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A $436,286 grant, will provide advanced equipment for career and technical education classes

SUSAN MATHENY/MADRAS PIONEER - 509-J Board members Courtney Snead, back left, Stan Sullivan, Jamie Hurd, and Tom Norton Jr., with Buff Principal Billie Jo White, congratulate students Michael Young, left, Robert Soliz, Maya Garcia, Hunter Denny, Autumn Keever, Dulce Orozco, Gracie Otter, Kyler Stein and Killian White.A $436,286 grant, which will provide advanced equipment for career and technical education classes in the 509-J School District, was accepted at Monday night's board of directors' meeting.

"This is a very competitive grant from the Oregon Department of Education to support Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education at Warm Springs and Madras middle schools," said Superintendent Ken Parshall.

The Career and Technical Education Revitalization Grant, which is focused on underrepresented minorities, will be used to purchase equipment at both schools, including a $32,600 CNC mill, or computer numerical control mill, for Madras High School manufacturing classes.

"The CNC mill is state-of-the-art equipment, and something most schools wouldn't be able to purchase," Parshall said, adding students trained in CNC mill skills would be ready to "walk right into a job" following graduation.

Other equipment includes drones for natural resource classes, high- definition cameras, laptops, computer tablets, desktop computers, agricultural and manufacturing tools, for Warm Springs K-8 middle school classes and MHS classes.

The grant-funded equipment will be used during after-school enhanced educational programs. For middle school students, Parshall noted, "It's so they will be more ready to enter CTE classes at the high school and be successful."

He said it is being run as an after-school program due to the cost of staffing. The program will hire an assistant facilitator and provide extended learning stipends for five teachers.

The grant also requires that $100,000 be used for summer programs, and Parshall said staff from the University of Washington came down last year to work with science students in Warm Springs.

During the school spotlight time, nine students from Buff Elementary, who exceeded the state standards on the Smarter Balanced Test were awarded with certificates. The students were: Michael Young, Robert Soliz, Maya Garcia, Hunter Denny, Autumn Keever, Dulce Orozco, Gracie Otter, Kyler Stein and Killian White.

Parshall presented information on the likely effects of Ballot Measure 101, from comments from the Oregon School Boards Association. Parshall said if the measure passes, state funding and federal matching funds will stay the same. If the measure fails, federal matching funds will be lost and the state will have a general fund deficit.

OSBA noted that the State School Fund accounts for around 39 percent of the general fund, and projected a loss of approximately $120 million out of the State School Fund if the measure fails.

In other business, a two-year contract renewal was approved for the School-Based Health Clinic, located at MHS and open to all students. The clinic is run at no cost to the school district through a partnership of Jefferson County, Mosaic Medical, and the 509-J District.

Board members requested a report on the number of students seen last year at the clinic.

The Jefferson County Educational Service District Plan was also accepted for the 2018-19 school year. ESD provides professional services for all 509-J schools in the areas of special education, school improvement, technology and administration.

Budget committee members were appointed, including Urbana Ross, Lee Baggett, Jim Hutchins, Rolando Mendez and Ken Stout, who will serve along with the 509-J Board of Directors.

Under personnel, Cliff Brumels was hired as the JROTC Army instructor at MHS, pending licensure clearance, and Mary Soliz was hired as a half-time data specialist in the district office.

An Oregon Department of Education mentoring grant of $74,880 was accepted for the critical coaching and mentoring of new teachers and administrators.

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