The Ketchikan Gateway Borough School Board on Wednesday took a look at the first edition of next year’s budget and dealt with some unfinished business regarding funding of a youth retreat.

The Board looked at the first version of the budget for fiscal year 2016. There was a slightly different format this year that the School Board and Borough Assembly made to fit both of their needs. The bottom of the form provided a key for which figures were estimates and what they were based on.

President of the Board, Michelle O’Brien offered compliments to the new design.  “ I like this bottom part. This was really very helpful and very illuminating. Made it very easy to understand super fast.”
There were 12 items below the red line, which as of now the board does not have revenue to fund. Those unfunded items include three counselor positions, music teacher positions that will be vacant at the end of the year and activities.

Board Member Stephen Bradford emphasized that the budget presented is a draft .
“At this time these are based on assumptions and the position of administration, not the Board’s final decisions, but I also think we need to highlight the fact that some programs may be in danger so that people that are interested in that particular program can come and express their opinions to us.”
The School Board is holding it’s first public meeting regarding fiscal year 2016’s budget February 10th at six PM at the Ketchikan High School Library.

At it’s last meeting the Board discussed funding a youth retreat using money set aside for Challenge Day. The program called “Working Together – Building Up Ketchikan’s Youth Coalition” isn’t intended to replace Challenge Day permanently, but provide a break since the majority of students have attended Challenge Day.
Ingrid Anzueto, a sophomore at Kayhi who has attended the Student Body Association retreat in the past, said she is looking forward to this year’s retreat. She shared with the board what she learned and said what she has held on to.“On a notecard we wrote something nice about someone and we gave it to that someone and right now I keep it in a little cubby and I look at it sometimes when I just don’t feel, like I feel down, and it helps a lot.”

The School Board responded  saying they were in support of the retreat , but worried about attendance. Another student Sylvan Blankenship is another student who came to show his support. He was at the most recent SBA meeting where they discussed the upcoming retreat. He said,  “there were 20 or 25 kids at the meeting and everyone wrote their name down saying that they’d be willing to come in on a Monday even though the school day is off. I definitely do think there would be plenty of participants in the SBA retreat.”

The School Board voted to support the retreat with $3,000  and, members were appreciative of the students input.

The next regular School Board meeting is February 11th