Annual Report to the Community


Presented 1-23-17
Carter Wells

Summary Statement: The District is in substantive compliance with the Division 22 Standards of the Oregon Administrative rules.

One of the major ways the State of Oregon Department of Education evaluates school districts is based on their performance on statewide assessments. This past school year was the second year of the new statewide assessment labeled “Smarter Balance.” The data from the 2014 – 2015 school year compared with the data from the 2015 – 16 school year shows that in the area of Language Arts we have been fairly consistent district wide with the majority of grade levels showing great success and some falling behind the state average. Mathematics has some grade levels that are doing extremely well however the majority of grade levels are at or just below the state average. This is an area of concern and as we enter the third year of our GO Math program at the grade school I hope to see improvement in this area in the near future.

With the increase in use of technology for standardized testing Union School District has completed a significant increase in the device per student ratio over the past calendar year. This was done in two ways. The first was through a grant application process with the implementation of a new math program that individualizes instruction to the student through a computer program that assesses the student, then provides leveled activities based on how the student performs. Right now this grant funded the purchase of a significant number of Chrome books as well as iPads and will ultimately increase our math scores. The adoption of CK-12 science curriculum in the high school also allowed us to purchase multiple classroom sets of chrome books which puts us at very close to a 1 to 1 ratio of devices for students district wide.

Student enrollment has been somewhat steady this year at the Elementary but declining at the High School, which will make our funding stream from the state drop in the 2017 – 2018 school year. We graduated more students than we are bringing in from new classes at the kindergarten level. We expected a drop of approximately 10- 15 students for the 2016-17 school year.

Facility maintenance continues to be a concern. With the cool schools program some issues have been addressed with updating some of our heating systems, insulation in some of the buildings, as well as updating lighting with energy efficient products. However due to the age of our facilities there is always something that is wearing out as systems exceed their expected life span. It is my recommendation that this be given a high priority as we go through the budget process this spring.

Funding is a major concern as we move into the future. The anticipated decline in enrollment in 2016-17, coupled with a change from the state in their per child contribution, as well as increases in PERS, Salary, benefits, and fixed operating costs as well as the uncertainty of the effect of Measure 98 carve outs or addition to the state school fund are all converging creating a real fiscal issue for schools. March will be a critical month as SSF estimates will come out at that time, and we will have a better handle on our projected ending fund balance.