Dear Santiam Community,
I recently emailed a survey to stakeholders within our school community to gather input, and I wanted to follow up to let you know what we heard back in response.
Again, this survey was sent to help us gather information about additional school funds that we have coming next school year to help us prioritize how to best spend those funds to meet the needs of our students and community. These additional funds are part of the Oregon legislature-approved funding in the Student Success Act. We are thrilled with this opportunity to expand our services for our students.
The legislation stated that the new funds can be spent in the following areas: Reducing Class Size, Health & Safety, Well-Rounded Education and Increasing Instructional Time. Based on over 100 survey responses to the previously mentioned areas, the respondents ranked them in order of priority as:
- Providing a Well-Rounded Education (rank score of 3.17)
- Addressing Health and Safety (rank score of 2.47)
- Reducing Class Size and Caseload (rank score of 2.34)
- Expanding Instructional Time (rank score of 2.03)
The results offer a rather clear view from the respondents that adding additional learning opportunities is the highest priority with these funds. It does not mean that the other areas are not important and will not be addressed, but that they were not rated as high of a need.
Along with the ranking above, the survey also gave respondents an opportunity to write-in what they would like to see the funds used for. We had many specific ideas come in and I really appreciate the thought and time that people took to respond. It is very helpful! Some of the comments that occurred the most are:
- Add life skills classes, such as culinary and cooking classes
- Expand music opportunities, particularly at the elementary school
- Add art classes and opportunities
- Expand CTE (career technical education) classes
- Add more college credit options and options for students who are academically advanced
- Add more after-school clubs and activities
- Add more emotional supports for students
- Reduce class sizes
Along with the items listed above, there were many other responses that we are taking into consideration. Using this information, we are working on plans and getting cost estimates now that could address the areas above. It is too early in the process to say what we are going to do with the funds, but the priorities of our community are important and will used to develop our plans. We are excited to work on this for the benefit of our students, and continue to share our plans as they further develop. Thank you!
Todd Miller, Superintendent