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Silver Falls School District

$3.8M TAN for SFSD almost half of Oregon total

By Stephen Floyd A $3.82 million bridge loan sought by the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) accounted for nearly half of such loan requests in Oregon, according to a report from S&P Global Ratings. In a summary dated May 10, S&P measured the creditworthiness of four districts, including SFSD, requesting a total of $8 million in tax anticipation notes (TAN). […]

Silver Falls School District

Admins cuts favored, K-8s and esports opposed in survey

By Stephen Floyd Respondents overwhelmingly supported cuts to administration in a survey by the Silver Falls School District (SFSD), while opposition emerged against preserving all K-8 schools and esports programs. As of Monday afternoon, 1,347 people had participated in a survey on ThoughtExchange asking what they believe should be preserved as the district plans steep budget cuts for next year. […]

Silver Falls School District

SFSD furlough days begin this Friday

The first of seven approved furlough days in the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) begins this Friday as employees from all job classifications take cuts to balance the district’s budget. The SFSD Board approved May 3 and 24, and June 10-14, as furlough days during their regular meeting April 22, and both of the district’s unions have since ratified the […]

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 […]

Scott Drue (foreground) resigns as superintendent of the Silver Falls School District Wednesday night during a special meeting of the SFSD Board.

Scott Drue resigns as SFSD superintendent

By Stephen Floyd Scott Drue has resigned as superintendent of the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) as the district braces for an $825,000 budget shortfall and faces a crisis of employee trust. Drue’s resignation was accepted by the School Board during a special meeting Wednesday night effective immediately. The board then named Assistant Superintendent Dan Busch as acting superintendent. In […]

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. […]

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 […]

Moving on – Nielsen departing SFSD for online academy

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has announced the departure of Director of Finance & Operations Steve Nielsen after he accepted a position with Oregon Charter Academy. Nielsen is expected to remain with SFSD through mid-March and among other tasks will oversee finalization of a facilities bond proposal for the May 21 election, due to be submitted […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Guest opinion: A first-hand look at bond oversight

Former Silverton Mayor Kyle Palmer shares his perspectives on a $138 million facilities bond for the Silver Falls School District, to be decided during the Nov. 7 election. Palmer served on the advisory committee that helped formulate the current bond proposal and is also on the committee that would oversee the bond if it is approved by voters. Palmer also […]

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 […]

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 […]

SFEA declares impasse, authorizes potential strike

By Stephen Floyd Note: This article has been updated to reflect corrections and a statement from SFSD. Teachers with the Silver Falls Education Association (SFEA) have declared an impasse and authorized a potential strike after nearly a year of contract negotiations. SFEA made the announcement Friday evening, March 17, after a third mediation session on March 9 did not result […]

Mediation ahead – SFSD lays out financial case for union concessions

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) says it would face financial hardship if it accepted terms proposed by the Silver Falls Education Association (SFEA) as the two head to mediation Feb. 1. On Jan. 24, the district issued a statement addressed to “Silver Falls Families” saying the union’s requests for higher teacher pay and limits on class […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]