestones such as prom and field day. In some cases, special events may be postponed until later dates. We will keep students and families updated on these decisions so that you can plan your participation in advance.

More information can be found on the district website: www.camas.wednet.edu. Please continue to take good care of yourselves and your families. This is a difficult time for all of us, and we will get through it together. 

Sincerely,

Jeff Snell, Superintendent
Camas School District

Dear Camas Community,

Thank you so much for your generosity Camas! Our community has donated a significant amount of food, clothing, personal hygiene items, and more than $3,000 to our Backpack Program and Community Family Resource Center. These donations will go a long way toward supporting our students and families during this difficult time.

Speaking of our grab-and-go meal service, we received questions about it that I’d like to address. 

Q: Should I take advantage of this service even if I don’t really need it? 

A: The intent of this service is to provide food for children who experience food insecurity. Given that these are unprecedented times, we know students who normally would not have trouble getting enough to eat, might be experiencing food insecurity now. If you need meals, please take them. If you don’t, then don’t.

Q: If we don’t all take the grab-and-go meals, they will just be thrown out, right?

A: We manage to use most of the perishable items we have on hand. Very little will has gone to waste. Please only use the service if needed. 

We have been monitoring the pick-up locations for food service and will continue to adjust times and locations as needs change. Please stay tuned to daily communication about food services. Our next day of service is Monday, March 23. 

As we mentioned yesterday, our staff will receive training on Monday and Tuesday. We will be communicating more next week about what learning will look like during the closure. We will also be sharing more information related to high school learning next week after we receive guidance from state officials. Today the College Board, which runs Advanced Placement, provided some updates for high school students about testing this spring. https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/about-ap/news-changes/coronavirus-update 

With any new information, comes questions, and it seems like information is changing daily. We will be working to support students through these changes and keep families informed. 

Finally, please keep sharing Stories from Camas (http://bit.ly/39XdAx2) with me. You can email me at [email protected]. I’m updating daily with some inspiring and fun stories. Thanks to everyone who has shared. My son Micah and I are doing a storytime that you can access from the site, too!

Thank you Camas!

Jeff Snell, Superintendent 
Camas School District

This is the statement today from Camas School District Superintendent, Dr. Jeff Snell:

Dear Camas Community,

Thank you all for your continued patience regarding this evolving situation. We will be closing schools starting Monday, March 16through Friday, April 24. All after school activities, athletics, and facility use are postponed effective today, March 13, at 3:45 PM. We understand the challenge this presents to our community and the reality of the pandemic we face. 

Although we recognize we cannot replicate the school setting or services we normally provide, we will be providing ways to keep students engaged in learning during the closure. Through every challenge, there are opportunities to learn and we want to take advantage of the opportunity. 

Students in grades 6 – 12 have Chromebooks checked out to them. Our elementary schools use class sets of Chromebooks. Because of the closure announcement, we distributed the class sets of Chromebooks to students in grades 3 – 5 today for access. It will take us a few days to solidify learning engagement plans for all K12 students. Details will be shared through updates and on our website. We will be receiving guidance from state leaders about all of the detailed questions that may come to mind. As we receive that guidance, we will share it with you. 

On Monday, we will begin to provide food services for families for students who need it at Liberty Middle School and Skyridge Middle school. The food will be available for pick up from 9 – 10 AM. To help us better prepare, please let us know if you need breakfast and/or lunch for your students using this form

The Governor has asked school districts to provide emergency childcare services for our community. We are working to ensure the services meet COVID-19 guidelines. Information about emergency childcare is posted here

We will be utilizing our website to keep you informed. Updates will be regularly posted athttp://www.camas.wednet.edu/about-csd/news/covid-19/ and shared via email. This is a challenging time for everyone. We care about our community and will be a hub for services in the coming weeks. If you have a specific need and are unsure where to go or who to ask, please utilize this link to reach out. We will do our best to support you and/or connect you to other service providers. 

I am proud to be the superintendent of this wonderful learning community. There will be many opportunities in the near future to come together and support each other. Let’s take advantage of those opportunities!

Sincerely,

Jeff Snell, Superintendent
Camas School District

Camas School District Superintendent, Dr. Jeff Snell, said there are no new reported COVID-19 cases in Clark County and that the district’s absentee rate is 1% higher than a year ago. He made the following statement today:

Dear Camas Community,

Thank you for your patience over the past few weeks.  Things continue to rapidly evolve as we receive new information and direction from state leaders. Today, Governor Inslee issued another proclamation closing schools in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties effective March 17 through April 24.  The criteria shared for the Governor’s decision was the amount of community transmission of the virus. Clark County has not met that threshold with one confirmed case (Clark County Public Health).  I understand that there are a lot of different perspectives about closing or not closing schools and appreciate the responsibility.

As a region, we are meeting frequently to review any new information and discuss ways to best support our community.  As of this evening, we are suspending any school-related travel beyond Clark County. We are also postponing public events in our schools that could exceed more than 250 people.  This will include concerts, informational nights, etc. (Canceled/postponed events).  The CEF gala scheduled for this Saturday has also been postponed. 

In the event that schools are closed, we want to assure you that we are committed to still providing services such as food for students in need, emergency child care and learning opportunities in some form.  We will not be able to replicate our current programming with teachers and students in schools. Our support staff members are prioritizing their time and energy in contingency plans.  

We understand there are multitudes of questions that are out there.  Know that we are paying attention to each one and doing our best to address them.  We will continue to provide regular updates to you.  

Jeff Snell, Superintendent
Camas School District

Camas School District Superintendent Dr. Jeff Snell provided an update today about the the school district’s coronavirus plan. This is his statement, with some information from Friday, as well:

While there are no cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) associated with any Camas School District schools, the Clark County Health Department announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Clark County over the weekend. The confirmed coronavirus case is a male in his 70s. He has been in isolation, pending test results, and remains in isolation. The health department will release additional information as it becomes available. 

The health department is not recommending any changes to the steps we are already taking to prevent the spread of illness. We are closely monitoring the evolving situation and in regular communication with state and local health department officials and with other districts in the region.  We will rely on public health guidance/recommendations to make the best decisions for the health of students and families. 

Steps the district is taking to keep students and staff healthy and safe:

  • We are evaluating student and staff participation in events that require travel outside of the district on a daily and case by case basis. In general, the district follows the lead of the host organization, and any additional guidance from public health officials regarding the cancelation of events. Parents and guardians always make the final decision on whether their students will attend events outside of our district. 
  • We are reviewing planned district events through the end of spring break. We have a lot of events each day in the district. Some of those events are very difficult to reschedule, other events can be moved. The district and individual schools will be providing updates on an ongoing basis, so please watch for changes. Our goal is to reduce opportunities for exposure while continuing to provide events for students. It’s a difficult balance. Currently, the recommendation from public health is not to cancel events. Postponing events when possible seems to be a prudent path forward. 
  • We are creating contingency plans should the situation in Southwest Washington and in our district dramatically change. We will, of course, keep you informed about any developments. If the COVID-19 illness spreads more broadly, we will follow the guidance and recommendations of public health officials and share this information with staff and families as quickly as possible.  

Determining these plans has not been easy. Our goal is to minimize exposure while still providing education for our students. There are no easy solutions, and the plans we make are fluid as information changes. I will frame our plans in a series of questions and answers.

What happens if one of our schools has a known exposure to the virus?
Most likely the school would be closed for a minimum of two days while we do a deep cleaning and follow any additional guidance from health officials.

What about extra-curricular activities?
We will continue student activities such as clubs and athletics as long as school is still in session. Activities that take place away from schools will be assessed. Individual student participation is a decision made by families.

What about events/competitions put on by other organizations? 
We will continue to follow the lead of the organization and any direction from health officials. Individual student participation is a decision made by families.

What about community events we host such as school carnivals or movie nights?
Events that bring the community, students, and staff together and are not time-bound will be postponed, possibly until after spring break, when we will reassess the unfolding situation. We realize that this can be challenging; however, limiting exposure when we can is important. Specific information about events will be coming out from both school and district levels.

As we watch the world around us, it seems inevitable that the coronavirus will continue to impact our operations. There are opportunities for us all in these moments to demonstrate the care and compassion that make our community such a wonderful place to live. We will continue to update you as situations change.

To learn more, visit www.camas.wednet.edu

Editor’s Note: School Board acquires Underwriters Laboratories site for future educational programming funded in part by impact fees. Funding for this property purchase comes from funds not part of the Camas School District operating budget.

At its regular meeting on June 24, the Camas School Board approved the purchase of Underwriters Laboratories, located at 2600 NW Lake Rd, Camas, for use in educational programming. Centrally located in Camas, the nearly 58 acre parcel and 115,000 square foot building are tax assessed at $19.5 million; the District will purchase both for $12 million.

Funding for the purchase will come from a variety of sources:

  • $3.3 million in impact fees: Impact fees come from private dollars (typically from construction companies and developers) as new homes and neighborhoods are constructed. School districts receive these fees because of the impacts new developments have on communities. These funds are currently sitting in a CSD bank account to be used only for capital projects and improvements. Annually, CSD receives $500,000 from impact fees.
  • $3.7 million from the District’s capital projects fund: This is bond money set aside for property acquisition, which is currently in the CSD capital fund bank account. These monies remain in the capital fund, for projects such as the Garver Theatre remodel.
  • $5.0 million in a non-voted limited general obligation bond: This is a bank loan. According to CSD Business Services Director Jasen McEathron, CSD would take out a loan from a Pacific Northwest bank who invests in these type of securities. It is usually paid back over 10 years. The loan is currently being secured and will likely be ready in 60 days.

Monday’s unanimous school board vote approves a resolution to move forward with this purchase sale agreement — and it gives Superintendent Jeff Snell the authority to sign it.

McEathron noted the District anticipates being able to pay for the non-voted limited general obligation bond without impacting the general fund by using state forest funds, future impact fees, or in a future voter-approved bond. These funding sources cannot be used to pay for daily operational costs including staffing and compensation.

“It is important to understand that while we’re currently reducing our operating budget due to the State’s shift in school funding, the revenue streams we’ll utilize for paying for property are legally separate. We can’t use bond dollars or impact fees to pay for staff,” commented McEathron.

“We’ve had a challenging year related to our budget shortfall and resulting reductions in staffing, and it may seem counterintuitive to purchase property at a time when our operating budget is in decline,” said Superintendent Jeff Snell. “However, long-range planning points to continued growth in our community and compels us to act when presented with extraordinary opportunities that will benefit students.”

Underwriters Laboratories
Find us at www.Arktana.com

The Underwriters Laboratories land borders the Skyridge Middle School campus, making the location amenable to future expansion. The district intends to lease the building initially and is exploring the possibility for shared use partnerships with industry and higher education. Work is underway to update the district long-term strategic plan and district leaders are excited about the opportunities the UL property presents for future generations.

“It could be another comprehensive high school, and could be something else entirely, ,” said Snell. “Whatever we decide to do from a programming standpoint, we’d have to get stakeholder and community input first. This could be several years away. We may lease it out for a period of time, and we are also looking at sports fields conversions on the 58 acres. This is an opportunity to address whatever needs the district has moving forward.”

“This feels like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It is extremely rare to find a flat parcel of land this size in the center of town that is surrounded by fully developed neighborhoods,” said CSD Board President Doug Quinn. “The existing building provides an opportunity to repurpose for school use if needed for less cost than constructing a new one. This is a win for our students and Camas taxpayers.”

This purchase marks the second instance where the District obtained an existing business property. In 2016, the District purchased a 39-acre parcel and 54,000 square foot building from Sharp Microelectronics for $12.5 million. The building was converted to Odyssey Middle School and the 2016 bond-funded Discovery High School was built on this site. The conversion allowed the district to gain an additional school beyond what was a part of the bond program.

Snell said the costs to retrofit a school have been considered and CSD has learned how to best do that given their experience with the Sharp building conversion.

“We know how to do it and what to expect,” said Snell.

UL has operated at the Camas site since 1994. Their headquarters in is Northbrook, IL.

Discovery High School Principal, Aaron Smith, addresses Common Themes and Myths:

Discovery High School does not have AP courses.

Myth buster alert! While Discovery may not offer as many AP courses as a large, comprehensive high school, we have selected a handful of AP courses which all students will experience. Our AP courses are less about covering a tremendous amount of content and more about themes and processes, thus being more accessible for all students. They are also much more adaptable for a project-based environment (like the real world). Beginning next year, all Discovery freshmen will take AP Human Geography as their social studies class, while our sophomores will have AP Seminar for their English class and AP World History for social studies. AP Seminar is an interdisciplinary course that encourages students to demonstrate critical thinking, collaboration, and academic research skills. A perfect fit! In addition to having the option to take the AP exam at the end of the term for possible college credit, our AP for all approach will result in a 100% participation score for AP offerings at Discovery. Why is this important? A 100% participation score is more attractive to universities when compared to a lower participation score at a school with many AP courses. Bonus! 

It is not possible to take four years of math at Discovery. 

Wrong again! Our students will have the same math pathways and opportunities as our other high schools, including pre-calculus and calculus.  

Discovery High School does not have as many electives.

There is no getting around it. A smaller high school program cannot offer as many electives as a much larger school. However, we will continue to add options as we grow and have other flexible and personalized pathways. We will continue to offer Spanish as a world language and hope to add Mandarin as well. Additionally, we have courses such as coding, music production, guitar, and multimedia and film where students can spread their creative wings. We also offer design and engineering courses operating out of our world-class fabrication lab led by Bruce Whitefield, the highly successful Camas Mean Machine Robotics coach. Lastly, our commitment to passion projects gives students the opportunity to dive deep into an area of interest and to explore possible career paths. 

Discovery High School
www.AgentJeremiah.com

Discovery is not a high school for college-bound students.

This one is absolutely false. Ultimately, colleges and universities are seeking students with a high GPA, competitive SAT scores, and additional interests outside of their classwork. Discovery High School graduates will receive a transcript with a traditional GPA that looks like any other high school. In fact, Discovery students have more opportunities to improve their GPA based on our standards-based and growth-mindset approach. In other words, we believe students should have multiple opportunities and avenues to demonstrate their learning and growth, versus a more rigid approach focusing on homework completion and one-chance exams. Lastly, institutions of higher education are looking for students who can demonstrate skills beyond memorizing content. A portfolio of projects and an ability to articulate Discovery’s emphasis on developing their success skills of collaborating, communicating, creating, critical thinking, and time management will help our students stand out in a crowd of applicants. Just ask one of our model schools and mentors, High Tech High in San Diego. High Tech High is a well-rounded project-based school that has been around since 2000. They also have a 98% success rate when it comes to college admittance. 

Running Start

Due to the nature of our flexible schedule and focus on collaboration, the learning experiences at Discovery High School are not designed to support part-time students. However, students may attend Discovery High School until their junior or senior year and then transfer to CHS if they wish to go the Running Start direction. This would not impact their credits or path to graduation. Our Discovery juniors and seniors will focus on internship opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.

These are questions that Lacamas Magazine asked Camas School District (CSD) Superintendent Jeff Snell regarding the considerations from the special volunteer budget committee, which was organized to analyze how to best resolve the district’s $8.2 million budget deficit. Here are his answers.

What steps are being taken based on budget committee considerations?

First, we looked across the system for efficiencies, reducing supply budgets and things like that. We talked in the budget committee about distributing reductions across the system so we looked at certificated, classified and central office staffing, as well as unrepresented staff.

In the committee, we explored the state prototypical school funding model. We’re overstaffed in certain areas by state standards such as certificated staff, but we feel we’re staffed appropriately. We looked at TOSAs (Teachers on Special Assignments). These positions are not funded by the state so there’s a reduction there. We looked at the elementary, middle, and high school class sizes which are addressed in the teachers’ contract. At elementary that’s 24, then 30 for middle school, and 31 for high school and we run schedules with those targets in mind. We found capacity in that while keeping those targets in play. We realized some reductions there.

Camas School
Camas school teachers and supporters during bargaining sessions last summer.

From a student and family standpoint, we might be from 21 now to 23 in the ratio of students to certificated staff in a school. We’ve been able to run a small highly specialized class as needed, and it makes it more difficult to do that now.

Overload occurs when we exceed those class size targets as defined in our collective bargaining agreement. On a spreadsheet the students are divided evenly, but the reality is that doesn’t always happen. We may have more kindergartners than first graders, for example. Teachers can get a variety of remedies to address overload such as additional staff assistants. Each year overload is something that needs to be addressed. It may become a bigger problem next school year. In August, it’s possible that more students will enroll than anticipated. If that’s the case, we would need to consider adding staff.

Classified. We’re not really overstaffed based on the prototypical model. It was challenging to find efficiencies there. We looked specifically at retirements and resignations. If we have a custodian retiring, could we possibly not fill that position recognizing services would be reduced? In transportation, we are finding savings by adjusting some routes.

Scholarship
VancouverLaserSkinCareClinic.com

Our facilities are well taken care of. We have a great crew, but, again, we may have to change the level of service moving forward.

Most of the certificated reductions will be addressed through retirements, resignations, and staff who were on one-year contracts.

Twenty-two FTE teaching positions are being eliminated. It’s spread across the levels, elementary, middle and high school and teachers on special assignment.


Six central office staff positions are being eliminated. Six support staff positions are being eliminated.

We don’t have the number on non-instructional staff.

To balance the $8.2 million deficit, CSD is eliminating $4.6 million in position and non-staff reduction, and we are taking $3.7 million out of the fund balance, which leaves our fund balance at about 5 percent, which is approximately $5 million.

All the details have to be worked out by May 15, and we’re working with CEA.

Budget Deficit
School board members listen to budget committee members Monday night.

How does SB5313 affect Camas? Will it increase levy authority for CSD in 2019? Do we know yet how it will affect us?

What it does is it raises our authority to collect additional local funds to $2.50 per $1,000 assessed value. It’s a change from the model that was rolled out last year. We also receive some state subsidy dollars for levy called Local Effort Assistance that may be affected in the change. We are waiting for clear direction from the state about this.

We have an approved levy in place and we want our citizens to know what’s happening. We want to be transparent with the public about where their tax dollars are going. We will get guidance on how to use this new authority. January 1, 2020, is when we could start collecting on the new levy, should the school board determine to do so.

Regarding the school employee benefits board decision, between now and then more information will be need to be made public.

Did the legislature fail to fund special education this session? My research shows they don’t include special education under basic education.

It initially looks they funded more special education dollars, but there’s still a gap. OSPI estimated $240 million more was needed to fully fund special education. We think the new legislation could give us $500,000 to help fund special education in Camas, but we’re not sure yet. The details should be available in the coming months.

Agencies will help interpret the legislation first. ESD 112 has provided a lot of support to us.

What are the major parts of the 2019 Legislative session that disappoint you?

Special education — such a common need across the state. I was hoping there would be more revenue in that. Overall, the session didn’t significantly change our situation for the short-term.

We planned for the worst, and I don’t think the worst happened. A couple big variables are still ahead of us that we need to navigate including levy authority and the impact of the new model for school employee benefits.

Our budget committee has invested a ton of time trying to sort through this, and they gave us guidance through a very complicated situation. We’ll keep coming back to them as we navigate those variables in the future.

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