August 30, 2005 – Boardroom


Board of Directors


Judy Croce, Chair

Mike Brotherton

Judy Croce

Jacque Gerdes

Mike Bonner

Kathleen Rodden-Nord, Superintendent

Kathryn Hedrick, High School Principal

Wanda McClure, Business Manager

Amy Lesan Laurel Principal

Tom Endersby, Oaklea Principal

Cindi Schweigert, Oaklea Assistant Principal






Stephanie White

Jill Case

Kate Gillow-Wiles

Claudia Allgood

Martie Elliott

Madeline Jorgenson

Cheryl Glasser

Chris Bolton

Lucia Hardy

Ahmed El-Sayad

Craig Rothenberger

Shelly Reed

Mike Thoele, Tri-County News

Cliff Brush, Oregon Department of Education

Shelley Reed


Zach Gerdes

Others - 15








Superintendent Rodden-Nord – This is what you see on your addendum. We wanted to have a special item added to have a discussion to address the questions and concerns that have surfaced in part since the June 20 th board meeting, where the board acted to approve alternative education programs. I had asked Mr. Cliff Brush from the Oregon Department of Education to join us this evening in the hopes that he can make this fairly complex area of the law more clear for all of us.


Cliff Brush – My name is Cliff Brush, I am with the Department of Education, and I work with Alternative Programs across the state. I am here tonight to give you information, not to make a decision for you, about what the Oregon statutes and rules say about alternative education and some of the work that we are doing with that. In the smaller handout you have received, it shows some bullet points that I have put together to summarize, and get in front of you, some of the highlights having to do with alternative education programs in Oregon. This applies to all alternative education in Oregon, whether it’s public or private, the rules are basically the same for all. Mike Brotherton – Could you please give us a definition of what you use for alternative education; what that means to the state? Cliff – On the front page of this handout, under Alt. Ed. Definition – Purpose, is the statutory definition. The statutory definition has a couple of pieces to it and the citation there, 336.615 to 336.665, encompasses all of the statutes in that chapter having to do with alternative ed. Basically, it says that an alternative education program, defined by statute, is pretty wide open. It can be anything from a school, which is very typical around the state, to an individual class group, which is also very typical around the state. The other two parts to this definition are probably the most important piece in my mind and that is, to first of all, serve the students’ educational needs and interests; and a lot of the time the discussion might stop there. The statute goes on to say, “and, assist students in achieving the academic standards of the school district and the state.” We need to read those two things together. It’s to meet the needs and interests of the students, but it’s also to accomplish the same things that are being given to all students, all public school students across the state and that is to meet those academic standards of the state and district. The way I see it, there is a basic business relationship between school districts and the state. State school funds are distributed to districts based on the Census. So, districts tell us how many students they have at a particular point in time and school funds are distributed to districts based on that number. The return on this is that we get data back. So, we get student performance data back that was reported out in a couple of ways per state statute and according to the state and district report cards, and also through AYP reports, and compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act. State school funds flow out and student performance data flows back in. One of the first things we noticed when we began to look at this data at student levels was that we were getting some students claimed for state school funds but we weren’t getting any data back. Money was claimed but no data was given. So we started looking at reasons why that could be the case. There may have been some errors in our reporting, so I did personal verifications and we found that in certain districts there were programs that were serving students and claiming state school funds but were not being included as public school students for the purpose of reporting assessment data. Last school year we went out and visited some districts and we found that the programs were designed to be enrichment programs mainly for home or privately schooled students who are exempt from compulsory attendance laws. When we visited these districts, there were 7 of them and they weren’t chosen at random they were chosen based on this data; we notified the districts that they were out of compliance with some of the things that I will discuss later. Each of those districts then had to give us a plan of correction and come into compliance with these rules. This has created a more close scrutiny of programs, not just in this part of the state and in this district, but in various parts of the state. When we went to visit programs in these districts we found some of them were represented to be alternative programs. To be an alternative program you need to be in compliance with state statutes and rules. Alternative programs can be two types, they can be public, in other words Junction City School District then operates a class or school as an alternative; or they can be private which means the district contracts with the program. The program is run either for profit or not for profit. One point of confusion we have in that word private can lead folks to believe that those students are somehow not part of the public school system. In fact, each of those students in a private program are public school children for the basic reason that they are receiving state school funds and because districts are placing students in the program.


Students Served


There is some direction in Oregon Administrative Rules and there is some flexibility there also. The site for this is in Division 21 of the Oregon Administrative Rules, and it talks about which students are required to get notice that a program is available if one of these things occurs. The first is erratic attendance and by erratic attendance there is a definition in the rule and it talks about that attendance is so erratic that it’s beginning to hurt their school performance. Now that could be for any number of reasons. I think you all know that there are students, who for family reasons, have to work or have to be home and take care of their siblings. Pattern of severe disciplinary problems: some kids get into trouble, and struggle, and display that in the school setting. Expulsion being considered or has occurred. Some students, age 16 or older, could be lawfully employed full or part-time, or might be attending a community college and there is a provision for them to be excused from compulsory school attendance with the agreement that the resident district have an education plan to carry out for that student. After a reasonable number of attempts the student is not able to meet the academic standards of the district or the state, the regular school setting is not working for them and so there needs to be an option there. There is also an option for those students who are exceeding the standards. Needing to recover diploma credits or are at risk of dropping out. This is probably one of the top two or three reasons that students attend alternative programs. Finally we have this ‘others determined by the district according to its alternative education policies and procedures’. Here is where board discretion comes in. Local boards, each of them and on their own, can decide through their district policy, if there will be other instances in which they will notify students of opportunities and provide opportunities for alternative programs. That should give you a picture of what the statutes and rules seem to have in mind when we talk about student programs. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – Are there other people that are excluded from compulsory attendance to whom this statute is addressed? I know it specifically sites, in one part of the statute, where kids that are employed and are 16 or 17 could be exempt. Are there others? Cliff – Who are exempted from compulsory attendance? Superintendent Rodden-Nord – Yes, and for whom alternative ed is a statutory requirement. Cliff – There is nothing that specific in the statutes and that is where this open ended portion comes into play. For instance, the other exemptions from compulsory school attendance are, attending private schools, schooling at home, schooling from a private tutor, a rare, and I don’t know if ever used, is the option where a student proves to the district that they already know and can do everything that the school would have taught them in 12 years, and those are in chapter 339. Jacque – Do the statutes say who’s responsible for labeling the kids; is it the district, or the parents, or an IEP team? Cliff – You are asking who decides whether the student qualifies? Jacque – Yes. Cliff – Ultimately, the district does; unlike with charter schools. As a parent of a charter school student I can enroll my student there as long as there is space and I can do it outside the boundaries of my resident district, and I make that choice. Alternative programs, both in the statutes and rules, talks about this kind of scenario; a parent may enroll a student with the approval of the resident and attending district. The rules specify that the attending and resident districts need to have a process and procedure for how that works. So, somewhere in district policy, and by the way this is one of the areas we have been working with other districts on, is to come up with something that satisfies the statute and rule in terms of how districts qualify students.


District Responsibilities


The very first thing that needs to happen before any student is placed, before any contract is made, and before any state school funds changes hands is program approval. It’s up to the district to approve its alternative programs. Different districts may approve different programs depending on what their policies and processes are, but there needs to be an approval of the programs that are going to be publicly funded; public or private. There needs to be at least an annual evaluation for public and private programs. I have handed out a draft that will be put on the website that districts can use as a toolkit to do those two things, the approval of programs and the evaluation of programs. The notices are a requirement, and we just talked about that, so for these students who exhibit these kinds of behaviors or who qualify otherwise by your board policy, they are required to get a notice from the district that these programs are available. One of the most important duties of the district is that once the program has been approved and is ready to accept students, if you are going to place a student in a program, you need to be sure they are a resident student. As the first test of whether or not a student can be claimed for state school funds is to make sure that student is a resident of the district. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – When you say resident student, is it a student who is enrolled in the school district? Cliff – I am glad you asked that. We put out an Executive Memo in June and what these do is they state the policy as we see it in the statutes and the rules, and that said that there needs to be a two-part test for claiming a student for state school funds. One is, determining if the student is a resident. Now residency can be established in a number of ways. Generally speaking it’s where the parents or legal guardian is residing; that is the student’s residency. There are exceptions to that, which are, inter-district transfers, homeless students, refugee students, students who are emancipated, students who may be living temporarily in the district because the parents are in the military or are there for employment or are there to attend college. There are charter school exceptions, you sponsor a charter school here, I live in Harrisburg, and I decide I want my student in Junction City charter school, I can establish residency by enrolling. The second part of the test for state school funds is, now that we know that the student is a resident and established that in one of these many ways, then does the district have legal responsibility for the student’s education? There we have laid out some minimal tests of whether a district has legal responsibility. The common sense ones are; if the student’s enrolled and attending a district school or program. Another part of the test is if the student has been assigned a Secure Student Identification Number, which means the district is going to report performance data to the state via that number. Through this number we know that the student is going to be reported for accountability purposes. If a permanent record is created. If the state came to the district with a student ID number and asked if the ID number also has a permanent record, and they did, they would be considered resident students.


We have covered some of the district’s responsibilities; the approval of enrollment, the district’s responsibility to assign a secure ID number, student performance data reporting, ADM reporting; and that is, for each student there is a report and that report is what creates state school funds and that can be based on what we call membership, full-time students. Some are claimed on what we call shared or part-time students who are attending part of the day, but not all of the day. Those formulas are particularly good for alternative programs because it allows the programs to be more flexible in how they structure time. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – Could you talk a little more on the approval of accountable activities? Cliff – There is a rule in the Division 23 of the rules which covers state school funds and school finance and you will see it in the big handout, but basically what that rule says is that the district is responsible through its contract to approve the activities that they will pay for. The rule itself lays out some of those activities. They are not so specific that they talk about classes, but it talks about kinds of instruction, sizes of instructional groups, that sort of thing. It gives some guidance to the district so that when they make the contracts and a program is set up the district can then say, here is the program, here’s what we have approved, here are the students we will be willing to accept, and here are the activities we have approved the program to carry out and that we will spend school funds on. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – What are the potential sanctions that a district could face if they contract with a program and approve a placement for a student, claim ADM from the state and then a determination is made that it is not an accountable activity? Cliff – And that question can apply to any of these issues around alternative programs. I can tell you the process that happened when we dealt with the other districts I mentioned before. We found, in those cases, there was noncompliance, not necessarily the accountable activity rule, but other parts of the rule. Here is what happens, and this is described in Oregon statutes, chapter 327, part 103, it tells the superintendent of public instruction, “assume all districts are in compliance, but if you find a district superintendent that is not in compliance then a series of processes kick in.” The first one of those is that there is a finding and a notice is sent to the district. In that notice we lay out all those areas of noncompliance that we found having to do with statutes and rules. From the time that notice is issued the district has 90 days to give the superintendent of instruction a plan satisfactory to the superintendent to correct it. The deficiency must be corrected by no later than the beginning of the next school year. If the noncompliance is not corrected it could result in partial withholding of state school funds. Mike Bonner – Does that also make you ineligible for certain grants if you are found in noncompliance? Cliff – That’s an excellent question and I can’t answer it for all grants because each of them comes with their own set of requirements. It might depend, for instance, on whether or not it was a school improvement grant, or our grant for alternative schools, but yes, the potential is there.


Special Issues to Consider Prior to Approving or Contracting


These are posed by the law, but I am not sure I can come to you tonight and tell you exactly what you should do with this because the local board discretion now comes into play. The first one is, and it goes back to; once you are considering a program, you need to ask yourself, who will it serve and why? If you think back about the list of things that require a notice, those are pretty much all behavior, sporadic attendance, disciplinary problems, expulsions, etc. The questions that arise are: if we are going to offer programs, are we also going to offer programs based on status rather than behavior? Should we offer programs to new persons to the country just because they are new, or because being new to the country they are having difficulties with the language? Which activities will you approve? We have some guidance here and also some discretion. The discretion and guidance come to you in this way, the state school fund statutes and the admissions statutes and the residency statutes, together they seem to say that there is a regular school program, and it is that program that you would find in K-12 schools. Then they come back to say, if there is something that is offered that is not part of that program, the district may charge tuition for that. If you see something that you would like to offer but it is not part of the regular school program, it’s not accessible to everyone; this might include something like Drivers Education; you then may charge a fee, or a tuition charge for that. So that is a consideration as you are approving any of your programs. One final caution in the special issues is that districts must do an annual review of each program’s financials, checking to see what money came in and where it was expended.


Standard District, Complaint, Finding of Deficiency


There are different reasons why districts might be visited by the ODE when a deficiency is found. It may be because we have a citizen complaint, and we process those and they usually end up back at the district and it is resolved locally. One area I do have experience in is looking for anomalies in reporting data. Finding an anomaly in data is usually how I get involved. We are working with the Secretary of State Audit Division right now, and your district may have received a survey request from them just to let them know what programs you had last year, what your ADM was, what state school funds were used for, what students were served. We are kind of at the early stages of that and I can’t say much more about it except to say that we are cooperating with them so we can take an audit look at the financial side as well as an audit of the programs around the state.


Coming up in October I will be at Lane ESD to go over some of these issues again with district staff and program staff. We are considering areas for possible rulemaking. We are looking at recommending some administrative rulemaking in these areas of alternative ed program evaluations. We have a requirement that the results of state assessments are reported to the student, to the student’s parent or legal guardian, and to the district, but we don’t have much guidance for districts on what to do with that. We have an opportunity now because of our ability to report data at a student level, and to disaggregate it out to a school or district to begin to look at the performance of individual programs. That isn’t the only way a program should be evaluated, but assessment data results is one of the indicators the districts might consider when deciding whether to approve or disapprove or to put an assistance plan together for one of the programs.


Teacher licensure. I recommend that you take a look at that area for one reason only and that is, in every other statutory institution created by law in this state, including regular schools, charter schools, and public alternative programs, some sort of teaching licensure is required. It is not required in private alternative education programs. So the question I want to lay out for folks to consider is; does that make sense, and should there be some sort of licensure in private alternative schools. I have had a lot of conversations with districts for the past two years and I have learned a basic lesson and that was, it is probably not a good idea to ask districts and district boards to read the statute and follow it because that’s a lot to ask. Not because it can’t be done, but because there are a lot of statutes to read and a lot of rules to look at. Instead, I put together a toolkit, which is the big handout; it’s organized by the areas we have been talking about. The cover page assumes we are coming to pay your district a visit, this will look different when it goes on the website because there may be numbers of reasons to use this. One would be a self-assessment of your own district for your own purpose; another would be to use this as a toolkit to evaluate your programs; or for whatever purpose your district board sees fit. This will go up on the website pretty soon, hopefully by the end of next week. We have had a lot of input from administrators from the COSA conference and people I have gone to independently and asked them to look at it, others are reviewing it even as we speak. The way this is intended to be used is to say; begin by looking at page 2, ‘one of our duties as a district is program approval, what are the requirements for that.’ If we look down the list, there they are. The columns are meant to show that the program is in compliance, or it’s not and we are going to explain what we are going to do about that; or, we think this is probably one of the best we have seen, everyone else better copy this, it’s an exemplar and we want that to be known, so there is room for that. These are the basic requirements for evaluating a program, they are there and are in rules; students receive adequate instruction in state common curriculum goals and academic content standards to meet state benchmarks and performance standards; all required Oregon statewide assessments are administered; the results of student performance on state assessments are reported annually to students, parents, and the school district; all contracted private alternative programs/schools are registered with the Oregon Department of Education as required by OAR 581-021-0072; and the program complies with all rules and statutes applicable to public schools. You will see differences amongst contracts amongst districts, some negotiate in certain terms, others don’t. They can exceed the rule or statute, but not go below them. This gives districts the flexibility to decide what it wants to negotiate into its contract with a program, or for the program to propose conditions also. One issue I want to touch on is on page four, it is the second OAR down. The second three numbers in that OAR is 036 and that is because that is a rule out of Teachers Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC). TSPC licenses teachers in this state and has said, as far as we at TSPC are concerned, a license is not required to teach in a private alternative program and any license will do in the public program. Those are the rules of the TSPC, those aren’t the standardization rules that the Department of Education works from. I put that there because a teacher who is licensed and is teaching in a public or registered private program can count that as experience towards renewal.


Indicators of Compliance


Some indicators of compliance we have suggested are: district policies, minutes of district or education service district board minutes, contract(s) with the private alternative program(s)/school(s), reviewed financial statement(s) from the private alternative program(s), curriculum mapping/alignment documents from the alternative program(s)/school(s), and reports of assessment administration schedules and results to show that the students are receiving adequate instruction. An annual written evaluation of each program is required. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – For each program that is approved by the board? Cliff – Yes.


Placement of Students


The district has a responsibility to determine the placement of students. Notice the rule does say that students placed in alternative education programs are those whose educational needs and interests are best served by participation in such programs and will include but not be limited to those students identified by ORS 339.250(9) (certain expulsions) and by OAR 581-022-1110(5) (Certificate of Initial Mastery Requirements). This may be a rule that is too specific or not specific enough. Placement of a student in a public or private alternative education program is made only if the program has been determined by the district, according to district policy, to best serve the student’s educational needs and interests, within district and state academic standards. Placement in a public or private alternative education program is made with the approval of the student’s resident school district and attending school district. The district is required to maintain an education record for each student.


One thing I hope you’ll notice, and I sympathize with districts about this, is if you are a district that is trying to be in strict and complete compliance and do all these things, it’s quite a bit of work. That is why last year when I was at Lane ESD and did a workshop on Alternative Ed, we talked about the opportunity that existed here for a consortium of districts to do their evaluations perhaps through a contract with the ESD, which is typically necessary for smaller districts.


Mike Bonner – On page 4, teaching licenses, it says that each teacher in the public alternative program holds a valid teaching license, in order to receive state funds they need to be certified teachers? Cliff – That is one of the requirements here, yes. So, if we looked at a program and found deficiency and it wasn’t corrected within the timeframes specified, funds could be withheld. Mike Bonner – That goes back to the letter you send giving them 90 days to have a plan and corrected by the next school year? Cliff – Correct. This is generally not a problem in public programs, anybody who is employed by a school district, providing instruction, has to be licensed. The statutes also say specifically that an employee of a private alternative program is not an employee of the district so they don’t need to be licensed. Mike Bonner – So, they wouldn’t need to have a teaching license? Cliff – They are not required by TSPC. Mike Bonner – But private schools do not get state funding, right? Cliff – Private tuition based schools do not, private alternative schools do through their contracts with districts. Jacque – But can we contract, using state funding, with a private alternative school that does not have licensed teachers? Superintendent Rodden-Nord – If it meets our criteria, and I think one of the things we have seen in this process is the burden on the district to establish or verify that the program addresses state content standards and district curriculum. Cliff – The statute reads, ‘private alternative programs are not required to employee only licensed teachers’. It doesn’t say that they are not required to hire any, or that they are required to hire only. This is where some districts have used that contract clause in negotiating the district requirements. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – Are there districts that contract with private alternative ed programs that specify placement will be for these kinds of classes that meet the standards of the district, but not for these other ones? Cliff – Yes. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – Is that a reasonable thing to do when a district is responsible then for asking the state to give funds for that child’s placement? Cliff – I can answer that it’s reasonable. In fact, I’ve just been talking with two ESDs in the east part of the state and they are picking up programs that the Union-Baker ESD formally operated in their districts and they are considering that very question; delivering instruction in core content for example. We don’t see every contract that is made, but anecdotally I can tell you there are districts around the state who have different requirements. Once district requires that the instruction lead students toward a standard diploma. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – You talked a little bit about the regular school program too, is that a reasonable standard to employ when evaluating courses if something is accessible within the regular school program versus something that is maybe offered more as an enrichment fee-based kind of a thing? In evaluating a program, can a district go through and say, ‘these courses are related to the state content standards, and these are not part of the regular school program and instead are what we would consider enrichment programs that our public school students access through a fee-based program’? Cliff – Yes, that is possible for any district to require through policy or board action. I just talked this morning to a large metro area district about that very issue. There are some things they have an opportunity to provide to their students but they are a district that is being hit with fuel costs and suddenly those fuel costs are eating into their academic programs. So we discussed the possibility of them structuring that around a tuition or fee-based program.


Mike Brotherton – In kind of summarizing what you said. When we find we have students that have needs in a particular area that we can’t satisfy, we have the option of sending them to an alternative school that provides something that we don’t. It’s our responsibility that once we’ve placed a student in these alternative ed locations, that we are to track the progress that the student is making and report that back to the state, like we would any other student attending our schools. Cliff – Correct. Mike Brotherton – How do you see it relating to those parents who have taken students and have determined that it’s in their best interest to home school their student or to essentially pull them out of public education, how does this work its way back into these alternative programs? Do they have to re-enroll in the district and get reallocated back out to these programs based on some criteria that we have set? Superintendent Rodden-Nord – And, is it a district placement decision? Cliff – It’s always a district decision placement. Mike Brotherton – Ultimately we are going to have to track their progress to receive and disperse the funding. Cliff – We would need to go back to that two part test of which students can be claimed. We have the resident test and then we have the legal responsibility test. There was a memo that came out in June and it laid out those minimal requirements for which districts are responsible; enrollment and attendance, secure student ID number, data reporting, inclusion in the district’s AYP and state report card. In other words, students are to be treated like any other public school student because they are. Students in these programs, public or private, are public school students. We do have students all over the state who are part-time students but maintain private school status, home schooling status, status of someone who is being tutored at home, but also attend public school part-time. Mike Brotherton – If they are part-time enrolled, we have a legal responsibility to report on the time that they are here as well as the time they are in the other program? Cliff – Yes, to the extent that the student is attending your district, you will report data for the period of time the student attends. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – So even if the student were receiving instruction in another setting, it ultimately comes back on the district as to how that student is performing? A student who is attending part-time in a private alternative placement for non-core curriculum classes and their in an assessment year and we have placed the student, is that student’s participation in assessment still required and does their performance come back and enter into the data for our district? Cliff – The authority to answer that question comes from the AYP participation and collection, business rules and instruction. Last year’s rule says that if the student is being claimed for state school funds and if the state school fund is being used to provide instruction in any of the areas that are assessed state-wide, right now we are talking about English Language Arts, Math and Science, then the student will be included in the participation of state assessments. If a student is enrolled part-time and not receiving instruction in those areas assessed state-wide, then they are not included. I talked with someone on the phone this morning about this very case because they are being very successful about inviting home school students into the elementary years. So we are talking about that question, maintaining status as a home schooler, being in charge of them, and billing ADM for them. The question being asked is where do we tip over the line and need to assess them? The business rules and instructions don’t talk about class titles; they want to know if you received instruction in these content areas. We may have to start taking these cases on one at a time. Last year’s rule was that if you are claiming ADM, it goes toward instruction in the core curricular areas. For the other indicators like attendance or dropout, those also have their own collection rules. Just keep in mind that once the student enters the public school system, whether it’s the regular school, a charter school, an alternative school or program, they become part of your district and so they need to be accounted for; that’s the tradeoff, school funds for data. Jacque – So if somebody is attending a language arts class, but being home schooled for math? Cliff – State test in English/language arts but not in math. Mike Brotherton – When we issue a contract to an alternative provider, the placement isn’t by group; it’s by individual student needs? Cliff – Correct. Mike Brotherton – In the big scheme it looks like it’s for the best interest of the student, whatever the case. Cliff – I’m glad you mentioned that because all I’ve talked about is statutes and rules and compliance, they are important, they are especially important as school funds get more limited. The bottom line here is the alternative ed system was wisely structured in Oregon to say, we aren’t going to create different standards for these kids, we aren’t going to say that you are an alternative ed kid and therefore we are going to lower the standard for you, we will give you less of a shot in life by pretending that that’s ok. In Oregon we say that everyone has the same standards, we are shooting for the same benchmark for every child, whether they are on an IEP, an English Language Learner, TAG student, it doesn’t matter. The equity is, we are going to use different methods for different kids to help support them in getting there. That is the heart and soul of why alternative ed statutes and rules were created, to build that foundation so districts could use the flexibility to build into those statutes and rules and say, here are the standards, here are the kids that are struggling, and we have some alternatives that will help them to get to where they need to go in order to succeed in life.


Shelley Reed – In listening to you talk about funding, as home schoolers, we are required and have always been required to have our students tested, and also with the issue of funding, they haven’t collected one dime on our students in all these years. We have turned our tests in all this time. Bethel would be the one to meet with about that. I’m just curious about why the testing that we have been doing all along is not sufficient now? Cliff – We have to look to the state and federal laws. State law sets up which testing should be used in Oregon. The No Child Left Behind Act and state statutes are structured by the state to ensure that districts meet local state standards. Shelley – Why is that any different than the test we use, which is the California State Achievement Test which meets the national norm? Cliff – National norm tests are set against the national standards. The Oregon state test is set against Oregon standards. Our standards are different and the testing is different than the national standards.


Superintendent Rodden-Nord – Once a student is placed in a public or private alternative program there is a different set of tests that are required than if they were strictly home schooled. Is that right? Cliff – Correct. They are required to take the state assessments in those core curricular subjects that are being taught to them at that alternative program. Alternative programs allow for students’ needs to be met in a different way. The school system supports that alternative program and those students’ differences. Shelley – Which Home Source has implemented and is now doing. You made an interesting comment about alternative programs are to allow to support students’ differences. For us, ignoring the lack of timeliness of this issue, Home Source does support our students’ differences, and it supports our efforts as home school parents. If Home Source’s problem is that it is not a charter school and therefore we cannot take our kids there and we are creating major problems for the small districts by placing our kids there; in other words, they would have to review what’s happening at Home Source. At Home Source if we don’t like the classes, we don’t like the teacher, then no one shows up and the class doesn’t go. A lot of times you go to Home Source and you say, ‘you know, you walk like a duck, you talk like a duck; you are a charter school, you aren’t sitting in the alternative niche, you need to address that.’ Instead of dumping the kids on their parents and tell them, ‘good luck this year’. That’s what I don’t understand; there should be a way of dealing with the cost issue and the data issue that wouldn’t upset our children. Cliff – You brought up a number of issues. First, indications of an instructional charter school are not something that the ODE does. A charter school must have a host district that is responsible for that charter school. Evaluation of programs is based on statute and rules. Does the instruction meet state standards? Are the appropriate assessments being done? Do the instructors have background checks? It is up to the district to implement the rules that meet the needs of students and also meet the needs of the district standards and state standards.


Shelley Reed – What is it that we as parents can do here? Why is it that 4J, Springfield, Creswell, Cottage Grove, etc. etc all saying ok and Junction City and Fern Ridge are not sure about it? How can there be different districts in Oregon where it can happen here, but it can’t happen over there? Cliff – As you know, Oregon is a local control state which allows for board policy to make those determinations and decisions in each district. So that means that one district may allow a program that its neighboring district does not allow.


Ms. Navarro – I am seeing how much you are learning about this and I appreciate that very much. We used Home Source, and now we can’t. You should have not waited until two weeks before school starts to do this. We aren’t getting any answers. The news said that Junction City said that Home Source did not meet state standards but that’s false, they do. They are in the middle right now of rewriting the description of the classes so that they align with state standards. They are working with the Bethel district to do this. What is the problem? Why can’t we use Home Source? We aren’t getting any clear answers. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – I would like to clarify a couple of things. One of them is that, to my knowledge, Junction City has never had a contract with Home Source. Students who reside in Junction City who are home schooled were placed in Home Source through the Bethel School District. They were enrolled there; Bethel approved the program, claimed the ADM, and took responsibility for them, and so on. As a function of these audits that happened last year, districts that had never been in a contractual relationship with Home Source were notified that we were not allowed to release students anymore. All of a sudden it triggers different implications for our district if we have to enter into a program review. I think as Mr. Brush pointed out, we need to focus on what we can see that meets state standards and when we offered the contract to Home Source and said that we would like to be able to do this for courses we could verify ourselves that they met state standards, but that it was unlikely that we would be approving courses for kids that we couldn’t verify that they met state standards or things that aren’t part of the regular school program. We offered a contract, and Home Source recently rejected it. Ms. Navarro – I understand that you want to be sure that these things are what they are meant to be and I appreciate that, but they are. Don’t you think that the timing issue was bad? We still have gotten no good reason as to why you won’t let kids attend Home Source. Registration is tonight and you are holding us up. Why don’t you do what you need to do, but let us still go this year? Superintendent Rodden-Nord – In approving a program, that’s essentially us representing to the state that we believe that the things that we are allowing students to take are accountable activities; they are things that should be funded from the state school fund. Our response to Home Source was that for those things that we don’t see that, those aren’t courses that we want to sign a contract for. There has been and continues to be a willingness for the district to have a contract with Home Source under the circumstances that were outlined in the resolution that the board passed in June and that is essentially that the course work has to be related to state content standards, you heard that as being a requirement of the evaluation, and that the district has the ability to determine that. Ms. Navarro – But you haven’t done that yet. In the letter that we received, you said that you didn’t feel that Home Source met the state standards, yet in the same letter you said that you would allow kids to attend Home Source this year who attended last spring. So which one is it? We just keep hearing contradiction after contradiction. Jill Case – Clearly the approval process of grandfathering in those students enrolled at Home Source in the spring is not a contradiction. We grandfathered in those students for the core curricular areas and that was the only approval from the board, as I understand it. Jacque – And by a case by case basis, right? That the district, and the family, and the kid sit down and decide that that’s the alternative program that everybody on that team decides is the right thing to do and the district then decides that it’s in the best interest of the kid to go and get their core curriculum through Home Source. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – Yes, if the district isn’t able to meet that student’s needs. Jill – Did you present that to Home Source? Superintendent Rodden-Nord – Yes. Mike Bonner – Yes, and they turned it down. Parent – You are calling core curriculum math, science, social science, and language arts, but aren’t the students required to take PE? Is there continuing dialogue with Home Source? Has the school been asked for this documentation? Can you get Home Source to provide that? Superintendent Rodden-Nord – A lot of documents were requested and those that were made available were reviewed prior to a recommendation to the board being made. Parent – Why is this happening at such a late time? Registration is tonight and now we can’t register our children because your board said no. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – It was the board’s desire to be sensitive to the fact that this issue was coming at a late time for families that had used the program in the past and relied upon it. Our board acted on this in June. Home Source rejected our proposed contract the middle of August. Jacque – But, was the question that it wasn’t the core curriculum offerings that weren’t state licensed, it was more of the electives offerings that people were electing to use their state funds for instead of core curriculum? I have talked to parents saying that their choosing home school because they wanted to elect to teach the core curriculum themselves, but they wanted to use Home Source for more of the elective stuff. The elective stuff, is that the stuff we were saying wasn’t necessarily a state standardized funding option? Parents are using Home Source for electives that they would say were PE. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – Those activities have to have a relationship to the state standards for physical education. For example, it’s not possible, based on the information we had, to verify that a trampoline class met state standards for physical education, or golfing at Fiddlers, or tennis. Parent – Are you still trying to work this out with Home Source? Superintendent Rodden-Nord – The offer to contract for students enrolled last spring, subject to district review and approval of the courses that they wanted to take, was repeated last week, it was rejected and there really hasn’t been any further dialogue since then. Mike Bonner – The Home Source board unanimously agreed not to allow students to come for just core curricular classes, they said it’s against their philosophy or the essence of home schooling. That was offered to them and they said no. Parent – Some of the classes our children are taking would be considered physical education, and we aren’t able to do that because they aren’t considered the core curricular areas. Mike Bonner – The physical education teachers we have are state certified teachers through the state of Oregon, they have gone through phys ed classes and training in college, they have taken the courses and became certified teachers and then there are standards on what they can teach. Mike Brotherton – It appears to me that through what we have heard tonight, that we have a child and we get together in whatever fashion is determined and then determine if there is a need for the child and we look at the alternatives that we have for that child to best meet that particular need. It seems like we are now talking about taking that child and passing them off and brushing our hands of them. It is the individual we are trying to place in these individual type things. It’s not just a lump sum, pass them off, sort of thing. What we are saying with the contract is that these things we are willing to accept, but these other things that we can teach here, we think this is the best place for them. If we determine, through this committee, that there is a better option for this particular student for this particular category then there are these alternatives and we can place them there. Home Source is not the only alternative we have; there are other places that these students can be placed. The idea is to place them in the best place, and that again goes back to the individual student and not just a wholesale passing off of a group of kids and having no control or input or anything else, it’s our responsibility to make sure that they meet these standards and are doing what this educational money is for. Parent – It feels like you are bypassing the parents by doing this. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – The alternative education rules really imply that it is a district approval of the program and a placement that the district makes, and it may be at a parent’s request but it’s a placement that the district makes because the child is not being successful in the regular public school placement.


Jacob Baxley – Would the district approve basketball at Home Source? Would that be considered one of the core classes because you teach that here? Mike Brotherton – As a placement we would have to look at why we would place, say for you, in this particular program at Home Source over some other program. Is there a particular reason why you will succeed more in this program as opposed to another? Jacob Baxley – It’s a controlled environment at Home Source and kids can be in these programs with other kids the same age. If someone doesn’t want to go to public school for whatever reason then they would be able to learn by people that are in smaller classes. Mike Brotherton – I would think that when it goes to placement that that would be a consideration. Denise – I think one of the misunderstandings that we are having is, as parents, you absolutely have the right to do whatever you think is in the best interest of your child, but we are talking about public money. The state has specified an educational program and we have to meet very strict requirements to take their money. If you weren’t getting state money, this would be a moot point; you could do whatever you wanted to do. I don’t understand the burden that you are under, but you have no idea the paperwork that’s required of us to take money from the state. I appreciate what you are saying but the problem is that you want state money which comes from all the other kids that come to school here to make an alternative choice for your child.


Chris Bolton – Schools are held accountable for student achievement. I have two children in the school system and there are things I do on my own to help with their enrichment. We haven’t had a strong K-12 music program, so I pay $65.00 per month for guitar lessons. We haven’t had a middle school sports program, so I pay almost $500.00 per quarter for soccer. These are things I do on my own for enrichment purposes for my kids. If I chose to home school my kids, I would do so within the scope of my resources. Morning Star Owens – Home Source is our resource. It’s a program that is funded by the state, it’s a public school. Jacob Baxley – My family would home school even if we couldn’t go to Home Source, so you wouldn’t get the money anyway because there is no way that I would go to public school until I go to college. Classes like scuba diving, if I took it outside of Home Source, it would cost me $200.00 and I got to take it for $25.00. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – So, basically, through Home Source you have a low cost way of taking scuba diving, and I am assuming that the other part of that is picked up by the state school fund, and the other students in this district don’t have access to that same kind of program at state school fund expense. Jacob Baxley – My friend goes to public school and he took scuba diving for pretty much the exact same price at his school so I don’t know what the problem is. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – We are then responsible, if we contracted with Home Source, to ask the state to please give us money back for this student that was enrolled in scuba diving. Jacque– If we wanted to contract with Home Source, and a parent came in with their student and asked if the district could help them because their kid needs this, this, and this that the district does not offer, then it would be up to us to say yes or no that we can send them to Home Source for those reasons, right? Superintendent Rodden-Nord – If they were board approved programs and that comes with all those requirements for review and accountability. Jacque – Which, for scuba diving, for a lack of another example, we send the data in to get those state funds for that kid to go to scuba diving. What is the state going to say? Up until now it doesn’t sound like the state has really been looking at that data for that stuff, but now that they are starting to, districts are starting to get notices that they are deficient because the data isn’t either in or it’s not fitting the state standards. What are they going to say in the future about this stuff? Cliff – That district could possibly get a letter that we talked about earlier stating that they are out of compliance with some of the things that we discussed earlier. That district will then have to give us a plan of correction and come into compliance with those rules. This also goes back to board policy and what a board finds to be acceptable alternative programs. Kathryn Hedrick – We have moved somewhat away from this, but I just wanted to make a point to say that we don’t offer PE credit for our sports programs. We don’t offer credit for football, or basketball, or tennis, or golf, etc. What we offer is PE credit, and within that and as Mr. Bonner said, it fulfills a number of wellness and health and physical activities within the content standards. If Home Source offered a core curriculum PE class, then it might be something that we would consider. An activity, however, is not necessarily a PE class. Jill Case – I think to understand a placement we need to think of the following: For this individual’s needs, not wants, based on a process, the first question is; do we have the courses that meet the content and the core curriculum; do we have the activities, the extra curricular for all students? The second question is: does the student have accessibility to those programs and activities? In most cases the answer is, yes, we can provide. We have physical education classes. This young man was asking about basketball. Home school students have access to our after school programs and our sports programs. Chris Bolton – I understand that Home Source is publicly funded, and it sounds like a pretty good deal. I think I am going to pull my kids out of public school and put them in Home Source. Shelley Reed – You go for it! Chris Bolton – I was kind of being factious. A lot of people may think that is a pretty good deal. They may not share the mindset of the school district, and they may choose to segregate themselves away from what the school district is doing. They then remove their child out of the public school system and go to what they, as parents, philosophically believe is the best. And a lot of people do and all of a sudden it is a segregation of people with different ideologies and the way it looks to me is pretty soon we have a segregated school system. The school district has its right to ensure that the needs of all of the students are met and by funding programs that it doesn’t believe to meet the core goals of the district. Shelley Reed – Then you are leaving these kids out. Chris Bolton – Then see if you can get Home Source to find a way to comply with the contract. Chair Croce – Well, we have that choice, and we also have the choice of home schooling. Two years ago, part of our goal was home schooling. We asked ourselves; why aren’t they here, what are we lacking in our school district that people are choosing to home school their children? That has been part of our goal to find out why and to figure out a way to bring them back. Let’s not talk about Home Source at the moment, we have the home school students out there and we would like you to come back; figure out a way. Jacob Baxley – I have never gone to public school, but most kids… do you have any kids? Chair Croce – I have four and they all went through public school. Jacob Baxley – How well do you know your kids? Chair Croce – I know my kids very well because I was here all the time, and that’s why I am on the school board now. Jacob Baxley – But people who are teachers think that… Chair Croce – I am not a teacher, I am a parent, first. Jacob Baxley – Yeah, but my public school friend, his parents and him don’t get along at all. With home school, I get to be allowed to get to know my parents better and be with them all the time. I spend every single day with my parents, pretty much, all the time. Chair Croce – Thank you, we really have to get this going. Jacque – Can I say one last thing? Chair Croce- Yes. Jacque – I appreciate everyone’s input. I applaud your efforts as home school parents because I know how much time and energy it takes and resources and financial resources and the list goes on and on about the guts that you are putting into your kids because you care. This isn’t about the money, it’s about the best thing for your kids and I applaud your decision to home school. Right now it is sad that it comes down to, now we have to talk about state money. I think that if it’s a matter of your decision, and that Home Source is there for you, that is an incredible resource, but now it’s a matter of trying to figure out what the best thing is for the school district is and figuring out if there is any way that the school district can assist you with that choice. I don’t know if there is a way we can work with Home Source to get them certified to want to do something with core curriculum offerings. I think that it is also important that we are all talking about ways that you can access and feel comfortable accessing whatever electives and core curriculum areas that you want to in the schools. And that we are all one big community that is working together in lots of different ways. It’s not about us, we have already contacted Home Source and asked what can we do here, but it didn’t sound like that was necessarily something that could happen. It’s sad for you feel like you are left out of the lurch until the last second because of different kinds of things that are coming down the pike as far as regulations and funding. That leaves us in a weird position and you in a weird position. So, what are we going to do in this next year to be able to work together? I don’t know. And, who’s going to be doing that? I don’t know. Morning Star Owens – Home Source is not a school; parents are required to be there with their children. We can’t drop them off and then pick them up later. Parents can’t leave campus while the kids are there. It’s not an alternative school where we can drop our kids off for the day. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – This is an issue that we will continue to study. We will attend the trainings that are available through the state and we will honor our duty to make sure that the programs are recommended for the board’s approval are ones that we can recommend for your approval. Jacque – So, if any of these parents wanted to go and they wanted us to try and contract for core curricular things with Home Source, and I don’t know if there is interest in that or not. Morning Star Owens – That is not really the interest. Chair Croce – I work full-time, I volunteer, I don’t know everything going on, but I know that I have full confidence in my superintendent, Jill Case, the principals at all our schools, vice-principals, and I support their decisions. They do the investigating, they do the work, they bring us the information and when I voted, I supported these people. We will continue to look at stuff and learn more. Shelley Reed – Could you ask Home Source for information to help you understand these programs? Chair Croce – We already presented our contract to Home Source and they are the ones who turned them down. Maybe you can go to Home Source and talk with them. Shelley Reed – That’s not what I’m talking about. Where do we go to talk to you about this issue? Chair Croce – Come to the school district office. Shelley Reed – You don’t work at the district office. Chair Croce – I am a board member. Shelley Reed – I know, but I want to talk with you, the board. You are the people who hold the district accountable for what the district does. Chair Croce – You have my home number. Shelley Reed – We have been totally left out of this process. Chair Croce – You have been here. Shelley Reed – That’s what I am asking for, to be included in the process. Denise Pratt – Understand though that my understanding of state law is that we couldn’t come to you; we couldn’t identify the home school kids in our district and go to those people and ask them why they weren’t in public school and what could we do to help. It’s incumbent upon you folks to come and tell us. Chair Croce – Thank you.




Zach Gerdes – High School Representative to Board 2005-2006 – Oath of Office – Zach recited the Oath of Office.





As usual, our custodial staff has taken great care to see that the buildings look wonderful, but I must make special note to offer gratitude to two people in particular. Derrick Watson, lead maintenance worker, spent the summer months with his department half-staffed, and yet he managed to accomplish so much and with such a positive attitude. Retired district maintenance director Gene Nail made himself available to us throughout the summer. He not only took care of some fairly major needs that arose, but he seemed to enjoy doing lots of the little things that make a difference as well. Gene also will be available to do some training and transition work with our new facilities director, Chris Meyer, who will begin his position with the district next week.


As most of you know, we had a new staff orientation last Friday to provide information, support and mentoring to the new staff whose hiring we will ask you to approve later in the agenda. Our building administrators, Jill Case, Wanda and her business office staff, and Stephanie pulled this off in a way that was productive, positive and not overwhelming to our new staff. Our entire staff convened yesterday at Oaklea Middle school, and enjoyed socializing and learning together. The k-12 curriculum teams convened to do some preliminary planning for the year. Our classified staff had training on “active supervision”, and our licensed staff was able to choose from 16 different staff development sessions, including strategies for differentiating learning, science inquiry, digital curriculum and technology applications for the classroom, and several math trainings, including intensive training for Laurel 3 rd grade teachers in the Math Learning Center’s “Bridges for Math” program. We also had an impressive number of staff members participate in the state’s Summer Institute which focused, in large part, on improving literacy in secondary school students. JCHS principal Kathryn Hedrick attended a summer institute on improving America’s high schools at Harvard.


Staff development activities are continuing throughout the week in our schools, with training in strategies for positive behavior support occurring at Laurel today. A training by autism consultant Donna Libby is happening at Oaklea tomorrow, as is a balanced reading program workshop by Debbie Divers Gray being offered for our elementary teachers. Later in the week, there will be a training at Territorial on “Creating a k-5 writing continuum”, and training on substance use prevention at the high school. As you can tell, our staff is actively engaged in trainings that will support the district’s goal to improve student achievement in the core curriculum.


Tomorrow, JCHS begins what may become an annual practice of conducting entrance interviews with our freshmen students to help them to establish goals and understand more about high school expectations. Our student athletes at the high school level have been in training since last week, when they had their “daily doubles”- which means two practice sessions each day. On Friday, there is a Volleyball Jamboree at Cottage Grove, a girls’ soccer Jamboree in Salem, and a football jamboree at Marist. Please go to the high school’s website to get the most up-to-date information about sports schedules.


Finally, next Tuesday will bring freshman orientation at the high school, and fifth grade and new student orientation at Oaklea. On Wednesday morning, we will have classrooms full of bright, happy children who are eager and ready to learn. We are ready for them, and I thank each of you for the important part you play in ensuring that our District does the best job we can, with the resources we have, for all our students.

















Mike Brotherton – For seniority purposes, if we do them one at a time, are they date stamped with the time they were approved? Superintendent Rodden-Nord – It’s from the first actual date of service and then if they are tied, we do it by drawing lots.





























Denise – What repercussions would riffing another Cook III have? We are talking about two cooks right? Wanda – Yes, two four-hour Cook III’s. Denise – That would increase your workload though, right Martie? Martie – Yes. Right now we have 21 work hours at Oaklea and we are currently working 26-27 work hours already. Superintendent Rodden-Nord – Would the reduction in force affect the staffing at Laurel? Wanda – The reduction in force that this is talking about does not affect the staff at Laurel. It would affect the staffing at the high school and at Oaklea. Denise – So, instead of a hot lunch, the kids at Territorial would now have a sack lunch and I am having a little bit of a struggle with that. Wanda – That part of the proposal was written down at the bottom to consider at the end of 2005-2006 for the 2006-2007 school year.




Chair Croce – We do want to be kept abreast on everything. If there is an issue coming up, we will get the word out via email to all staff. Mike, do you want to form some kind of a committee? Mike Brotherton – Yes. I want to look at this whole subcontracting thing.


Mike Brotherton will form a subcommittee to look into subcontracting the food services program.




A.   Financial Report




The meeting adjourned at 9:20 p.m.








Superintendent / Clerk           Chair, Board of Directors