North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center Natural Resources Program – An open letter for support

From supporters of the program:

Dear supporters of the North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center Natural Resources program,

Your efforts leading up to and at the 4/28 Skills Center Administrative Council meeting allowed us to turn a corner in our effort to retain the Skills Center Natural Resources program.  Today saw encouraging developments in that the program has been verified as profitable (~$37K profit for 2014-15), and the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is willing to help the Skills Center fix some minor compliance issues with the current Natural Resources program delivery model.

Today, 5/6 at 1 pm at the Skills Center, the Administrative Council meets to vote on the future of the program.

Your attendance and participation in the most clear, respectful and civil way possible will help ensure the program’s survival and success.

To learn more, please visit and read the following points:

  • The program has now been demonstrated to be a net revenue producer.  This fully addresses the most widely alleged shortcoming of the program.
  • Multiple other alleged concerns have either been determined to be completely unfounded, or have been identified as easily resolvable.
  • Appropriate staff at OSPI have already indicated a readiness to assist in addressing any of these residual compliance and administrative concerns—including appropriate minor adjustments required to ensure proper alignment of the course structure & content with the instructor’s credentials.
  • There is extensive community support for continuation and expansion of the program, as demonstrated in two Administrative Council meetings, two PASD board meetings, and numerous other contacts and expressions of support.  The NOPSC and the respective school districts can count on increased involvement and assistance from existing partners, the program advisory committee, and the broader constituency that has shown its support.

Given all the above:

  • There is no logical reason to discontinue the program.
  • To the extent that Skills Center finances are a driving concern, it is clear that this program is a significant positive component in the Skills Center’s overall bottom line, with every reason to expect further growth.
  • Particularly in the financial context, it would be completely counterproductive to discontinue a program with a positive revenue stream, an established curriculum and constituency, and extensive community attention and support, only to try substituting any new program that would be starting from scratch.
  • The program has significant potential to expand in several ways, including closer relationships with existing partners, addition of more partners, and potential development of curriculum continuity into college-level content.
  • The remaining compliance and administrative issues, acknowledged by agency staff as being easily resolvable and in no way program-threatening, are essentially no different than the sort of periodic administrative and compliance issues that all Skills Center programs are accountable for or called upon to address in the normal progression and evolution of educational programs.

In spite of the above, it is possible that a resolution may be introduced to fully or partially lay off teacher Dan Lieberman or discontinue the NR program.  Please come to Wednesday’s meeting with the above information in mind.

One Response

  1. The Skills Center Administrative recommended that the NR program be continued next year. It appears that the teacher, Dan Lieberman, will keep his job for now. The next step appears to be in the Port Angeles School District Board’s hands.

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