News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Sisters School Board snapshot

The Sisters School Board met for its monthly meeting on Wednesday, October 6 via Zoom. Board members present included Edie Jones, David Thorsett, Jenica Cogdill, and Jeff Smith.

Vice-chair Thorsett conducted the meeting in Don Hedrick’s absence.

•?Thorsett opened the meeting and the evening’s agenda was amended to move community comments to the end of the meeting.

•?Building administrators Steve Stancliff, Tim Roth, and Joan Warburg reported through powerpoint and video on each school’s building-based goals regarding the District’s focus on the concepts of “Belong,” “Prepare,” and “Inspire.”

•?“Belong” goals centered on ways that staff can ensure that all students feel welcome, connected, and safe. The “Prepare” goals included continuing to offer relevant education using meaningful assessments and offering all students the opportunity to formulate future goals. Related to that, the “Inspire” goals included the announcement of new curricular offerings that include STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) courses, as well as other new electives at the middle and high schools.

•?The special programs report focused on the summer school offerings that included skill support, internships for students at Laird Superfood, and other aspects of the extended school year.

•?Superintendent Curt Scholl presented an update on the building bond for the new elementary school, which included the official hiring of the architectural firm of BLRB. Scholl indicated the volunteer bond oversight committee is in place and will be meeting in the near future with representatives from BLRB and other involved parties.

•?According to Scholl, enrollment is down a bit from what was expected, but pointed out that in each of the last four years the district enrollment has actually grown during the year.

•?Scholl gave an update on the Student Investment Account (SIA) which will be fully funded this year after last year coming in at about 30 percent. It is targeted in part toward reducing class sizes, providing adequate social/emotional support, and the English language learners in the District.

•?The Board approved Scholl’s professional goals 4-0.

•?Discussion ensued regarding the question of what will be done with the current elementary school property as well as that of the district office (district assets) once the elementary and other offices move to the new campus. Scholl said that it is his intent to engage Citizens4Community (C4C) in helping facilitate community input on what should happen with these properties. This is one way that community ideas and concerns can be gathered, according to Scholl. Edie Jones volunteered to act as a liaison/representative of the Board for any future community meetings regarding this issue.

•?Sally Benton, a Sisters resident since 1978 and a retired nurse who worked for 13 years for the Sisters School District, expressed her full support for the District’s “Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan.” She quoted from the plan that, in part, states “returning all students to full-time, in-person instruction is a priority.” She said, “I am in total agreement with these principles.

I want to thank all the School Board members, administrative staff, teachers, and support staff, and especially our school nurses.

They are doing the very best they can to ensure our children, teachers, and other employees of the District can stay safe and healthy.

By following these health protocols, they are also helping to keep all of us in the community safe and healthy.”

The next Board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 3 at 6 p.m. The agenda can be found on the school district website. It is not known yet if the meeting will be held in person.


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