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Silver Falls School District approves furlough days

By Stephen Floyd Seven furlough days for the present school year have been approved by the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) Board as part of efforts to address significant budget shortfalls. During the board’s regular meeting April 22, members voted unanimously to designate May 3 and 24 and June 10-14 as furlough days on the school calendar. These will be […]

Nonprofit guiding interim superintendent search for Silver Falls opening

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has partnered with the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) to find an interim superintendent as the search for a permanent superintendent takes shape. During the SFSD Board’s regular meeting April 22, it approved a COSA-led search process that could result in hiring an interim superintendent by mid-May. This would leave […]

Silver Falls School District

School district applies for $3.8 million bridge loan

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has applied for a $3.8 million loan to help address a $1.3 million cash shortfall, with most of the funds expected to be invested to offset financing costs. During a special meeting April 11 of the SFSD Board, officials voted unanimously to pursue a tax anticipation note (TAN), which borrows against […]

Silver Falls School District

SFSD applying for $3.8 million bridge loan

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) is applying for a $3.8 million bridge loan to avoid a $1.3 million cash shortfall in June and additional budget challenges forecast for the next school year. During a special meeting Thursday of the SFSD Board, officials voted unanimously to pursue a tax anticipation note (TAN), which borrows against property taxes […]

Silver Falls School District

Silver Falls School District proposed interim superintendent search timeline

Silver Falls School District officials proposed a timeline for choosing an interim superintendent to begin July 1 after current Interim Superintendent Joe Morelock’s service concludes. During the SFSD Board April 8 meeting, dates for gathering public and staff feedback, and conducting interviews were presented. Board Chair Jennifer Traeger said the goal is to expend as little money on the process […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Silver Falls School District

Closure deadline: Middle school planning

By Stephen Floyd Officials in the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) had their first serious talk about the possibility of closing Silverton Middle School as they moved forward with a bond to replace the facility. During the Jan. 29 meeting of the SFSD Board, Superintendent Scott Drue proposed a deadline of June of 2027 to close the campus and sought […]

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 […]

By the numbers: SFSD $138 million bond measure rejected by the voters

By Stephen Floyd More than 7,700 ballots were cast and $23,000 donated for Measure 24-486 on the ballot in the Nov. 7 election. Had it passed, the measure would have raised more than $138 million for facility improvements throughout the Silver Falls School District (SFSD). According to election results published Nov. 17, the measure was failing by 55.71% out of […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

Bond backers – Political action committee forming to support SFSD bond

By Stephen Floyd Supporters of a $138 million facilities bond for the Silver Falls School District are forming a Political Action Committee (PAC) to engage in voter outreach ahead of the Nov. 7 election. While as of the Our Town press deadline the PAC had yet to be registered with the state, former members of the district’s Bond Advisory Committee […]

Bond to the ballot

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) Board has approved a $138 million bond measure for the Nov. 7 ballot, concluding months of planning and ushering in months of rigorous outreach. The board’s June 20 decision was unanimous  and followed a recommendation from the district’s Bond Advisory Committee.  If the bond passes, revenue would address deferred maintenance and […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Sticking points – Teachers firm on class size as SFSD negotiations persist

By Stephen Floyd Labor negotiations in the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) are entering their eighth month as union members stand firm on class size limits. A new bargaining session is scheduled for Dec. 1 at 4 p.m. at the Silverton High School Library, as educators continue to work under last year’s expired contract. Though such proceedings are typically closed, […]

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 […]