The District 9 Board of Directors held a workshop last week to learn more about the proposed school based health center as well as a proposed middle school wrestling-multipurpose room for White Mountain Middle School, along with several other issues.
Peg Crowley, CEO of Community Health Center in White City, Medford and Ashland, along with JR Rothenberg and Viki Brown, a registered nurse with the county health department and an Eagle Point resident, talked about the health center and answered questions.
The district has two opportunities to consider for planning dollars for a health center.
Option 1 involves a two-year planning process. Those awarded grants would receive up to $30,000 in phase one for 2009-10. In the second phase, in the year 2010-2011, each group would receive up to $60,000 for their grant, depending on the number of Phase I sites moving into Phase II.
Option 2 is available to all interested sites. In 2009-10 those receiving grants would be given up to $60,000 per site with the expectation of a successful certification by the Spring of 2010.
During the 2010-2011 year, upon successful completion of certification in the first year of planning, local public health authorities would receive funding based on a state formula.
Discussion and questions from the school board centered primarily around requirement details such as space, bathroom facilities, computer facilities and questions regarding staffing.
Board members seemed surprised to learn parent permission for medical help is not needed once a child reaches the age of 15.
Special education director Doug McKenzie expressed the need for a prevention focus. He said the facility would be of significant benefit to assist teens with mental health issues. McKenzie said the school psychologists deal only with special education students and there is a great need to address mental health issues with the student population.
Oregon currently has 44 certified School Based Health Centers with more being planned. In Jackson County, Ashland has had a center for 19 years. Crater High School has a health center and Butte Falls, Prospect and Jewett Elementary are in phase 2 in the development of centers.
The issue will be on the agenda for the Aug. 12 board of directors meeting.
The second major topic of discussion was Club West’s desire to donate the funding for a multi-purpose room at White Mountain, which could also be used for wrestling.
Club representatives, including Bob Bergen, Tony Stormberg and contractor Travis Hoppes addressed the board.
Club West President Bob Bergen said he did a presentation to Eagle Point and White Mountain at a meet outlining what Club West was prepared to do. The first school to step forward wanting the room was WMMS. Club West has $60,000 for the metal 43 x 61 ft. structure. Bergen said they discovered later the layout at EPMS wouldn’t permit the structure they are prepared to build and noted EPMS can use the high school wrestling facility. But, the delegation pointed out, they do have $60,000 for EPMS.
There was discussion between Hoppes and D9 Maintenance Supervisor Ken Gruenwald regarding some of the issues in the permitting process.
Hoppes said he was not ready to seek permits until the board of directors formally approved the project, but he did intend to have more discussion with the county planning department regarding their requirements.
Board chair Scott Grissom said, “we want to do this.” He said he thought they should move forward even if the building can’t quite be finished. He said he thought the district should be willing to kick in a little money if there wasn’t quite enough money to meet some permitting requirements.
Supt. Cynda Rickert asked that the board keep in mind that if they chose to put money toward something, they need to remember the people in the district who have lost their jobs.
Grissom read some of the standards to be a good board member, primarily addressing the two new board members. He also announced that he wanted work sessions at 6:30 and that there would be at least one a month as he began to appoint the committees he has previously said he wanted.
Grisson also brought up concern over the use of the District 9 logo. He specially addressed a flier, which he handed out which he said had the names of four board candidates on it for the May 19 election, along with the names of three groups and a disclaimer, which said Paid for by James Wilson. The return address said: Community Elections Committee, School Board Candidates, School District #9, Eagle Point, OR 97524. Although it did not give the district’s official address, Grissom pointed out that it gave the appearance of being sanctioned by the district. And, in addition, the logo used by District 9 was used.
“It is mostly the responsibility of the School District #9 board and administration to protect against the inappropriate use of our school district’s logo an return address. This statement is based on information given by an investigator at the Secretary of State Elections Division,” said information handed out at the workshop.
Based on the information presented, apparently there is an investigation going on regarding possible election law violation.
Supt. Rickert recommended the board move forward and not get caught up in the past. Mannenbach and Grissom felt the issue needed to be addressed. It appeared there was general agreement that a process to inform candidates in the future of election regulations was needed. Members said unless a committee is formed, a candidate does not receive the rules for candidacy.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent