I’ve been feeling proud and grateful as we approach the end of another successful school year. Our team continues to make a difference in the lives of our kids on a number of levels. Here are a few of the many ways we can measure our efforts:
- Student assessment results continue to shine;
- Attendance rates are improving; and
- 95% of our high school freshmen are on track to graduate.
One of our priorities over the past several years has been to honor the unique nature of our school district, preserving our smaller schools while working to ensure that each child has access to an equitable education and enters Silverton High School prepared to succeed. While we still have work to do in this area, we are glad to be moving forward every year.
I’m pleased to share that the budget committee recently approved the 2018-2019 budget. The budget maintains current general fund programs, staffing positions, class sizes and service levels. For the first time ever, the budget includes staffing for counselors at all elementary schools. We have also allocated funding for point-of-entry projects and fencing to improve school security. While the budget meets all of the board goals in support of our Strategic Plan, we continue to face the reality of unpredictable school funding which makes it challenging to support the vision of our district. From my perspective, our vision can be realized with funding levels defined in the Oregon Quality Education Model (QEM). Regardless, we continue to strive for excellence.
Thanks to the dedication of our teachers and parents, the arts are alive and well in our classrooms. This month, I had the pleasure of attending Victor Point’s outstanding musical performance of Beauty and the Beast which was made possible by students, teachers, staff and families of the school. At Silverton High School, our wind ensemble and concert choir both qualified for state competition. Our wind ensemble placed 5th and our concert choir brought home 1st place. We are so proud of both groups and their teachers for their incredible work.
I have to admit that I was truly awed by the choir’s performance – it warmed my heart. I also had the opportunity to stop in and congratulate them after the competition and when I watched them practice under the direction of teacher Cole Haole-Valenzuela, I saw first-hand the inspiration behind their accomplishment. It was abundantly clear that Mr. H. has a unique ability to bring choral music to life and passes that along to his students.
As we wrap up this school year and plan for the next. I was excited to see our Foxes walk across the graduation stage last night. We are excited to be implementing two new state grants next year. The first will help assess our current facility needs and the second will help us with long-term facility planning. Also, next year will be the 5th year of our Strategic Plan, which means it’s time to re-open and update it. We look forward to hearing from the team, our families and communities as part of this process to support kids and education.
We appreciate your on-going support and we are proud to serve as your local school district. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you have questions.