New possibility for D9 elementary, more budget cuts expected

The 9% cut across the board demanded by Gov. Kulongoski last week to balance the state budget will mean a $1.7 million cut in the proposed 2010-11 budget for School District 9.  This requires action on the part of the school district to revise the budget prior to the state deadline of June 30. At a workshop on May 26, Interim Business Manager Dan Zaklan told the school board it would be necessary to reschedule the public hearing and board approval of the budget, probably until June 23. He also wants to call the budget committee together again to show them the recommended changes.

While several districts in southern Oregon proposed budgets for next year that added back days and/or staff based on legislature funding, District 9 remains very conservative. This will be the third year of deep cuts, noted Zaklan. With this reduction, it will mean the district’s budget has been trimmed by over $4.5 million in three years.

Athletic Director Brian Winter gave the board an update on the athletics and activities department.

Beginning with the 2010-11 school year, all high school principals, athletic directors and coaches must have concussion certification and steroid certification is required every four years. The certification can be taken online through OSAA.

Effective with 10-11 school year, students participating in athletics and/or activities must have passed all classes the semester preceding the athletic season. That means when this semester ends, the student must have passing grades in all classes. Winter said if a student passes six of seven classes, he or she will be on probation and given an opportunity to bring up the grade. Summer school is one option for students to bring up a grade. After school tutoring began this current school year, said Winter.

There were 327 students in sports and 271 in activities at EPHS this current school year.

Winter also spoke about the reclassification situation. Basically, EPHS will be in what is classified as a hybrid group, except for varsity football where they will be in the Midwestern league with Eugene, among other schools. Ashland and Eagle Point are both classified as hybrid, which means in some sports they will be with the old SOC teams. Before fall sports and activities begin, the Independent plans a “map” to guide the community through the maize. Appeals for 4A classification were denied based on student population, said Winter.

The other major topic at the workshop concerned a trip to view a potential plan for a new elementary.  Zaklan, Lynn Scott, Little Butte principal and Ken Gruenwald, maintenance director, visited a school in Fernley, Nev. (Lyon County School District), designed by architect Casey M. Jones.  It is a concrete structure.  The three who traveled to Nevada are impressed with the facility, including the way heating and air conditioning equipment and control is planned. They showed pictures as well as floor plan to the school board and have shown it to the staff at Little Butte as well as to the parent group.

Zaklan suggested a next step might be for two board members to go to the school in Nevada and to meet with Jones and the district will do more background checking on the architect. At the end of last week,  Zaklan was meeting with David McKay, of Willamette ESD,  to get his assessment. The district previously contracted with Willamette ESD and McKay to oversee the project. Based on information from the  Nevada architect,  the school could be built for less than the funds the district has in the insurance fund.  The district is once again looking at the Glenn D. Hale site.

The OHSU nurses presented an overview of their projects at the three middle schools. The same nurses will return in the fall to do a follow up on their health screenings. Last fall they found 34% of the D9 middle school students were classified as overweight, compared to 16.5% nationwide.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent

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