School notes: Building upgrades; prevention messaging; Rotary support in Gladstone; Cinco de Mayo celebration; CHS student is U.S. Senate delegate; NCSD admission lottery opens
The North Clackamas Schools sold $322 million of the voter-approved $433 million in bonds last month.
The tax-free bonds were extremely popular among investors. Due to their demand, the bonds sold at a lower interest rate than originally expected and will realize nearly $31 million in premium funds over the issuing amount.
Premium funds are held in contingency and could be used to cover unanticipated costs or cost increases during the implementation of numerous bond projects. Implementation of the bond will be overseen by the North Clackamas School Board and a Community Bond Oversight Committee.
"The district's popularity among investors is a reflection of the excellent credit ratings that we maintain. These ratings are primarily due to strong financial performance and fund balances in recent years.
The district met its promise to voters as expected, continuing the current tax levy rate of $2.37 per $1,000," said Chief Financial Officer Mary Knigge. Having received more than three times the number of bond orders over available bonds, the bonds carry a 4.09 percent interest rate over 25 years.
The bond measure approved by voters in November will:
renovate/remodel schools, some as old as 90 years, to help ensure that students graduate ready for college and careers
address security, safety and seismic needs
address facility maintenance issues such as replacing worn-out roofs, heating/cooling, plumbing and electrical systems
increase student access to technology
add space to relieve school overcrowding.
The sale of the additional $110 million in principal is anticipated in fiscal 2018-19.
Find more information about the bond at nclack.k12.or.us/bondinfo.
Putnam students recognized for prevention messaging
Eleven students from Putnam High School were awarded gift certificates for posters they created focused on alcohol and drug prevention, making healthy choices and safe driving.
During first-year health classes, students learn about the Positive Community Norms framework that focuses on positive behavior. Coalition director Abby Wells said, "exposing students to the positive in their school and community helps them refocus from negative messages they often see."
Winning first place was freshman Samantha Alejo with her poster: "Leave It Be. Make Memories - 7/10 RPHS Students are Sober." She received a $25 gift card. Ten other students also received awards.
The Vibrant Future Coalition is committed to reducing substance abuse in the North Clackamas area and offers programs like this throughout the district.
The Positive Norms program runs for two weeks with partners from the Clackamas County Prevention Coalition and Drive to Zero program among others. Students receive education on media literacy, positive norms and safe driving.
Drive to Zero program coordinator Patty McMillan said: "Having this amount of time really helps students get engaged. At the end, each student creates a poster about prevention. Something they might have thought was very tough at the beginning."
Rex Putnam health teacher Stephanie Leske has offered the program for the past several years and sees the many benefits of this program for the students in her classroom.
The top three posters may be viewed at vibrantfuture.org or on the Vibrant Future Coalition Facebook page.
For more information, contact Abigail Wells at 503-546-6377.
Rotary supports Gladstone schools
Every seventh-grader at Kraxberger Middle School will attend a daylong Challenge Day workshop designed to build inclusion and reduce bullying behaviors, thanks to a $1,500 grant from the Gladstone/Oak Grove Rotary Club. Additional funds for the project were provided by a grant from the Gladstone Education Foundation.
"Our goal for this program is to bring our school community together by building empathy and understanding," said school counselor Kate Keating. "When students take pride in themselves and share ownership of our school, greater academic success will result."
In addition, the Rotary Club gave a $300 grant to the Kraxberger Gearheads Robotics Club for their work to learn computer programming, fabrication and electrical wiring in preparation for regional robotics competitions.
Cinco de Mayo celebration seeks support
Jennings Lodge and Candy Lane elementary schools, home to the Oregon City School District's only dual-immersion program, is asking community partners to donate a service or an item to the schools' 19th annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta and Auction. About 65 percent of students at the schools qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches.
This year's event is scheduled for Friday, May 5, and fiesta organizers are asking that gifts come in by Friday, April 28, so they can be used in the event program and marketing.
"This celebration is our signature event, as well as our most important fundraiser and community builder of the year," wrote auction coordinators Jennifer Olszewski and Brandi Joseph. "With over 700 community members in attendance, your generousity will be witnessed by many."
Any donor contributing something worth more than $250 will receive two complimentary tickets to the event. All donations are tax-deductable.
For more information, call 503-201-6504 or 503-888-0587.
CHS student is delegate to Senate youth program
Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley selected Nicole Zhen of Clackamas High School as a delegate to the 55th annual U.S. Senate Youth Program that will be held March 4 through 11 in Washington, D.C.
Marin Lovejoy Christensen, who attends Lincoln High School in Portland, was the only other delegate from Oregon who will attend the program's 55th annual Washington Week.
The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 and has been fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since inception "to increase young Americans' understanding of the interrelationships of the three branches of government, learn the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials, and emphasize the vital importance of democratic decision-making not only for America but for people around the world."
In addition to the program week, The Hearst Foundations provide each student with a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs. Transportation and all expenses for Washington Week also are provided by The Hearst Foundations.
Zhen serves as CHS's Associated Student Body treasurer, is the debate captain, and a committee officer for Key Club and National Honor Society. As part of her community activities, she serves as the executive secretary for the Happy Valley Council and is launching a youth tutoring program with her local library.
Zhen also is a Young Leader in Action volunteer for the World Affairs Council of Oregon. She would like to focus on political science and biochemistry in college.
NCSD admission lottery opens
North Clackamas Schools is accepting applications for an admission lottery for the 2017-18 school year at three elementary schools.
Through Monday, March 20, applications will be taken online for Sojourner School's multiple-intelligences program, and for the dual-language immersion programs at El Puente Bilingual School and Riverside Elementary School.
Find the online application, in multiple languages, at nclack.k12.or.us/schoolchoice.
Applications are selected by lottery. Families receive notification of placement by March 24.
In the dual-language immersion programs, at least 50 percent of students' first language is Spanish, so native English speakers and native Spanish speakers learn from each other.
Informational meetings will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. on Feb. 25 at El Puente Bilingual School, 11250 S.E. 27th Ave., Milwaukie, and at Riverside Elementary School, 16303 S.E. River Road, Oak Grove.
Based on the work of Dr. Howard Gardner, Sojourner School seeks to produce students who move on to middle school speaking Spanish, writing at advanced levels and playing musical instruments.
Informational meetings will be held between 6 and 7 p.m. on Feb. 16 and March 1 at Sojourner School, 11909 S.E. Linwood Ave., Milwaukie. Tours will be held 9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 15 and 22 at Sojourner.