Sisters School Board snapshot
Last updated 1/25/2022 at Noon
The January meeting of the Sisters School Board took place on Wednesday, January 12, with all board members in attendance. The meeting was held in person and offered virtually.
•?Business Manager Sherry Joseph reported on the findings of the audit of the district’s finances as being straightforward with no issues of concern.
•?A question was raised regarding pension costs for Sisters School District through the state Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) program, as the program changes. Curt Scholl responded that, for now, the district does not anticipate a sharp spike in its costs with regard to retirement funding.
•?Lorna Van Geem, director of special programs, reported on the continued work at Sisters Elementary School with the “Leader in Me” program that focuses on seven habits for successful students. The elementary school is focusing on two of the habits, including being proactive and beginning with the end goal in mind.
•?Sisters Middle School Principal Tim Roth and Sisters High School Principal Steve Stancliff teamed up to report on the re-ignition of the Sources of Strength program, which was suspended during remote learning over the past two years. The focus of the program is to give students tools in which to cope with social and emotional challenges by helping them identify the people and other resources in their lives they can rely on for support. Additionally the program provides opportunities for strong social/emotional development. Stancliff and Roth confirmed that there is a very high correlation between social/emotional well-being and successful learning in school.
•?Joe Hosang gave an update on the Student Investment Account (SIA) grants and the use of the funds to keep class sizes small, and said that a progress report on the SIA will be forthcoming. The SIA is part of the Oregon Department of Education’s Student Success Act, which allocated $200 million to enhance the State School Fund. The SIA money is from a noncompetitive grant that Sisters received. The Student Success Act also includes components such as “Freshman on Track” according to Hosang.
•?Superintendent Curt Scholl touched on a number of items:
Sisters School District has not seen widespread in-school transmission of COVID-19, and has been able to retain in-school instruction while other districts in the region have had some temporary shutdowns.
Plans for what will happen with the current elementary school building continue to be discussed with help from Citizens4Community, including an eventual survey.
Enrollment in the district rose by a few students since winter break, while many school districts have experienced losses in enrollment (3-5 percent statewide).
The opening of the new elementary school building is still on track to happen by the fall of 2023, though the construction schedule is “perhaps ambitious,” according to Scholl.
•?The board asked Scholl how the district is faring regarding finding substitutes since there is a shortage throughout the state, to which he explained that there have been shortages at times, but that overall with help from the ESD and new recruiting things have gotten better.
•?The board accepted the resignations of SMS teacher Julee Davis and SES school nurse Acacia Knutzen
•?The board went into executive session regarding a personnel issue and after the session formally concluded the board meeting.
•?The next board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 2, at 6 p.m.