D9 School District Changes Its Name

D9 School District Changes Its Name

By Lynn Leissler

For the Independent

For some time, Jackson County School District 9 has considered changing its name to reflect its location. A numeric designation doesn’t help folks know where the schools are. Other Jackson County districts go by location names—Medford, Central Point, Ashland, Jacksonville. While D9 represents other cities are in the district, the same is true for Central Point, which includes Gold Hill schools. The board held a final discussion during its work session, then unanimously passed a resolution at the regular December 13 meeting to reflect the first step. D9 will now be Eagle Point School District 9. The practicalities will take time, as there are contracts, documents, etc. to change.

[Sam Thompson, EPHS student representative, summarized the school’s November activities. The leadership class filled 115 turkey baskets for student families in need. Band instructor Jeremy Durst danced with the local Dancing with the Stars to raise money for Southern Oregon Sparrows. The high school has a new Sparrow, and Sam pronounced him to be true to his tag, “one in a million.”

EPHS Principal Andy Kovach honored Talisha Bullock, who sat in Sam’s chair last year. Talisha is a hard worker, inquisitive, kind, thoughtful and respectful. She excels scholastically (is enrolled in five AP classes), works, and runs cross-country. Her goal is to graduate with high honors.

The second honoree was Andy Gmirkin, talented academically, a gifted problem solver, respectful, professional and motivated. He is patient and converses well with adults. Kovach pointed out that both students have a rare quality—high internal motivation.

The honored teacher, Cari Snider, teaches rigorous math classes and makes sense of it for the students. She is leader for LINKS, CREW and the Leadership Class. Kovach calls her bright, active, busy, dedicated, and having a positive attitude toward adults and children.

Kovach reported an upward trend in graduation rates and student led conference attendance (96% at the high school—and 100% at a couple of the elementary schools). The GED completers are reaching their goal. Attendance is a struggle, but the school is working to overcome long-held habits, to build a culture of showing up.

Selected board and cabinet members attended the 71st annual Oregon School Board Association (OSBA) convention in Portland. Superintendent Rickert reported that because of Governor Brown’s spring visit and the successful District’s Attendance Initiative along with the Graduation Coach implementation, the EP team was invited to present at the convention’s general session on Friday in front of close to 1000 attendees.

The US Census Bureau surveys poverty regionally, the results affecting monies received by Oregon schools. Twice, poverty has shown a marked decrease in the Upper Rogue, meaning less money for EP School District 9. If she saw this trend reflected in students and their families, Superintendent Rickert said she’d be thrilled—but she does not. Other regional districts are affected, so perhaps there can be changes.