Ashland School District No. 5, Jackson County, Oregon - The Board of Directors met in regular session November 9, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. in the Ashland Council Chambers. Present were:
Keith Massie ) Chair
Ruth Alexander )
Carol Davis ) Board Members
Heidi Parker )
Eva Skuratowicz )
Juli Di Chiro, Superintendent
Jill Turner, Business Manager
Toni Knox, Certified Representative
Jeanne Peterson, Administrative Assistant
I. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:02 p.m. by Chair Massie.
II. Pledge of Allegiance
III. Roll Check
A roll of the board was taken and all members were present.
IV. Welcome Visitors and Acknowledgments
A. Vision and Mission Statement
Board members read the vision and mission statements.
V. Consent Agenda
A. Approve minutes of Food Service Advisory Committee Meeting of September 28, regular session of October 12 and Capital Projects Advisory Committee meeting of October 19, 2009.
B . Personnel
I. Retirement Requests
Jeff Schlecht, Ashland High School Principal, submitted a letter of intent to retire November 30, 2009. He further requested permission to complete the balance of the school year on a 1039 contract.
Director Skuratowicz moved to approve the consent agenda as presented. Director Alexander seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
VI. Hear Public Requests not a part of the agenda
There were no public requests.
VII. Public Hearing Regarding Construction Excise Tax – 30 minutes
Jill Turner provided background on the proposed construction excise tax. In 2007 the Oregon Legislature passed a law to help school districts pay part of new facility costs. Senate Bill 1036 allows school boards, in cooperation with cities and counties, to tax new residential and non-residential development. This excise tax option was created with bipartisan support by the Oregon Legislature. Agencies and groups supporting it include the Oregon Home Builders Association, the Oregon School Boards Association, the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators, Stand for Children and the Oregon PTA. The Ashland School Board held a hearing regarding implementing an excise tax on residential, commercial, and industrial development. The revenue would allow the district to make improvements to existing sites and protect our investment. The tax would be $1 per square foot on residential construction and 50 cents per square foot on non-residential construction, not to exceed $25,000 per building permit or $25,000 per structure, whichever is less. Implementing the excise tax on new construction would involve intergovernmental agreements among the school district and several government entities including the City of Ashland and Jackson County.
John Schleining expressed his support for the schools. He explained that there are many contractors and subcontractors out of work at this time. This tax would be a huge disservice to people to pass this now during these difficult financial times. You will be taxing people who do not have school-age children and will have no benefit from the school district.
Chuck Keil spoke in favor of the construction excise tax. The economy is beginning to rebound. The schools have been shortchanged for too long. This tax will help the school district and the students.
Darrell Boldt explained his history in Ashland and in construction. He expressed concern for the cost involved during the present economy. It will be years before the economy is on track again. He urged the Board to consider delaying this until the economy is better.
John Schweiger supported the proposed tax but urged the Board to talk with the City about the excessive system development charges. I disagree that the economy is getting better. When I heard about this proposed tax, I wondered when it will stop.
Keith Massie asked if it was possible to implement a tiered construction excise tax where you start with commercial, then residential, etc. The administration will research this. He further asked for a breakdown on the residential and the commercial costs of this tax. Carol Davis asked for information on the costs from the city for remodels.
A. Student and Staff Representative Reports
Toni Knox, Certified Representative, reported on concerns expressed by licensed resulting from budget reductions: insufficient educational assistant time, lack of physical space, increased parent conferences, less intervention support for special needs students, not enough time to provide extra help to students.
B. Second Language Task Force
Michelle Zundel introduced the members of the Second Language Task Force. Committee members referred to the Strategic Plan to utilize a task force to research how to strengthen second language programs and provide a comprehensive second language acquisition program for students K-12. Total Immersion was explained and recommended. The committee reported on the research of the efficacy of models that begin second language instruction at the elementary level. They recommended a sustainable program and highly qualified second language teachers.
First Class Recommendation: Every student K-8 has the opportunity to participate in a French or Spanish immersion program; AHS French, Spanish and Chinese instruction Levels 1-5.
Business Class Recommendation: Magnet Spanish Immersion School K-8; FLES for all K-5; AMS French and Spanish Language Teachers 6-8.
Economy Class Recommendation: FLES K-5 highly qualified language teachers teach Spanish or French to all students in grades K-12.
The committee urged that these recommendations be reviewed by the district leaders to determine if these recommendations could be considered at all during the next budget development.
Public comment was received as follows.
Karen Preskenparen explained that she and a group of about 20 parents formed a Spanish Play Group. She would like to have her children in an immersion program.
Mark Decker preferred having a second language program in the early years of public instruction if you have to make a choice between that and the secondary level. Even though the economy is difficult, he challenged the district to think outside the box and suggested considering the levy for improved second language instruction.
Jeff Westergaard supported the second language program and encouraged the district to choose Spanish for an immersion program.
Ben Bellinson supported the second language immersion program. I think such a program would help bring people into the district.
Gretchen Voss supported this program. Parents would completely support this program. It is currently a big hole in our district.
Ivy Ross spoke in support of the program and stressed the importance of teaching it at an early age.
Keil Hopkins wants a multicultural education for his children. Key hindrances to living in Ashland include housing costs and education. Education is the key to attracting businesses. An immersion program is the most impactful way to improve the education program.
Julie Newman stated that the young age immersion program is very important. Parent interest in an immersion program is very real. This is an opportunity to keep young families in the Ashland School District.
Wendy Maynard said the opportunity to have an immersion program is very powerful and important. She urged the Board to consider the immersion program.
Chuck Keil supported the second language program. If you are going to do this, go all the way. Perhaps we now have the critical mass of parents and community members who will look for a funding mechanism for this program.
The Board will discuss this program again in February or March prior to budget development.
C. District Financial Report
Jill Turner reported on the process of the new software system and staff turnover.
D. Superintendent Report
I. Project Management Update
Juli Di Chiro provided an update on the capital projects explaining that most projects are coming to conclusion. The outstanding issues at this time include the floor tile at the Bellview School and the HVAC system at Ashland High School.
II. Enrollment Update
Juli Di Chiro reported on enrollment as of November 2, 2009 which reflected no major changes.
III. Free and Reduced Lunch Count
Juli Di Chiro reviewed the free and reduced lunch counts as of October, 2009 which have increased significantly.
IX. Unfinished Business
A. Update on Healthy Teens Survey and Ashland Police Department Report on Drug and Alcohol Use by Minors
Cory Foss, Ashland City Police Department, gave a brief overview of some of the problems the police department sees with drug and alcohol problems with teens. One of the problems we see is the binge drinking. We have seen juveniles (17 years of age or younger) end up in the hospital from alcohol poisoning. We also see that young girls are being sexually assaulted after they pass out from alcohol consumption. We also see that young people may not help their friends because of the fear of being a minor (18 – 20 years of age) in possession of alcohol. Officer Foss did say that we have seen a slight decrease in the use of alcohol by juveniles over the past two years.
Officer Foss gave the following statistics for Ashland.
2007 = 244 minors in possession plus 87 juvenile referrals.
2008 =238 minors in possession plus 51 juvenile referrals.
2009 = 154 minors in possession plus 30 juvenile referrals.
Officer Foss gave the following statistics in Ashland for possession of less than an ounce of Marijuana:
2007 – 32 juvenile referrals.
2008 – 17 juvenile referrals.
2009 – 7 juvenile referrals.
Following discussion, Juli Di Chiro and Keith Massie agreed to meet with Chief Holderness to discuss how to put a School Resource Officer in the schools, even on a part-time basis.
Heidi Parker expressed concern about the numbers of students involved in drug and alcohol use and encouraged Board Members to look at drug and alcohol prevention programs.
Julie Di Chiro reviewed the Healthy Teens Survey. Keith Massie would like to take a poll of the Board at the next work session to see if Board Members are interested in discussing this topic again in the near future.
B. Board Policy Revisions – Second Reading
This item was tabled until the next meeting.
X. New Business
A. Long Term Care Treatment Contract with Southern Oregon Child Study and Treatment Center
The Long Term Care or Treatment Contract with Southern Oregon Child Study and Treatment Center in the amount of $337,724.78 for the 2009-11 school years was recommended for Board approval.
Director Alexander moved that the Long Term Care or Treatment Contract with Southern Oregon Child Study and Treatment Center in the amount of $337,724.78 for the 2009-11 school years be approved as recommended. Director Skuratowicz seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
B. Long Term Care Treatment Contract ARRA with Southern Oregon Child Study Treatment Center
The Long Term Care Treatment Contract ARRA Funds with Southern Oregon Child Study Treatment Center in the amount of $9,097.22 for the 2009-10 school year was recommended for Board approval.
Director Alexander moved that the Board approve the Long Term Care Treatment Contract ARRA Funds with Southern Oregon Child Study Treatment Center in the amount of $9,097.22 for the 2009-10 school year as recommended. Director Skuratowicz seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
C. Long Term Care Contract with Lithia Springs/Community Works
The Long Term Care Contract with Lithia Springs/Community Works in the amount of $1,153,893.02 for the 2009-11 school years was recommended for Board approval.
Director Parker moved that the Long Term Care Contract with Lithia Springs/Community Works in the amount of $1,153,893.02 for the 2009-11 school years be approved as recommended. Director Alexander seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
D. Long Term Care Treatment Contract ARRA Funds with Lithia Springs/Community Works in the amount of $5,789.08 for the 2009-10 school year was recommended for Board approval.
Director Skuratowicz moved that the Long Term Care Treatment Contract ARRA Funds with Lithia Springs/Community Works in the amount of $5,789.08 for the 2009-10 school year be approved as recommended. Director Alexander seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
XI. Board Reports
Heidi Parker spoke on Ballot Measures 66 and 67 which will be on the January 26 election ballot. The district will be hugely impacted if these measures fail.
Board members reported on the Monster Dash, the Second Language Task Force, OSBA data training, the Ashland High School Redesign Committee, Certified Contract Maintenance Committee meeting, OSBA convention, Capital Projects Advisory Committee, and high school athletic playoffs.
XII. Announcements and Appointments
A. Food Service Advisory Committee meetings will be held on November 16 and 30, 2009, at 3:30 p.m. at the Bellview Conference Room.
B. A Board Work Session will be held on Monday, November 23, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. to meet with district administrators to discuss the impact of this year’s budget reductions. The location is to be determined.
C. A joint School Board Work Session and Capital Projects Advisory Committee meeting will be held Monday, December 7, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. to identify additional projects to be funded by unallocated bond funds. The location is to be determined.
D. The next regular session will be held on Monday, December 14, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. at the Ashland Council Chambers.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:59 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by