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School News

4/12 School News

Schools will lose familiar faces

DALLAS -- An air of reluctance. Motions made "with trepidation." Or as "a huge loss to the district."

The sounds and aura surrounding four resignations from Dallas school staff were very similar Monday night.

The April 10 meeting found the board acting favorably (and reluctantly) to accept the departure of three veteran teachers and a key administrator.

Thirty years of teaching middle schoolers in Dallas will come to a close at the end of the year as Dennis Day retires. When the LaCreole Middle School teacher and coach leaves it will be "a huge loss to the classroom," said Superintendent Christy Perry.

Dallas High School Spanish teacher Ken Hankland will also leave his teaching post at the end of the year. Hankland taught at the school from 1973 to 1987, and rejoined the faculty in 2001. He indicated an interest in teaching part-time in the coming year if an opening exists.

Lyle Elementary is losing a fourth-grade teacher who may have occupied the same classroom throughout her long tenure at the school. Mary Holley noted that "I will cherish the memories of working with such wonderful colleagues and students."

District Business Manager Kathy Hammer informed the school board of her plans to retire from that position on Aug. 31. She manages the financial accounting and payroll for the district.

She joined the Dallas staff in 1977. The superintendent informed the board, in jest, "I'm going to recommend you deny this request." The board reluctantly accepted Hammer's notice.

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Boost given charter funding

DALLAS -- For the second time, the Dallas School board has awarded an increased share of state funding to Luckiamute Valley Charter Schools. In the 2006-07 school year, the rural schools will receive 90 percent of the state ADM funding -- based on average daily enrollment.

The kindergarten through eighth-grade programs are located in the former Pedee and Bridgeport Elementary buildings.

Both charter school Board Chair Fred Weisensee and Luckiamute Executive Director Christine Cantamessa met with the Dallas Board at its April 10 meeting at Whitworth Elementary School.

Weisensee informed the Dallas board, "Thank you for the wonderful working relationship we've enjoyed with your board and staff.

"We place a high emphasis on arts and sciences and want to continue doing this. We feel you (the Dallas board) share our belief that each child should have similar resources."

The fund sharing arises from the money allocated to the Dallas district based on the number of students enrolled in schools within the district, including charters. The state requires a minimum of 80 percent of those per-student dollars go to elementary-level charter programs such as Luckiamute Valley. Secondary programs such as Morrison Charter receive 95 percent of the funds.

A year ago the Dallas board increased the share going to Luckiamute Valley from 80 to 85 percent.

Approximately 100 students are enrolled in the Luckiamute schools, with 62 of those from the Dallas district. The remainder are from the Central and Falls City districts.

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Dallas lunch prices to

rise

DALLAS -- The price of lunch may be rising for Dallas school students and staff.

The question was mulled by the school board at its April 10 meeting at Whitworth Elementary. A decision on the matter will come at a later meeting, possibly April 24.

Sodexho (food management service) district manager John Stone wrote the board a letter citing that increasing costs for labor and supplies requires a 10-cent increase in the price. For elementary students lunch presently costs $1.50; at middle school it is $1.65; at high school it is $1.80.

Dallas manager for Sodexho, Terri Tjulander, heard to board queries asking if 10 cents was enough. She indicated that the Dallas program continually operates on a very thin margin.

Director Kevin Crawford expressed hope that a larger increase might provide a more attractive dining option for students. He and Board Chair Bob Ottaway asked Tjulander to return at a later meeting with information showing the effect of a larger increase -- possibly 20 cents.

Tjulander informed the board that lunch and breakfast programs have seen increased usage this year. An additional 304 lunches have been served, along with a whopping 6,523 more breakfasts.

It was also noted that some 46 percent of Dallas students qualify for free or reduced-price meals -- both lunch and breakfast. That level varies from as low as one-third of students to as high as three-fourths of students, depending on the school.

Lunch prices in the Central district range from $1.75 to $2. Perrydale's are $1.75 to $2.25; Salem-Keizer $1.60 to $2; and McMinnville $2 to $2.50.

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Lyle looks to larger parking

DALLAS -- Extending the parking lot on the north side of Lyle Elementary School by adding a 13,000-square-foot "finger" running along the building is part of a $52,000 project designed to make it easier and safer to drop off and pick up studentsl.

Principal Todd Baughman told the Dallas School Board that grant money combined with local fund raising has brought the total funds still needed to "between $17,000 and $20,000."

He adds, "We have several grant applications pending and expect to start the project this summer."

The board agreed to accept any funds arising from the grant applications and apply them toward the project.

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