Tuesday, June 13, 2006
New assistant principals
hired at two schools
DALLAS -- LaCreole Middle School and Dallas High School will be gaining new assistant principals at the start of the 2006-07 school year.
Michael Beck was unanimous choice from 70 applicants for the position at the high school. Beck has been on the staff at Sam Barlow High in the Gresham-Barlow district.
He was one of two applicants invited for a second interview and tour of the campus. Superintendent Christy Perry noted that "The students gave him a thumbs up" as well as the hiring committee.
Joining the LaCreole staff will be Tim Larson. He joins the new LaCreole principal, Steve Spencer, in heading the middle school's programs this fall. Larson has been the New Options instructor at Dallas High.
There were 72 applicants for the position with Larson emerging as unanimous choice of the hiring panel.
Also approved as provided in the district's contract with its teaching staff is a six-day paid leave of absence for Heather Anderson. The first and second grade teacher at Oakdale Heights Elementary has been invited to address the National Conference of English Teachers in Nashville, Tenn., in mid-November.
She will discuss working with English Language Learners in the classroom at the conference. Anderson will be joined by an Arizona teacher in making the presentation.
Insurance comes in two flavors
DALLAS - When shopping for homeowners or auto insurance it seems as if there is no end to choices.
When you're an Oregon school district seeking insurance on public property, however, the list of choices quickly shortens.
Gary Hampton, agent with Hagan Hamilton Insurance of McMinnville and other locations, informed the Dallas School District at its Monday night board meeting that his firm brings bids from two insurance companies that deal with Oregon schools. They are the only two that offer the insurance, it seems.
No action was taken by the board as it ponders the question of whether to make Hagan Hamilton its insurer of record as well as deciding which of the two underwriters it wants holding the policy on district property.
The insurers are PACE, a firm resulting from merger of insurance operations formerly managed by Oregon School Boards Association and Special Districts of Oregon.
Hampton informed the board that the pace bid is $9,200 lower than the bid from USIPO (United States Insurance Program of Oregon). The latter firm is headquartered in Ephrata, Washington, and serves 15 or more Oregon districts as well as nearly all districts in Washington.
A final decision on the matter is expected at the next board meeting June 26 at Morrison Administration building, 111 SW Ash Street, at 7:30 p.m.
Revised discipline plan OK'd
DALLAS -- In a different form of outreach program, the Dallas School District discipline plan now includes conduct away from the schools
New language outlined in the plan's foreword states student conduct that violates the District's Code of Conduct and "has the potential to disrupt or impact the safe and efficient operation of the school or interfere with the rights of others" falls under the code.
Steve SPencer, Dallas High's dean of students, outlined changes to the board at its Monday night meeting.
The need for extending the code of conduct's reach is a result of advice offered by legal counsel as well as the effect of the internet and home computers, Spencer explained.
At LaCreole Middle School, the three- and five-point referral system is going away. "The discpline plan already provides for dealing with first and repeated offenses," he noted.
Another change at LaCreole comes with termination of a no gum-chewing policy. "We will leave that to the individual teachers in their classrooms with the promise that we'll support them," Spencer commented.
The revisions include language noting that information posted on a student's website or related entry can be used to implicate a student for violations of applicable student codes.
Following the board's unanimous approval of the changes it was noted that those changes will be seen in student handbooks at the start of the new school year.
Schools seek growth of fund
DALLAS -- Growth of a privately-supported Dallas School Fund from its present $27,000 level to a million or more would be part of the charge placed before a new school board advisory group.
Directors LuAnn Meyer and Miheal Blanchard outlined their proposal to establish such a committee comprised of individuals "who can contribute to the financial savvy necessary, have or had an involvement with the schools, can provide innovative ways of bringing money into the fund."
An August or September "roll out" of the committee is expected. It should have "at least five and no more than 15 members," Blanchard said. He adds "I see it having quarterly meetings with smaller groups working between the meetings."
Meyer noted, "From the School fund all we want to use are the earnings." Presently that fund is housed within the Dallas Community Fund.
Community Schools program saved
Many aspects of the Dallas Community Schools program will continue through the next 12 months under an agreement between Dallas Schools and the City of Dallas.
Originally funded by a two-year grant from the Ford Famliy Foundation, the program wil primarily offer before and after-schol activities and some summer programs. Many adult community school classes also will continue.
The Community Activities Coordinator position will be funded on a 50-50 basis by the city and the school district. Remaining funds from the original grant will help offset the school district's costs.
While the coordinator will be a city employee, the school district will be responsible for all background checks since the employee will be working with students.
Classified employees get raise
DALLAS -- Most of the non-teaching staff in Dallas School District is covered under an agreement between the district and the Oregon School Employees Association.
Under the current contract, negotiations regarding compensation could be re-opened this year for the final year of the contract's term.
Employees have ratified and the school board concurs that a two percent cost of living adjustment for steps 1 through 6 of the wage scale is in order.
A new level, step 9, was created as a result of the large number of employees who have topped out on the current scale. The new step reflects a three percent increase over the previous top step.
A text for each math student
DALLAS -- Cory Bradshaw, Director of Instructional Services, gained approval of the Dallas School Board Monday for 180 new high school geometry texts as well as 50 new calculus books.
With those two books she informed the board that there's a math textbook at Dallas High for each math student. Previously students have had to check out books and return them as they proceed through the courses.
Exec director resigns post
BRIDGEPORT/PEDEE -- Luckiamute Valley Charter School board finds itself searching, again, for a new executive director.
Christine Cantamessa informed that board May 9 of her plans to take advantage of different opportunities and leave the charter school at the end of the school year.
She has been executive director for two years starting Aug. 1, 2004. She succeeded John Finkbeiner in the position.
The executive director has commuted from her Eugene home for the entire two years.
Evaluation of chief under way
DALLAS -- Under terms of her contract, Dallas School Superintendent Christy Perry has arrived at the point of her first annual evaluation in that role.
Board Chair Bob Ottaway invited all parties involved with the schools to contribute their thoughts and observations to that evaluation before the June 26 board meeting.