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School District Skills Center Likely On The Way Out

May 15th, 2017 - 09:30 am

Port Angeles – A recent meeting of school district officials throughout Clallam County determined that the North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center (NOPSC) is no longer a viable entity.

Port Angeles Schools Superintendent, Dr. Marc Jackson pointed out that the Skill Center has been operating at a loss a number of years. It also has not been able to make changes required for a 150 FTE [full time equivalent] enrollment, and projected enrollment has fallen short.

David Knechtel, Port Angeles School District director of finance and operations, shared a financial perspective with the Directors, pointing out recent deficits for the program. The deficit for the current school year is expected to near $390,000. The Port Angeles School District has been covering the loss. On Jackson’s arrival to Port Angeles in 2014, the Skills Center’s deficit was $452,561.

Dr. Jackson spoke with KONP about what he expects will happen with the current skill center.

With the Skills Center on the wane, Dr. Jackson said that for Port Angeles, the high school would retake some of those course back into the high school curriculum.

A single district can operate a Skills Center, but according to the Washington Administrative Code, a single school district must have a student population of 12,000 to do so. Port Angeles School District falls considerably short of this number.

Five School Districts,Port Angeles, Sequim, Cape Flattery, Crescent, Quillayute make up the current NOPSC. School districts outside of Port Angeles say that they can't continue to participate in the skills center for reasons that include cost, geographic considerations and lack of interest by enough of their students to attend. The Skills Center building is owned by Port Angeles School District and Peninsula College.

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