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NHS may be forced to alter its district

Mandates — District reports to the state that it does not meet the Division 22 requirement of 130 hours of classroom instruction per hour of credit


Newberg High School could see major changes to its class schedule as a result of changes in the way the Oregon Department of Education is approaching non-compliance regarding the annual Division 22 report, the checklist of requirements all schools in Oregon must submit to the state annually.

Superintendent Kym LeBlanc-Esparza briefed the Newberg school board on the district’s Division 22 report, which had to be submitted by Tuesday, at its meeting April 8.

The most notable area in which the district was not compliant was in “Credit Options,” the requirement that each high school credit must include 130 hours of classroom instruction.

Like many high schools in the Portland metro region, Newberg runs on a 4 x 4 or “block” schedule that features fewer but longer class periods on an alternating basis.

The district has estimated that NHS is approximately 14 hours short of the state-mandated minimum. This year, the DOE will require that non-compliant districts make the necessary adjustments to their schedules in order to comply.

“That’s a change from years past,” Silver School principal Eric Bergmann noted in his weekly newsletter. “Until recently, schools who were not in compliance had the opportunity to comply through alternative means. That no longer is the case.”

Blue School Principal Dan Malone is leading a faculty group that has been tasked with examining possible ways the schedule may be altered in order to become compliant and present recommendations to the board.

According to district spokeswoman Claudia Stewart, it is not known if the state will require changes to be implemented for the upcoming 2014-15 school year or give districts more time.

Newberg also reported it is non-compliant for “Media Programs,” because it’s comprehensive district wide library program is not overseen at each school by a licensed librarian. Stewart said that as a result of budget cuts, those positions are currently held by classified employees.

Newberg has money from the most recent bond issue earmarked for adoption of language arts curriculum and purchase of state-approved instruction materials, but has not met the state’s timeline.

The district may have to hire additional staff in order to become compliant with a physical education requirement for elementary students, who must receive 30 minutes of P.E. per day. Currently, Newberg students receive 30 minutes combined for P.E. and music.

A fifth area of compliance identified for correction by the district is the lack of a comprehensive method for reporting progress on “extended application and progress on essential skills.”




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