Vince Adams reported on the progress with the Superintendent Search and ongoing recruitment. The Committee will convene January 17 with a confidentiality training. Once members have completed that training, they will be able to access the online platform to view applicants. A calendar outlining the process can be seen here: https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Agenda/2548?meeting=561640
Joe Martinez was named Staff Member of the Month.
Heather Shunk, Assistant Principal for Learn At Home Oregon (LAHO), gave a presentation on the new SeeSaw curriculum that is designed to better serve LAHO students and staff. Go to the following link to view the curriculum. https://meetings.boardbook.org/Documents/WebViewer/2548?file=b141d0fc-f378-4b14-bcb7-b545b8834005 The district is in the process of not only changing curriculum for LAHO, but the platforms on which instruction is delivered. This change will actually save the district ~$500,000 annually.
A proposal was accepted to approach the Alsea Wolverine Booster Club to seek grant funding from the OSU Folk Club for two Automated External Defibrillators, one for in the building and one in the sports medical equipment.
Alsea alum Anna Chilcote was hired as a long-term substitute teacher for Ms. Pinion.
The board approved a co-op for the 2023 baseball and softball season with Philomath High School. This will allow student athletes to participate in these programs since there is not enough interest to formulate a team locally. https://meetings.boardbook.org/Documents/WebViewer/2548?file=a36e46bf-077a-4cb3-8bbf-17f37e1c1bf5
The Superintendent’s Report included an update on the Alsea Bond Project. You can read the report here: https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Agenda/2548?meeting=561640 A special meeting of the board will take place January 25th after the Bond Oversight Committee meets to recommend moving forward with the Alsea Bond Project. Mr. Gallagher also gave a mid-year status report on the District Priorities for this school year, https://meetings.boardbook.org/Documents/WebViewer/2548?file=ff1128b8-bd6f-4405-af54-e4f273cde857
Haylie Rose, Guidance Counselor for Alsea School District, gave a lengthy presentation to the board about the programs she has been implementing at Alsea School. Her role at the school has three arms, with her only in person at the school on Thursdays. As academic planner, she is helping with advising the Senior Class and is bringing in outside speakers about scholarship and career opportunities. The second arm of her position is helping students formulate post-secondary plans starting at the elementary level. Graduation requirements post COVID are changing. You can see some material on current standards for 2023 graduates here: https://meetings.boardbook.org/Documents/WebViewer/2548?file=0f312284-ac59-42b4-96f4-6a2888886936 She has initiated a College Application Week and a Decision Day where seniors consider and act on plans for after high school, including many options other than college. The Juniors took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery during Finals Week. Her third responsibility overseeing Social and Emotional Health and Welfare for the student body is mostly linked to emergency interventions. In response to this need, the school is considering this draft for a Suicide Prevention Plan https://meetings.boardbook.org/Documents/WebViewer/2548?file=314e4d35-2742-4c52-88a7-5edb66df5782
LaRae Sullivan gave an in-depth presentation on the current budget situation with a look towards next year’s budget, when reduced enrollment numbers will greatly decrease funding for the 23/24 school year. Board Member Robert Webb repeatedly stated that the district needs to be proactive by taking action in anticipation of the coming budget reduction.
In hopes of clarifying the confusion in Alsea community about the Property Tax Levy, Ms. Sullivan also presented an Estimated Bond Levy Calculation Chart https://meetings.boardbook.org/Documents/WebViewer/2548?file=af9b1dc5-581d-45a7-bc85-4ca7dded73a4 It is the responsibility of Alsea School District to calculate the amount of property tax to be collected for each year of the bond, with Benton County then assigning actual taxation amounts per property. The numbers included in the attached chart can only be estimated since they are linked to interest rates. These numbers also divide the liability amongst the number of taxpayers, which varies from year to year. For this reason, numbers are generally calculated based on receiving property tax payments from only 94% of taxpayers in the district. In order to cushion against changing numbers of active taxpayers and interest rates, the fund must maintain an annual contingency. The first entry line of the attached spreadsheet for Levy Year 21.22 shows that an unusually large contingency was collected. This overage was corrected in the 22.23 Levy Year, reducing the contingency allocation to a more appropriate amount with an additional effect of lowering payments per patron a bit for this year. Board Member Ryan Van Leuven stated that the community needs to understand that payment amounts for bond levies are always estimated and handled in this manner, but that the board regrets not making that explicitly clear in communications leading up to the Bond Levy election.
The bulk of the meeting was an in depth discussion of the HR Reset Proposal https://meetings.boardbook.org/Documents/WebViewer/2548?file=7268f4d4-24f6-4ee8-9a98-f2b2484f549c . The board approved the 2% salary step option and froze step increases through spring 2024 due to the pending budget crisis. This approval balances all compensation for support staff positions and creates a step salary schedule where these didn’t exist before. Administration are also taking pay cuts. Contracts for certified staff are in negotiations with the local Alsea teachers union. Board Chair Risteen Follett proposed a limit on salary reductions of no more than -6%, which did not pass. Salary comparisons can be found in this report from the November board meeting https://meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Agenda/2548?meeting=555452 Board Member Deb Lindberg stated that the board has to make decisions that are hard for the community in order for the school to succeed, which helps our kids to succeed. During patron comments, Alsea community member Joni Olsen gave her suggestions for alternatives to the HR Reset Proposal and stated her concern that the board may not be fully informed on all the financial planning required to make effective decisions on this issue.