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Budget Approved By West Washington School Board But, “A Lot Still Depends On State”

By Jill Moon

The West Washington County School Board began its meeting on September 22 with a budget hearing.

Currently the books are showing a deficit of approximately $55,000 for the 2016-2017 school year. Superintendent Fuhrhop told the board that the deficit last year was over $100,000.

“Overall it is a very balanced budget and looks very solid right now,” he said. Fuhrhop reminded the board that “a lot still depends on the state”. The 2016-2017 budget was adopted.

The board learned during the regular meeting that federal grant money was being used to send several teachers to Peoria to attend a reading conference for professional development. The district also had to buy some new books, Spanish to English translators.

Pastor Jeff Schwab addressed the board asking for fewer school events to be scheduled on Wednesday nights so his young church members could have the time needed to finish confirmation. It was the consensus of the board that a lot of effort was being made, but for example, in the case of sports tournaments, those scheduling decisions were out of the board’s hands and made by other organizations.

The application for school recognition, which designates all district principals as highly qualified paraprofessionals, was approved and the paperwork will be submitted. This is done every year.

The 2016-2017 overnight trips for FFA students were discussed and approved. There are typically four of these during the year. Traditionally the student is responsible for their own costs though the FFA Alumni have been generous with their help.

Principal Spinka reported on an upcoming event, Family Literacy Night, which will be held October 6 from 6:15 to approximately 7:30.

Spinka said this year will deal with grades K-2 and will focus primarily on reading skills. He said the goal was to familiarize parents with what their children were doing in school so they could help their kids with their school work.

Another upcoming event Spinka talked about was Trunk or Treat on October 27 from 6:30-7:30. A section of the parking lot will be roped off and parents could park there and pass out treats. Spinka said that he is hoping to promote using the campus for parent/student activities.

Principal Senior reported that he felt standardized test data had been accurate and had pointed out some deficits that were already being addressed. He said one change is being implemented in study hall; if a student has nothing to work on they must find something to read.

Fuhrhop reported that the light pole for the back of the school would be installed soon. He expressed frustration with state regulations that stipulated how schools could spend state funds.

“You can buy toys”, Fuhrhop said, while other needs such as books and workbooks might go unmet.