Dear Toutle Lake School District Staff and Community,
I am writing to share some of my thoughts following the initial Special Election results. As many of you are aware, our local levy measure, which helps to provide a long list of supports, including our Student Safety Officer, all extra-curricular programs in middle and high school, including sports, Robotics, Pep Band, and Knowledge Bowl. In addition, the Levy also supplements costs for school materials, supplies, and operating costs, extra teaching staff, paraeducators, maintenance and additional counseling staff. It is currently failing by only 18 votes, according to preliminary results. There were 128 school districts out of 139 districts running a February Levy who passed their measure. We are currently in the small group of 11 who have not passed yet. This outcome, while disappointing, presents us with an opportunity to come together as a community and reaffirm our commitment to the education of our Toutle Lake School District young people.
Without these levy funds, our district will be forced to make some difficult decisions regarding budget adjustments. These changes may affect various programs and services that we have all come to value. I want to assure you that these decisions will be made after opportunities for feedback have been provided, and with the utmost care and consideration for the impact on our students and staff.
In moments like this, it is crucial to remember that our strength lies in our unity and our shared dedication to education. Our district has always been more than just a collection of buildings; we are a community bound by a common goal - the growth and well-being of our students. It is this commitment that will guide us as we navigate the challenges ahead.
I understand that the prospect of change, especially when it involves changes to programs, can be unsettling. However, I want to assure you that our administration, in collaboration with teachers, staff, and community members, will explore all possible avenues to maintain the quality of education that our district is known for.
In the coming several days, our Board of Directors will be engaging in a crucial planning session to chart our path forward. There will be a Special Board Meeting on Tuesday, February 20, 2024, at 6:00 in the high school library. In this meeting our board members will act on a Resolution to rerun this levy in an April 23, 2024 Special Election. It is important to run the measure quickly, as we will need to determine staffing and program changes for the immediate future should it not pass this time.
In the next several weeks, we will be engaging in a series of discussions and planning sessions to chart our path forward. Your voices are crucial in this process. I would encourage each of you, staff, parents and community members, to participate in these conversations. Your insights and perspectives are invaluable as we work together to find innovative solutions to our current financial constraints.
Despite the challenges we face, I remain optimistic about the future of our district. We have a talented and dedicated team, a supportive community, and resilient and capable students. Together, we will not only navigate these difficult times but emerge stronger and more united in our mission.
Thank you for your continued support and commitment to our schools. Your dedication and commitment in the face of adversity are what makes our district truly exceptional. Let us move forward together, with a spirit of collaboration and a shared vision for the success of every student in our care.