Soaring market raises school bond investment

The school bond approved by voters in the Salem-Keizer School District in 2018 has grown from $619.7 million to $677.7 million, the Community Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) told the Salem-Keizer School Board on Tuesday, Feb. 11

Market premiums, earnings on bond proceeds, grants and reimbursements have made the difference, CBOC reported. The additional funds were allocated first for a variety of projects to add space or projects at Kennedy Elementary School, which is in the McNary High School attendance area, as well as four other schools in the district.

Those schools aren’t the only one to undergo further construction. Starting construction in 2019 prevented one year of cost escalation for the projects. Work at Gubser Elementary School was near completion in time for the start of the 2019-20 school year and finished within budget.

Construction projects will begin this year at 16 other schools. CBOC said projects at 13 schools were on track to be “substantially complete” by the fall of 2020.

In other business, the board held first readings for sale of the Rosedale School property for an agreed-upon price of $1,105,000 and purchase of 0.22 acre for construction at North Salem High School. Both proposed transactions will be up for adoption at the board’s March meeting.

The board heard Adriana Miranda, executive director of Cause for Oregon, and Dr. Reginald Richardson, vice president of the local chapter of the NAACP, discuss improved outcomes for minority students. They are the co-chairs of the Student Investment Account Task Force, which seeks to engage community members to advise Superintendent Christy Perry on solving underachievement problems.

Annual evaluation of the superintendent’s performance was postponed to May.

The board accepted three grants, the largest $2,954,151 through the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to help students in schools with high percentages of poverty to meet state academic standards. An ODE grant of $37,210 will aid neglected and delinquent youth. A grant of $24.844 from the Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTI) project of the Tigard-Tualatin School District supports elementary school access to conferences, workshops and funding.

Personnel actions approved by the board include the following in the McNary attendance area:

Less than half-time: Matthew Staatz, Whiteaker Middle School.

Temporary part-time: Jennifer Olson, Clear Lake Elementary School; Pamela Pieters, Keizer Elementary School; Antonio Perez Sanchez, Sheryl Wetzel, Anna Yakimov, Kennedy.

First-year probation full-time: Marie Dahlin, Kennedy.

• Resignations: Dylan Bartholomew and Megan Ward, McNary; Chelcie Glazer, Kennedy.

• Retirements: Scott Coburn, Whiteaker; Pamela Pieters, Keizer.