Washougal School District levies pass

Final election results will be certified Feb. 25

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Washougal School District officials are likely breathing a sigh of relief as both of its levies passed in last Tuesday’s election.

“I am extremely appreciative of the support of the community,” said Dawn Tarzian, superintendent. “Levy dollars bridge the critical gap between our state allocation and the basic program needs for our students.”

Added Les Brown, technology director, “I’m super excited that voters supported the increase in our technology levy.”

As part of the Feb. 11 election, the district asked voters to approve replacement maintenance and operations and technology levies that included significantly higher rates than in years past.“As a result of this levy support, we will immediately begin the work of preparing to implement all day kindergarten at all elementary schools for the coming fall,” Tarzian said. “We will also prepare for enhancing our buildings for increased student and staff safety, develop student intervention programs for students in need of support and for those ready to excel, and we will be putting technology tools into the hands of our students.” Brown mentioned that a technology committee will meet later this month to plan the roll-out of its one-to-one tablet initiative, which will include students in fifth through eighth grade by the 2014-15 school year. It will be expanded into the high school and lower grades during the following two years. “The tech committee will make sure we include staff, parent and community member perspectives as we work to put powerful tools into the hands of students and teachers, and we hope to see a major shift in the types of learning activities that are possible with these new tools,” he said.

Kyle Eakins served as the chair of the Washougal Citizens for Better Schools Committee, an organization formed in 1988 to get out the vote. He has two children, a son who graduated in 2013 and a daughter who attends Washougal High School.

“We are so grateful that the citizens of Washougal have rallied behind our kids and have voted to support levies,” he said. “I believe we are going to see excellent returns on this investment in our community. I know from talking to them directly that students and staff in the Washougal School District are invigorated by this vote of confidence.”

Eakins said he was especially thankful for volunteers Jocelyn Lindsay and Molly Coston.

“They worked tirelessly with volunteers from all over the community to get out good levy information and encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote,” he said. “We sincerely believe that strong communities build strong schools and that strong schools in turn build strong communities. Washougal is a strong community whose voice has just given added strength to our schools.”

Current tabulations have the M&O levy passing at 58.65 percent, while the technology levy is passing with 61.68 percent. Results include Clark and Skamania counties. The election results will be certified Feb. 25.In the Mount Pleasant School District, initial election results show its maintenance and operations replacement levy failing by earning only 43.48 percent support. A total of 92 ballots have been counted, in the election that includes voters living in parts of both east Clark and west Skamania counties.