D9 dropout cut in half in 3 years

Tina Mondale, director of school improvement for
School District 9, presented an overview of the district’s Continuous
Improvement Plan (CIP) and goals for 2007-09 at the Mar. 12 board of director’s
meeting. Much of the information had previously been presented in a work
session and reported in the Mar. 4 Upper Rogue Independent.

Attendance Coordinator Phil Ortega reported on the
sharp increase in attendance in District 9. Dropouts have dropped by more than
50 percent in the last three years. He said he had made more than 120 home
visits thus far this year.  About 45
parents attended a session earlier  with
Ortega in White City where he talked about gangs among other issues.

One of the reasons for a reduction in dropouts comes
from the Connections School.  Mr.
Fridinger, a Connections teacher, talked about the true meaning of school and
that is making connections-with parents and with students. He said they do not
use the automated phone system for absences, but rather they make calls to the
home to learn what the school can do to help the student. Connections staff
also makes home visits with Ortega. Another improvement in the program is that
students can now complete their GED program at Connections or at RCC.

A student was introduced who had dropped out of school
and had been involved in some issues. She is now attending Connections and is
one the staff is extremely proud of. She is not only doing her assignments, she
is volunteering at the school as well.

This month White City Elementary was the school
selected to choose two outstanding students. Patricia Solario, 2nd
grade, and Camille Powell,4 th grade, were recognized and each
presented with the book  "Places You’ll
Go" by Dr. Seuss, signed by the board members. 
Principal Jay Sparks said he asked his staff to present students for
consideration who were outstanding in citizenship, academics and effort. He
received 20 nominations. From that number, he narrowed the field to those with
95 percent or better attendance and the two students presented to the board had
97 and 99 percent attendance.

Head Start was recognized as the D9 Partner for March.
Sharon Birdsong, representing Eagle Point and White City Head Start as area
manager, talked about the program and how it is growing and in need of land for
an additional school.

Great Body Shop for K-8 and Glencoe Health Program for
grades 9-12 were selected for health text adoption. They had been reviewed by a
large health committee and recommended. EPHS health teacher Jim Mannenbach
addressed the board during public comment and asked that the district demand a
quality health program. He cited several changes since 1999 in the program
which has affected the overall health education in District 9.

By Nancy Leonard

Of the Independent   

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