The Board Report
The Board Report is the Gresham-Barlow School District's summary of regular school board meetings. In the Board Report, you will find the superintendent's monthly report on the school district, a summary of action taken by the district's board of directors, and information about individuals honored by the school board. The Board Report is published after every regular school board meeting. If you live in Gresham, you can watch board meetings LIVE on MetroEast Community Media Comcast Cable Channel 27 and Frontier Cable Channel 35. If you live in Damascus, you can watch a tape of the board meeting on Willamette Falls TV every Saturday at 1 p.m. on Cable Channel 23.
Below you will find the latest edition of the Board Report.
To view back issues click here.
Meeting of March 6, 2014
Board Members Present: Chair Matt O’Connell, Dale Clark, Dan Chriestenson, Kris Howatt, Carla Piluso, Kent Zook, and Kathy Ruthruff
School Board recognizes Sam Barlow High School swim coach Ron Johnson as 2013 NFHS Oregon Coach of the Year
The board honored Ron Johnson, a retired teacher and longtime boys swim coach from Sam Barlow High School who was recently named the 2013 Oregon Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
Recipients of this award must exemplify the highest standards of sportsmanship, ethical conduct and moral character, as well as have the respect of their schools and communities.
Citizens’ Requests of the Board
Stefanie Craft of Damascus shared that she had lived in the community for more than twenty years and had children attending schools in the district. She stated that the parents of Damascus are very committed to their school and community. She urged the school board to listen to the feedback from the community regarding schools in Damascus and the future of those schools.
Superintendent Schlachter shared that the application for the Oregon Department of Education’s School Improvement Grant is due April 11. The district will be notified by May 9 whether it has received the grant from the state. Funds from the grant would be used for East Gresham Elementary School. The grant funds would allow for many changes to occur at the school and would be provided over the course of three school years.
Superintendent Schlachter recently traveled to Salem to testify on HB 2220. The superintendent expressed his concern that the shortened legislative session does not allow enough time for proposed legislation to be fully reviewed. He also believes lawmakers are using it to make quick fixes to legislation—fixes that end up being problematic. He stated that the waive of legislative mandates result in funding implications for school districts and affect operations.
REVIEWED, calendars for 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 as presented for first reading. Adoption will be recommended at a subsequent meeting.
APPROVED, combining Damascus Middle School and Deep Creek Elementary School as one K-8 school beginning with the 2014-15 school year. Several years of declining enrollment at both schools prompted the school board to combine the schools for form a K-8 school. It is more costly to operate two separate facilities when the needs of the current student population could be met in one building. It is also difficult to financially sustain and staff a comprehensive educational program. Moving to a K-8 school in one building allows the school board to maintain a high-performing school in the Damascus community that is financially sustainable.
APPROVED, operating the K-8 school out of the current Damascus Middle School building beginning with the 2014-15 school year.
The school district had planned to remodel and expand Deep Creek Elementary School into a K-8 school using funds from a school bond. Voters did not approve the school bond proposal on the November 2013 ballot.
The middle school facility is better suited for a K-8 grade configuration without a need for significant remodeling or additional investment of general fund resources. The east wing of the middle school building has appropriately sized bathrooms for elementary school students. In comparison to the elementary school, the middle school is more easily adaptable to a K-8 instructional model. The middle school building has more than one gym and computer lab, and a larger library. It also has a science room, an art lab, a band room, and student lockers.
The school board hopes to one day re-open Deep Creek Elementary School. During the planning work for the next school bond proposal, remodeling the Deep Creek facility so it can become a K-8 school will be discussed.
APPROVED, ratifying the resolution recognizing March 3-7, 2014, as Classified School Employees Week in the Gresham-Barlow School District. During the week celebrations for classified employees took place in schools and offices throughout the district.
APPROVED, appointing the following board representation for commencements:
Adult Program: Dale Clark and Matt O’Connell
Springwater Trail High School: Kris Howatt and Carla Piluso
Sam Barlow High School: Dan Chriestenson and Kathy Ruthruff
Gresham High School: Matt O’Connell and Kent Zook
REVIEWED, the 2013-14 Standards and Assurance Form
The form shows, due to reductions in the 2013-14 budget, four student contact days were eliminated. This reduction in student contact days placed only the district’s 12th grade students below the required instruction time. The district is planning to have a full school year in 2014-15. All grades will be at or above the required instructional hours. No formal action on this form is required.
APPROVED, the Process for Selection of Childcare Services, 2014, with Kris Howatt and Kathy Ruthruff as school board representatives. The district’s contract for before and after school childcare services expires September 1, 2014. The district will advertise in the Gresham Outlook and Daily Journal of Commerce a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) inviting interested childcare providers to submit a proposal. A Childcare RFQ Selection Committee will be appointed to review the proposals and make a recommendation to the board at its June 2014 business meeting.
The District’s licensed clinical social workers, Kate Allen and Michelle Kahan presented on the district’s work to identify and provide options for students who have been unsuccessful in our traditional programs. Kahan and Allen work to connect these students with other learning options such as Rosemary Anderson High School-East and Alpha High School. Students from the two programs shared how the schools are helping them get back on track to graduate.
Nutrition Services Annual Report
Nutrition Services Director Keely Malhiot and Food Service Manager Christine Johnson reviewed the highlights of last year’s Nutrition Services Program. The program is managed by Sodexo and employs a staff of more than 90 to provide meals to students at 25 sites. The program is self-supporting. Operating costs do not exceed total program revenues. The program’s goals include providing nutritious, high-quality meals and snacks, accommodating special diets where medically necessary, providing catered food services, and improving nutrition awareness.
District Leadership Changes
Superintendent Schlachter reviewed some previously announced leadership changes for next school year. Mike Schofield will replace Chief Financial Officer Jerry Jones who is retiring. Linda Okazaki will replace Elementary Education Director Anita Harris who is also retiring. Gordon Russell Middle School Principal Bruce Schmidt will become principal of Sam Barlow High School. SBHS Principal Dr. David Lovelin is moving to South Korea to work as a school administrator. A search is underway for the next principal of GRMS.
Elementary Math Update
Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Teresa Ketelson reported that the district continues to search for appropriate math curriculum for grades K-5. Teachers piloted an elementary math curriculum earlier this year, but could not find a program that worked well for all K-5 grade levels.
Full-Day Kindergarten in 2015-16
Executive Director of Elementary Education Anita Harris shared that the district is reviewing the added costs and logistics of moving to an all-day kindergarten program in 2015-16. Currently, the state only funds half-day kindergarten programs. The state will include full-day kindergarten in the school funding formula in 2015-16. Added costs to move to a full-day program would include hiring additional licensed staff and educational assistants, buying furniture, curriculum, and supplies, and providing professional development.
Weather/Emergency Closure-Consideration for Make Up Days
In February schools were closed two days due to inclement weather. The 2013-14 school year calendar includes five days (June 16-20) at the end of the school year that could be used for make up days. The administration is processing the factors that will help determine whether to use the make up days. At the April 3 school board meeting the administration will make a recommendation to the board.
East Orient Elementary School
Budget Committee Workshop 101
Center for Advanced Learning
1484 NW Civic Drive, Gresham, OR
Regular School Board Meeting
Public Safety and Schools Building
1331 NW Eastman Parkway, Gresham, OR
Can’t Attend Board Meetings?
You can watch regular school board meetings LIVE on Comcast cable channel 27 and Frontier cable channel 35. MetroEast Community Media replays the board meeting at the following times:
Second Showing-Monday at 7 p.m.
Third Showing-The following Thursday at 4 p.m.
If you live in Damascus-
Board meetings are shown on Willamette Falls TV for patrons in the Damascus area. They are scheduled for cablecast on channel 23 every Saturday at 1 p.m.