(BRANDON HANSEN/Managing Editor of the Chewelah Independent)
With the latest school levy passing in the town of Chewelah, it’s great news after two years of staff negotiation issues swirling around the district.
I can’t tell you how important it was to get the new track and how much this new levy will help current school buildings become safer. Having a antiquated phone system and intercoms that don’t work is bad news. Money will also be used for much-needed security upgrades for the school buildings as well.
For someone who went through the Chewelah School system during a string of bond failures, it’s good to see the community come around and agree on these levy’s. While they won’t build a new school, they will certainly help maintain the current ones and get some nagging needs in our district taken care of.
But where do we go from here?
With the McCleary decision throwing a curveball at every district, basically a brand new Chewelah School Board and plenty of questions, it can feel like things are in flux.
But it is heartening to me that Chewelah didn’t pull a Mead School District and shoot down a ballot measure which many think was retribution because of all the teacher raises. Now Mead will have to make cuts in a district that many think is near the top of Spokane schools.
There are some positive things happening in our school district right now, and there are some issues that we need to address. To me, passing a levy for a second election cycle in a row is a good trend to see that the people of Chewelah support their school system. If this community is going to continue to grow we need to make it an approachable environment for young families and school is where is starts.
For the negatives, I think it takes engaged parents. Go to school board meetings and go to the school events and talk with your teachers and administrators on a regular basis. When I hear a high school vaping forum only gets two people attending, I scratch my head. It’s easy to make big complaints on Facebook, but those accomplish nothing.
As for the positives, it’s heartening to have a passionate group of teachers and an engaged school board. Recently the school made an emergency drop down to the 2B classification for athletics and now we’re seeing sports teams make state every single year. What we need to do as a community is continue to support all aspects of the school district and keep the dialogue open – and not on Facebook.
Don’t treat the school system like your personal daycare, be engaged in what is going on with your kids education. I’m sure teachers would sure appreciate that the learning continues at home and just doesn’t happen during school hours.
I’d like to see changes, as I’m sure everyone else would in several different aspects but I understand a school system isn’t set up for all my needs and wants. Change happens over time and via the community, not one person’s demands. It takes time and engagement. Let’s take this win with our second levy passing and run with it.