Suquamish Tribe donates $80,000 to NKSD

POULSBO — Work that began in the summer for Suquamish Tribe administration has paid off for the North Kitsap School District.

On Nov. 10, Suquamish Chairman Leonard Forsman, superintendent of tribal education Joe Davalos and Suquamish council members Irene Carper and Jay Mills presented the district with $85,400.

The $85,400 was a “directed giving,” according to a memorandum from Forsman to school board president Val Torrens. The Suquamish Tribal Council approved the donation.

The programs that the tribe donated to include:- Transportation, $22,000.- Athletic participation fee scholarships, $10,000.- Chemistry and math books, $10,000.- Culinary arts/Odin Inn program, $6,000.- Portable keyboards, $6,000.- Basket Marsh and Pond Kids, $5,000.- Family Reading Nights, $5,000.- Kingston Middle School NASA field trip, $5,000.- Suquamish Elementary Rolling Readers Program, $5,000.- Math curriculum, $3,000.- North Kitsap High School track and field, $3,000.- Kingston High School Native American Club, $2,500.- Art training for art docents, $1,000.- Poulsbo Elementary’s Meaningful Work Program, $1,000. - Intertribal Parent Education Committee, $800. Girls soccer program/training gear, $100.The money was awarded through Appendix X of the gaming compact between the Suquamish Tribe and the State of Washington.

Of the largest donations, Davalos said the money toward culinary arts and Odin Inn are simply to help keep the program running. The transportation funding was given in hopes a school bus run for students opting to attend Kingston High School would be created.

Many of the students opting to go to KHS were from the Suquamish Early College High School program, Director of Transportation Ronald Lee said. The high school was shut down for the 2011-12 school year. Lee said students began boarding the bus to Kingston Middle School so they could attend KHS. Students out of the boundary of a school are not provided transportation.

Because the state will not allow money to be given directly to transportation, the tribe opted to donate to the district’s general fund. The money does not have to be used for transportation.

Athletic fee scholarships are only awarded to students qualifying for free or reduced meal programs, according to district spokeswoman Robyn Chastain. The school board approved an increase in athletic participation fees this year. It costs high school students $125 to participate in the first two sports; the third sport is free. Middle school students pay $60 per sport, with third and fourth sport free. Students who qualify for the free or reduced lunches can apply for waivers.

Overall, Davalos said most of the awards will benefit all students in the district.

There is a possibility the tribe will look to provide more grant money for the 2012-13 school year, but it remains up to the Tribal Council. Though it is not certain the district will receive more grant money from the tribe in the near future, the tribe continues to provide funding for Suquamish Elementary School programs. This includes paying for a section of all-day kindergarten, which usually costs about $60,000 to run, Davalos said.

Davalos, who worked as principal of Suquamish until the 2010-11 school year, said he hopes all-day kindergarten is provided for everyone soon, but it is not likely.

The tribe also continues to pay for the Suquamish Elementary summer school program, which costs about $20,000 to $25,000 to run.


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