Much to be thankful for this season
During this season of thankfulness and giving, the Woodburn School District has much to be thankful for. At the start of the school year we welcomed 5,789 students – more than ever before. We are so proud of what they are achieving in the classroom and the community.
We are thankful for our teachers, staff and administrators that instruct and support our students. The demands on public schools are intense and the people who work here are asked not only to teach our students, but also to feed them, provide discipline, counseling, coaching, cleaning and transportation. Its a daunting task, but can be an incredible joy to see these young people learn and mature. We are very proud of the fact that our students achieve academically and professionally once they have graduated from the school district.
We are thankful for our community that recognizes the value of what we do as a public school system. Without support from our community our students would not be as successful as they are.
Though we cannot report at this time that mediation with our licensed staff has concluded yet, we are hopeful that a resolution is near that will represent common ground that is sustainable to both parties. Our licensed staff is a big part of our students success and we are thankful for their continued dedication to educating our students.
Together we have shared a vision for a school district that provides a world class, multi-lingual education – and we have not wavered. The concept of students graduating fluent in two or three languages (English, then Spanish or Russian) started far in advance of other school districts, and now families from across the state choose Woodburn for this very reason. It is the challenging curriculum that we provide that will prepare our students to succeed in a global economy.
Supporting our children academically is only part of the equation. They also need adequate facilities in which to learn and technology to facilitate the learning process. Thats why the school district is moving forward to develop a bond measure that will be presented to the community during the primary election in May. The bond is unique in that it will be revenue neutral, which means taxes will not increase for property owners. This is possible because an old bond for the school district will retire before the new one takes effect.
The student population in our schools has increased by 30 percent (1,340) in 10 years. In the same time period, our ending fund balance has gone from $12 million to $2.5 million. We simply dont have the resources to build new facilities without a bond. Dont just take my word for it; visit your local schools and see the capacity constraints we face. Our school administrators and community volunteers would be happy to organize a tour for interested parties.
In the next month, meetings will be held at each school to discuss what the bond might look like. (Visit our website, www.woodburnsd.org, or call your school for a schedule.) I encourage you to take part – regardless of whether you have children in our schools. It will be a wonderful opportunity for us to thank you in person for simply taking an interest in the process and well-being of the children in our care.