Superintendent’s Update

Shared with the Corvallis School Board during the August 12, 2021 meeting

Introduction of New Administrators

I am pleased to introduce five new administrators to our administrative team. Some are new to the District and some have changed roles.

Emmet Whitaker will serve as Assistant Principal at CHS. He has been a science and AVID teacher at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, Oregon since 2013. He began teaching after a 15-year career as a Senior Engineer and Program Manager with Hewlett-Packard in the U.S. and Ireland.

Germaine Joseph-Hays will serve as Assistant Principal at CHS. She most recently was a science teacher at CHS and has taught in the Corvallis School District since 2017. She has 11 years of experience as an educator, including teaching middle and high school science, and teaching Biology and Advanced Placement Biology at Central High School in Independence, Oregon.

Nancy Davila-Williams, who has served as interim principal at Garfield, will continue in that position for the 2021-22 school year. She has worked in public education for 17 years teaching at the elementary level (kindergarten, second, and fifth grades and most recently was the Dean of Students at Garfield.

Tracey Fischer will serve as principal at Husky Elementary. She started her career as an elementary teacher at Adams Elementary in 2007 and has most recently worked as interim principal at Mountain View Elementary and as a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) elementary teacher mentor.

Summer Programs

We still have another week of summer programs for elementary and middle school, while our high school credit recovery and WINGS programs have finally wrapped up. We have had an incredible summer of programs serving students all at levels and in many modalities. Through our partnerships with Kid Spirit and Boys & Girls Club, we have had students participating in camps and activities all summer long, many of whom have never had that opportunity before.

Most notably, in our partnership with Parks and Recreation, students have been participating in camps at the schools and at additional Parks and Rec. sites all summer. Parks and Rec. stepped up to being a critical partner in providing students and families with many new opportunities. This in addition to our academic boost programs, credit recovery, transition programs, and care and connect has served just under 1,000 kids.

Additionally, we are running a health fair as a part of our summer programming. On August 24 and 25 between 2-7 PM at Linus Pauling Middle School, we will be offering:

  • Hearing Screenings
  • Vision Screenings
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Operation School Bell measurements
  • Community Agency Resource Tables
  • Registration support

This additional day and these resources are intended to help students who have been largely quarantined get caught up. Completing these screenings and helping families to get their back-to-school needs met will mean that we can start to identify the recovery needs for many students as we move into the fall.

We are so grateful for the many staff from the school district and in the community who have made this tremendous undertaking possible. We are hopeful that this work can continue for summers to come!

OSBA Virtual Conference

The Corvallis School District was well represented at the OSBA Virtual Conference Raising the Equity Question in July. School board chair Sami Al-Abdrubbah and Equity Coordinator Marciane Rivero Koetje joined me as co-presenters. Liv Gifford, Executive Director of the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation also presented on the impact of school foundations partnering in our equity work.

Middle School Athletics

This year we will expand school-based sports for middle school students. Fall season will include boys and girls Soccer, which is open to students in grades 7 and 8 and Cross Country, which is open to grades 6, 7, and 8.

Winter season will include boys and girls Basketball, which is open to grades 7 and 8 and spring season will include Track and Field, which is open to grades 6, 7, and 8. These opportunities will be funded by the Student Investment Account.

COVID Liability For School Districts

As you know by now, Governor Kate Brown recently announced that effective immediately, staff, students and visitors will be required to wear masks indoors in all K-12 schools. The announcement aligns with recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is designed to combat the Delta variant of COVID-19.

The announcement has raised liability questions as districts plan a widespread return to in-person instruction this fall. Recent state guidance, contained in the Oregon Department of Education’s Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework (RSSL), had been “advisory” rather than mandatory. The RSSL guidance is expected to be updated to reflect the governor’s announcement today that wearing masks indoors will be mandatory.

OSBA and its partners were successful at getting HB 4402 passed during the December 2020 emergency legislative session. HB 4402 provides school districts, charter schools, community colleges and ESDs with limited liability protection for COVID-19 related claims. For a school to benefit from HB 4402’s limited liability protection, it must be in compliance with all current “COVID-19 Emergency Rules.” This includes all guidance issued by the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority.
Liability insurance carriers encourage districts to comply with all current guidance when making reopening decisions. A district could be at risk of losing the protections of HB 4402 if it were to open for in-person instruction and not be in compliance with ODE or OHA advisory or mandatory guidance.