The May 17th election was an important one for Oregon City Schools and other districts across the state. Unfortunately, the three-year local option levy to restore two weeks of school for Oregon City kids was defeated.
In an encouraging message sent to the district's staff earlier today superintendent Roger Rada said, "I certainly don't see this vote as a rebuke of our schools or our employees. We have incredible teachers and support staff. You all do incredible work, and our schools are highly regarded within our community and across the state."
Rada indicates that it will be difficult to maintain the strong academic growth the district's students have demonstrated over the last several years. Students will be in larger classes for fewer days; not a good combination for their success.
"We knew asking the community to pay additional taxes during these tough economic times would be difficult, but we had to try for our kids," says Superintendent Roger Rada. "We can only keep on doing our best, wait for the economy to improve, and hope that the legislature takes steps to stabilize school funding."
The second week in February community leaders gathered in Oregon City to hear about the current budget crisis. At the meeting they learned about the last 3 years of cuts and the projected $9.2 million dollar shortfall for next school year. The community leaders were told about a plan to go out for a local option levy. If passed the local option would help save 2 school weeks of instruction. The participants at this meeting supported asking the school board to place a local option levy on the May 17th ballot. On February 14th the school board voted unanimously to do so.
The Oregon City School District is one of the leading districts in the state in school improvement efforts. In the last couple of years our students scored above the state average at every grade level and in every subject tested. Few districts can boast of this level of student achievement. However, this record of success is in jeopardy!
Last year we reduced our budget by about $9 million, resulting in eliminating 46 classroom teachers, 16 specialists (including elementary PE teachers), 1.75 administrators and 35 school support positions. With considerably fewer adults in our schools, students don't get the attention they deserve.
At the same time, over the last two years our teachers, administrators, and support staff have given up about $5.2 million in salary and benefits that they were scheduled to receive.
As you probably know, schools all across Oregon are suffering similar program reductions including PE and music programs eliminated, counseling services curtailed, and classroom sizes increased.
School funding has been hit so hard by state budget cuts that we're also seeing many local schools cut entire days from the school calendar. This year Oregon City expects to cut five school days ˆ next year we may have to cut many more.
These cuts matter. Students receive less support and less instructional time. Across this state our ability to provide our students an effective learning experience is in serious jeopardy, and it appears that next year the state may further reduce school funding.
Students only get one shot at a good education. How can we keep our commitment to our children?
- Received an Outstanding rating on the State Report Card.
- Digital Classroom students’ created an Internet Safety video that will be used district wide.
- Tennis Paralympics Gold Medalist, David Wagner, visited school and gave a message about “Never Giving Up.”
- Student Leadership began school wide recycling program.
- Students raised over $2,000 for “Pennies for Patients” to benefit the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society.
- Rock Concert Violinist, Aaron Meyer, performed for students.
- PTO Family Read Night, Game Night, Bingo Night, Art Night and Movie Night were very successful.
- All grade levels were at or above 90% in all state test scores in reading and math.
Candy Lane and Jennings Lodge
- Held fun and very well attended Cinco De Mayo and Multicultural community events.
- Increased our green standing by creating a classroom garden in partnership with Singer Hill Gardens. This will provide an outdoor learning area while giving back to the community vegetables from the garden. This was entirely funded through generous donations from our families and the community.
- Chosen as a site for the Free Lunch Program.
- Increased the number of students exceeding and meeting the Reading State Standards in grades 3rd-6th.
- Ninety-eight percent of our K-2nd students are proficient readers at or above their grade levels.
- Each grade level met their strategic achievement goals in math. We focused on in-depth mastery of Number Sense within the Math Standards.
- Increased the number of students meeting the state writing standards at the 4th grade. McLoughlin 4th graders scored above the state average.
- Effective Professional Learning Communities. This is the first year our teachers have been given time within their contract day to meet, discuss, and plan for the needs of every student. We want to thank our community for supporting the Wednesday Early Release program.
- Held Positive Behavior Support Assemblies. Prizes were awarded and over 150 students each month for making excellent academic and behavioral choices. -- "Caught Ya Being Great!"
- Selected as an Apple Exemplary Program for use of technology in the classroom.
- Had a great year with our 6th grade one-to-one laptop pilot program.
- Held a successful Grand Event Bookfair.
- Completed the creation of our Outdoor Classroom with the addition of 18 raised beds. King's green team is once again providing fresh vegetables to families over the summer and is hoping to donate to a local food bank in the fall.
- Our Parent Teacher Student Organization helped to raise $12,000 to go towards new playground equipment. They are working towards additional grants this summer in hopes of raising the funds needed. Emerick Construction Special Projects group has graciously volunteered to install the new equipment.
- Had our first Math Night for families in February. The event was heavily attended by King families and we are looking forward to having the event again next year. The Math Night was such a success that next year King will also be hosting its first Literacy Night in March 2011.
- Students excelled on state assessments! Overall, King students improved scores in math, reading and writing compared to last year. We are proud of the hard work and dedication to academic excellence our students and teachers put in to accomplish these improvements.
- Saw an increase in Math Scores, though increased usage of Professional Learning Communities and the help of District Employee, April Albers, Teacher on Special Assignment.
- Reached our goal of raising $14,000 to build a track around the playground. Money was raised through various fundraisers and events including a generous $6000 donation from Trick n' Racy Car Club!
- Had many successful fundraising programs including having a “Classroom Sponsor” for every classroom and having a really fun Trick n' Racy Car Club Cruise-In that raised $1400.
- Student had the opportunity to visit OMSI Outdoor School with help from the Gray Family Foundation Grant of $10,000.
- Host of Summer at the Library where students can visit the school 5 days a week between 10:00am and 2:00pm for activities and lunch!
- Awarded a $5000 Target Literacy Grant used to purchase 25 iPods for classroom learning.
- Successful transition and creation of new student body with former Park Place and Holcomb students.
- School-wide staff dedication and focus helped to increased our state scores.
- Had great community support and volunteers including the Computer Cleaning Grandmas (PDF).
- Chris Mills receives Middle School Principal of the Year award.
- Lynn Barry named National Middle School Physical Education Teacher of the Year.
- Focused on Math Achievement with Great Results.
- Alter Wiener talked to school about experiences as Holocaust survivor.
- Cheri Rizzo entered essay contest through inTune Magazine and won $40,000 for a music program make over.
- Cheri was invited by K105 Radio Station to perform at their Winter Holiday Party.
- Jazz Choir competed in Mt. Hood Jazz Festival and posted second highest score. Also took 2nd at the CCC Jazz Choir and Northwest Choir Festivals.
- Jazz Band took 2nd place at the Music in the Parks Festival in Seattle and also had 4 outstanding soloist award winners, Jonathan Pass, Katelyn Eggiman, Chandler Pederson and Nathan Kammerer. Special Thanks to Jeremy Kramer who is the fantasic music teacher behind it all.
- Community Care Day was a success making our grounds look great. Special thanks to:
- OC Rotary
- B&B Leasing
- and everyone who volunteered
- Two 7th grade students were chosen by the state to use their writing papers as examples of exemplary work for all teachers across the state to use an “anchor” scoring papers. Students are Alyssa Dingwall and Megan Christensen
- Nancy Bush-Lange Named Oregon Principal of the Year
- Girls Lacrosse State Champions
- Sherril Daniels receives Outstanding High School Business Educator Award
- Won Healthy School Award
- Congrats the following award winning Coaches
- Dara Kramer - Coach of the State Champion Girls Lacrosse Team!
- Kurt Guelsdorf - Girls Basketball
- Mike Doherty - Boys Basketball
- Roger Rolen - Wrestling
- Dave Adelhart - Softball
- Adam Thygeson - Boys Track
- Received National Student Council Award
Even though pre-registration is now closed you can still come to this great event. Space is still available for some of the workshops and registrations are accepted on the day of the event. Just show up and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Saturday, January 30th at Oregon City High School - 19761 S Beavercreek Rd, Oregon City, OR 97045
This Free event includes workshops on issues important to all families and their students, preschool through high school
Childcare and lunch were provided free with pre-registration and will be provided as available for same day registrations.
Learn more by visiting the Family Focus Forum website.
Oregon City School District is seeking nominations for the 2009-10 Teacher of Distinction and Employee of the Year. The licensed and classified staff members will be honored at an upcoming Chamber of Commerce awards luncheon. Employees, parents and community members are encouraged to make nominations.
Nominations should be sent to Bonnie Millar no later than Thursday, February 25, 2010
For more information and the form download the Employee of Distinction Nomination (PDF)
Oregon City School District is an equal opportunity educator and employer.