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Silver Falls School District

Holding steady – No big surprises in SFSD scores

By Stephen Floyd Student data for the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) was mostly status quo in the ’22-’23 school year compared to ’21-’22, as the district works to improve test scores. In the state’s At-A-Glance reports, published in October, the district saw little change in standardized test scores including 3rd grade reading and 8th grade math. The rate of […]

Bond fails – Silver Falls School District discusses next steps

By Stephen Floyd A $138 million bond measure for the Silver Falls School District failed by a wide margin in the Nov. 7 election. Results published Nov. 8 by the Oregon Secretary of State showed Measure 24-486 failing by 55.37% out of 6,782 ballots cast by voters in Marion and Clackamas counties. The SFSD bond would have funded improvements to […]

Update: Silverton High – Teachers link modern design to student success

By Stephen Floyd When Silverton High School (SHS) was completed in 2009, the campus benefited from modern design and tailor-made classrooms. Students could learn to cook in a commercial kitchen, learn the basics of firefighting in full gear, and learn car maintenance in a multi-bay auto shop. SHS teachers interviewed by Our Town said a custom learning space helps students […]

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. […]

Update: Bid to replace Middle School hopes to aim higher than ‘good enough’

By Stephen Floyd There aren’t a lot of mild opinions about plans to rebuild Silverton Middle School through a proposed facilities bond for the Silver Falls School District. Supporters of the $138 million bond describe the 1938 wing of the middle school as beyond saving and say it could have collapsed in on itself years ago. Opponents argue the $75 […]

Update: Failing pieces – Unexpected repairs impact budget, emergencies threaten safety

Editor’s note: Our Town is presenting a school-by-school review of the facility challenges at each building covered by the Silver Falls School District bond proposal on the Nov. 7 ballot. For previous stories go to ourtownlive.com.  By Stephen Floyd Mark Twain and Robert Frost elementary schools both recently had extreme examples of building failures during the start of a school […]

Aging out – 1947 HVAC systems, plumbing, cement failing schools, students

Editor’s note: Our Town is presenting a school-by-school review of the facility challenges at buildings covered by the Silver Falls School District bond proposal on the Nov. 7 ballot.  By Stephen Floyd A number of schools in the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) are relics of the baby boom, including Silver Crest, Evergreen and Victor Point schools all constructed in […]

SFSD withdraws appeal of violation

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District has dropped an appeal against a finding that it negotiated in bad faith with non-teacher employees over PERS benefits in 2020. The district was found in violation of labor laws Aug. 4, 2022, by the Oregon Employment Relations Board for negotiations in late 2020 with the Oregon School Employees Association. Parties were […]

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 […]

Three SFSD Board incumbents step aside

Three incumbents on the Silver Falls School District Board have declined to seek re-election during the May 16 primary for reasons ranging from personal obligations to concerns over district leadership. March 16 was the filing deadline for primary candidates. Board members Janet Allanach, Lori McLaughlin and Jonathan Edmonds, whose terms expire this year, did not submit their names. Allanach and […]

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 […]