By Mary Owen
Higher student participation fees, wage cuts for staff, a hiring freeze and superintendent approval of all purchase orders are ways the North Santiam School District is dealing with recent budget cuts.
“This year our theme is ‘Doing more with less,’” said Mary Richards, administrative assistant to Superintendent Jack Adams and district board secretary. “That means looking for outside sources of assistance, which could include grants, community donations and parent volunteers.
Richards said it also means using resources the district already has for its six schools and watching for waste. “It is kind of like your grandma who uses every part of the turkey and none gets wasted,” she said.
Free or reduced lunch: Toni Silbernagel, 503-769-4115
Homeless or needy: Susy Saray, 503-769-9082
Medical needs: Denise Cardinali or Nancy Putney, 503-769-6924
For other issues, call the school principal:
Stayton High, Charlotte Klampe, 503-769-2171
Stayton Middle, Andy Gardner, 503-769-2198
Stayton Intermediate, Andy Gardner, 503-769-4065
Stayton Elementary, David Bolin, 503-769-2336
Sublimity, Jamie McCarty, 503-769-2459
Mari-Linn, Paula Vawter, 503-859-2154
North Santiam School District, 503-769-6924
The first ingredient in the district’s “soup” was a spring registration last April and May to save on secretarial time in August, allowing teachers and staff time to focus on new students and help prepare the office for the school year.
New to district schools this year was an early photos and locker assignment day on Aug. 12-13 for Stayton High School students. Stayton Intermediate and Middle schools held an open house on Aug. 26 prior to the start of the school year. At SHS, the district added a teen-parent program, headed by Valeria DeLoretto and a grant-funded agricultural club, giving students additional elective options.
“Hiring has been frozen except for essential staff positions, affecting some class sizes,” Richards said.
“Students will be fundraising more for field trips and activities, as the district will be unable to supplement them.”
Lack of school funding from the state forced the district to tighten its belt in an effort to keep as many athletic and extra-curricular activities as possible available.
“A reduced-fee schedule for both school fees and athletic/activity participation fees will be used for students on free or reduced lunch and for those identified as needy or homeless students,” Richards added.
All NSSD schools will be asking for more volunteers for sports and activities and in the classroom. Field trips may have fees attached and teachers may ask for donations for art and other school projects.
“Softball and baseball at the middle school level have been cut due to the limited number of teams available in the conference,” Richards reported.
She said until the state Legislature finds alternative funding for K-12 education, schools will have less money to prepare students for “continuing education, work and citizenship.”
“We seem to go two steps forward and then two steps back on the economy and not on the needs of the students.”
She added families have also undergone major changes, causing students to need extra care and understanding.
“Their friends may have anxiety about their family possibly losing their home, having to move or not being able to afford the things they normally have in the past. Students need to be understanding and supportive of those around them.”