Road work

Shoulder blacktopping on Tuesday was creating an extra safety walking and biking zone on Line Road in the area approaching Lynden Middle School.  (Eric Trent/Lynden Tribune)

Together they would raise $7.4-$8.8 million annually

LYNDEN — At the Dec. 12 Lynden School Board meeting, Superintendent Jim Frey updated on the levies the district will place on the Feb. 11, 2020, special election ballot. 

Mailers and postcards will be sent out to the community as February approaches. 

Both levies together would raise between $7.4 and $8.8 million per year for each of the four years they run, if approved by voters. 

The replacement Educational Programs and Operations levy supports teaching and learning while the new Facilities and Technology levy is fundamental to the instructional program and keeping up facilities, according to the school district. 

More detailed information about both levies can be found on the district website. 

The school board also moved forward with plans for a Main Street Campus reconstruction project, awarding a contract for work to Tiger Construction of Everson. 

Frey said the district received four bids. He said the estimated cost for the project is $2.67 million, plus taxes.

The project will provide learning spaces for preschool. It will also create district office space and other areas for professional learning and training, Frey said. 

“We expect to move into the space over the summer and be ready for the start of school next year,” he said. 

Also at the meeting:

The national model for counseling in schools recommends a ratio of one counselor to 250 students. Elementary schools in the Lynden School District are above that, Fisher Elementary counselor Tausha Caldarella told the board.

Caldarella, with other elementary-level counselors in the district, provided the board an overview of counseling services at Fisher, Bernice Vossbeck and Isom elementaries. 

Students are being taught to recognize and manage their emotions through a multi-tiered system. Caldarella said Tier 1 support is lessons in the classroom and preventative measures. Students also receive lessons on career and safety skills. 

Tier 2 support revolves more around small groups and sometimes meeting one-on-one with their counselors. 

“We don’t do therapy in schools,” Vossbeck counselor Tanya Robinson said. “If there’s a kid in crisis, we might do temporary therapy, wrap your arms around them and try to help them, then refer out.”

Robinson said there’s an apparent increase in anxiety and suicidal ideation in fourth- and fifth- grade students, and she attributed that to topics being more prevalent in today’s society with children being more comfortable in talking about them. 

“I would say we have more kids talking about it,” Robinson said. “I wouldn’t say we have more kids that are sad.”