North Kitsap Vikaneer

Follow sports and news from across North Kitsap School District with Herald reporter Kipp Robertson.

Board, community weigh in on school closure during first of three hearings

February 8th, 2013 at 2:54 pm by rwalker
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POULSBO — The community heard the “key factors” that will help the North Kitsap School Board determine which elementary school to close this year.

Board President Dan Weedin had the five-member board list the factors that would guide the closure decision during the first of three public hearings Feb. 7. The main focus of the meeting was Gordon Elementary, one of three schools on the list of potential closures.

School capacity, transportation, and overall cost and savings were the top items for Weedin. How much a school costs versus how much closing a school saves was one of the top factors for the board.

The board is expected to make its decision at its Feb. 28 regular meeting.

Two more public hearings are scheduled: Feb. 14, to consider the merits of closing Breidablik Elementary; and Feb. 21, to consider the pros and cons of closing Wolfle Elementary. The meetings begin with a board study session from 5:15-6 p.m., followed by a public hearing from 6-7 p.m.

Before the meeting started, most if not all the seats had been filled. The comment list was long for those in support of keeping Gordon open. Though each person received only three minutes to speak — the normal allotted time for comment at a board meeting — more than 10 people didn’t get a chance to speak publicly.

Gordon third-grade teacher Bethany LaHaie said the message from the staff at Gordon is: support. Community outcry about a school’s possible closure, she said, indicates all schools are doing a good job.

However, while programs and staff members can be moved if Gordon is closed, there are some school features that can’t be moved. Physical education instructor Tony Bainbridge talked about the school’s learning pods with moveable walls, and a multipurpose room that’s separate from the gymnasium. Fifth-grade teacher Terry Cowen talked about the money raised by the PTA for a sidewalk from the school to Barber Cut Off Road ($11,000), and a reader board ($4,800). Another speaker talked about more than $30,000 of community investment in the Gordon gardens.

School location came up more than once: Gordon is located within walking distance of Kingston Middle and Kingston High schools. Bobbie Moore, chairwoman of the Village Green Metropolitan Park District, said having a “three-school campus” is not an accident — it’s the result of 20 years of planning.

The school board decided to close a school after several years of enrollment declines and budget reductions. The district’s budget was cut by about $2.4 million by 2012-13. Staffing was reduced by 14.7 full-time equivalent positions — from 369.95 to 355.25 FTEs.

Closing a school is estimated to save the district between $300,000 to $500,000 per year, but actual savings are expected to be on the lower side.

A School Closure Committee met nine times between Aug. 28 and Jan. 14, and voted on three schools for closure consideration. Breidablik received the most votes (74), followed by Gordon (71). Though Wolfle had fewer votes (42) than Vinland (48), Vinland was removed from the list, as was Suquamish (32).

In an unofficial poll on North Kitsap Vikaneer, 82 people voted on which of the three schools should close. Breidablik received 59 votes, Wolfle 13, and Gordon 10.

First school closure study session, public hearing is Feb. 7

February 4th, 2013 at 4:12 pm by Kipp Robertson
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Vote on the poll at the bottom of this post. 

The North Kitsap School Board will take a look at the first of three schools on the school closure list Feb. 7 during a study session.

The meeting, open to the public, will allow the board to discuss Gordon Elementary as an option for closure. The meeting begins at 5:15 p.m. in the board room in the district office, 18360 Caldart Ave. NE, Poulsbo.

Gordon received the second-highest number of votes (71) for closure during the School Closure Committee’s final meeting.

The other schools on the list are Breidablik (74 votes) and Wolfle (42 votes).

In the first 45 minutes of the meeting, the board will discuss the possibility of closing Gordon. Then, from 6-7 p.m., the board will hold a public hearing, where anyone may address the board.

No action will be taken during this meeting, according to the district’s website.
A study session on closing Breidablik will be Feb. 14. The last session, to discuss closing Wolfle, will be Feb. 20.

The board is expected to make its closure decision during its Feb. 28 meeting.

As a reminder, Poulsbo Elementary was taken off the list of closure options earlier in the school year. Although Pearson and Vinland received more votes for closure, there are ramifications to closing either school, including:

— Pearson borders Central Kitsap School District, which means there is a greater chance the district will lose more students if it closes Pearson as parents opt out of attending NKSD. The district already has decreasing enrollment, which is causing budget cuts.

— Vinland is next to the largest area of Poulsbo currently being residentially developed. Liberty Hill is expecting 71 homes on 16 acres. The development is on Urdahl Road, less than one mile from Vinland. Poulsbo Elementary, too, has a large number of new homes being developed nearby. Poulsbo Elementary could not absorb on its own the projected amount of students (145.35) that could live in these homes.

Of course, the above are just examples.

There may be more reasons not to close a school. This is why the board is allowing residents to show up and have their voices heard. Maybe someone out there in the community has an idea that could completely reverse the board’s thinking on school closure.

Judging by the community forums Superintendent Patty Page has held throughout the school year, and the number of people attending school board meetings recently, these public hearings will be packed.

[polldaddy poll=6879241]

School closure forum tonight, Nov. 7 | Meeting reminder

November 7th, 2012 at 1:53 pm by Kipp Robertson
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Missed the first school closure forum? You’re in luck, there is another tonight.

North Kitsap School District Superintendent Patty Page will host the forum in the North Kitsap High School Commons at 6:30 p.m.

The forum will provide guests with updates on the school closure committee’s work and to answer questions.

Page said the school closure committee is currently working on narrowing down the closure options it pursues. The committee is expected to narrow those options by the third forum.

The last two forums are Dec. 12 at the Kingston Middle School Commons and Jan. 16 at the Poulsbo Middle School Gymnasium. Both forums begin at 6:30 p.m.

First school closure forum tonight | Meeting reminder

October 15th, 2012 at 3:35 pm by Kipp Robertson
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The first of four school closure forums is tonight in the Kingston High School Gymnasium. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

During the forum, which is open to the public, Superintendent Patty Page will share the work of the School Closure Committee done so far, review the closure process,  seek community feedback and answer questions,  according to the district website.

The other forums are Nov. 7 in the North Kitsap High School Commons; Dec. 12 in the Kingston Middle School Commons; and Jan. 16 in the Poulsbo Middle School Gymnasium. All forums begin at 6:30 p.m.

NKHS marching band, color guard perform award-winning show Oct. 12

October 9th, 2012 at 11:11 am by Kipp Robertson
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In case you, the North Kitsap community, hadn’t heard; the North Kitsap High School marching band and color guard took first place Sept. 29 at the Peninsula Classic Marching Band Competition in the AAA Division.

North Kitsap’s performance, “Masquerade,” scored 74.30 in the finals. The score was enough to take first over Peninsula and Black Hills high schools.

The AAA Division is for those in the “large band” category.

The band also won “Best Music Caption” for having the highest music scores overall, according to band director Susan Peters.

The show,  with music from the “Phantom of the Opera,” will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12 at North Kitsap Stadium. The show is free and open to the public.

The band’s score in an improvement over 2011, when it placed third with a score of 63.28.

The performance Oct. 12 is the annual Community Performance Night, and will be a chance for the band and color guard to practice before heading to a competition Oct. 13 in Tumwater.

Those who attended the North Kitsap homecoming football game Oct. 5 had the opportunity to see the award-winning performance. Below are a few images prior to the game and during the performance itself, during halftime.


Rally Bus being offered for first NKHS football game Friday

August 28th, 2012 at 11:30 am by Kipp Robertson
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Hey football fans, the North Kitsap Athletic Boosters are offering the chance for community members to go to the Vikings first game Aug. 31 at Archbishop Murphy High School.

The boosters are looking to reserve a tour coach bus by Aug. 29. There must be a commitment of 60 people.

The cost is $25 per person for ferry and transportation fees.

Email for more information.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Archbishop, 12911 39th Avenue Southeast, Everett.

The rundown: One World Series player and his attempt to steal third | Kipp’s Corner

August 17th, 2012 at 4:00 am by Kipp Robertson
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There is a lot of excitement out at Gene Lobe Fields at the Kitsap Fairgrounds.

The 13-year-old Babe Ruth League World Series is well under way, with teams continuing pool play until Aug. 20.

During the Kitsap County All-Stars’ first game against Bryant, Ark.,  Aug. 15, after the opening ceremony, Bryant player Jake East put himself in quite the pickle. This was an exciting moment that got the whole crowd riled up and one of my favorite moments so far in the world series.

Jake was looking to steal third. The young player is quick, and he had a good lead off second. The pitch was thrown. Jake was off.

Unfortunately for Jake the ball made it to third quicker than he would have liked. What followed was a game of pickle between Jake and the majority of the All-Stars. Jake scrambled between second and third multiple times before making a final attempt at returning to second. The All-Stars were just too many as they covered the base, tagging Jake out.

Breathing heavily, Jake brushed himself off and returned to the dugout. Jake would be back though, scoring one of nine runs to defeat the All-Stars that night.

Coverage of the Babe Ruth World Series continues. The All-Stars play their third game against Westfield, Mass. at 7 p.m. tonight.

Below are a few images I captured during the rundown with Jake East.


Public hearing on NKSD 2012-13 budget tonight | Meeting reminder

July 31st, 2012 at 11:09 am by Kipp Robertson
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The North Kitsap School Board is holding a special meeting/ public hearing on the 2012-13 budget at 5:30 p.m. tonight.

The meeting will take place in the board room in the district office, 18360 Caldart Ave, Poulsbo.

Anyone is welcome to attend and address the board.

A total of $1,075,681 in expenditure cuts is being considered by the board tonight, along with potential revenue sources, such as participation fees and advertising.

For staffing cuts, a total of 8.449 FTE in basic education are on the list of cuts in the budget summary. That includes 7.1 in certified positions and 1.349 in classifieds. However, staff is also being added to other areas and, according to the budget draft, there would be a total of 9.227 FTE teaching staff cut.

A full list of staffing cuts can be found on pages 12 and 13 of the budget draft.

The budget draft also includes cutting: bus drivers (-2.789 FTE), counselors  (-1.194 FTE), learning resources (-1.327 FTE), student records/ campus security (-1.375 FTE)… among others.

If approved, the board will adopt a general fund of $62,895,921; associated student body fund of $1,345,040; debt service fund of $10,351,640; capital projects fund of $715,500; and transportation vehicle fund of $641,516.

The budget and all cuts are not final until the board adopts the budget. 

KHS band holding concert May 8, downtown march May 9

May 8th, 2012 at 12:44 pm by Kipp Robertson
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The Kingston High School band is staying busy.

Tonight, May 8, the band will play a concert from 7-9 p.m. in the Kingston High School Commons. It is a dedication concert for a baby grand piano, which was donated earlier this year. The concert’s highlight will feature a performance of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” with North Kitsap High School graduate Mark Stevens on the piano.

Tomorrow, May 9, the marching band will — surprise — march through Kingston prior to a McDonalds “McTakeover.” The band will begin the march from Gordon Elementary at 5:15 p.m., heading down West Kingston Road. The band will make a stop at the Village Green Park, before going up to the restaurant.

The march through Kingston is in preparation for this year’s performance at the Portland Starlight Parade June 2.

School closure once again up for discussion | Meeting reminder

April 26th, 2012 at 2:57 pm by Kipp Robertson
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It looks like the possibility of a school closure for the 2012-13 school year is once again a topic of discussion.

Tonight the North Kitsap School Board will resume the discussion. The school board meeting begins at 6 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.

The continued talk between board members was requested in order to give Board Director Scott Henden an opportunity to weigh in on the topic. Henden was absent during the last regular meeting, when the board decided to take more time to consider a closure.

Along with allowing Henden to discuss a possible closure, both the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee and Capital Facilities Advisory Committee have requested the board reconsider a school closure for next year.

The memo from superintendent Richard Jones to the school board is here.


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