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SKPS board okays bond for ballot

Of the Keizertimes

Salem-Keizer School Board approval for a proposed general obligation bond estimated at $619.7 million to go on the ballot became official Tuesday.

District residents will decide May 15 on the bond measure proposal, which focuses on making district buildings seismically safe and large enough for anticipated enrollment growth.

The proposed bond measure would add space at 22 elementary schools, 10 middle schools, and six high schools. It would build a new Auburn Elementary School, improve science laboratories at the middle and high schools, improve vocational and technical programs at high schools, upgrade technology, make seismic improvements, and make safety and security improvements districtwide.

More specifically, the proposal is intended to:

*Construct enough space to alleviate crowding and increase capacity for vocational, technical, and science programs.

*Make seismic upgrades and related measures to improve safety.

*Build gymnasiums, libraries, theaters, and cafeterias at elementary, middle, and high schools.

*Make safety and security upgrades such as electronic badge access systems, entrances, parking and sidewalk improvements, and access for people who have disabilities.

*Upgrade facilities by painting and sealing walls, replacing various systems, and addressing other maintenance issues.

*Upgrade infrastructure; relocate the data center, fields, and tennis courts; and make related improvements.

*Pay bond issuance costs; purchase land, portable classrooms, furnishings, fixtures, and equipment; and pay demolition and other related site and building costs.

An $8 million state grant has been awarded provided the bonds are approved.

The estimated tax rate increase is $1.24 per $1,000 assessed value.

Several audience members urged reinstatement of health positions in elementary schools. One was Alyson Budde of Silverton, office manager at Forest Ridge Elementary School.

In other business, the board approved 13 grants, including eight from the Oregon Department of Education. ODE has provided $197,413 for behavioral learning, $144,925 for English language learning, $76,944 for migrant programs, $39,326 for special education data collection, $28,253 for excess costs of special education and related services, $17,583 to support training for statewide assessment of students with disabilities, $8,405 for services for neglected and delinquent youth, and $5,022 for food service equipment and outreach materials.

The Oregon Business Development Department provided $900,000 for career and technical education. Early Learning Hub has given $168,530 for Chapman Hill Elementary School’s Preschool Promise and $12,166 for families with emergent needs. The Northwest Health Foundation has given the district $1,500 for equipment at Keizer Elementary School and $1,500 for equipment at Richmond Elementary School.

The student safety issue, especially bullying, took up much of the meeting. John Van Dreal, district director of safety and risk management services, presented a flow chart on dealing with the problems. A few parents in the audience spoke to the board about their children’s experiences with bullying.

Personnel actions approved by the board included the following in the McNary High School attendance area:

*Less than half-time status for Deborah Elde at Whiteaker Middle School and Charles Kuebris at McNary.

*Temporary part-time status for Corie McPursifull at McNary and South Salem high schools and Annamarie Miller at Claggett Creek Middle School.

*Temporary full-time status for Kira Chuprov at Gubser Elementary School, Keista McCrae at Claggett Creek, Natalie Peton at McNary, and Hailee Young at Keizer Elementary.

*Resignations of Robbi Ellis and Robert James from McNary.

The Spotlight on Success portion of the meeting honored Cameron Vandecoevering, fifth-grader at Forest Ridge, and Jasmine Miller, fifth-grader at Optimum Learning Environment Charter School, for their videos at the Kid Governor competition. Both their videos were ranked in the top eight.