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North Santiam School District Position 3 Zone 2

Special districts in Oregon are formed to govern specific resources. Examples are people’s utility districts, library districts, sewer districts, irrigation districts, ports and cemetery districts. Some districts get revenue only from taxes. Others, such as water districts, get revenue from ratepayers. Others may combine the two sources. Each district is governed by a board of directors which is responsible for the operation of the district and its financial accountability. ( https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/198.010 ) Qualifications: Candidate must be a registered voter and a resident of the district for 1 year. Employees of the district are not eligible unless employed as a substitute driver. ORS 332.016 and 332.018(2)Salary: A member of the governing body of a district may receive an amount not to exceed $50 for each day or portion thereof as compensation for services performed as a member of the governing body. Such compensation shall not be deemed lucrative. The governing body may provide for reimbursement of a member for actual and reasonable traveling and other expenses necessarily incurred by a member in performing official duties. [1971 c.403 §2; 1983 c.327 §2; 1983 c.740 §53a; 1989 c.517 §1; 1995 c.79 §74] In event of Vacancy: Except as otherwise provided by law, a vacancy in an elected office in the membership of the governing body of a district shall be filled by appointment by a majority of the remaining members of the governing body. If a majority of the membership of the governing body is vacant or if a majority cannot agree, the vacancies shall be filled promptly by the county court of the county in which the administrative office of the district is located. [ORS 198.320]

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  • Amy McKenzie Watts
    (N)

  • Linda Rowe
    (N)

  • Candidate picture

    Laura Wipper
    (N)

Información Biográfica

Even before COVID and the transition to online learning, school districts struggled with disparities in academic achievement. Educators fear even greater gaps upon their return to classrooms. What strategies will you consider to address these increased disparities?

COVID has shown us the importance of family support in facilitating students’ education. How will you build on this understanding to increase the role of parents in decision making and promote parental involvement in schools?

What is the impact of the pandemic on school budgets and spending priorities? How do you propose meeting these new challenges?

Los distritos escolares ya tenían dificultades con las disparidades en el desempeño académico, inclusive antes del COVID y de la transición al aprendizaje por internet. Los educadores temen que aparezcan vacíos aún mayores cuando el estudiantado vuelva a los salones de clase. ¿Qué estrategias considerará usted para enfrentar el aumento de estas dificultades?

El COVID nos ha mostrado la importancia del apoyo de las familias para facilitar la educación de los estudiantes. ¿Cómo utilizará este hecho para ampliar la función de los padres en la toma de decisiones y promover la participación de los padres de familia en las escuelas?

¿Cuál es el impacto de la pandemia en los presupuestos escolares y en las prioridades de gasto? ¿Qué propone usted para enfrentar estos nuevos desafíos?

Town Where You Live Stayton
Your Experience/Qualificatons B.S. Geology, School Teacher, Web Designer/Project Manager, Neighborhood Council
County Marion
I would increase measures for parent, student, and teacher feedback. I would work to implement extra help and services for anyone to get caught up that needs it. I would try to encourage a relaxed learning environment where academic expectations can be personalized and self-maintained by students so that they can achieve learning success with the help of their teachers and parents, and this should be something that can still be based on a clear plan for success for everyone involved at any level. I would make resource lists available to every household with children in the community and work on increasing community involvement in the schools.
I would try to give parents ideas on ways to be involved, answer their questions, and offer options of how the school board or district can get them help with anything they need. I would try to support families outside of the school in whatever ways they need. Anything that is happening outside of the school setting that parents are not getting help with will affect the students in the classroom.
I would try to identify where there are funds that are sitting unused or where funds can be reallocated and move them to more relevant updated priorities. I would redirect funds to more school and student support programs and even teacher and staff support programs. I would focus on making sure that facilities and supplies needs were being met first so that teachers, staff, and admin can do their job. Overall, spending priorities should accommodate the changes that we will face coming up because of the changes that occurred during the last year. Teachers, staff, and administrators, along with the students and parents need as much support as possible going forward to make our community a success.
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Town Where You Live Stayton OR
Your Experience/Qualificatons I am a mother with 45 years experience. I was a full time working single mother. I, currently, am a full time caregiver for my grandsons, 5 years and 2 years As a family, we are trying to negotiate the public school system vs. private school. I have researched homeschooling, too. Talking with neighbors, many of whom are choosing home school, I realized that I have many options for my grandson that I did not have as a single mother. Altruistically, I want to improve our school system for all
We need to return ALL our students to school and not a hybrid model. Academy of Pediatrics, the CDC and WHO support all students returning to school. Other countries and states have returned children to school without a super-spreader event, ANYWHERE. Oregon is 47th in US states of total cases per 1M population. The incidence of COVID is low especially in the rural areas, which is 80% of Oregon. There is no reason for this insanity to continue. Once returned to school, teachers should evaluate where students are in reading, writing and science ability. We need to forget numerical grades and divide children into specific skills classes. We need to help each pupils catch up on their individual educational need. Encouraging the public would be advantageous. Volunteers can work with the pupils that need concentrated attention. I'm sure individual instructors have many good ideas. Let's support their ideas. It's time to think out of the box. Our country's future is at stake
I went to a parochial PTA meeting at my granddaughters school. What impressed me was the number of parents involved in their child's education I'm sure this is why Parochial students do better than their cohorts in Public School. I was active in my son's PTA at a public school so I had a baseline of comparison. I wish there was a pill we could give parents so they would realize how their involvement in the child's schooling is important.. Smaller classes would assist teachers to become more intimate with parents. Again, thinking outside the box, the school district could provide volunteers or mentors to visit in parent's home.Many parents are working full time and single, like I was.This life style leaves very little unstructured time available to the parent. There is a time commitment that parents must have to educate their child. A non judgemental attitude is very important in dealing with parents. It will encourage them to participate with school staff.
In our own home budgets, when we lose our jobs OR the state decides our job is not essential, we have to cut expenses. In schools, we need to look at their expenses. I read an article where a school was paying an exorbitant price for milk, higher than normal businesses spend. There are ways to cut budgets. As a nurse manager, I was responsible for the budget of my department. I have had many teacher friends who go on a spending spree at the end of the school year because the school had not spent all the budgeted funds. If they don't spend those funds, they lose them in the next year budget. We need to research items in our own school budgets. Can we get items cheaper? Could fund-raising be a possibility? Would businesses, if we haven't taxed them out of business, be willing to give items to the school? Whose uncle is contracted to provide the school with janitorial services? These are burning questions, I intend to ask of our school district, whether I win this position or not.
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Town Where You Live Stayton, OR
Your Experience/Qualificatons 35+ years working across state, local and federal governments, including program development and management; budgeting; communications; legislation and policy; process analysis and improvement. For school district: Foundation Board, Budget Committee and then 16 years on the Board of Directors; 2 years on Oregon School Board Association’s Legislative Policy Committee.
County Linn
Term 2021-2025
I’ve had a sense of urgency about the impacts of COVID on district efforts to increase student learning and graduation rates. While so much on-line learning is certainly not ideal for any student, this type of learning can have greater negative impacts on those who already struggled in school. For some students, extraordinary efforts could not keep them engaged with on-line classes. Since the time for recovery is dictated by the years to graduation, high school students are my first and greatest concern. We must reengage all students, but most urgently those in high school, assess the status of their learning, meet them where they are and move their learning from there. We will need to balance these efforts though against the toll the stresses and extraordinary efforts of the past year have taken on staff. I don’t want to waste a day for the sake of our students, but we’ll need to be mindful that our pace needs to be sustained for the marathon before us.
I think bigger! Our district made community involvement a priority before COVID and sought a variety of means to do so. Parents are certainly a critical community group, but a high level of broader community support also has very positive impacts on the success of students. Think of community-filled seats at student events, positive supports by business and local government and so on. Regarding parents, we traditionally see high rates of involvement at elementary school, but this typically begins to decline in middle school and often continues to decline in high school. I’ve had parents tell me they were done once they got their student to high school! This is far from the truth from my perspective and I’m glad most parents know this. I hope that a positive from COVID is that appreciation has grown for the collective efforts that go into student learning. This new awareness can foster more engagement and build on efforts to involve parents AND our communities.
The pandemic has impacted the economy which, of course, impacts the state's general fund and other sources of revenue that fund school budgets. Our district has a history of near-term planning in longer-term context. This enables prudent and strategic budgeting. It means we budget for operations, but we also plan for specific purposes, like curriculum updates or anticipated impacts. This planning may not be sufficient to meet all needs associated with recovery from COVID times. There may be a need to prioritize based on the most critical student outcomes. It is important do all possible to maintain programs, even if they must be reduced. Budget cuts from the past have shown me how hard it can be to recover programs and that there are bigger impacts of short-term cuts that one might think. If budget cuts are necessary, they must be thoughtful cuts. It will be critical to fully evaluate the impacts of budget decisions based on what is best for the students of the district.
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