By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes
The 2014-15 district budget and a partnership with Mountain West Career Technical Institute were approved at Tuesday’s Salem-Keizer School Board meeting.
The budget was approved 6-0 with board chair Jim Green declaring a potential conflict of interest. The vote on the technical education partnership passed 5-1, with director Chuck Lee abstaining as president of the organization involved and director Paul Kyllo stating a procedural reservation.
For the first time in six years, the district is not reducing the budget or asking the district staff for concessions. The budget totals $397,916,237 and allows the district to invest an additional $12.4 million in schools and departments.
It involves reinstatement of swimming by switching $52,500 from the contingency fund to the general fund, to pay for pool lane rentals and transportation to Oregon School Activities Assn meets.
Green’s concern for a possible conflict of interest came from his employment by the Oregon School Boards Association, to which the district pays dues.
Before the vote for the agreement with Mountain West, nine people from the audience spoke on the proposal, all in favor. They contended that there was a need to make technical education available to high school students districtwide, to have them graduate on schedule with the training that would make way for well-paying jobs.
Kyllo complained that the agreement was made hastily with no master plan in place.
Also approved were boundary changes involving three elementary schools in east Salem.
The board adopted the following eight grants:
• From the Oregon Department of Education: A $431,265 Carl D. Perkins career technical education grant for secondary education, $229,890 for summer education of migrant students, $140,858 for instructional services aligned to Common Core state standards and $3,419 to support students in the Long Term Care & Assessment Program.
• From the U.S. Department of Education: $148,807 for needs of American Indian children.
• From the state Department of Human Services: $45,000 for the middle school health education program.
• From the Oregon Community Foundation: $20,000 for dental preventive services.
• From the Chalkboard Project: $600 for three $200 Teacher Incentive Fund survey awards.
The board approved six administrative hirings by Paula Radich, interim superintendent, they included Brian Armstrong as athletic director, of South Salem High School. He started his education career as a social studies teacher at McNary High School.
The Spotlight on Success portion of the meeting included recognition of McNary for three awards at the State Music Championships last month in Corvallis. McNary’s full symphony orchestra, co-directed by Damian Berdakin and Jennifer Bell, placed third. The school placed third in the 6A band championships under Bell’s direction and fifth in the string orchestra championships under Berdakin’s direction.
Radich, who attended her final board meeting as interim superintendent, announced the recent graduations of high schools in the district. McNary’s class was the largest at 418 students.
Two Keizer residents spoke from the audience about high school students loitering in their neighborhood, using drugs and tobacco as well as bad language. The two, Shabri Vignery and Kathleen Orozco, said they asked the Keizer City Council for a no-loitering ordinance but were told it would be unconstitutional. They urged the board to reach an agreement with the council to get their part of the neighborhood closed off. Radich said she would look into the matter.
The following personnel actions approved by the board involved the McNary attendance area.
• Changing the status of Julia Jones, instructional coach at Weddle Elementary School, from contract full-time to contract part-time.
• Employment as temporary full-time teachers of Jenny Maguire, behavioral specialist, Weddle, and Hailey Garcia, first-grade teacher, English for speakers of other languages, Gubser Elementary School.
• Employment as a first-year probation part-time teacher of Renee Helvie, counselor, Whiteaker Middle School.
• Employment as first-year probation full-time teachers of Kelsey Jaeckel, second- and third-grade ESOL teacher, Cummings Elementary School; Rachel Cutter, computer education teacher, Claggett Creek Middle School; Jesse Ellison, English teacher, Claggett Creek; Kathryn Reyes, counselor, McNary; Rebecca Adkins, science teacher, Claggett Creek; Danielle Roth, counselor, Weddle; Taylor Ozuna, third-grade ESOL teacher, Kennedy Elementary School; and Zevon Smith, third-grade ESOL teacher, Kennedy Elementary School; Caleb Stulz, fourth-grade ESOL teacher, Weddle; Chelsea Lally, third-grade ESOL teacher, Keizer Elementary School; and Logan Graham, second-grade ESOL teacher, Weddle.
• Resignation of Noe Rojas, Spanish teacher, McNary.