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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Needs assessment – Prioritizing space, safety for Butte Creek, Scotts Mills

Editor’s note:  Our Town has been providing 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. Missed one? Stories are available at ourtownlive.com.  By Stephen Floyd Butte Creek and Scotts Mills schools are in a unique place in the Silver Falls School District’s plan for […]

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 […]

Bond plans – Central Howell, Pratum face water inundation, air quality woes

Editor’s note: Over the next several issues Our Town will present 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.  By Stephen Floyd Central Howell and Pratum schools are old enough to predate the Silver Falls School District (SFSD) itself. Both have roots in pioneer […]

Legal Matters: Charge, trial, sentence – Community service for vandalism spree

A Silverton man has pleaded guilty to vandalism after a graffiti spree last winter that saw thousands of dollars in damage to local public and private buildings. Roman L. Cunningham, 23, pleaded guilty June 29 to a felony charge of first-degree criminal mischief in Marion County Circuit Court. He is scheduled for sentencing Dec. 11 and, if he complies with […]

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 […]

Bound – SFSD board weighs school needs, voter approval

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District Board is expected review the recommendations of its Bond Advisory Committee and vote on the scope and timing for a potential capital improvement bond June 20. The committee discussed $138 million in district needs in order to improve all local schools plus rebuild Silverton Middle School. The middle school is currently housed […]

Opening night of the Silverton Arts Association's Teen Art Show. -- courtesy of Megan Smith

Teen Art Show – Silverton galleries team up to honor this year’s winners

By Melissa Wagoner This year the Silverton Arts Association’s annual “Teen Art Show” featured 105 pieces of art from students at Evergreen, Bethany, Community Roots, Silverton Middle School, Silverton High School and Sequoia Falls Academy. “It’s a long-standing tradition,” Silverton Arts Association Board (SAA) Member and gallery curator, Megan Smith, said of the show, which ran from May 5 to […]

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 […]

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 […]

SFSD bond committee hosts four March infrastructure listening sessions

Silver Falls School District (SFSD) is inviting the community to a series of listening sessions as a Bond Advisory Committee considers the need for infrastructure funding. Sessions are scheduled at schools throughout the district and will feature a presentation from members of the committee and opportunities for public feedback. Three listening sessions have been held so far, with additional sessions  […]

School district denies liability in injury suit

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District (SFSD) has denied liability in a $369,501 personal injury lawsuit by a former Silverton Middle School student who broke a leg at school in 2017 after allegedly slipping on a wet floor. On Dec. 28, 2022, the district admitted the student attended the school during that time, and a tort claim was […]

Coaching changes – Foxes have key openings to fill

By James Day In the midst of one of its most successful sports seasons ever Silverton High finds itself posting a series of help wanted signs. The good news is that Athletic Director James Rise and school administration already have filled one slot. Josh Craig, who led the football program to a 41-11 record in five years and last fall’s […]

Falcon-ready: Welcome game plan set for new middle school

By Kristine Thomas Silverton Middle School Dean of Students April Murphy understands and acknowledges there is some apprehension from students, staff and parents about the new Silverton Middle School. From navigating unfamiliar hallways to having sixth graders with eighth graders to worrying about safety, Murphy has heard many concerns. Calmly and confidently, she replies, everything will be OK and not […]