Cheney Free Press -

 
 

By AL STOVER
Staff Reporter 

ML School District awarded $100,000 grant

Award to be used for development of STEM lab

 


Medical Lake High School will be getting an addition in the future.

STEM coordinator Ann Everett announced that the district was awarded a $100,000 grant from the Cornelius E. Hagan Foundation at the Feb. 25 regular Medical Lake school board meeting.

According to a news release from Everett, the grant will be used for the development of a lab for the STEM program where students from Medical Lake and other area schools can explore engineering.

The lab will feature industry standard equipment, as well as a curriculum for elementary, middle school and high school students. It will also have a three-year focus with the first being the engineering design process, the second robotics, and the third being computer integrated manufacturing.

Everett said the $100,000 would be allotted over the course of three years. $25,000 would be used in each of the first two years and $50,000 in the third year.

“Programming will be huge,” Everett said. “We will have equipment no one else has.”

Prior to Everett’s announcement, District Maintenance Supervisor Gary Hartman proposed a new card access system that would increase security to school buildings. Hartman said the idea came from the district’s safety committee.

The board approved the first reading of Board Policy 2340 “Religious-Related Activities and Practices.”

Veltri read proclamations from Gov. Jay Inslee that declared March 10-14 as Classified School Employee Week and March 17-23 as Retired Teacher Week. She said that the central office recognizes classified staff throughout the year by bringing them lunch and cakes.

Veltri also reminded the board that retired teachers still give back to the community through volunteer work.

The board approved the ASB’s “Chuck It in the Bucket” and the junior class’ “Pongaroke” fundraiser projects.

Veltri discussed the work the board has done in their goal setting, which included learning about the Washington state Common Core standards, improving their knowledge of special education and learning about partnerships with outside agencies.

During his report, District Business Manager Don Johnson said it has been a good year in terms of enrollment and the district had nine full-time students over what was budgeted.

Johnson said the district started with $1.2 million and budgeted for $1.5 million in impact aid but has not yet received that.

He added that all-day kindergarten classes, which is not funded by the state, has used some of the funds. There have been other unexpected costs such as the implementation of iPads and food service.

Johnson said the district is on track with projections of expenditures from the general fund and will end the year with about $800,000 in reserves.

“It’s not too surprising to me where we are at,” Johnson said. “It always works out.”

During her “Superintendent’s Report” Veltri said that people are wondering about why the calendar for 2014-2015 school year has not been completed.

She said that the State Senate had passed a bill that requires 1,080 hours of instructional time for high school students and 1,000 hours for first-through eighth-grade students, effective in the 2015-2016 school year.

Veltri explained that the Senate originally set aside $97 million to cover the cost of what amounts to less than three additional minutes a day.

She said the money has been “repurposed” to increase graduation requirements at high schools from 20 credits to 24. Medical Lake School District currently has a 22-credit requirement for graduation.

Veltri said the increased amount of credits could mean an additional five days of school for seniors.

She added that the bill has passed the Senate but needs to go through the House. The district cannot vote on the calendar until legislative session ends.

Veltri said the district may send out a document to notify parents.

Al Stover can be reached at al@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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