• The Levy Task Force will receive information about how the expiring general operations (M&O) levy supports nearly 25 percent of the district’s annual operating budget. The levy helps Bellingham Public Schools’ maintain its current programs for students to the best of its ability in this economy.
  • Using Bellingham Public Schools’ current Technology Plan as a roadmap, the primary focus for the Levy Task Force will be forming a recommendation to the Superintendent inclusive of major technology initiatives and their costs to be funded by the next four-year technology levy.
  • Using financial data, the Levy Task Force’s recommendation will also include a recommended total technology levy amount, taking into consideration the combined estimated tax rate for replacing the current technology and the general operations levies.
  • The Task Force’s recommendation will include recommended levy amounts to the Superintendent for both replacement levies for the Feb. 14, 2012 special election.
  • The Task Force’s recommendation will also include a communications plan for the Volunteer/Citizens’ Levy Group that highlights the percentage of the district’s budget funded by the general operations replacement levy and major initiatives to be funded by the replacement technology levy.

Committee Type:

  • Task Force: Advisory to the Superintendent to complete specific work within a designated timeline.

Basis for Establishment:

  • Bellingham Public Schools’ general operations (M&O) levy, which comprises nearly 25 percent of its annual budget, is expiring. The previous technology levy, which supports technology for teaching and learning, is also expiring. Both levies will be on the ballot on Feb. 14, 2012.

Decision Making:

  • Work with the co-chairs to gather information from stakeholder groups and build agreement on the Task Force’s recommendation to the Superintendent.

Plan of Work:

  • Publicize the Task Force’s open positions by Friday, Sept. 30, 2011 with applications due by Friday, Oct. 7, 2011.
  • Meet four times or more, as needed, starting during the week of Oct. 17 to prepare a recommendation to the Superintendent by Nov. 14, 2011.
  • Superintendent finalizes decision and resolution for the Dec. 8, 2011 School Board meeting.

Meeting Times/Dates and Minutes (to be posted following meeting dates):

Task Force Members:

  • The Task Force will consist of these regular members:
    • Tom Venable, Deputy Superintendent Co-Chair
    • Ralph Hayden, Director of Educational Technology Co-Chair
    • Charles Waller, Bellingham High School Student representative
    • Dougal Brownlie, Squalicum High School Student representative
    • Grant Regimbal, Squalicum High School Student representative
    • David Flanagan, Lowell Elementary School Parent representative
    • Darrel Lutton, Kulshan Middle School Parent representative
    • Jenee Newmon, Bellingham High School Parent representative
    • Christ Thomsen, Bellingham High School Parent representative
    • Mark Knittel, Community/Technology Leader representative
    • Gil Lund, Community/Technology Leader representative
    • Tom Gresham, Columbia Elementary School Principal
    • Janae Hodge, Shuksan Middle School Assistant Principal
    • Linda Miller, Bellingham High School Assistant Principal
    • Jeff Vaughn, Bellingham High School Principal
    • Carolyn Hinshaw, Cordata Elementary Teacher
    • Brian MacNevin, Whatcom Middle School Teacher
    • Dana Smith, Sehome High School Teacher
    • Analisa Ficklin, Wade King Elementary Library Media Specialist
    • Darilyn Sigel, Whatcom Middle School Library Media Specialist
    • Sam Anderson, Bellingham High School Library Media Specialist
    • Rob Freeman, Central Services Network Technician
  • The Task Force will consist of these ex-officio members:
    • Ron Cowan, Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations
    • Tanya Rowe, Director of Communications and Community Relations
    • John Getchell, Computer/Network Services Manager

Responsibilities of Committee Members:

  • Regular meeting attendance
  • Communicate the content of the meetings and gather input from school staff as requested by the Task Force
  • Respectful and collaborative interactions with committee members


  • Communicate the purpose of the task force to district staff and families
  • Committee members serve as key communicators for the groups they represent
  • Post pertinent information such as task force minutes on the district website to keep families informed
  • Use district communication process to inform stakeholders of task force outcomes