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Ashland School District 5 Position 4

Special districts in Oregon are formed to govern specific resources. Examples are people’s utility districts, library districts, sewer districts, irrigation districts, ports and cemetery districts. Some districts get revenue only from taxes. Others, such as water districts, get revenue from ratepayers. Others may combine the two sources. Each district is governed by a board of directors which is responsible for the operation of the district and its financial accountability. ( https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/198.010 ) Qualifications: Candidate must be a registered voter and a resident of the district for 1 year. Employees of the district are not eligible unless employed as a substitute driver. ORS 332.016 and 332.018(2)Salary: A member of the governing body of a district may receive an amount not to exceed $50 for each day or portion thereof as compensation for services performed as a member of the governing body. Such compensation shall not be deemed lucrative. The governing body may provide for reimbursement of a member for actual and reasonable traveling and other expenses necessarily incurred by a member in performing official duties. [1971 c.403 §2; 1983 c.327 §2; 1983 c.740 §53a; 1989 c.517 §1; 1995 c.79 §74] In event of Vacancy: Except as otherwise provided by law, a vacancy in an elected office in the membership of the governing body of a district shall be filled by appointment by a majority of the remaining members of the governing body. If a majority of the membership of the governing body is vacant or if a majority cannot agree, the vacancies shall be filled promptly by the county court of the county in which the administrative office of the district is located. [ORS 198.320]

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  • Candidate picture

    Sarah Beata DeLong
    (N)

  • Candidate picture

    Rebecca Dyson
    (N)

Biographical Information

Even before COVID and the transition to online learning, school districts struggled with disparities in academic achievement. Educators fear even greater gaps upon their return to classrooms. What strategies will you consider to address these increased disparities?

COVID has shown us the importance of family support in facilitating students’ education. How will you build on this understanding to increase the role of parents in decision making and promote parental involvement in schools?

What is the impact of the pandemic on school budgets and spending priorities? How do you propose meeting these new challenges?

Los distritos escolares ya tenían dificultades con las disparidades en el desempeño académico, inclusive antes del COVID y de la transición al aprendizaje por internet. Los educadores temen que aparezcan vacíos aún mayores cuando el estudiantado vuelva a los salones de clase. ¿Qué estrategias considerará usted para enfrentar el aumento de estas dificultades?

El COVID nos ha mostrado la importancia del apoyo de las familias para facilitar la educación de los estudiantes. ¿Cómo utilizará este hecho para ampliar la función de los padres en la toma de decisiones y promover la participación de los padres de familia en las escuelas?

¿Cuál es el impacto de la pandemia en los presupuestos escolares y en las prioridades de gasto? ¿Qué propone usted para enfrentar estos nuevos desafíos?

Town Where You Live Ashland, OR
Your Experience/Qualificatons Community organizer/activist; School district volunteer including site council, PTO, and board committee.
County Jackson
Many of the disparities you reference stem from systemic inequities in our society. In order to close achievement gaps we need to focus on equity and inclusion. Students succeed when their needs are being met and when they feel a sense of belonging in their school community. For too long various identity groups have been discriminated against, most notably Black, Indigenous, and other students of color. These groups have also been hardest hit by the pandemic. Schools will have to take a holistic approach to ensure that each child gets the specific support they need. This needs to include anti-bias and anti-racism training for all district staff. We also need to retain some of the flexibility we were forced to adopt when Covid shut down our schools. While many students found distance learning challenging, there is a significant cohort that thrived in the online environment. We need to figure out what about this new platform enabled their growth and incorporate it into existing systems.
I don't necessarily agree with the premise of this question. What Covid showed us was just how little support exists for parents and families, especially single parents and low-income families. Our society does not have sufficient social safety nets in place to help families survive and thrive. Schools have stepped in to fill that gap. When the schools closed we saw the devastating ripple effect throughout our country: kids going hungry, parents and caregivers losing their childcare and in some cases being forced to quit their jobs to care for kids, and even some families losing access to school-provided healthcare and mental health support.

The question shouldn't be "how do we get our parents and caregivers to do more," the question should be: "how do we better support the families in our district?" The best way to do this is for school districts to partner with local government and community organizations, identify the needs of the community, and work together to address them.
Dealing with Covid has been, and will continue to be, quite expensive. In Oregon we are lucky to have some increased funds available due to the passage of the Student Success Act. Even so, schools are chronically under-funded. We're going to need to run a very transparent budgeting process and bring in community stakeholders to collaboratively come up with priorities and solutions. This is not the time for closed-door sessions, this is the time to work together to ensure our students, teachers, families, and staff all get the support they need to succeed.
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Web Site (leave blank if not applicable) http://www.dysonchronicles.com
Town Where You Live Ashland, Oregon
Your Experience/Qualificatons Ashland High School Site Council - 3 years Board member, Ashland High Arts Advocates, 3 years Coach, Oregon Battle of the Books, 6 years PTO, Walker Elementary School Extensive volunteer experience for athletic, music, and academic competitions and performances Parent of four ASD students from K through 12 Lifelong advocate of high quality public education for all children
County Jackson
Term 4 years
I think there are three areas in particular that we need to focus on. First, we need to expand our curriculum to not just include more diverse voices and history, but to really immerse our students in what it means to be a member of an underrepresented or marginalized community. This is especially important in Ashland where students are not routinely exposed to other cultures. Second, we need to provide comprehensive EDI training to our current staff and faculty to improve the experience for students of color in our district. Yes, we are already doing this, but we need to continuously reassess and examine how we can do a better job. And finally, we need our hiring policies to reflect these goals by attracting more diverse and highly qualified staff to serve as educators and mentors. We need to really examine how to make our district a more desirable and welcoming place to work, and we need to look further into the issue of how to make Ashland itself more welcoming to minorities.
I was lucky to be able to work from home while my four children were in CDL, and yes, it required a significant level of support. It would be wonderful if we could translate that greater degree of involvement on the part of parents into increased involvement in our schools when they reopen, but the reality is this placed a heavy burden on most families. Relying on parental participation to promote the success of students only widens the disparity between privileged and marginalized students. I think instead we must ensure that all students have the support they need, whether or not they have a parent who is able to provide oversight or become involved in the schools. One thing that should continue is the ability of even busy working parents to attend online conferences in the evening while remaining home with their families. Capitalizing on this can certainly increase community participation in forums such as school board and other school/community organizations.
The largest impact is a significant drop in enrollment at all levels. Many families have found different solutions to their children’s education, including learning pods, remote online schools and full home schooling. We must try to regain those families in the coming years. ASD will offer a CDL option for students and families who choose not to return in person. For those who do return, we must provide a welcoming environment so that all students feel comfortable both in the classroom and beyond. Many students are anxious about returning to school for a wide variety of reasons, from physical safety to academic uncertainty to social fears. We must support these students’ needs and also look outside the academic classroom to such things as sports, performing arts, and social and academic clubs to re-engage students and families in our local schools and community. These activities cannot be duplicated online and are a key component of attracting students back to campus.
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