Proficiency scores, teachers’ salaries and absenteeism were among the issues raised by residents with the Oregon school board at a public information forum last week on the proposed 5.9-mill five year emergency operating levy that will be on the November 2 ballot.
The forum was held before a regularly scheduled school board meeting on September 30.
The district faces a $2 million deficit for the 2011-2012 school year. If passed, the levy is expected to bring in $3.4 million annually.
In the last three years, the district has cut $8 million from the budget.
If the levy does not pass, the district plans to cut 20 additional teaching and staff positions.
One resident asked why Oregon teachers rank eight, or “dead last” in attendance among area school districts in the 2009-2010 school year, yet they rank second in salary.
“It kind of looks like we’re rewarding bad behavior,” said the resident.
Over the summer, Woodmore High School Spanish teacher Tom Adams went on a one week mission trip to Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, with his sister and three other members from her church in Temperance, Michigan.
During the mission trip, Adams stayed with fellow missionary Kathy Kemmer, who has been living in the country for the past six years.
While in Nicaragua, Adams and his team were involved in many projects to help the local impoverished communities which include working at a local orphanage, building furniture for a preschool and helping elementary students make ojo de dio or God’s eyes, which is a simple arts and crafts project.
Adams and his team also completed larger projects. For three days, they built one 11 foot by 11 foot house each day using only concrete for the floor, a wooden frame and tin for the roof and siding. Although it may seem like not such a nice home, it was a vast improvement to their previous homes which were made from trash from the city dump.
“There are many beautiful parts to Nicaragua, but there are also parts that are devastatingly poor and need help,” Adams said.
Reprinted with permission by journalism advisor Carolyn Nitz from the September 2010 issue of Window to Woodmore, a student publication.
This summer, Woodmore High School Spanish teacher Tom Adams, accompanied by three students and a chaperone, took a ten-day adventure to Spain. Woodmore Spanish Club has not take a trip like this in many years but have tentative plans for a Costa Rican trip already in the works for next summer.
Those who went on the trip were students Andrea Bouldin, Ben Czeczele and Lora Zatko, and Laurie Czeczele, who went as a chaperone.
“I liked seeing all the different places in Spain, especially the palaces,” said Bouldin. “
While the most exciting part for Adams was the bullfight, some of the favorite stops they visited included Granada and Toledo, Spain.
Students even got to try out their bilingual skills by conversing in Spanish when buying things and at dinner by asking for the check.
While there, several cultural differences were noticed.
“In Spain they hardly ever wear shorts unless they are going to work out,” said Adams.
Bouldin noticed that people seemed to be dressed up all the time, even while just walking around town. The meal times also differ from Americans as they eat a large meal in the late afternoon and then eat something light at around 10 p.m.
“At first, we thought he was looking at June, but I think it’s some time in January or February,” said Seferian.
Stager was acting chief when Gulch stepped down, then was appointed to the position permanently in 2008.
Seferian said he and Administrator Mike Beasley will be seeking a replacement soon.
“As soon as we get some other issues out of the way, we’ll start to figure out the process. Of course, we’ll share what we’re doing with council. I want them to be a part of it.”
Picking a police chief, said Seferian, “is never an easy thing.”
When former Fire Chief Bill Wilkins resigned last year, Seferian said it was not difficult finding a replacement because he knew the fire department well. Seferian appointed veteran Oregon fire fighter Ed Ellis, formerly an assistant district chief, for the post last May.
Controlled burns at refuge to start
The wildlife service will be conducting the controlled burns to eliminate dead vegetation and encourage native plant establishment for next spring.
In addition, the controlled burns eliminate years of built up dead plants that would otherwise increase the risks of wildfires, according to the service, which said detailed burn plans are written and reviewed by officials for each burn conducted.
The refuge covers more than 10,000 acres in Ottawa and Lucas counties.
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