State of the Moses Lake School District

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Dr. Eric Stones

Winter appears to be on its way out and cold weather is loosening its grip as we approach a spring thaw. I welcome this time of year and look forward with anticipation to pleasant days ahead. As many of you know, the Moses Lake School District Board of Directors has gone through a turbulent time since the November 2017 general election. This Board has weathered many chilly and stormy receptions, not unlike the frosty days of winter. But, like the continual change of seasons, as spring approaches, I look forward with optimism to positive results from all that this Board has accomplished these past 16 months since November 2017.

This Board has:

- Listened with civility to each other and the community.

- Facilitated open, transparent dialogue on the Board with use of Roberts Rules of Order.

- Approved changes to the 11 period schedule at the high school.

- Instituted student safety and security upgrades (watch closely around MLHS).

- Passed an Enrichment Levy (this aids student learning).

- Addressed changing conditions for the 2017 bond (this will build schools).

- Refused to accept monetary remuneration for service of time on the Board.

- Declined to attend National School Board meetings, saving thousands of dollars.

- Solicited input from, and responded to an expert community long-range planning committee.

- Improved District decision-making processes by incorporating data driven, long-range planning.

- Responded to major changes to state funding of public schools.

- Proactively promoted budget reductions due to anticipated future shortfalls.

- Reduced the Board budget subcategory by over $35,000 (a more than 10 percent reduction).

- Approved new curriculum adoption in the areas of science and mathematics.

- Approved the largest increase in teacher salaries in the history of the school district.

- Instituted performance based pay for District administration.

- Approved understandable, transparent contracts for the superintendent and District officials.

- Announced construction of two new elementary schools with huge savings to taxpayers.

- Sought to responsibly dispose of excess property.

- Maximized capital resources bringing learning and administrative services together.

- Re-purposed the old DSHS building for a Learning Services Center, beautifying the community and all this on time and under budget.

- In spite of financial challenges, advanced student instruction and raised teacher salaries.

- Instituted a planning calendar that addresses Board business in a timely and open manner.

As president of the Moses Lake School District Board of Directors, I am very proud of what this Board has accomplished and will accomplish. This Board continues to address other issues such as loss of auto tech facilities, the second high school and Washington State legislative decisions. New issues surface regularly. The School Board is a great opportunity for community service and I have enjoyed serving. However, I will not be seeking re-election this November. As my “season” comes to a close, I urge any in District One having a desire to participate in meaningful community service to file for candidacy. The deadline in Grant County is May 13-17. With over 1,100 employees, the Moses Lake School District is the largest employer in Grant County, with huge economic impact. The business of educating our youth and children is truly of great importance to our community. It has been my pleasure to work with this Board in serving the Moses Lake School District.

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