First, Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family, your friends and colleagues.
View the Board Meeting Recording Here: http://krvm-1.shs.lane.edu/4j_board_meetings/Board_20231101.mp3
Here are my notes from the last Board meeting on Nov. 15 with my takes on some of the agenda items. You will notice that Janesta Soal Drumm commented on YG, but I was unable to hear her comments. Thank you, Janesta, and sorry.
Please let me know if you have any comments or questions and if you know someone who might also like to receive these updates.
Pledge and Land Acknowledgment
Supt. Andy Dey’s remarks: Congrats to NEHS women's soccer team. Our Nutrition Services are using local produce. Japanese Immersion School ongoing discussions - will update later tonight. My hope: the public understands we are committed to this program. Thanks to staff and community,
Reports from High School Board Reps
- Sheridan, Churchill
- Carrmen, SEHS
- Nellie. SEHS: The new weekly schedule is a problem.
- Dusty, NEHS
Larry Lewin: The inclusion of student Board reps is very valuable, especially when they tell the Board issues that are arising in their schools. I salute Nellie from SEHS for raising this problem to the Board to keep them aware.
Valerie Blood: parent of two Spec Ed students. 4J causing non-inclusion of neurodivergent students. My children deserve support. Need proper training for 4J staff. Review and update pre-pandemic policies. [Audience applause]
Kelly Stroh: Corridor and YG had a 3-step process. Looking for a longterm solution. I supported the Bond Levy for new buildings. What is impact on the North Region? Don’t expel us from Kelly building without a new home. Attend River Road groups to learn. Do your research. [Audience applause]
Alison Kreider, Howard Elem School: Student violent or disruptive behavior examples from our school this week. We are in crisis. 20% students on IEPs. 1 counselor; no Vice-Prin. Our qualified staff no longer can handle extreme student trauma. [Audience applause]
Kaito Garrett, student at YG: We read a book that reminds me of our situation. Why doesn’t this Board care about us? Why does the Dist want to taking away our school? I fit in there. We need to not worry about where we will be. [Audience applause]
Alison Johnson, YG 5th gr teacher: I live in North Region and voted for Bond Levy. Previous Board was under pressure by former Supt to hurry their decision. Dist website data does not add up. We don’t need a Cadillac building; we need a home. Not Willard - too far, too much gas, too much time. Would kill our program. This is an equity issue. Reverse this decision. [Audience applause]
Janesta Sola Drumm: YG. [Difficult for me to hear comments. [Audience applause]
Anne Sharman, parent: 4 bomb threats at SEHS last spring cost 4J $10,000s. No consequences for those who did this. This summer I conducted interviews in a listening campaign to learn what others think about improving this. Two proactive ideas: 1. Each of you pick a school to visit; 2. Campus Safety sub-committee to explore data; meet 2x per month for 6 months. Available to assist. [Audience applause]
Amanda Christie, YG teacher: Presented a report. Long term plans needed for North region. [Audience applause]
Larry Lewin: The ongoing unresolved issue of locating the Yujin Gakuen Japanese Immersion Elem School is being addressed by parents, teachers, and students. I salute them for their diligence and persistence in reminding the Board this issue needs to be resolved. Likewise to Valerie and Anne for addressing their issues. The Board serves the public, so the public must weigh in to the Board.
Individual Board Members Comments
Judy Newman: visited Willagillespie Elem [missed her prior remarks, sorry]
Jenny Jonak: appreciate all speakers’ experiences that inform us. Attended CHS Affinity Groups’ advisors. Attended OSBA Conference in Portland.
Tom Di Liberto: visited RMS Math class; NEHS new library; certified librarian Anna; attended NEHS girls soccer championship; Howard Elem teachers’ challenges with student behaviors. Appreciate the professionalism. Monroe Mid Black Student Union Rudy Bridges Walk. Thanks to public speakers on YG. We are listening.
Ericka Thessen: On way to work saw 4J students on Ruby Bridges Walk. Observed TEN program Sheldon and Community Living T____. Future Build program, CTE, at LCC building construction skills. Recognize gender diverse students.
Rick Hamilton: Request public patience on the issues you raised. We are focused on them. Maybe we do need to change or adjust some policies on student behavior and safety. We have have learn to work together. For too long…… couldn’t get together. Retired educators are resources; I’d like to look at that. We are here for you guys.
Larry Lewin: I like when Board members acknowledge the public speakers who signed up and showed up to speak on an issue. This is a respectful way to show the public they are listening. In my past experiences speaking to previous Boards, it was rare that any member said anything about my comments. Some never even looked at me as I spoke. This is better.
I wish all members keep their individual comments brief; some speak way longer that others. In the past, the Board set time limits as they do with the public.
Consent Agenda Passed 7-0.
Items for Information
District Equity Plan Development
Supt Andy Dey presented on this topic: Last meeting 2 weeks ago he apologized for the lack of clarity and communication on his views and direction for this very important issue. He indicated that any reorganizing would be in place for next school year, and he is welcoming community input. He presented a slideshow with a timeline, but I cannot access it on the Dist web site yet. Historical perspective and Next steps. Dist realigned admin staff to school buildings for support. Elevate leadership to higher level. Bedrock to Instruction Dept. Concern, confusion, and mistrust.
Next Steps: targeted conversations community leaders to define what Equity means to our Dist; asked for input. Reach out to community groups. Feb, 2024, dedicated overseer to lead; my end of school year Plan in place. Success indicators: increase in student affinity groups; robust conversations with stakeholders; revised job descriptions for staff. Plan will evolve.
Jenny: Dist HR person to monitor hiring diverse staff and help them stay?
Maya : Grow Your Own program? Retention issue: concerned about some families leaving, so retention also means keeping students in 4J, specifically disabled students and students of color.
Ericka: Yes, I share that concern.
Tom: The process of development of DEI Dept needs good planners, but also good listeners
Judy: Still trying to completely understand this process: What will we be asking the community? Andy: We keep learning how we can improve. Looking to determine if we are missing any pieces.
Morgan: Want to continue what is established while this process moves forward. HR also working on staff retention?
Andy: Will not stop Affinity Groups, Grow Your Own, and others. No contraction of services; want to maintain them. Yes, HR.
Rick: Caution: Some orgs let DEI run without oversight or follow up, and with up to date training. Need ongoing support; monitor if they leave.
Jenny: If community wants the current DEI Dept, is that an option?
Maya: Back to retention of staff: Pay attention to 40 staff on provisional certificates and make sure they gain full. Support for Spec Ed staff by learning how to make they jobs better to prevent leaving. - - Same for staff with disabilities. Would Board be informed of reasons staff attrition?
Andy: If Board votes for it, yes.
Larry Lewin: I don’t yet know why the changes are being considered. I know the Dept of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion grew very quickly with lots of staff hired, but I did not understand the structure. I am hoping the remodeling will prove to be clear and welcomed by the public.
Board voted to approve a plan for meeting with Dist employee groups during contract bargaining; they needed to be sure to protect the boundaries of contract negotiations and not interfere with them.
Larry Lewin: I couldn’t find this discussion and vote on the recording. That the Board was able to come to a conclusion about to reinstate these ongoing conversations with our employees is a good sign. It feels more and more to me that this new Board is fulfilling its campaign pledge to restore civility and compatibility even when they disagree. I like what I am seeing.]
Wed., Dec. 6, 2023, 7 p.m.
Agenda | Summary | Watch | Listen