Vernonia School Board Report

At the September 11, 2014 Vernonia School Board Meeting:


Enrollment is Up at Vernonia Schools- Superintendent Aaron Miller told the Board that as of September 8, enrollment is at 593, including nineteen foreign exchange students and eighteen students at Mist School.  Miller told the Board that all students who have left the District have not yet been removed, so the count is artificially high.  Last year there were 540 students enrolled at the end of the school year.


School Receives Green Globe Certification- Superintendent Miller told the Board that the School has received three of four globes from Green Globes certification.


Board Approves Hire of New Band Teacher- The Board approved a recommendation from the Administration to hire Matthew Urban as the new middle school/high school band teacher.


Board Hears Transportation Report-Shelley Cota, representing Curl’s School Bus Service, updated the Board on the current transportation situation.  Cota told the Board there are five large bus routes and seven small bus routes with ten assigned drivers, three substitute drivers and one driver in training.  Cota reported that last year there were zero accidents, and zero breakdowns while transporting students, and zero late arrivals. Because of overcrowding on buses, high school and middle school students in the walk zone will no longer be eligible for courtesy rides.


Board Approves Transportation Contract- The Board approved an amendment to the current transportation contract with Curl’s School Bus Service.  The amendment extends the contract until June 30, 2020 and increases the monthly fixed cost by $1,000 per month.  Superintendent Miller told the Board that the District will issue a request for Proposals in 2019 and that the contract will not be extended again.


Teachers Evaluation Handbooks Almost Complete- Juliet Safier reported that the new Teacher Evaluation Handbooks for Professional Growth are 90% complete.  Senate bill 290 requires all school districts in Oregon to follow certain criteria and the VSD has spent over four years creating this new evaluation system that fits their philosophy of education and culture.  Teachers used the system last year on a trial basis with positive results and continue to work together to complete the final version of the handbook.


Superintendent’s Report-Superintendent Miller reported that sixteen VHS students registered for Writing 121 through Portland Community College.  Work continues with Met Group on fundraising; Miller told the Board that there were no new donations to report at this time, although it was later reported that the District has received a donation of $27,500 from Stimson Lumber with an additional $10,000 expected in January.  Construction at Spencer Park is complete and the monument is almost complete.  Plans are again moving forward for construction of a new softball field at the new campus which will hopefully be complete and ready for play next spring.


Building Reports- The Board received written reports  which noted that: David Spackman will be taking a leave of absence for the first semester for health reasons; Susanne Myers and Debbie Stahlnecker will each teach  a section of sophomore Language Arts; Steve Whiteman will be teaching Physics and Integrated Math at the high school; Jana Titus has been hired as a full time Instructional Assistant at the middle school and there is still a part-time IA position at the high school that has not been filled; Dan Titus has begun construction on the new shop, the new building has been delivered, Cecil Fellas will act as a consultant, and no shop class will be offered until the second semester; there are nineteen foreign exchange students at the high school this year; and Rachel Wilcoxen will spend half days as Teacher on Special Assignment to assist with discipline.