|Dr Chip Kimball|
Lake Washington School District 2011-12 school year extended
UPDATED: Redmond, Wash. – Lake Washington School District’s school year calendar for 2011-12 has been extended to 181 days from 180 and the last day of school moved from June 20 to June 22. May 25 will become a non-student day.
These changes result from an agreement with the Lake Washington Education Association (LWEA) to maintain current salaries, in spite of the state salary cuts, through the addition of two workdays.
The state legislature cut funding for teacher salaries by 1.9% in the recently completed session. Dr. Chip Kimball, superintendent, noted that teacher compensation affects retention and recruitment of good teachers, a priority that he shares with district parents.
“Teacher salaries, in real dollars adjusted for inflation, have been declining for 30 years,” noted Kevin Teeley, LWEA president. “Despite that fact, the legislature is asking teachers to take another cut in pay.”
Dr. Kimball proposed to the LWEA keeping teacher compensation at the same level as 2010-11, using local levy dollars to make up the difference. As part of the proposal, teachers would work two additional days, focusing the time on preparing for the district’s change to a new grade configuration in the fall of 2012. Teachers voted overwhelmingly to accept this change to their contract. READ MORE >>
“In talking to parents about the grade configuration change,” noted Dr. Kimball, “I found they care deeply about the quality of staff teaching their students. They also want to be sure that both staff and students moving into the middle schools and the high schools are well prepared for this change, especially given that in these schools half to two-thirds of the students and many staff members will be new. The two additional work days will be devoted to making this transition as smooth as possible and will benefit students, families and teachers alike.”
Students will not come to school on May 25, the Friday before Memorial Day, which was scheduled as a regular school day. (Teachers will work that day.) Moving that student day to the end of the school year and adding one more school day pushes the last day of school back to June 22 from June 20.
Dr. Kimball noted, “These days will provide great opportunities for teachers and students alike to go to the schools they will be moving to in the fall of 2012, to get a chance to familiarize themselves with their new location in advance. Staff will be able to plan additional activities to help students and families prepare for their transition to a new school or new grade.”
The district is working with other employee groups on similar proposals.
###About Lake Washington: Lake Washington School District is a high-performing public school district serving Kirkland, Redmond, and Sammamish, Washington. It is the sixth largest district in the state of Washington, with over 24,000 students in 50 schools.