The 2011 calendar year has been a very exciting and productive one for the students and staff of the Blaine school district.
Our students are showing consistent improvement in academic performance, as measured by state assessments. Specific scores for 2011 indicate improvement over prior year in 14 of 17 grade level scores represented by the content areas of reading, math and science.
In addition, Blaine students are outpacing statewide averages in 19 of 21 tests administered across all grade levels and multiple content areas. We are continuing to see high numbers of Blaine high school students enrolled in Advance Placement (AP) courses, resulting in our students competing favorably with respect to both two-year and four-year college and university acceptance. Many of our students are regional and state award winners in the fine and performing arts, as participation and performance levels in both band and choir programs remain exceptionally high for a district of our size.
The challenges brought on by economic recession have resulted in a fourth consecutive year of substantial program reductions. Over the past four years, the Blaine school district has seen more than $2.5 million in overall expenditure adjustments. In spite of these unprecedented cuts, we believe we have successfully maintained the quality and integrity of the instructional program. While more financial challenges lie ahead, we are confident that staff and community will continue to work together to ensure financial decisions that are ultimately best for kids.
We will be bringing a maintenance and operations levy, as well as a reduced capital improvement bond to voters in February 2012. We must consider the need to offset reductions in day-to-day operation funding from the state, as well as our opportunity to address an initial phase of the needed upgrades to the high school facility. The community can anticipate seeing more information, specific to these program needs and funding implications, throughout January.
We feel very privileged to have such a highly skilled and experienced staff working with students each day. Our charge is to provide a quality education to the students of Blaine, Birch Bay and Point Roberts. We are committed to making 2012 an even stronger year at all levels of the system.