As newly elected NK School Director — THANKS!

Yesterday concluded my first experience on the campaigning side of elections.  It was rewarding working with supporters and talking to voters, and in the end it was successful with a winning outcome.  I made a goal to talk to as many of NK voters as I could, and I did spend most Saturday’s in September and October knocking on doors.  I appreciate your willingness to spend some time talking about NK schools, and thank you for your support.

I would also like to acknowledge, Doug Prichard, and his supporters.  It was Doug’s first experience campaigning too, and the process of the campaign and the opportunities to speak together at the League of Women Voter’s forums and with the NK Herald community committee were quite positive.  Rather than a fierce competition between two individual candidates, they were discussions centered around making NK School Districts better.  This was possible because of Doug’s character and concern for our community.

However, I realize that engaging the community is work that is never completed and I will continue to actively collect your input.   I want your input about what you need and what you want to see in our school district.  Your input will be used to develop community-driven strategies to build learning experiences for all of our students. 

This month the NK School Board will decide on how much funds to collect for maintenance and operations levy that expires at the end of 2013-14 school year.  The levy measure will be voted on in February.  The levy will likely have additional funds to meet the district’s needs for staff, technology and facilities.  Your input is needed to ensure that this funding is applied to where it is needed.

Community input is needed to transition the Highly Capable program in light of the rewritten Washington Administrative Code.  This is also true for Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) program that is known as PAL in NK.

I look forward to hearing and learning more so I can have a serve the community and improve NKSD.

Thanks, Beth Worthington

Kicking off the Campaign to the General Election

Firstly, a look at the precinct-by-precinct vote counts results of the primary election, I am humbled and encouraged that NKSD voters gave me winning totals in 32 of the 36 precincts.  Thank you for your support.

Looking forward to the general election, I pledge to get around to talking to as many of you as possible between now and then.  I want your input about what you need and what you want to see in our school district.  Your input will be used to develop community-driven strategies to build learning experiences for all of our students.  Two of the themes that I have heard so far are:

Communication for transparency and to engage the community –district actions need to be understood by the community and the district needs to understand what the community needs and values.

Smaller class sizes – in elementary grades this is important to engage all student and in secondary grades this is important to offer a diverse, variety of classes and activities including music, art and athletics.

I look forward to hearing and learning more so I can have a strong basis to guide my work with NKSD. — Beth Worthington

NK Publishes Proposed Budget – What is the impact?

North Kitsap School District has published their budget for 2013-14 school year in advance of a public hearing scheduled for August 8th from 7:00-9:00 at the district office.  The public is also welcome to attend a study session on the budget that will be held prior to the hearing from 6:00 – 7:00.

The following are my questions to the district regarding the 2013-14 budget.  What are your questions?  Forward them to the district and attend the public hearing.

Regarding increased state funding –

Information:  The July 11, 2013 presentation included increased state funding for MSOC of $960K and for Transportation of $308K.  Presumably, the district spends more than the states allocation for MSOC and Transportation and uses other funds (i.e., levy) to make up the difference.

Conclusion:  There will be an equivalent amount of money ($906K + $308K = $1.214M) to spend on other district priorities.

Question:  Where is the $1.214M being allocated for next year?

Regarding staffing—

Information: The July 11, 2013 presentation indicated that the net decrease in Certificated FTE is 8.5.  Therefore, the proposed total Certificated FTE is expected to be 345.8 for 2013-14, which is 354.3 FTE of the current level presented on May 6 less 8.5. It was stated that this 8.5 reduction in FTE from last year is matched by the expected enrollment decline.

Question: Could you provide an update to 2013-2014 Proposed Educational Program that was prepared by Chris Willits dated May 6, 2013?

Conclusion: Since the reduction in 8.5 FTE is matched to the predicted decline in enrollment of 200 students, nominally, the community should expect that class sizes will not be increased over last year’s levels.

Question: Could you provide your estimate of the expected class sizes for next year?

Information:  The July 11,2013 presentation indicated that Wolfle K-1 will be staffed higher than what it was last year at a targeted class size of 20 – due to availability of state funding for that specific purpose.  Additionally because of state funding, there will be an increase in LAP staffing.

Question: How is staffing going to increase for LAP?  Is that allocated to the schools?

Conclusion: Since the district had already realized their proposed reduction in staffing of 27.3 FTE, it would be expected that hiring will occur before next year.   Nominally, that would be (27.3-8.5=18 FTE).

Question: What have you determined are the positions that need to be hired for next year?

Regarding Fund Balance –

Information:  The board adopted a resolution 07-12-13 on April 11, 2013 to systematically, over-time increase the fund balance.  The proposed level for the end of 2013-2014 is 3.5% – which is 0.5% larger than the fund balance for the end of this year.  The presentation made on July 11, 2013 indicates that the size of this committed fund balance is $1.863 M for the end of this year and $2.229 M for the end of next year.

Questions:  How is the fund balance calculated (percentage of what)?  Is this projected to be met?  Why is this important?

Regarding Maintenance/Equipment Costs –

Information:  The board voted on July 11, 2013 to replace the roof at Vinland Elementary for an expected cost of $447K.  The Preliminary Budget also presented on July 11, 2013 shows a budget of $1.603M for 64 Activity of Maintenance of Buildings/Equipment.

Question:  How will the Vinland Roof Repair impact the 2013-2014 budget?

Question:  Is there a dictionary that includes definition of the various activities used in the budget?  Can you provide that?

Question:  What is the basis for the districts building maintenance budget?  Are their predictions of future roof repairs?

Community Driven Strategies That Build Student Learning

Beth Worthington
Candidate for Director District 3 of North Kitsap School District, No. 400

I am running for North Kitsap School District to give back and serve the community that has served me and my family well for last 18 years. I will be a good steward of our public dollars that have been allocated to invest in the future by educating our young people. As a board member, I will set vision and implement strategies that meet the unique needs of ALL of our North Kitsap students.Setting visions and determining the right strategies requires understanding of our community needs and understanding of our current challenges. With this understanding, strategies and objectives can be set and NKSD can build educational systems, programs and processes that result in the desired outcomes.

My values are…

  • Community engagement and transparency of district operations to promote decisions based on meaningful, productive and thorough information exchange.
  • Management by facts and reliable predictions that allow for steady and consistent practices and less reactive actions.
  • Financial responsibility – less enrollment means less funds and a smaller, but better educational system
  • Focus on the student learning – smaller class sizes, broad educational programs including music, art and athletics
  • Sustain excellence – Six NK middle-school students won at State and are going to National History Day, Rolling Reader and Star Tutor program employs our young leaders to assist our younger students

I will gather information and listen to the community to build a shared understanding of our needs and values. I will explore the challenges of today’s environment of declining enrollment and inadequate state funding. I will learn more about the competencies of our district’s programs and define strengths that can be leveraged.

I will work toward articulating a vision and a strategy for the district that is derived from the community and meets the needs of all our students.