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CKSD ready for great 2009

District lays groundwork for future changes.

By the end of 2008, the Central Kitsap School District (CKSD) had a pretty clear picture of its future, although some issues remained slightly undecided heading into the new year.

The future of Seabeck Elementary School is still uncertain. The CKSD Board of Directors, however, instructed staff to prepare criteria for either selling, leasing or renting the building after hosting two public hearings to receive input from the community about the future of the building. Many expressed an interest in keeping in the public domain.

The district also appeared to have settled on a secondary school attendance boundary adjustment, which are to be made by Superintendent Greg Lynch. After months of serious study, the committee assigned to review potential changes to the CKSD secondary school attendance boundaries has made its selection.

Of the four potential options explored, the committee has recommended the existing secondary boundaries be changed to move the district’s secondary schools closer to their enrollment targets.

A final review by the CKSD Board of Directors is slated for Jan. 14.

“Option A is the best option,” committee spokesman Dirk Gleysteen told the school board at its Dec. 10 meeting. “It is the recommendation of the committee that the class of 2010 should be given spots in their current schools.”

Under Option A, some high school students would be moved from Central Kitsap High School (CKHS) and some would move from CKHS to Klahowya Secondary School (KSS). On the junior high level, some students currently attending Ridgetop Junior High School (RJH) would move to Fairview Junior High School and Central Kitsap Junior High School (CKJH), while others would transition from CKJH to RJH and KSS.

Maps of the proposed changes can be found on the district’s Web site at www.cksd.wednet.edu.

More students meeting graduation requirements

Christmas appears to have come early for CKSD and the 870 students expected to graduate as the class of 2009.

With more stringent graduation requirements including passing the reading, writing and math components of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL), this year’s seniors are ahead of last year’s class in terms of meeting those requirements, CKSD Executive Director of Secondary Education Shirley Kenmochi told the CKSD Board of Directors at its meeting.

“I think we’re pretty unusual as a school district that we’re talking about individual students and whether or not they’re passing a course,” Lynch said.

For a student to achieve senior status, they must have earned 16 credits at the end of their junior year, Kenmochi said, noting that out of the 996 students expected to be seniors, 126 are ineligible, reducing this year’s senior class to 870 students.

“The numbers are down, so that is good,” Kenmochi said. “We think students are taking the tests more seriously.”

This year, only 216 students have met the standard on either the reading, writing, math or one or more parts of the WASL compared to 256 students at the same time last year, she said.

Even with the new WASL math requirement for graduation, Kenmochi said districtwide there are fewer students who must fulfill those requirements before they can graduate.

For those students who haven’t yet met the graduation standards, district and school staff are making a concerted effort to ensure those students have ample opportunities to do so before graduation, Kenmochi said.

“It tells us at the school level, they’re all over that, and we’re driving the numbers down,” board president Bruce Richards said. “It’s that in November/December this year, we know what we’re faced with in spring/summer.”

Lynch credited the school board for tackling the graduation issue last year as the results are being demonstrated with this year’s senior class.

“The added benefit is it’s just not focusing on the seniors,” Lynch said. “It’s focusing on sophomores and juniors.”

Greene appointed to school board

Eric Greene was appointed to the Central Kitsap Board of Directors June 16 to fill the unexpired term of Lee Ann Powers, whose resignation took effect that day.

Greene, one of three applicants interviewed by the board, was sworn into office at a board meeting June 18.

“All of the applicants were excellent and this was a tough decision,” Board President Carl Johnson said in a statement released by the district. “They all shared a commitment to children and we are grateful for their interest.”

A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, Greene earned a bachelor’s degree in athletic administration and coaching while minoring in secondary education. He moved to Washington state eight years ago.

Greene currently works as the training readiness, requirements and exercises specialist for Commander Navy Region Northwest. He also has served as a Naval Officer and public school teacher, bringing a wide range of experience to his position on the board.

“Right now I’m here to look out for (school area) District 5 the best I can,” Greene said.

Class of 2008 moves on

Seniors from CKHS, Olympic High School and KSS donned their caps and gowns as they became the first class to have passed the WASL in order to graduate. CKSD fared better than most districts, and the class of 2009 is already ahead of the pioneering class of ’08.

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