Superintendent Report

Superintendent Report: Eagle Point School District 

May 25, 2022


COVID19 and Instruction:

Oregon schools and school districts are feeling their way forward on how we will operate with COVID in the future. The current presumption is that Oregon will continue to have outbreaks of COVID19 as new variants appear and that school districts will address these outbreaks on a local basis in conjunction with their Local Health Authority (LHA)

On May 13th, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Oregon Department of Education (ODE) published a new advisory; School Health Advisory for Continuity of Instruction. This advisory was due to the rise in respiratory diseases and the change in status of six counties (Columbia, Washington, Multnomah, Clackamas, Benton, and Deschutes) from “Low” to "Medium.”

EPSD9 has experienced a recent rise as well in student and staff absenteeism due to respiratory disease, but has not instituted additional measures. Our students and staff continue to attend school under the March 14th RSSL which follows the masks optional decisions made by the OHA and ODE in February. Over the past month Oregon’s COVID status has remained low overall, but rising. Our schools continue to operate in-person and with masks optional. Our spring events, including athletics, concerts, Airband and graduation ceremonies will be in-person with masks optional. We are especially looking forward to a graduation celebration on the football field beginning at 3:30 p.m. on June 8th.  Our URCEO graduation ceremony will be held on June 9th and our EPHS graduation ceremony will be held on the evening of June 10th.

Grading:

Spring is also the time when we plan for the upcoming year. This includes any significant changes to how we instruct our students. Over the past months secondary teachers, technologists and administrators have been looking closely at our grading and instructional system. Currently, EPSD9 secondary classrooms use a form of the proficiency model -based on state standards- with a 0-4 scale that is converted into a letter grade. Our district has followed this model for the past decade. Due to many variables including historical academic performance, the experiences of our students through COVID and the turnover of staff, we believe we need to make aggressive changes. In broad terms, our primary goal is to raise the level of instruction and classroom rigor. Additionally, we also want to partner more closely with our parents and free resources to support classroom instructional practices.

In general terms we are looking at the following modifications:


> retaining state standards
> moving fully to a letter grade based on a 100 point scale
> adding "weight" to formative assessments
> placing restrictions or costs on deadlines, late work and make-up work
> encouraging and emphasizing the use of homework or practice with a focus on the process of learning


The Board and community can anticipate reviewing the details of these changes in the coming months. Our intent is to have a written outline available before teachers leave in June. Over the summer we will then work on the details and plans for implementation in August.

It should be made clear that there will be implications to these changes. One concerning challenge will be adjusting our students, especially older students, to a stricter system than what they have experienced previously.  Another will be our work to maintain high graduation rates as classroom rigor rises.


Budget and Economic Forecast:

The EPSD9 Budget Committee has met, approved and recommended to the Board of Directors for adoption a budget for the 2022-20223 school year. Board review and approval will be on the agenda for the June regular meeting. The EPSD9 Budget Committee approved the budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year for the total amount of $84,587,715 with the amounts per fund as shown below:


   Fund 2021-2022   2022-2023
 100  General Fund  $55,140,000  $59,187,715
 200  Special Revenue Funds  18,315,000  23,100,000
 300  Debt Service Fund  125,000  -
 400  Capital Construction Fund  -  2,000,000
 700  Trust and Agency Fund  300,000  300,000
   Total:  $73,880,000  $84,587,715

More detailed information including the Superintendent’s Budget Message and detailed budget proposal can be found on Boardbook.

The June Economic and Revenue Forecast showed another surge in tax collections. Net General Fund and Lottery revenues are up a combined $2.39 billion for the 21-23 biennium since the March Forecast.The current forecast now projects the next personal kicker will top $3 billion beyond the record personal kicker of $1.9 billion in tax credits from earlier this year. The corporate kicker is well on its way to topping $1 billion as well.

The state’s reserve accounts (Education Stability Fund, Rainy Day Fund, and Cash Reserves) are projected to top $5 billion by the end of the 21-23 biennium. This is equivalent to about 19% of current state General Fund revenues.     

However, for education, there are concerning aspects within the forecast. Because of the kicker law net resources for the 2023-25 biennium will have only increased by $427 million relative to the March 2022 forecast. The Office of Economic Analysis report also states most of the spike in personal income taxes is expected to be temporary.” At this time there is a decrease in projected General Fund dollars to be available in the 23-25 biennium. The current estimate for this is $1.975 billion. Despite huge amounts of money currently available, our state may be heading toward the beginning of an economic cooling period.     

More detailed information is available at:
*
Legislative Revenue Office Forecast Summary

* Office of Economic Analysis Presentation to the Legislative Revenue Committees

End of Year:

Mark your calendar for our whole staff EPSD9 End of Year Celebration, Thursday, June 2, 5-8 PM at the Bayer Family Estate. We will be recognizing our retirees and celebrating the completion of a complicated school year. 

The last day for Seniors is June 7th. The last day for K-11 is Tuesday, June 14. Summer Program begins Tuesday, June 21. 


Andy Kovach
Superintendent
541-830-6563