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Bellevue Schools Set Tax Rate, Welcome 3 New Teachers

Class is back in session at Bellevue Independent Schools and the initial enrollment figures are in. Grandview Elementary has 322 students, and Bellevue High School has 381 students. The total of 708 students in the district is lower than the beginning of last year, but higher than the end of last year. Superintendent Robb Smith said the district tends to hover around 700 total students.
 
September is Attendance Awareness month, and September 20 is "high attendance day" and awards are given across the state. Since Bellevue is a small district, there is some hope of encouraging all the students to attend on that day.
 
Molly Russell, who has been in charge of the after-school program, Bellevue Beyond the Bell, introduced Mike Donohue who will be in charge of the day-to-day operations since Russell has taken on new responsibilities. The program has been around for a few years and new activities have been added. Students receive help with homework on a regular basis, Monday through Thursday, and they can also take crafting, sewing, cooking, chess, fitness, archery, songwriting, ukulele, and animation classes, and participate in a cinema club.
 
The tax rate was set for the district. Smith said the district took the 4 percent rate, so the tax rate last year was $.832 per $100 of assessed value on real property and personal property, and this year the rate is $.826 per $100 of assessed value. That makes the taxes lower for this year.
 
Smith said over the summer the lobby outside the gym was improved with flooring, paint, and ceiling tiles.
 
He also said the dual credit program is going well, and approximately 40 juniors and seniors are taking the classes at Gateway.
 
Finally, three new teachers came to the recent Board of Education meeting. Christie McDonald has taught at Newport Central Catholic and other schools, and will be teaching math at Bellevue High School. Katie Lukey is a speech therapist, and her services will be shared by both Grandview and Bellevue High School. Susan Means is a media specialist.
 
-Patricia A Scheyer, RCN contributor
Top photo: Two new teachers at Grandview elementary were introduced: Katie Lukey, who is a speech therapist and will also go to the high school, and Susan Means who is a media specialist.
Slideshow Images & Captions: 
Christie McDonald will be teaching math at Bellevue High School.