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May School Board Meeting Highlights

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Here are some of the highlights from the May 20, Ephrata School Board meeting. Members of the public are always welcome to attend board meetings. Click for a list of meeting dates and times, board agendas and other information

$75,000 Grant Received for Tiger Cub Preschool
The Ephrata School District received a Complex Needs Fund grant from the Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families to support an additional 1.5 staff members and additional time for a school psychologist to help plan and deliver behavior interventions at Tiger Cub Preschool. This $74,755 grant will allow the school to provide staffing and support that provides more inclusive classrooms with students of differing abilities and challenging behaviors. 

Tiger Cub Preschool is part of the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), Washington’s pre-kindergarten program that prepares three and four-year-old children from families furthest from opportunity for success in school and life. The Department of Children, Youth and Families oversees this Ephrata School District program.

Clean Financial Statement and Federal Compliance Audit
The Office of the Washington State Auditor recently completed a Financial Statement and Federal Compliance Audit for the Ephrata School District. No material compliance or deficiencies were found following review of the district’s practices. A full exit interview with the State Auditor's Office will be held soon to review the results in full.

Roof Replacement this Summer at Grant Elementary and Beezley
The Ephrata School Board approved replacing roofs at Grant Elementary and the Beezley building on the Ephrata High School Campus. Both roofs are in poor condition and leaking. 

The district anticipates that both buildings will be part of a school improvement bond that will be voted on by Ephrata taxpayers in 2026. As the future of these buildings is uncertain, the district selected a 5-10 year silicone roofing material to save money and allow flexibility as future building plans are studied. Roof replacement at both buildings will be completed this summer by Tremco Roofing. The Grant Elementary will cost $387,000 plus Washington State Sales Tax and any needed abatement costs. The Beezley roof will cost $149,000 plus tax and any needed abatement.

Elevation Grading at New Storage Building Site
In 2022, Ephrata taxpayers approved a capital levy that, in part, will fund a new storage facility on Ephrata School District property. The property, which is directly to the East of the EHS Soccer Complex, is in a flood plain. Prior to construction, the county requires that the elevation of the land be raised to three feet above the adjacent grade. The school board approved the completion of this work by Kamstra Construction for a total of $31,051. The work is expected to be complete before June 1.

Thanks to Ephrata taxpayers, once the new facility is complete, the district will be able to consolidate its storage, saving roughly $2,400 per month in rental costs. Currently, the district has one on-site facility, rents two off-site buildings and leases 10 storage containers, which are housed on district property. Construction of the new facility is expected to begin this summer.

Annual Technology Inventory
Each year, the district’s Technology Department completes an inventory audit of the nearly 6,800 devices they manage. As part of this process, they physically inspect technology equipment like laptop and desktop computers, cameras, promethean screens and projectors in every building in the district. The department reported a list of equipment that could not be found during the inventory process. This could be because an item was used for parts or recycled and not removed from the list, the item could be missing or it was not in the district at the time of inventory. Of the approximately 6,800 items, 45 were not found. Though the items on the list are presently marked as missing, they have the potential to reappear on a future inventory audit as items return to the district. 

Staff Computer Purchase for Grant Elementary
The Ephrata School Board approved replacement of 35 Dell desktop computers for staff at Grant Elementary. Current desktops are 6-10 years old and due for replacement on the district’s technology replacement schedule. Many of these computers were not new when they were placed at Grant. Some were hand-me-downs from the high school Career and Technical Education (CTE) computer labs. The computers will be purchased from Dell using the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) cooperative purchasing program for $41,809.

Levy Fund Update
In 2018, Ephrata taxpayers approved two new levies for the Ephrata School District, a Transportation Vehicle Fund levy and a four-year Capital levy. These funds will help purchase four new, yellow school buses and provide capital needed to address facility and infrastructure throughout the district. 

Transportation Vehicle Fund Levy
As of May 2024, the Ephrata School District has received approximately $412,000 of the $600,000 levy approved by voters. Collection of levy funds are considered to be on-track. To date, the district has spent roughly $351,000 from these funds on the purchase of two new school buses. Two additional buses will be purchased when the remaining funds are received.

Four Year Capital Levy
As of May 2024, the Ephrata School District has received nearly $1.1 million of the $3.2 million levy approved by voters. Collection of levy funds are considered to be on-track. To date, the district has not spent any of these levy dollars, however projects like the new district storage facility and the replacement of the intercom system at Parkway Intermediate are expected to begin soon.

2025 Levy Anticipated
The district is planning to put a levy before voters in 2025. A levy is a short-term, local property tax passed by the voters of a school district. It generates revenue for the district to fund programs and services that the state does not fund or fully fund as part of “basic education.” Extracurricular activities like athletics, band, choir and other programs traditionally fall into the not funded or underfunded category. Levies require a simple majority vote to pass (50% + 1). Watch for additional information on the 2025 levy soon.

The board recognized the generosity of community members that recently made donations to the district. By policy, the school board must approve any donation of money, materials or equipment having a value of $500 or more. Our sincere thanks go out to Tiger Boosters for contributing to the purchase of 100 “E” flags, flag poles. The 100 flags will be placed in existing sidewalk holes along Basin Street for district events like homecoming, graduation, state send-offs, etc.