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Issues

positions

Education
Clackamas County

Clackamas Community College (1974)
We continue a supportive position on the need for a tax base for Clackamas Community College.

Communication and Citizen Involvement in Clackamas County School Districts (1979)
Good communication between schools and the community is essential. Avenues of communication need to be well known, understood and convenient.

Written communication should be sent regularly to all members of the school district. This communication should present trends and issues for discussion prior to the decisions and should provide channels for citizen input. Notification and agenda of all meetings should be published in local newspapers. A publication should be available which explains the organization of the school district, how it relates to the community and defined process for citizen input.

The decision-making process should include all citizens who are interested. A citizen involvement process should be developed that is open, well publicized and clearly defined. This process must enable citizens to have impact in decision-making at all levels.

To seek citizen involvement, well-publicized application procedures should be used and advisory committees that are broad-based with geographical representation should be chosen. These committees should include teachers, students, parents and non-parents. Two-way communication between the committees and the school representatives should involve a recommendation and response procedure.

Building level communities, comprised of a broad representation of an attendance area, need to be organized to involve citizens in basic decisions.

Communication between schools and local government units is essential in decision-making regarding areas of mutual concern, such as land use decisions affecting school population and shared use of facilities. Both elected representatives and staff members of the school district and local government units should be involved in this process.

Cities

Elementary School Utilization - Lake Oswego (1983)
Subscribe to the continued level of high quality education in the Lake Oswego School District. Recognize need of Lake Oswego School District to reduce expenditures due to economic climate and enrollment trends. Support careful scrutiny of all factors relating to elementary school utilization. A number of options must be considered jointly - rental of available space is most desirable as it has least impact on school and its functions. Implementation of user fees for selected programs, elementary school closure, staff cuts, and program cuts all deserves close attention when determining budget reductions. Student-teacher ratio should be considered last, if at all, as a cost cutting measure.

The School Board needs to formulate a policy addressing enrollment trends. The policy should include an annual assessment and analysis of enrollment and facilities, past, present and projected, effective public involvement in school planning, and ongoing interaction between the schools and city government.

If a decision to close an elementary school is made, then specific criteria should be applied in determining which one. These criteria should include closure impact on the students, parents, and neighborhood; financial considerations; and adequacy of building and grounds.

Secondary School Utilization - Lake Oswego (1984)
Support the following:

  1. Changing the current configuration (K-6, 7-8, 9-12) to K-5, 6-8, 9-12, in order to provide a more appropriate and effective education for those students in grades 6 through 8. The purpose of the reorganization should be to provide the students with a better transition between elementary and high school.

    To help these students cope with the many changes characteristic of this age, schools should allow for a closer relationship with one teacher or a small group of teachers. This could be achieved through a variety of methods - a strong advisor-advisee program, block scheduling and inter-disciplinary team teaching, for example.

    Due to a high level of intellectual curiosity, a varied and wide-ranging program best serves the 6-8th grade student. A program that addresses this need should include continued skill development, which allows for remedial attention and greater depth of exploration when necessary, and a broad range of short-term electives.

    To ensure a successful transition to high school, a strongly defined study skills unit is necessary in the curriculum with reinforcement throughout the three years.

  2. Continuing the current district policies to maintain equality of education opportunity at both district high schools. To this end, encourage open enrollment in the direction of the school with the lower enrollment. Subsidization of staffing when necessary should be considered. The possibility of extra financial aid for the smaller school should also be considered when equality of program is threatened. The present pooling of students and resources, when a program is threatened by low enrollment or high costs, should be continued and expanded as appropriate.

    Due to disruptive nature of boundary changes, they must be given careful consideration. When such changes are made, they must create an effect, which would not necessitate frequent revision.

    Closure of a high school is not considered a viable solution unless enrollments were declining drastically below current projections. Restructuring of the current high school configuration, creating a Freshman/Sophomore facility and a Junior/Senior facility is not seen as an applicable solution. Both of these solutions would disrupt the strong sentiment, which exists in the community for the two area high schools.