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Silver Falls School District

Moving forward – Silver Falls School District hires interim superintendent

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has hired Kim Kellison, current superintendent of the Winston-Dillard School District, as interim superintendent effective July 1. The SFSD Board unanimously approved a two-year contract with Kellison during a special meeting June 4, with the contract running through June 30, 2026. Kellison told board members she believes SFSD can “move forward […]

Confidential: Board defends closed-door interviews

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District Board is defending its decision to hold closed-door interviews for interim superintendent, saying this improved the quality of candidates and the process itself. After voting June 4 to extend the position to Winston-Dillard School District Superintendent Kim Kellison, board members said it was important for the public to know why the process […]

New Silverton High School Principal Kirstin Jorgenson Submitted Photo

Jorgenson named Silverton High principal

Longtime Scotts Mills School Principal Kirstin Jorgenson will become principal of Silverton High School starting next school year, according to a June 5 announcement by the Silver Falls School District. In a ParentSquare broadcast that evening, the district said Jorgenson will take over the role currently held by acting Principal Patrick Mulligan, who will return to his previous role as […]

Imagination Library participant, Talon Najera reading a book. Alicia Najera

Imagination Library – Dolly Parton program’s Silverton branch turns five

By Melissa Wagoner It’s been five years since the Silverton Kiwanis Club and the Silverton Library District joined forces to bring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library – a program that gifts one curated book each month to kids ages zero to five – to the children of Silverton. “I was tasked with contacting the Dolly Parton Foundation,” library director and head of […]

Silver Falls School District staff members picking up donated pies. Melissa Wagoner

Pies given to School District employees

By Melissa Wagoner When Andrew Martin, director of grocery sales for Willamette Valley Pie Company, wants to make a difference in his community his thoughts naturally turn to pies. “This pie thing doesn’t fix it but that’s what we’ve got,” he said of a recent giveaway he hosted in partnership with Larsen Flynn Insurance and The Satern Agency. The goal, […]

James Day

Ch-ch-ch-changes – District budget cuts cost Foxes a hoops coach

Once again, the Silverton High boys basketball program is looking for a new head coach. Jamie McCarty, who has coached the Foxes for six of the past seven seasons, has resigned amid the fallout from the Silver Falls School District’s budget crisis. McCarty, who serves as the principal at Robert Frost School, lost a support staff person to the budget […]

Kim Kellison

Winston-Dillard’s Kim Kellison hired as SFSD interim superintendent

The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has hired Kim Kellison, current superintendent of the Winston-Dillard School District, as interim superintendent effective July 1. The decision to hire Kellison was unanimous Tuesday night during a special meeting of the SFSD Board, and her contract will run through June 30, 2026. Kellison told board members after the vote she believes SFSD can […]

Silver Falls School District

Reduction in force – Silver Falls School District lays off 62 in first round

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has laid off 62 employees including 20 teachers in the first round of staffing reductions amid efforts to cut $8.8 million from next year’s budget. Staff were notified May 22 and 23 after the SFSD Board voted unanimously May 20 to authorize Interim Superintendent Joe Morelock to begin reductions in force […]

Support strategy: Evergreen, Pratum parents rally to keep schools

By Stephen Floyd When the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) proposed temporarily closing Evergreen and Pratum schools as a cost-saving measure, parents from those communities organized to push back. During the May 13 meeting of the SFSD board, several hundred residents were in attendance in-person and online, many of whom wore T-shirts bearing Evergreen Eagles and Pratum Pirates. Their message […]

Staff criticize SFSD Board for ‘bait and switch’

By Stephen Floyd Teachers and staff expressed anger, frustration and disappointment as the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) Board recently approved steep personnel cuts to balance next year’s budget. During a special meeting May 20, board members voted to authorize reductions in force (RIF) to help eliminate $8.8 million from the 2024-25 budget, with 91 positions eliminated as of May […]

London Wagoner

Food for furloughs – Moms take action to supply food during school closures

By Melissa Wagoner There was no shortage of concern when a group of six Silver Falls School District moms got together to discuss the negative effect the early closure of nearly all SFSD schools will have on students. “One of the immediate concerns about the furlough week was that students wouldn’t have access to the free lunch program that many […]

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 […]

Letter to the Editor: Demand more – Silver Falls School District budget requires action

1,485 Respondents: During the May 2, 2024 (Silver Falls) school board “work session,” no comments were allowed. The board received collated documents from Superintendent Morelock for opinions on priority programs. Morelock was thanked for the extensive detail. This time-consuming, week-long, process was to determine the sacred cows. There were no surprises to scholastic or extra-curricular concerns. No insult intended to […]

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). […]

Community input sought on 2024-2025 SFSD cuts

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) is asking the public what they would like to see prioritized financially as significant cuts for next year threaten staff, programs and facilities. The district has been advised to reduce the 2024-2025 budget by roughly $8.8 million, or 12 percent of the current budget, to correct years of overspending and revenue […]

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 […]

Gervais School District

If May bond fails Gervais to consider 2025 district closure

By Stephen Floyd The Gervais School District (GSD) plans to continue operating for one more year if a $28 million facilities bond on the May 21 ballot fails. District officials said last summer, if a May bond were to fail, the district would be unable to afford critical repairs at its two remaining schools and may be forced to dissolve. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]