June 19 Update to the School Board

Introduction of new building leaders

I am pleased to introduce Sabrina Alexander as the co-principal at Hoover Elementary School, sharing the position with Anna Marie Gosser starting July 1. Anna Marie is taking a half-time leave to focus additional time on family.

Sabrina has been an educator for eleven years. She was an elementary teacher for seven years and has been an administrator the last four years at the elementary and high school level in Lebanon School District. She received a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Arts in teaching from the Oregon State University. She is a champion of equity, and believes relationships are a key in a students’ education. I have known Sabrina for many years and can say that students know they have an advocate in Mrs. Alexander. She takes the time to truly know each student, so she can support their individual growth and success.

We are pleased to have Sabrina join our leadership team. She brings a wealth of educational experience and will be a great partner with Anna Marie. Please help me welcome Sabrina to Hoover and the Corvallis School District.

I am also pleased to announce that Greg Hyde has been hired as the new assistant principal at Linus Pauling Middle School starting July 1. Greg will fill the vacancy left by Aaron McKee who will transition to serve as principal at Crescent Valley High School. Many of you will recognize Greg, because he has attended many of our board meetings this year, including our board retreat last fall.

Greg has been a teacher for sixteen years, including ten years in the Corvallis School District. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Georgia and a Master of Science degree from North Carolina State University. Characterized as a teacher leader, he earned recognition in 2013 with the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation Golden Apple Award. For the last three years he has been a part of the district’s Teacher Evaluation Leadership (TEL) committee, where he assisted teachers in goal writing and navigating the evaluation process.  In addition to his teaching duties, he has served as a new teacher mentor and most recently by serving on the district’s Innovation Team.

We are pleased to have Greg join our leadership team. He brings a wealth of educational experience and community connection to the position. He knows what our middle school students need to be prepared for high school and beyond. His strong relationships with staff, students, and families will provide the Linus Pauling community with a great continuation of leadership. Congratulations, Greg!

State Budget

On June 8th, the Oregon Senate approved a State School Fund appropriation of $8.2 billion. Senate Bill 5517, now heads to the House for a vote. The district’s approved budget is based on an allocation of $8.015 billion; an appropriation of $8.2 billion with a 50/50 split over the two years of the biennium would provide approximately $1 million in additional resources for the district in 2017-18.  The Oregon Department of Education issued new State School Fund estimates based on an $8.2 billion State School Fund allocation, which is an indicator that that this level of funding is probable. Our advocacy and consistent message in support of more funding for K-12 is working and has helped to drive meaningful conversations at the legislative level about how Oregon’s K-12 budget has a significant, lasting impact on our students.

Oregon Seal of Biliteracy

Academic rigor and multi-linguistic proficiency lie at the heart of the Oregon Seal of Biliteracy. The Oregon State Seal of Biliteracy is designed to provide a rigorous, proficiency-based recognition of the linguistic assets and academic skills of biliterate graduates. The seal creates multiple pathways for students to demonstrate their language proficiency, irrespective of the partner language. With the seal in hand, students will have a standardized measure of their language proficiency to project their skills to college and career.

This year 40 students in the Corvallis School District received the seal of Biliteracy with 38 students receiving the seal in Spanish and two in Chinese.

Fundraising Task Force

The Fundraising Task Force has met throughout the spring.  The first meeting focused on the task force charter, including the scope and purpose.  Alexis and I welcomed the group at their first meeting and thanked them for their participation.  Olivia and I attended the next two meetings to provide an overview of our equity focus and policy, financials, and to answer questions of the task force.

The committee reviewed fundraising policies from across Oregon and read a number of articles describing how school districts around the country have addressed fundraising, with a focus on equity and school partnerships.

At their fourth meeting, the group recognized the importance of gaining additional perspective from our Latino and Arabic communities, and families navigating poverty.  The committee requested an additional meeting to gain a deeper understanding and the sole purpose of the following task force meeting was to hear from these communities.  I continue to be impressed by the level of engagement and thoughtfulness of this task force and believe additional perspectives create better outcomes.

The task force has two meetings coming up. They are working diligently to develop a high-quality policy and administrative regulation (AR) that will meet the needs of our student and school communities. Our original timeline called for the presentation of a draft policy and AR at the June 19 board meeting, but due to the additional task force meeting, this is not possible.

After the final meeting of the task force, I will review the documents to confirm they align with the fundraising task force charter.  I plan to share the draft policy and AR at the August 17 board meeting.  According to the charter, the task force will sunset in December 2017.

Year in Review

I want to express my thanks to the Corvallis School Board.  In my first year as your superintendent, I have found the role to be both exciting and humbling.  I have visited classrooms across the district and observed our students and staff in action.  It has been powerful to see our students excited about learning.  From my recent visits to CHS, where high school students and Lincoln 3rd graders were designing pottery with a myth about the eclipse, to the CVHS STEM class where students were designing model houses, complete with electrical and built to withstand nature, these hands on activities are exciting to see.

I was gratified to see the board take a stand last December when it adopted a resolution in support of our undocumented students and I am proud of our commitment to equity.  I was humbled last week when I attended graduation ceremonies for our life skill students at CHS, our 18-21 year old students in the WINGS program, the students at College Hill and Crescent Valley High School.  I am looking forward to hearing the stories of these students as they take on the world and make their mark upon it.

Once again thank you for your support and commitment to me as your superintendent.

Ryan Noss, Superintendent