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Gervais schools talk dissolution into neighboring districts

By Stephen Floyd

School officials in Gervais have discussed possibly dissolving their district if a facilities bond fails next year, which could lead to schools in Silverton and Mt. Angel absorbing Gervais students.

Bond proposals for the Gervais School District suffered landslide defeats in 2022 and 2023, and the district’s board is considering a third attempt for May of 2024.

GSD Superintendent Dandy Stevens told the board in August, if bond efforts continue to fail, the district may be out of options to fund building repairs. 

Solutions considered by the board include dissolving GSD and merging with school districts in Silverton, Mount Angel and Woodburn.

The GSD Board has made no decision to pursue dissolution. 

Local polling data shared during the board’s Sept. 21 meeting showed voters strongly oppose dissolving the district. The same poll showed voter support for a 2024 bond was marginal.

Derek McElfresh, spokesperson for the Silver Falls School District, said SFSD is following the situation closely while working to pass its own bond in November.

“We can’t predict what the future holds for Gervais, but we work hard daily to ensure such a situation isn’t in the future of Silver Falls School District,” said McElfresh.

Mt. Angel School District Superintendent Rachel Stucky said, if GSD dissolves, the communities built around Gervais schools may also break down.

“An entire community will not be represented in their own community and that would be a terrible shame,” she said.

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