Battle Ground Sch. Dist.
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News Releases
Students at Glenwood Heights Primary work in a computer lab
Students at Glenwood Heights Primary work in a computer lab
Battle Ground Public Schools continue to see enrollment growth (Photo) - 09/14/17

Battle Ground Public Schools' 2017-18 enrollment numbers are in, and they confirm what those who have visited our schools in recent years already know: some buildings are pushing the limits of their intended capacity.

Overall, Battle Ground has 13,070 students enrolled, an increase of 164 students compared to a year ago, and 322 more students compared to 2012. The four primary and middle schools in the southern portion of the district have experienced the most dramatic growth, even though Battle Ground's school board revoked boundary exceptions at Glenwood and Laurin beginning last year and at the Pleasant Valley campus this year. Significant construction of new homes and apartments have contributed increased enrollment in the southern portion of the district, and more is expected. Over the past three years:

- Glenwood Heights Primary has 160 new students, a 25.2 percent increase
- Laurin Middle School has 95 new students, a 16.1 percent increase
- Pleasant Valley Middle has 56 new students, an 11.4 percent increase

Glenwood Heights Primary was built in 1956 to accommodate 484 students. This year, there are 795 students enrolled at the school. Space at Glenwood Heights' campus neighbor, Laurin Middle School, is similarly stretched thin. Built in 1965 for 600 students, LMS has 684 students enrolled this year.

In addition to revoking boundary exceptions to help address the growth at Glenwood and Laurin, the district added eight portable classrooms to the campus over the summer. Now, more than 40 percent of Glenwood and Laurin's classrooms are portables. Adding additional portables to the current campus is not possible going forward because the schools' core facilities, including lunchrooms, parking lots, libraries, and playgrounds cannot support additional classrooms.

With this in mind, the district has implemented other changes to maximize available space, including:

- Art teachers and other specialists no longer have their own classrooms. Instead, art
teachers are using carts to bring supplies to students' home classrooms.
- Reading and math intervention specialists do their work in students' home classrooms, not
a separate space.
- Glenwood's fourth graders eat lunch in the adjacent Laurin Middle School cafeteria because
of space constraints.

Some class sizes at these schools are approaching "overload" status, which is a contractually-defined student-to-teacher ratio that when exceeded, requires either hiring additional staff to provide aide time, or teachers must be paid additional salary.

At the Pleasant Valley campus, where the district installed a portable building containing 10 classrooms just one year ago, students had to give up two classrooms this fall that were being used as a cafeteria. Now, students at Pleasant Valley eat lunch in their classrooms. Enrollment also grew at Prairie High School this year, up 59 students over last fall

As the entire region continues to experience housing and population growth, the BGPS Board of Directors has other options for managing increasingly limited classroom and facility space, including presenting voters with a bond and redrawing boundary lines.

Battle Ground School Board Approves District Budget for 2017-18 - 09/07/17

Battle Ground Public Schools' Board of Directors unanimously approved the 2017-18 district budget at its meeting on Monday, Aug. 28. The changes that the Washington State Legislature made to school funding in its biennium budget do not begin to take effect until next school year, so little is changed in this year's budget compared to last year.

At their meeting, board members approved allocations for four main buckets: day-to-day operations, including $600,000 for the general fund reserve; student activities; debt services (bonds); and facilities projects.

Battle Ground expects to receive $169.1 million in revenues in 2017-18, an increase of 8 percent over last year's budget. However, most of the increase is tied to specific programs and salaries, leaving the district to fill in gaps with local funding. Most of Battle Ground's increase in state revenues is for a state-mandated 2.3 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA), 15 percent increase in employer retirement contributions, and nine percent benefit increases for state-funded staff. The district must provide state-mandated salary increases to unfunded staff, and some areas have experienced increased costs over last year. For example, transportation costs are up 10.5% percent.

The majority of the district's revenue increase will come from the state ($9.4 million) and local levy funds ($2.9 million). The Washington Legislature approved additional funding for school districts for cost of living and benefit increases, class-size reduction, and to cover maintenance and supplies increases due to inflation. Battle Ground Public Schools receives about 74 percent of its revenues from state funding. The district also receives federal funds, local levy dollars, and money from other local, non-tax sources.

Even though the Legislature approved a two-year budget for the state, questions still remain about next year's education funding and how districts will need to categorize future spending.

More information about the district's budget presentation for the school board is available online at http://www.battlegroundps.org/budget.

Battle Ground Public Schools and Clark College partner to provide adult English classes - 09/01/17

Battle Ground Public Schools is again partnering with Clark College to provide instructional English classes for adults who speak English as a second language. Classes will be held in Battle Ground and coursework emphasizes conversational English with attention given to speaking, listening, writing, and reading.

Registration will take place on Tues., Sept. 26 at the Lewisville Campus at 406 NW 5th Avenue in Battle Ground. Spanish and Russian interpreters will be available to assist at registration.

Class schedules
Each class meets six hours per week over 10 weeks at the Lewisville Campus in rooms C24 and C25. Classes are held each Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00 to 8:50 p.m. during the following class periods:

Fall 2017: Sept. 26 - Dec. 7.
Winter 2018: Jan. 9 - March 15
Spring 2018: April 11 - June 15

Space is limited, and registration is on a first come, first served basis.

Tutoring/Daycare Provided
Battle Ground Public Schools will provide free tutoring/daycare for children ages 4 and up while parents are attending English classes. Parents are asked to register their children prior to the academic quarter by calling the Battle Ground Public Schools ESL Department at (360) 885-5439.

Fees and Contact
Students will be charged $25 tuition per quarter. For financial help or registration questions, contact the Clark College Basic Skills Office at (360) 992-2741. For general information, contact the BGPS ESL Department at (360) 885-5439.