Director of Operations, Ted Thonstad, recently announced his retirement after 6 years of service to Oregon City Schools. In total he worked in education for over 12 years. When asked what he will miss the most his quick response was, “I will miss the outstanding group of administrators, supervisors, teachers, and support staff committed to the wonderful students of Oregon City”.
The list of projects that Mr. Thonstad helped with during his time in here is long. Two notable projects were the huge district wide energy conservation overhaul and the middle school reconfiguration. Working with building administrators, maintenance and custodial staffs Mr. Thonstad helped to implement a plan to greatly reduce energy consumption and save general fund dollars. The middle school reconfiguration required all teams to come together and create massive change in a very short period of time.
"Ted is ready for a new pace of life”, said Larry Didway, Superintendent. “Ted has been an incredible asset to the district. He is a dedicated public servant and devoted student advocate. No one could be more deserving of a retirement.”
The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) released its school report cards for the 2012-13 school year. These report cards have undergone extensive redesign.
The report card formats include:
- Letter from principal or superintendent
- School and district profile
- Overall rating
- Academic progress over time
- Outcomes by student groups
- Information on curriculum and learning environment
Earlier this week, the Oregon Legislature voted to approve an increase of $100 million for Oregon schools, as well as measures that will reduce ongoing employee retirement costs for schools and other public services.
The added funds amount to just over a one percent increase in school funding statewide. This boosts state school funding from $6.55 billion to $6.65 billion this biennium (2013-15), setting an important baseline as the State plans school funding for 2015-17.
Legislative leaders decided to focus the state funding increase in the 2014-15 fiscal year only, and urge school districts to spend the money on added teachers, school days and lower class sizes. For Oregon City School District, this will likely mean the ability to restore a full school calendar in 2014-15, or at least get very close.
We are grateful for this extraordinary support of public education. While this week's vote does not solve Oregon’s school funding problems, or help districts add back all the programs and staff that have been cut as state support has declined over years, it is another important step in the right direction toward stable and adequate K-12 funding in Oregon.
Oregon City School District is an equal opportunity educator and employer.