Grants totaling over $25.9 million were approved by the Salem-Keizer School Board on Tuesday, Oct. 8.

The grants, all from or through the Oregon Department of Education, are:

• $12,619,717 from the federal Department of Education to ensure that students in schools with high poverty percentages can meet state academic standards.

• $10,506,331 in High School Success funds to support 8th-12th grade students in areas of career and technical education, dropout prevention and accelerated credit.

• $2,776,854 in federal funds for student enrichment in areas of well-rounded education, improving school conditions for learning and digital literacy.

In other business, Superintendent Christy Perry reported that a task force formed to get community feedback on district planning for the Student Investment Account of approximately $35 million to implement the state Student Success Act. The task force consists of 11 people from the community, the presidents of the Salem-Keizer Education Association and the Association of Salem-Keizer Education Professionals, two students, 21 from district staff and a school psychologist.

First reading was held on purchase of 1.33 acres at 1755 Doaks Ferry Road NE in Salem to support the capital construction project at West Salem High School. The administration has found that the appraised value supports the asking price of $497,500.

The board received the 2018-19 program report of Salem-Keizer Head Start, which showed consistently improving percentages for student proficiency development in fall, winter and spring. By spring, all percentages were over 80 percent, including 92 percent for literacy development.

Personnel actions approved by the board included the following in the McNary High School attendance area:

• Less than half-time employment, Tessa Welterlen, McNary.

• Temporary part-time: Matthew Strauser, McNary. 

• Temporary full-time: Shannon Butcher, Cummings Elementary School; Tianna Clark, Clear Lake Elementary School; Martin Histand and Kenzie Mozejko, Claggett Creek Middle School; Nicole Linde, Forest Ridge Elementary School; Antonio Perez Sanchez, Kennedy Elementary School; and Robin Yankus, McNary.

• First-year probation full-time: Veronica Villarreal, Cummings.

• Retirement: Yankus, effective Dec. 31.

The board also proclaimed Oct. 14-18 as Hands & Words Are Not for Hurting Week and October as Disability Employment Awareness Month.

In the Spotlight on Success Portion of the meeting, Addison Sermon, a third-grader at Clear Lake, was recognized as a Make-a-Wish Foundation spokesmodel. Making the presentation was Artonya Gemmill, Clear Lake principal.