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Culver schools will trim six days off year

Graduation has been moved up to May 31
Sports Editor
    May 7, 2003 — Culver’s administration and school board has chosen, after negotiating with district teachers and other personnel, to trim six days from the school year. The proposal was expected to be approved by the school board formerly at a meeting Tuesday night.
    May 29 will now be the final date of instruction. Classes were going to continue through June 5 before the change. Graduation will be taking place May 31. Seniors final day of instruction is set for May 23.
    The cuts are expected to save the district about $92,000.
    Culver’s School District also took its first step toward arriving at a budget for the 2003-2004 school year at a special meeting of the school board in late April. Among proposed cuts are the elimination of two teachers — a sixth-grade teacher and a high school/middle school social students teacher — and all funding for assistant coaches.
    “I’m very positive about how things worked out, it just would have been nicer to spread things out instead of having to miss all the days at the end of the year. Unfortunately, the classified staff take a hit too,” said superintendent Marli Perry.
    She said board members had been working with the association of teachers and classified workers looking for ways to cut costs since February or early March. There was a shortfall of some $325,000 just within the Culver district when the state’s stopgap January measure failed. There will have to be varied reductions to save the money that is not forthcoming, not just at the end of this school, but in the coming school year.
    The community is going to be called on to come up some imagination in obtaining funds, or raising funds for many extra-curricular activities, especially athletics.
    In the athletics part of the budget alone, a cut of some $54,000 is being contemplated, Perry noted. She said the boosters have already been talking of ways to come up some funding that will let programs continue.
    However, if other schools in the Columbia Basin Conference, which Culver belongs to in most sports, must also make cuts, there could be varsity teams only in some sports. Depending on circumstances around the state, junior varsity teams face reduced schedules.
    Other activities face reduction too. At the most recent board meeting Perry said the budget constraints needed could modify extended field trips, such as a recent sixth-grade science trip to the coast. There will need to be a conscious effort by teachers, in conjunction with the board, to get the most from shorter trips than a tour a band group made to far-flung towns this spring, for example.
    Scott Lewis and Cheryl Simmons were added to a budget committee already including Zoe Schumacher, John Knotek and Jeff O’Gorman at the most recent board meeting.