News

Big date looms for CKSD

By PAUL BALCERAK

Staff writer

Wednesday’s Central Kitsap School District school board meeting will serve as a teaser in the ongoing saga of secondary reconfiguration and possible school closure.

Superintendent Greg Lynch is expected to present the board with his recommended draft options for school reconfiguration, but a final decision by the board isn’t expected until January 2009 at the earliest.

The process could take several school years to complete and may result in no changes at all.

“As we prepare people for the future, we need to be fair, thorough and transparent and put these things out there in advance,” and provide rationale for any decisions made, Lynch said at a school board special session Feb. 20.

Members of the public got a preview of what could be in store for the Feb. 27 board meeting at a Feb. 6 special session. It was at that session that the secondary configuration committee unveiled five configuration options that could find their way to the board for consideration.

The committee went a step further at the most recent special session on Wednesday, saying the options presented were their most preferred, in alphabetical order (see gray box).

Research done by the committee turned up two fairly consistent trends: that sixth-graders are more prone to negative behavior when grouped with older students (i.e. in a 6-8 middle school) and students in general benefit from fewer school transitions. Additionally, committee chair Katharine Gleysteen has repeatedly trumpeted the committee’s preference to have four-year (9-12) high schools become the norm in CKSD.

Only one hard fact resulted from the committee’s research: no single configuration option is “the best” or overwhelmingly preferable to any other.

“It’s gonna be about preference ... and what works best for our community,” Gleysteen said of an eventual decision on configuration.

Lynch’s recommendation could include any number of the five options presented. Even after his recommendation is made, board members will have the freedom to add or subtract configuration options from the list, before passing their preferences on to the school closure committee. That committee will study reconfiguration and school closure simultaneously and come back with a combined recommendation to the board in September 2008, according to their most recent timeline projections.

Also discussed at the Feb. 20 special session:

• Draft options involving budget cuts to the custodial department and co-curricular activities were presented by those groups’ respective committee heads. The cuts are only options to be considered as the district puts together a draft budget for the 2008-09 school year.

Other departments could face cuts as well; all committees are currently looking at ways to trim budgeting. The draft budget is expected to surface sometime in May and the school board plans to finalize next school year’s budget in August.

• The upcoming school board meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 27, will be held at Olympic High School.

CKSD reconfiguration options

These options represent the secondary configuration committee’s preferences — in order of most to least favored — for school configuration. They do not represent the options that Superintendent Greg Lynch will present to the board Feb. 27.

1. Option A: K-6, 7-8, 9-12

2. Option B: K-6, 7-12

3. Option C: K-5, 6-8, 9-12

4. Option D (current configuration): K-6, 7-12 (Klahowya Secondary School only), 7-9, 10-12

5. Option E (combination of Options A and B): K-6, 7-8, 9-12 and 7-12

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