LONG BEACH — Ilwaco High School’s yearbook club is almost $11,000 in debt.
During Ocean Beach School District’s Board of Directors’ Nov. 25 meeting, board members learned that the club has struggled to sell yearbooks during recent years. Claire Bruncke, Associated Student Body advisor, said lack of sales and book production costs from the last two years resulted in the debt.
“Sales are really low, and interest as well,” Bruncke said. “No one wants to make the book and no one wants to buy the book.”
Last year, the club only sold 51 high school yearbooks, despite having about 300 students at the school, Bruncke said.
“The parents are buying the book, not the kids,” Bruncke said.
Yearbooks have decreased in popularity over the last six years, Bruncke said. The school has 17 boxes of yearbooks leftover from the last three years.
The club, which has eight students, is going to fundraise to pay off the accumulated debt, Bruncke said. Bruncke said the yearbook producer, Walsworth, won’t produce another yearbook for IHS until the debt is paid off.
“We’re starting to make some progress on paying it off,” Bruncke said. “Our rep [at Walsworth] gets it. We’ve been paying as we can.”
After Thanksgiving, the club will poll students on whether or not they are interested in buying a yearbook. If the club makes a yearbook this year, the book might be smaller or have a soft cover. The book might also only be online, if students show interest in having a digital publication. The different options would help the club save money on book production costs.
Director Tiffany Turner suggested the club sell yearbooks at a discounted rate. Bruncke agreed that could help.
Anyone interested in purchasing a yearbook should contact the high school at 360-642-3731. Yearbooks can be purchased for just about any year you can imagine, Bruncke said.
Ocean Park Elementary: No update yet on the school district’s search for a replacement principal at Ocean Park Elementary. In October, Todd Carper stepped down from the job for personal reasons.
Superintendent Amy Huntley, fifth grade teacher Sheena Burke and intervention specialist Tracie Lorimor have been filling in since Carper’s departure. Burke and Lorimor are in the internship phase of earning principal certifications.
Policy approvals: The board approved policy updates for the following topics: medication at school; parent administration of marijuana for medical purposes; drug-free schools; and revenue sources. The changes included language updates to the policies.
The board also approved a contract between OBSD and Lower Columbia College. Through the partnership, students will be able to earn college credits for taking Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses.
New club: The board approved the creation of a new club, Ilwaco’s chapter for the Health Occupation Students of America.
The club’s goal is to develop leadership and technical skills through health science education. So far, the club has 16 members.
Other student updates: Student Board Representative Blake Kukula works with fellow student board representative Miranda Masonholder to provide the board with updates. Kukula reported IHS winter sports start this week. He also said the high school’s robotics club is working toward attending a Seattle competition; and the Skills USA club is trying to host a regional competition.
The high school’s Youth Action Klub held a community game night earlier in November. The event drew about 110 students, Kukula said.
Kukula noted the high school recently got new vending machines, and the school’s ASB is working on a local partnership with Seaside-based Oceans Vending.
Later in the meeting, Director Don Zuern thanked Kukula for his work with attending school board meetings.
“I can’t tell you how much I really appreciate you being here,” Zuern said. “We deal with policies, budgets and evaluations, but honestly none of that matters as much as the experience our students have from pre-k all the way through graduation. I’m thrilled you’re here.”
Enrollment and finances: Business Manager Linda Thompson reported the district’s enrollment is doing well, as pre-k is full and special programs are seeing higher enrollment than expected. Enrollment increases have been seen at Ocean Beach Alternative School, and in the number of bilingual and CTE students.
Thompson also reported the district has recently dealt with fraudulent checks, and expects the issue to come up again. The issue has also come up for Willapa Harbor Hospital, she said.
Donations: Since September, the school district has received almost $10,000 in donations. The money has mostly gone toward specific schools, clubs and sports teams. Director Michelle Binion thanked the donors.
Incoming directors: The board will likely swear in its incoming directors, Anna Taft and John Holtermann, at the board’s Dec. 10 special meeting. Binion suggested the board hold a workshop in January to discuss training opportunities and how to best communicate with each other.
“We could discuss training opportunities,” Binion said. “What do you have questions on? What are you worried about? What’s your best way of being communicated with; just getting to know each other better because it’s a brand new situation.”
Earlier in November, the board’s current and incoming members attended a four-day conference with Huntley. The conference was through the Washington State School Directors’ Association, which hosted a variety of workshops on how to improve as a board.
Upcoming meetings: The board will meet for a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 10. At the meeting, directors will discuss whether to propose a levy next year. On Dec. 18, the board will hold its regular monthly meeting. Both meetings are held at OBSD’s administrative building, 500 S Washington Ave.