The thought of chartering the Alsea School District is once again being raised before the school board as Alsea School grapples with a stagnant state budget coupled with soaring PERS rates.
“Open enrollment has reshaped our district very similarly to the how chartering would have but with more state restrictions,” explains Marc Thielman, Alsea School District Superintendent/ Principal. Specifically, Thielman explains that open enrollment comes with imposed restrictions on advertising and flexibility of bussing that have prevented the district from reaching a set number of students that can be served well, while adding back lost programs.
Since the District adopted Open Enrollment, elementary music, PE, woodshop and other electives have been added back to the schedule to the benefit of our students. In the beginning of Open Enrollment, districts were allowed to advertise to attract new students. Recently, legislature changed this [large public schools in Portland and elsewhere in the state didn’t like losing students to through open enrollment and sought to limit its reach].
Alsea School District knows that adding back more students allows us to offer better, more varied programs to all of our students. A “No Change Charter” would allow the district to advertise in surrounding communities and send buses out a little farther to reach these students while essentially changing very little about how the school is currently operated. Thielman notes that, “chartering now will simply be open enrollment without the restrictions.”
If you are interested in learning more about the No Change Charter option, please join us at our January 19, 2017 School Board Meeting or contact Marc Thielman at the school (541-487-4305 or email).