Day: April 16, 2014

School board rakes in grants

By HERB SWETT For the Keizertimes Six grant budgets totaling $3,767,797 were approved at Tuesday night’s Salem-Keizer School Board meeting. Four came from the Oregon Department of Education and were headed by a $2,529,052 instructional services carryover, supplementing district resources to ensure that students in schools with high poverty percentages achieve high-quality education. Also from ODE is a $525,600 grant to support educators in their first two years of professional practice who are hired to teach or administer in the Mid-Willamette Valley Consortium. The other two are $205,875 for the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum and $9,429 for the Afterschool At-Risk Spring Break Program. A $422,841 grant for the Youth Transition Program, which prepares students who have disabilities for employment and post-secondary education, came from the state Department of Human Services. A $75,000 grant from the Oregon Community Foundation will fund a project for developmental and early learning experience. The board also ratified a contract to Sodexo for the child nutrition program for the 2014-15 school years. Personnel actions approved by the board included: • Employment as temporary full-time teachers of Ruth Langstraat, mathematics, Whiteaker Middle School, and Kristi Tomlin, English, McNary High School. • Employment as first-year probation full-time teachers of Amy Garrison, learning resource center, Cummings Elementary School; and Deborah Jones and Amber Brown, fifth grade, English for speakers of other languages, Weddle Elementary School....

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District revenue ticks up

By HERB SWETT For the Keizertimes A relatively small revenue gain for the Salem-Keizer School District is expected for the 2014-15 school year. This would reverse a five-year trend of shortfalls, one of which was a drop of nearly $55 million in 2011-12. Paula Radich, interim superintendent, told the budget committee Tuesday it is too early to know specific amounts but the district could expect to see five school days reinstated. Michael Wolfe, district chief operating officer, said the expected gain would result largely from negotiations with the Oregon Legislature involving the Public Employees Retirement System. He said the Legislature’s restructuring of PERS, pending litigation at the state level, would result in a 4.4 percent permanent reduction in the district’s cost structure. Noting that the state’s economy is recovering, Wolfe estimated that there would be a 1-1.5 percent increase in revenue from the state. The Salem-Keizer budget committee, which starts the budget process earlier than those of most of its counterparts in Oregon, held its first meeting on the 2014-15 budget Tuesday just before the regular School Board meeting. The superintendent’s budget message will be delivered April...

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New subdivision being built off Windsor Island Road

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Shortly before the groundbreaking last Friday, gravel was still being moved for a road yet to be built. If all goes according to plan, by the end of 2015 that road – and 54 new homes – will be complete. That is the plan for Windsor Island Estates, a new subdivision being built by Diamond Realty Group and I&E Construction. The new Stacey Lee Drive will stretch from Windsor Island Road to Willow Leaf Street. “This project came in nicely,” said Kirk Deignan, owner of Diamond Realty Group. “We’ve been in this about six or seven months, getting it through. We are looking at a June grand opening. It will be fabulous.” Deignan is hoping to have the road built soon and hopes to break ground for the houses in late June. “Once we get a plat recorded, we can start,” he said. “We want to do that as quick as possible. We will already have plans submitted once that happens.” Deignan said the air-conditioned homes will range in price from $250,000 to $290,000, ranging in size from 1,600 to 2,000 square feet, in both one- and two-level configurations. “We’re doing 10 houses off the bat, then one a week after that,” Deignan said. “We hope to get them all built in a year and a half, by the end of 2015. It...

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