In other action by the Kelso School Board, they accepted a $5,000 donation from Lowe’s, which will help to build a new school garden at Huntington Middle School. The complex is expected to cost a total of $8,700, with additional donations coming from the Huntington PTO, the Kelso Kiwanis and other groups. The district is also starting to explore the possibility of ending its Food Service Contract with Chartwell, in favor of taking over management of that program itself. Kelso has contracted for food service for about 20 years now, but Finance Director Scott Westlund says that the latest numbers show that the district could realize some substantial savings by resuming management of that service. Additional discussion is planned at the next School Board meeting.
At the Longview School Board meeting, discussions are opening up with the Family Health Center, to see if they should pursue a planning grant from Kaiser Permanente, looking into the possibility of establishing a school-based Health Center. The Board delayed action on the State Study and Survey until its next meeting, looking for additional documentation and feedback before adopting that survey. They also deferred discussions on a possible continuation of the Mandarin Chinese language program, deciding to wait until the end of the next school year, when the grant funding that supports the current program is set to expire.