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Memorial Day

Sacrifice honored: Silverton, Mount Angel events

By James Day Memorial Day, which honors those Americans who died in the service of their country, will include observances in both Silverton and Mount Angel. The Silverton events, sponsored by Post 7 of the American Legion, begin Friday, May 24, with an 8 a.m. uncovering of the six service flags at Town Square Park. Included will be the Space […]

Silver Falls School District Interim Superintendent Joe Morelock Submitted Photo

Money woes mount – SFSD struggles to make sense of the dollars

By Stephen Floyd Former Newberg Superintendent Joe Morelock has been hired as interim superintendent for the Silver Falls School District (SFSD), with the goal of “stabilizing” its finances and administration. During a special meeting April 1, the SFSD Board approved an intergovernmental agreement with Willamette Education Service District (WESD), where Morelock currently serves as superintendent. The agreement, effective through June […]

Former SHS Principal Sione Thompson Submitted Photo

More transition: Silverton High principal resigns to take Nevada position

By Stephen Floyd Former Silverton High School Principal Sione Thompson has resigned from his position as of April 2 to take the helm of a struggling charter school in Nevada. The Silver Falls School District confirmed Thompson’s departure in a media release that day and said Assistant Principal Patrick Mulligan has stepped in as interim principal. Mulligan is expected to […]

Money woes – Revenue shortfalls, expense overages put SFSD in turmoil

By Stephen Floyd Officials with the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) believe workforce reductions are necessary as they learn a projected budget deficit may be greater than initially estimated. On March 21 during a special meeting of the board, Director of Finance Kim Doud said they were learning about revenue shortfalls that could deepen an original deficit projection of $825,000. […]

Scott Drue resigns as superintendent

Scott Drue has resigned as superintendent of the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) amid a deficit projection of more than $825,000 and concerns from teachers of “toxic” leadership. Drue’s resignation was accepted by the SFSD Board during a special meeting March 13, effective immediately. The board then named Assistant Superintendent Dan Busch as acting superintendent. In a prepared statement, Drue […]

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 […]

SFSD Board pulls $73M bond off May ballot

The Silver Fall School District Board has unanimously voted to remove a $73 million bond measure Silver Fall School District Boardfrom the May 21 ballot amid broader financial and administrative challenges. The decision was made during a special meeting held virtually the afternoon of March 21, as the district had a deadline of 5 p.m. that day to pull the […]

Residents and district employees pack the Silverton High School library for the March 11 meeting of the Silver Falls School District Board amid ongoing discussions of a projected $825,000 deficit. Stephen Floyd

$825K shortfall: Silver Falls School District details complex layers

By Stephen Floyd Community members walked away with more answers but no fewer questions about an $825,000 deficit after the Silver Falls School District Board meeting March 11. An estimated 120 people attended in person and more than 200 watched by Zoom. The large audience was prompted by the deficit projection announced to the board at its Feb. 26 meeting. […]

Silver Falls School District

Silver Falls School District plans budget cuts to restore reserves

The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) hopes to cut this year’s budget by up to $3 million as general fund reserves continued a steep decline that began in 2020. Principals were asked to discuss potential budget scenarios with staff during December. Sarting in January the SFSD Board will receive detailed reports and regular budget updates. The goal is to begin […]

It’s official SFSD Board ratifies teacher contract

    By Stephen Floyd   The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) Board has ratified a contract with the district teachers’ union, officially closing a long and sometimes-contentious round of collective bargaining. During its May 8 meeting, the board unanimously ratified a contract with the Silver Falls Education Association (SFEA), whose membership ratified the contract beforehand. The agreement retroactively went […]

Class size compromise – SFSD, SFEA reach negotiated solution

By Stephen Floyd Teachers won their class size targets and administrators kept their management flexibility in a tentative contract approved April 18 between The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) and Silver Falls Education Association (SFEA). The tentative contract was the result of a year of bargaining that saw the parties split on issues of class size, teacher pay, grievances and […]

SFSD introduces class size dashboard

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has published a new Class Size Dashboard to increase transparency regarding teacher workloads. The dashboard went live April 11 and the district expects to update classroom figures weekly. Assistant Superintendent Dan Busch told the SFSD Board April 10 the dashboard was in direct response to recent union negotiations where class size […]

Sign of the times – SFEA marches downtown

By Stephen Floyd It was an unprecedented week for the Silver Falls Education Association (SFEA), between a rally in Downtown Silverton and a meeting directly with the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) Board. The district and union continue to negotiate a contract one year after bargaining began in April of 2022. A sixth mediation session is scheduled for April 17. […]

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 […]

Mediation continues – Teachers, district seek to avoid impasse

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) is headed to a third mediation session with its teachers’ union as collective bargaining continues nearly a year after it began. Parties are scheduled to enter mediation again March 9 after sessions Feb. 7 and 13 did not result in finalized contract proposals. Both sides are allowed to declare an impasse […]

Mediation: Silver Falls district, educator association agree to need for help

By Stephen Floyd Labor negotiations between the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) and Silver Falls Education Association (SFEA) have entered mediation. Critical issues related to class size, teacher pay and grievance procedures remain unresolved after nearly eight months of bargaining. During a meeting Dec. 1 between SFSD administrators and SFEA representatives, both parties agreed mediation would be the most effective […]

Update: SFSD settles with former band director

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has agreed to pay $57,500 to settle a legal dispute with former Band Director Frank Petrik after his teaching contract was terminated in August for alleged insubordination. On Oct. 24, the district board unanimously approved a settlement agreement between SFSD, Petrik and the Silver Falls Education Association (SFEA). In addition to […]

Sticking points – Class size, inflation, prolong SFSD labor negotiations

By Stephen Floyd Teachers in the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) are currently working under last year’s expired contract as labor negotiations drag on in the shadows of high inflation, housing costs and COVID-19 burnout. Negotiations began in April, and teachers with the Silver Falls Education Association (SFEA) started the school year with nine of 16 contract terms settled with […]

Promotion – Shotts interim Robert Frost principal

By Stephen Floyd Robert Frost School has a new principal as of Feb. 7 following a pattern of high administrator turnover within the district. Holly Shotts, who formerly taught a 4th/5th grade blended class at the school, will serve as interim principal through June after former Principal Mandy Pack accepted a job with a different district. Pack had been principal […]