Kindergarten Round Up
We have held kindergarten round up and Mr. Miller, Principal at Stewart reports approximately 120 students have been registered. If things run as normal, we also get an additional 10 students in the Fall. This would give us approximately 130 kindergarten students for next year. This is about average across our K-12 system, but our with our 3 largest classes in 9th, 10th, and 11th grade next year at 144, 145, and 156 respectively. We can predict general trends, but until we hit official count day of October 1st, it is only speculative.
It is always good to see solid numbers coming to Kindergarten. If we would continue with 120-130 in each new kindergarten class, we would only be down approximately 90 students by 2020. Again, this is only speculative in nature, but we will need to continually be monitoring our expenses and our enrollment as we move forward.
Washington County Riverboat Foundation
I want to thank the Washington County Riverboat Foundation(WCRF) for their recent award of $70,000 for the Case Field home bleacher project. This will complete our seating renovation over the last 2 years. This has all been possible, because of the WCRF award. When I arrived the district was in the process of replacing the visitor bleachers. Since that time, I have had many inquiries into the home bleachers. In addition, we were replacing wood plank yearly, and it was becoming more and more of a safety concern. The district's’ contribution to this project is coming from our Physical Plant Equipment Levy(PPEL), that can only be used for such things, and doesn’t affect our general fund, that pays for staff. Our goal will be to have the home bleachers replaced for the start of the season.
In addition, we have hired Krafka Turf Management to renovate our turf at Case Field, after it endured a tough season. This renovation also includes Kraftka mowing the turf this year. Because this is a renovation, this expense can also be paid out of PPEL. Our current mowing contractor is giving us a credit on their contract since they will not have to mow the field this year. Krafka is not just simply mowing the field, but will be performing a series of aerating, plugging, and deep tine penetration of the turf to increase our root growth as well as density of the grass. Not many people realize how many games are played on our field in a season. Between 7th, 8th, 9th, junior varsity, varsity, and youth football, this field takes a tremendous amount of wear and tear in the course of a season. Add to the fact that from time to time Mother Nature provides way too much rain, we hope to provide a durable, safe, and great looking turf.
Board Member Appreciation Month
I want to thank the board members of the Washington Community Schools, during Board Member Appreciation Month. These elected positions are voluntary of time and talent, and for the most part are thankless jobs. Some of our board members were around when our unspent balance was negative, and they have been very proactive in addressing our current enrollment drop, as well as preparing for our projected enrollment dip mentioned above.
One of the most important jobs our board has is to ensure is that students are progressing. Our board does an excellent job on following student achievement data. This is something that many boards “hope” will happen, but the Washington board is active in not only the data committee, but all committees. I want to thank the past, present, and future board members for their continued dedication to education for the students of Washington and Brighton.