Ashland School District No. 5, Jackson County, Oregon - The Board of Directors met in regular session on January 12, 2004, at 7:30 p.m. in the Ashland Council Chambers. Present were:
Amy Amrhein ) Chair
Chuck Keil )
Terry Littleton )
Heidi Parker ) Board Members
Ellie Thivierge )
Juli Di Chiro, Superintendent
Loren Luman, Business Manager
Ron Dulaney, Classified Representative
Matt Bolstad, Student Representative
Jeanne Peterson, Executive Secretary
I. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7: 32 p.m. by Chair Amrhein.
II. Pledge of Allegiance
III. Roll Check
A roll of the board was taken and all members were present.
IV. Welcome Visitors
Chair Amrhein welcomed visitors and announced that the Board just held an Executive Session in accordance with ORS 192.660 (1)(a)(e) to discuss real estate property transactions.
V. Consent Agenda
1. Approve minutes of regular session of December 8, 2003.
a. Employment Recommendation
Shannon Wolff was recommended as a temporary kindergarten teacher at Walker Elementary replacing Debra Kalmakav who is on leave of absence.
Director Keil removed the December board minutes from the consent agenda. Director Keil moved that the Board approve the consent agenda as amended. Director Thivierge seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Director Keil corrected the minutes of the December 8, 2003, to reflect that the meeting was held at the Ashland Middle School Library. Director Keil moved that the Board approve the December 8, 2003 regular minutes as corrected. Director Parker seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
1. Student and Staff Representative Reports
Matt Bolstad reported on the Martin Luther King assembly, the sparrow club, community service being sponsored by Butler Ford, the winter formal, finals, and the AHAA fine arts fundraiser to be held on January 23 and 24.
Ron Dulaney reported on classified membership efforts in support of Measure 30.
2. Ashland Schools Foundation Report
Scott Ford, the temporary Executive Director, introduced himself and reported briefly on grants, buy in for books, and the fund drive coming up in the Spring.
3. NCLB Consolidated Application Report
Juli Di Chiro distributed an overview of the federal funds available this year and the activities occurring. She further reviewed the performance goals.
4. Report on Annual School Report Cards for Each School
Juli Di Chiro reported on the changes in the School Report Cards.
5. Report on Ashland Quality Education Model
Juli Di Chiro reported that the district administrators have worked on long-term planning for the District. The components the district will be working on include facilities and property, budget and revenue, educational program, staffing and professional development, technology, communication and public relations. In addition, district administrators worked on a Quality Education Model for Ashland.
Mrs. Di Chiro recommended that the Board seek public through the Site Councils on the quality education model elements. In addition, she suggested that a consultant be hired to update the facilities plan, and the Board appoint a task force to develop planning for budget, technology, educational program and professional development, and communication. This would be a six month process which could be completed by next fall. The Board suggested having state requirements and accreditation standards available when seeking input from the community. It was agreed that pertinent information could be posted on the website for the community.
6. Board Report
Board members reported on AHAA, winter sports, and canvassing for Measure 30.
7. Superintendent Report
Juli Di Chiro introduced David Coldiron who gave a presentation on the Jack Clark Memorial Sportsmanship award presented to Ashland High School. Juli Di Chiro read a proclamation from the Governor in honor of School Board Recognition Month. She also reported on the employee wellness day of January 23 and the potential relationship between Waldorf and the district.
VII. Hear public requests not a part of the agenda
Public comments were submitted as follows.
For Quality Schools Committee supports small schools of no more than 300 students for better education of our children and for parent and volunteer involvement. The Board needs to consider the school cultures, quality of environment and cultural way of life before considering closure of another elementary school. The Board was asked to postpone the decision to close Lincoln School and use the For Quality Schools Committee as a resource to gain public input. The committee would like public forums and would like to participate in the work on the Ashland quality education model.
Something feels wrong about closing an elementary school resulting in crowded conditions, and allowing Waldorf to be housed in the Ashland Middle School.
The main challenge is that there is not enough money and the community needs time to explore possibilities for additional revenue.
Concern was expressed about the long-term impacts of closing an elementary school; what does that do to interdistrict transfers and parents being disgruntled about only having three elementary schools. The impact on kids is traumatic. What would happen to all of the special programs and activities and the space needed to house them. How can the same level of quality education be provided while being crowded into three schools.
Traffic will be a problem with only three schools. Before an elementary school is closed, the parents want to know what it will be like if another elementary school is closed, and how that will happen. How can a school be closed without knowing what quality education is for Ashland.
We need to use the resources we have in Ashland to get things done. Also, another elementary school should not be closed before enough data has been collected and analyzed regarding the impact resulting from the Briscoe closure.
The Board was asked to make public the information on the breakdown of savings resulting from the Briscoe school closure, and how many students left Ashland for other schools.
The Board was asked to reopen the question of which school to close.
The district and the community need to adapt to the declining enrollment. Resources need to be considered for the middle and high schools also.
Is there a positive educational purpose in closing a school? How much money would it take to keep a fourth school open? Will parents of displaced children have a choice of where to send their children? Will the blenders class be moved together or separately?
Would a school be closed if Measure 30 passes?
A petition has generated 1,146 signatures so far against closing Lincoln Elementary.
You need more space than three schools can provide. Don’t keep pushing the schools away from downtown.
Closing another elementary school will place the burden on the children and their parents. We will pay for the mistake of crowded elementary schools when the students reach middle and high school levels. The Board should take the gamble for the children and the quality education.
The Board should have considered a school options committee at the same time a school closure committee was established. Enrollment is not low enough to cause the closure of another elementary school. The cost of employment can be improved by teacher attrition.
The Board will discuss this topic at a work session to be held on January 26. A videographer will be considered for that work session.
The Board took a break at 9:38 p.m. and reconvened at 9:45 p.m.
VIII. New Business
1. Approve Assurance Report
Juli Di Chiro reported that the district is in complete compliance with the state standards. She reviewed the areas in which the district would like to see improvement.
Director Keil moved that the Board approve the 2003-04 Assurance Report as presented. Director Thivierge seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
2. Resolution #2004-1 Regarding February 3, 2004 Special Election
The following resolution was presented to the Board for consideration.
WHEREAS, the 2003 Oregon Legislative Assembly enacted a revenue package that would yield $800 million for the 2003-05 state budget; and
WHEREAS, opponents of the revenue package have successfully referred it to Oregon voters by petition and it will appear as Measure 30 at the February 3, 2004, special election; and
WHEREAS, by law, voter rejection of the revenue package would result in a $337 million reduction in 2004-05 K-12 school funding—slightly more than nine percent of anticipated 2004-05 total school revenue or roughly $501 per weighted student (ADMw); and
WHEREAS, the Ashland School District’s share of those cuts in 2004-05 would amount to $1.8 million based on OSBA’s estimates; and
WHEREAS, those budget reductions would further erode the Ashland School District’s progress in meeting the student achievement challenges of Oregon’s Educational Act for the 21st Century and the federal No Child Left Behind Act mandate; and
WHEREAS, for most Oregon personal income taxpayers, the temporary graduated income tax surcharge means a tax increase of no more than $3 per month; and
WHEREAS, other components of Measure 30 increase the contribution made by business taxpayers to support vital state education, public safety and human services programs.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Ashland School District Board of Directors strongly supports the 2003 Legislature’s bi-partisan revenue package to balance the 2003-05 state budget as essential to providing needed funds to operate K-12 public schools in 2004-05 and beyond; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Ashland School District Board of Directors urges its community and all its patrons, parents and staff to support sustaining the 2003 Legislature’s action by voting "yes" on Measure 30 at the February 3, 2004 special election.
Director Keil moved that the Board approve Resolution #2004-1 regarding the February 3, 2004 Special Election as presented. Director Parker seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
3. Resolution #2004-2 Regarding Increase to 2003-04 Budget
The following resolution was presented for Board consideration.
WHEREAS, at the time the 2003-04 operating budget was prepared, the amount of carryover at June 20, 2003, from the youth activities levy could not be accurately projected due to the timing of tax collections; and
WHEREAS, at the time the 2003-04 operating budget was prepared, the exact amount of funds available from the Ashland Schools Foundation could not be accurately projected due to the unanticipated receipt of pledges; and
WHEREAS, at the time the 2003-04 operating budget was prepared, it was unforeseen that the Oregon Department of Education would increase the amount of the Intergovernmental Agreement for Long-Term Care or Treatment;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that, for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2003, the Board of Directors of the Ashland School District hereby adopts a budget increase of $300,000 for Other Special Programs due to the increase of tax receipts for the youth activity levy, donations from the Ashland Schools Foundation and an increase in the Intergovernmental Agreement for Long-Term Care or Treatment.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2003, the amounts shown below are hereby appropriated for the purposes indicated within Other Special Programs:
Instruction is increased from $2,934,850 to $3,137,350;
Support Services are increased from $627,250 to $639,750; and
Facilities Acquisition and Construction is increased from $0 to $85,000.
The increase of $202,500 for instruction services will be used to support co-curricular activities funded by the Youth Activities Levy, as well as instruction to youth served by Southern Oregon Child Study and Treatment Center. The increase of $12,500 for support services will be used for tournament travel expenses. The increase of $85,000 for facilities acquisition will be used for athletics at the middle and high schools and a shelter at Willow Wind Community Learning Center.
Director Thivierge moved that the Board approve Resolution #2004-2 regarding an increase to the 2003-04 budget as presented. Director Littleton seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
4. Board Policy Revisions – First Reading
Director Thivierge moved that the Board postpone the first reading of the board policy revisions until the March Meeting. Director Keil seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Nancy Coursey will be invited to attend the March board meeting.
IX. Old Business
There was no old business
X. Announcements and Appointments
A Board Work Session will be held on Monday, January 26, 2004, at 7:00 p.m. at the Ashland Middle School Library.
The next regular session will be held on February 9, 2004, at 7:30 p.m. in the Ashland Council Chambers.
The Board will hold an Executive Session on Friday, February 20, 2004, from Noon to 4:00 p.m. at 635 Weller Lane, Ashland, to review executive, administrative and certified personnel with district administrators.
The Board will hold a Work Session on Monday, February 23, 2004, at 7:00 p.m. The agenda and location is to be determined.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:18 p.m.
Jeanne Peterson, Executive Secretary