Schools Update: Making Progress

 

Classrooms and hallways are once again filled with the sweet sounds of working and learning. Preparations will soon be made for Homecoming Week (October 13-17). Preliminary enrollment numbers show an 8.9% increase in enrollment with 48 more students attending Vernonia Schools compared to June of last year. Overall it has been a great start for our new school year.

While students are busy making academic progress, the Vernonia School District and its partners are making progress toward long-term financial and facilities’ goals.

• The Vernonia City Council recently approved the waiver of all remaining System Development Charges for the school district. This generous decision will provide the schools with over $111,000 worth of debt relief over the next three years. Thank you very much to our partners at the City!

• Vernonia Champions,  State Representative Brad Witt and State Senator Betsy Johnson combined their legislative efforts to provide another $212,500 for the District to support our continuing fundraising efforts. A unanimous vote by the Legislative Emergency Board freed up this funding from the Oregon Office of Emergency Management’s Local Disaster Assistance Loan and Grant Program. Thank you Representative Witt and Senator Johnson for your continuing efforts on behalf of our schools and our entire community!

• Stimson Lumber Company continued its support of our revitalization campaign, providing the District with a recent $27,500 donation.

• Construction on the new shop has moved forward with all permits in place and the concrete floor poured. The materials for the shop are on site, and we anticipate completion in late fall. Another big thank you to the Family of E.T. and Norma Johnson for their donation of $25,000, to finalize funding for this project!

• Work on Spencer Park is substantially completed, with new ball fields, a monument marking the history of our local schools and flood events, and new grass growing. The park should be ready for use next spring.

Community support and partnerships such as these are what make Vernonia such a great place to live. Our continued, combined and concerted efforts to revitalize our town are paying off, and we appreciate each and every patron, partner and contributor. We hope you will join us in celebrating our successes, and looking forward to the next challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.