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Silver Falls School District

Number crunching: SFSD talks layoffs, school closures, schedule changes

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has started mapping out options to cut $8.8 million from next year’s budget, including layoffs in all departments and temporary school closures. During a special meeting May 8 of the SFSD Board, Interim Superintendent Joe Morelock presented options based on feedback from principals, employees and community members. Proposed reductions These included […]

Silver Falls School District

Forging ahead – SFSD interim positions focus on trust

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) is preparing a two-pronged approach to temporarily fill the vacant superintendent’s position. The board plans to appoint both an interim superintendent and a goodwill ambassador. During a March 21 workshop, the SFSD board members said they face the distinct challenges of repairing a growing budget deficit and restoring trust in district […]

Round two: Silver Falls School District proposes scaled-down $73M bond

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) Board has approved a $73 million bond measure for the May 21 ballot with hopes of wooing voters who rejected a $138 million bond last November. In a 6-1 vote Feb. 12, the board agreed to ask voters to consider a bond that would replace Silverton Middle School and provide critical […]

Bond issues: SFSD floats $73 million bond for May ballot

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) is discussing a possible $73 million facilities bond for the May 21 election to rebuild Silverton Middle School (SMS) and improve Silverton High School (SHS). During the district board’s Jan. 18 meeting, officials said this proposal would keep property tax rates on par with current rates for a construction bond for […]

Bond redux – Silver Falls aims to put new bond measure on May ballot

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) plans to put another facilities bond on the May Primary Election ballot, though the dollar amount and scope of the bond may not be set until February. On Dec. 11, the SFSD Board unanimously passed a resolution authorizing a bond program for the May 21, 2024, election after having discussed the […]

Next steps? May school bond seems less likely after SFSD Board meeting

By Stephen Floyd A May 2024 bond proposal seems less likely – but has not been ruled out – after the first meeting of the Silver Falls School District Board since the defeat of Measure 24-486 on Nov. 7. The measure would have raised $138 million for school improvements including $75 million to replace Silverton Middle School. At the latest […]

What if? Board contemplates bond alternatives

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District Board has started discussing potential outcomes if a $138 million facilities bond does not pass during the Nov. 7 election. At the board’s Oct. 9 meeting, possibilities ranged from a followup bond in May of 2024 to moving middle schoolers to the high school or outlying K-8 schools. The board said there […]

Letter to the Editor: A ‘Yes’ vote accomplishes a lot

Please join the Silver Falls School Board in supporting a bright future for our kids! As volunteer School Board Members, we know schools build stronger communities, which is why this November’s Bond is so important for the future of our Silver Falls communities.  Our community has always come together to invest in education. Better schools help build a stronger community, […]

Public engagement – Candidates chime in on guns, school safety

By James Day The eight candidates for positions on the Silver Falls School District Board participated in a lively and informative two-hour forum April 23 at the Silverton Grange Hall. On hand were Zone 7 incumbent Tom Buchholz and his opponent, Jesse Smith as well as Zone 1 candidates Phil Wiesner and Jo Tucker, Zone 3 candidates Derrick Foxworth and […]

Impasse – Silver Falls School District Board optimistic about negotiations

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) Board is hopeful they can compromise with the teacher’s union after an impasse was declared March 17, though administrators say there is little ground left to give. During a special meeting of the board March 23, officials said they were optimistic a negotiated contract was possible during mediation sessions scheduled for […]

Cadence – SFSD fires band director for insubordination

By Stephen Floyd The Band Director of the Silver Falls School District has been fired for allegedly defying district leadership, though few details of what transpired have been made public. During a special meeting of the School Board on Aug. 9, the contract of Frank Petrik was terminated on the grounds of insubordination and neglect of duty, effective that day, […]

Gun policy – Volunteers resign after board rejects ban on concealed permit guns

By Stephen Floyd Two members of a policy committee for the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) have resigned in protest after the board rejected a proposed ban on concealed carry firearms amid confrontational discussions. Superintendent Policy Workgroup members Dawn Tacker and Melissa Seifer Briggs resigned May 23 following the board’s May 9 regular meeting, during which policy proposal KGBB was […]

Transition planning – Silver Falls district going mask-optional March 31

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District has chosen to become mask-optional after statewide mask mandates are lifted March 31. The district board voted six-to-one Feb. 14 to direct Superintendent Scott Drue to draft policies transitioning away from mask mandates that have been in place since 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Opposing the decision was Board Member […]

Communication: Board grapples with ‘transparent’ way to handle issues

By Kristine Thomas and Hannah Kloft Silver Falls School Board Member Aaron Koch is disappointed in how fellow board member Todd White has conducted himself and is concerned his actions may be a liability to the board and district. At the July 11 school board meeting, Koch asked there to be a discussion on board member roles and responsibilities. Koch […]

Decision 2014: Silverton council candidates

Our Town asked candidates five questions focused on the challenges the Silverton City Council will face over the next four years. The questions, below, are each identified by a key word. 1. FUNDING: How will we fund needed construction, reconstruction and major repairs to our infrastructure?  Most of the city’s facilities are aging and in urgent need of replacement or […]