A MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT
Greetings Parents, Guardians and Patrons,
I hope this letter finds you and your family well and your children enjoying the start of this 2014-15 school year.
I am beginning my 42nd year in public education and have enjoyed my work in the Banks School District as your elementary school principal for six years and superintendent the past two years. However, I have decided it is time for me to retire, therefore, I have submitted my resignation to the Board indicating this will be my last year as Superintendent. I know I will miss the students, staff, parents and the many friends I have made in the community. With that said, I have much work to do this school year. I remain committed to working hard with our staff and Board members to do the best we can for our students. I appreciate your continuing support.
This school year our District will serve approximately 1,130, students in grades K-12, spread over 450 square miles within our District’s attendance boundaries. We have enrolled approximately 460 elementary school students in grades K-5, 300 middle school students and 360 high school students. We have a five member Board of Directors dedicated to developing and maintaining school policy, in the best interest of students and their learning, within a safe and secure learning environment.
Thanks to many community members, staff, and past and present Board of Directors who worked with our Facilities Planning Committee since 2006 to propose a construction bond for our school district. The $10.5 M bond passed in May of 2012. This resulted in the District building a new middle school which opened in April of 2014; a remodeled science classroom; a new fire alarm system at the High School; seismic and HVAC work at the High School and grandstand; an emergency access road at the Elementary School; parking lot repairs; a new restroom and plaza at the High School grandstand and numerous maintenance projects. The District is proud of the amount of work completed and the high quality of the work purchased with the bond proceeds, all while staying within budget. I have appreciated the positive comments from parents, students and other community members about the bond projects. There was an obvious sense of pride expressed over the success of all of these projects.
We are finally on the road to budgetary recovery after enduring six years of budget cuts, staff layoffs and furlough days since the recession of 2008. We now have a full school year (189 days) and have restored many teaching positions and programs. We rolled out iPads at all three schools this fall and will review and plan for appropriate device expansion. We also upgraded our WIFI infrastructure. We are looking forward to our next steps to provide students with access to instructional technology learning opportunities. The future is looking bright!
I will keep you informed this school year regarding the new state tests (Smarter Balanced) our students in grades 3-9 will be taking this spring. I will provide updates on our website and will be sending information home with students. Our teachers are preparing to help students meet the challenge of these more demanding assessments. Our District is focused on providing high quality learning experiences for all students. I am proud of our teaching staff, support staff and administrators. Our employees are committed to assuring success for all students and are willing to go the extra mile to get this done. We boast one of the highest graduation rates in the state and are striving to have our students graduate from high school being college, career and work ready. I am very appreciative to be working in a community with a parent base that fully supports our efforts. State school funding, though improved, remains inadequate for allowing our District to do all that we would like to do for our students and their learning. However, we will make no excuses. We may not be able to do everything we want to do; however, we will thoughtfully prioritize and define what we can do, and do it extraordinarily well. This will make our school district a great place for kids.
In June of 2015, our District is expecting to receive a facility grant of about $250,000 from the state. This grant is based the square footage of the new middle school. The grant has restrictions relative to the use of the money. Basically, it may be used for technology and expenditures for items within the walls of the buildings. It may not be used for staffing or general maintenance projects. The Bond Core Management Team and our Board will review and prioritize needs to determine how this money will be allocated.
Yes, much has been accomplished with our bond work. However, I believe our District is faced with some unfinished business. As you drive down Main Street, you see our beautiful elementary school and then you see our new middle school…and then there is our high school. Even though the bond allowed the District to do some remodeling to take care of the comfort control and some safety issues, the high school comes up short within the vision of providing high quality facilities for all students. Therefore, it is my hope the Board and the Banks community will unite to pass a bond for a new high school after the elementary school is off the tax roll on July 1, 2018. This would make our District complete. This would give our community and its students the high school building they deserve. I look forward to the day this happens in Banks and will smile broadly when it does.
On behalf of our employees and Board of Directors, thank you for allowing us to educate and care for your children. It is important to me to receive your feedback. I fully understand that many of you are working during our regular school hours and unable to call at that time. Therefore, please feel free to contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call me at home (920-242-7172).
Superintendent of Schools
12950 NW Main St,
Banks, Oregon 97106
Personal Cell: 920-242-7172