North Clackamas Schools schedules community meeting on local option levy
After more than 30 public listening sessions on a possible local option levy for North Clackamas Schools, the school district has scheduled another opportunity for public comment. The event will take place at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 15 at Milwaukie Center, 5440 SE Kellogg Creek Drive. All are welcome.
The School Board is exploring several revenue-raising strategies to help schools weather the economic downturn. In December, they will decide whether or not to place a local option levy on the ballot in 2012 or later.
As part of their decision process, the School Board will consider extensive input from community members through public meetings and surveys. The on-line survey is available at www.nclack.k12.or.us/localoption.
The short-term property tax could be used for school operating expenses for purposes voters approve. This could include hiring teachers to reduce class sizes, increasing the number of school days, purchasing new textbooks to address more challenging standards, adding classroom technology, or adding education programs, such as more advanced placement courses. The tax would last three to five years depending on voter approval, and could not be renewed without another vote.
A local option levy in the community could raise up to $4 million per year for North Clackamas schools. The cost to homeowners would be around 99 cents to $1.25 per $1,000 assessed value of the property. The average home in the district is assessed at $205,000. Such a home would be charged an additional $205 to $256 per year, depending on the rate approved by voters.
Education Foundation supports middle school elective programs
North Clackamas Education Foundation (NCEF) has donated $1,250 (or $5,000 total) to each North Clackamas School District four middle schools to help ensure arts, choir, music, shop and FACS classes have the supplies they need.
Aeylin Summers, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Programs, approached the NCEF board with the request for funds. With the recent move of sixth graders to middle schools, each school had to change its master schedule to accommodate 300 more students. The district created a “wheel” structure in which sixth grade students can participate in a yearlong rotation of electives attending each class for six- or 12 weeks. However, the restructuring did not provide funds for elective class supplies.
“The Foundation is a huge supporter of music and arts in our district,” NCEF Board Chair Jeanne Magmer said. “By supporting this new middle school structure, more students will be exposed to music and arts classes. Our funding helps ensure that these classes have the materials the teachers and students need to be successful.”
Previously the district charged students a $10 fee to participate in electives. The new wheel system eliminates the district’s ability to charge this fee.
“The Foundation has an activity fee assistance program in place to ensure that all students are able to participate in electives regardless of ability to pay the fee,” NCEF Executive Director Ami Margolin Rome said. “This middle school funding request fits nicely within the Foundation’s mission to bridge the gap between district funding and unmet student needs as well as with our traditional funding for the arts and music and underserved students. We actually are paying the activity fees for the entire school.”
To supplement NCEF funding, the district plans to allocate $750 for supplies to each middle school, giving each school a total of $2,000 to support these courses.
For more information contact Ami Rome at the NCEF office, 503-353-6053. To find out more about NCEF, visit the Website at www.nc-foundation.org.
Rotary clubs donate dictionaries to third graders
As part of a national effort to support literacy, the Clackamas Rotary, the Gladstone Rotary, and North Clackamas Sunrise Rotary clubs last week donated dictionaries for 1,800 third grade students in 18 North Clackamas elementary schools. About 450 students also received a Thesaurus.
“We have learned that in spite of technology, many children do not have access to the internet at home and have limited access at school. With the significantly high level of poverty and homelessness, many third graders are so excited to receive their own dictionary,” said Clackamas Rotary member Renee King. “Teachers love this, too, because all students have the same dictionary.”
"College Night" is being held at Clackamas Community College (CCC) in the Gregory Forum. The date is Nov 14, from 6:30-9:00pm. This event is being sponsored by the Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) and is not specific to CCC students, but to all college bound students. The following information will be covered at this event:
For more information, visit: http://www.collegenightinor.org. Pizza and soda is included for all who attend.