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School boards plan for upcoming year with approval of bids, budget


Last updated 8/9/2018 at Noon

The monthly meeting for the Lind and Ritzville School Boards resulted in the approval of budgets, as well as accepting milk, fuel and bread bids for the local districts.

The Boards met on July 26 to discuss plans for the upcoming school year, and prepare for the upcoming consolidation of students in the middle school and high school.

The Ritzville School District received two bids for milk from Terry’s Dairy and Springbrook Farms. Business Manager Dana Telecky said the district has been using Terry’s Dairy as the milk supplier for the past eight or night years.

Springbrook Farms was the low bidder this year for the milk used by the district. Telecky explained both Lind and Ritzville schools serve one percent and fat-free chocolate milk to the students.

With the reduced cost for milk products, the Ritzville School Board unanimously approved to use Springbrook Farms for milk during the upcoming school year. The board members expressed that they liked seeing competition for the bidding process, and hope it continues competitive pricing for the district in the future.

Telecky said Springbrook Farms did seem interested in potentially bidding for the Lind School District milk in the upcoming years as well.

The Lind School District received a sole bid from Jim’s Market, who has been the district’s supplier for many years. The Lind school board unanimously approved the Jim’s Market bid for milk.

Both school districts received a lone bid for fuel from Connell Oil, which was unanimously approved.

Telecky said the districts have enjoyed working with Connell Oil because of their proximity to both school districts, as well as their tracking system for purchases. The pricing margin remained the same as previous years, while the fuel prices will vary throughout the year.

Neither district received bread bids, which Telecky said is common since the districts do not require a large quantity of bread.

The boards also discussed the National School Lunch Program cost increase. Telecky explained the increase occurs biannually, and there is a tool to establish the numbers for the districts and the state amount they need to match.

This year, both districts had a $.25 increase, to bring the cost to $2.75 per student. Telecky said this is roughly $.15 away from the state amount the districts need to pay, but they will not be penalized for being under the number if there is effort being made to make an increase and if they are not being a financial burden to families.

The Lind and Ritzville boards both unanimously approved the cost increase.

Both boards also approved budgets for the upcoming year, with only slight changes to line items from the previous year. The increased rates are due in part to increased enrollment in both districts, and the Ritzville School District’s increase includes the upcoming construction project at Lind-Ritzville High School.

The Ritzville School Board approved the budget with $4,868,352 in general fund, $6,057,013 for the capital projects funds, $672,441for debt service fund, and $150,000 in the Associated Student Body fund.

The bids for the LRHS project went out on July 26, and potential bidders were able to complete a walk-through of the building on Aug. 7.

The bid openings will be on Aug. 23, and Superintendent Donald Vanderholm said the LRHS will be going out before the Bridgeport School District project, which is a positive advantage for the local project.

In the application process for construction, Vanderholm said the only identifiable issue has been with stormwater runoff. The report came back to the district with the need to complete a 100-year flood plan.

Vanderholm said engineers have worked on the report to allow the district to still have a 25-year flood plan, which will also save the district money. He explained the 100-year plan would mean completion of a survey of the entire property, including the 20 acres behind the school, which would cost between $30-50,000.

He added Ritzville Mayor Gary Cook would have the ability to override the decision if they are required to complete the 100-year plan, and is hopeful the City would work with the school district.

For the upcoming year, Vanderholm stated the contact for the Lind Community Church is ready for review for the Ritzville School District. The contract would allow the school to rent four rooms in the church to use as classroom space.

Two representatives were selected from the board to meet with the church representatives at a later date. As of Aug. 7, the district will not be using the church for classroom space during the upcoming year.

Vanderholm stated he is in the process of completing negotiations with teachers for both districts. He is also meeting with business managers to gain comprehensive knowledge about the functions of each district.

The current focus for Vanderholm is completing his entry plan, which he will send to board members for feedback upon completion. He is also creating a schedule for administration and cooperative team meetings.

Vanderholm also announced all of the districts’ buses had been inspected and cleared by Washington State Patrol.

East Adams Library District Director Kylie Fullmer provided the Community Connection at the meeting and discussed the ongoing summer camps and free summer meals happening at Lind Elementary School.

The free meals include a morning snack and lunch, which is provided through an OSPI grant. She explained it is free for the public and available for all ages.

Fullmer also discussed the Stimulating Summers Day Camp that occurs five days a week and provides jobs to local youth to serve as counselors. Each week has a different theme, and includes STEM, crafts and physical activities throughout the week.

She stated the Lind camp has extremely low turnout, and she is trying to figure out why. Fullmer thought transportation might be a problem, but wanted feedback from the board members and the public on how to improve attendance during next year’s camp.

The Lind and Ritzville School Boards will need next on the first day of school, Aug. 27, in Ritzville at 6:30 p.m. With the change in classrooms, the Ritzville meetings will now be held in the cafeteria.

Both school boards will also begin transitioning to electronic board packets. Each board member will have a tablet that is linked with their school email account.

The electronic packets will reduce the amount of time Telecky spends on creating the hard copy packets, as well as reduce ink and paper costs.


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