CHS Site Council Minutes
February 14, 2006
Members Attending: Dianna McMahon, Shelley Fox, Don Gwyther, Ginny Hoke, Heather Scott, Devan Isenhour, Jan Ophus, Sue Bowers
Guests: There were around 35 guests attending this meeting, including CHS faculty—Sandi Green, Darrelle Fiorito, Terrie Chrones, Cheryl Hanzlik, Mark Risen, Jack Stepp, and Chris Douglas—former teacher Mandi Wright, current and former students and FFA members, and a number of parents.
Dianna McMahon called the meeting to order at approximately 3:25 p.m. Mr. Ophus welcomed the guests and passed around copies of the Questions/Choices sheet that the Site Council had been provided and also class counts for both semesters (numbers for second semester still being adjusted). He noted that today’s discussions would be preliminary, with further deliberation by the Site Council next week.
Moving to the Agenda, Dianna asked for and received a motion to approve the January minutes, which was passed by the group. She then reiterated for everyone that the discussion today was to help the Site Council develop recommendations on next year’s budget. Those will be worked on further next week as input to the high school’s budget proposal that Mr. Ophus will be asked to complete by about March 1. That proposal will go into the overall District budget that will be reviewed, possibly revised and then recommended by the Budget Committee. The School Board will adopt the final budget late in the spring.
Dianna asked Mr. Ophus to provide some additional background on the budget situation for next year. A couple weeks ago, the principals were alerted that we could be facing the need to cut over $500,000 from the programs we now have, with the CHS share of that being $135,000. An update from the District Office last Friday indicated that the required cuts would be less, likely in the range of $200,000-$250,000. The administrators have a meeting scheduled on Feb. 15 where further information will be shared and discussed. The overall situation should be clearer for the scheduled Feb. 21 Site Council meeting.
Dianna opened the floor for discussion from the audience.
The following points were made about the Ag. Program either by those present or in letters that were shared:
· This is something that Creswell is known for, is good at and which helps lots of kids.
Former participants have found many career/life
benefits from the activities they took part in here as students.
· Scheduling problems have prevented students from taking some of the courses they would like to. (Mr. Ophus noted that this is very common in a school our size, where there is only one section offered of most electives, often forcing students to choose between two classes when they would prefer to have both.)
· The current Master Schedule may not be the most effective possible in minimizing such conflicts.
· Employers in natural resource fields are expecting job openings and appreciate the training provided by programs such as Creswell’s.
· Programs like LCC’s RTEC are more expensive on a per-student basis than having a teacher here offering hands-on electives for more students.
· Parents expressed concern that high school students may not be ready for the kind of independence found/needed at LCC.
· AST certification allows a teacher to offer a wide variety of classes.
· Professional-Technical education (PTE) leads to higher graduation rates.
· Class loads at CHS differ significantly between different subjects/teachers.
· Private fundraising plans are underway for summer program financing.
Concerning the Music Program:
· Between CMS and CHS, Ms. Green sees more than 200 students each day.
· Before the cuts of a few years ago, there were two music teaching positions shared between the middle and high school.
· Most music teachers focus either on band or choir, but not both.
· Increasing student numbers could justify advanced choir and/or band options.
· Music, along with FFA, drama, sports and other offerings is something that keeps certain students coming to school.
· We do not have anyone being paid a Drama Advisor’s stipend this year.
· The drama class was reinstated last school year and has been a popular elective.
· Currently, head coach salaries are part of the general budget, while those of assistant coaches have been paid through the efforts of fundraising. (The next chance to support this effort is the dinner-auction coming up Saturday, Feb. 18.)
· Some sports (cross-country, wrestling) have low numbers now, but have been popular in the past.
· There is interest in adding soccer as a school sport. The district has been working to define a specific process for decision-making about sports offerings.
· Many coaches feel that sports help keep students motivated about school.
· Last week’s School Board decision determined that the Athletic Director stipend would not be increased.
Other comments about potential budget cuts, from Site Council members and guests included:
· Advanced course offerings are another drawing card attract/motivate some students.
· State and federal requirements for certain classes and achievement levels are part of what is limiting our ability to offer as many electives.
· What is the advantage, if any, to continuing with NAAS accreditation?
· What is the role of a Campus Supervisor? Can the Principal take care of discipline?
· Are we looking at all options? How about pay cuts?
· Is there a different way to supervise Study Halls, freeing teachers to offer more classes?
· Why can’t we ask these questions in a different way—i.e. What to we have to do to keep what we have? (Responding to this question, Mr. Ophus noted that LCC is planning to submit a Local Option Levy proposal to voters this year to increase their available funds. The Creswell School District tried such a levy about 4 years ago that was not passed by the voters at that time.)
Due to the length of discussion and other obligations for some of the Site Council members, Dianna concluded the meeting by asking Mr. Ophus to prepare cost estimates for the various bullet items on the “Questions/Choices” sheet. He will bring those, along with an update on the overall District budget situation, to the meeting on February 21. Dianna thanked the guests for their input to the meeting and asked Site Council members to be ready to do some tough work next week.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 5:00.
Sue Bowers, Secretary