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CKSD super ‘boxing’ himself in

In the overall grand scheme of things, Central Kitsap School District Superintendent Greg Lynch isn’t sure yet what the future holds for the school district. But the CK board of directors has given him permission to figure it out.

At a regular board meeting on Wednesday night at the district office, Lynch and finance director Gary Powell presented a plan to form a solitary committee to look at some hard questions the school district faces in the next few years.

The committee will consist of two members from the current finance committee, the facilities committee, Central Kitsap Citizens for a Quality Education and two parent representatives. The committee will combine research from each of the committees to study when the district should attempt to pass a facilities bond. The committee also will consider whether to open discussion on the district closing an elementary school.

Other school districts in the state have already closed elementary schools to deal with fewer state funds being allocated to school districts and declining enrollment.

After a short presentation, board member Christy Cathcart summed up the board’s position.

“Superintendent, go forth,” Cathcart said.

Lynch gave himself a December 2004 time frame to take the information from the committee and make recommendations to the board. He emphasized that the committee would recommend discussion on the closure of a school, not the actual closure of a school.

“We’re kind of boxing ourselves in here (to a December time frame),” Lynch said.

As for a bond initiative, however, it is a matter of when and not if.

In September 2003, voters turned down a $60 million bond that would have replaced Central Kitsap and Fairview junior highs and Seabeck and Jackson Park elementary schools. The proposal needed a 60 percent supermajority to pass. Only 49 percent of voters approved the measure.

In regard to the bond initiative, Lynch is trying to learn from the district’s past to preserve its future.

“The same reasons we used to issue the bond last September are still there,” Lynch said.

Powell said he agreed with the adhoc committee forming.

“The thing I don’t want to see us do is make a hasty decision,” Powell said.

In other business, Linda Goldsmith, executive director of secondary education, outlined the new high school graduation requirements that go into effect for this year’s freshmen.

The graduating class of 2008 must pass the reading, writing math portions of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning as 10th graders (the science portion will be added for the class of 2010)

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