School utilizes Measure 98 funding to boost grad rate
During a School Board meeting on Wednesday, April 11, Estacada High School Principal Bill Blevins shared the school's plans for using state funding to boost the high school's graduation rate.
Passed in the November 2016 election, Measure 98 provides funding to school districts with the goal of ushering students all the way through to graduation. At high schools, funds can be used for career and technical education programs, college-level educational opportunities and drop-out prevention strategies.
To facilitate college-level educational activities at Estacada High School in the future, students who qualify for free and reduced lunch will have their Advanced Placement test fees paid for by the school. The school will also pay for half of other participating students' testing fees. Additionally, another programs will allow students to take online classes at Clackamas Community College while at the high school.
Next year, a ninth-grade success coach will connect with freshmen who are at risk of falling behind academically.
Other upcoming plans include expanding the school's automotive and manufacturing teachers to full-time positions and allowing students to receive college credit for courses such as journalism.
This year, the high school started a homework club, during which participating students could connect with tutors and have a place in which to complete their studies several times each week. Transportation is provided from the after school group.
In other news from the School Board meeting:
¦ Superintendent Ryan Carpenter noted the loss of former Estacada High School principal and wrestling coach Steve Woods. "I'd like to put together a committee of people to see if the community would like to potentially honor him in a specific way," Carpenter said.
¦ Richard Rothweiler of AC + Co Architecture noted that construction documents for Estacada Middle School's roof repair have been completed. Advertisements to contractors have gone out, and a bid date has been set for late May. The work will be funded by a grant from the state.
¦ Estacada High School art teacher Janice Packard and artist-in-residence Reeva Wortel shared the details of a portrait and interview project that art students have been working on and noted that a reception will be held Thursday, April 19, at City Hall, 475 S.E. Main St.
Mary Ann Bugni, a member of Estacada Together's board of directors, shared that the organization had sponsored Wortel's residency as well as musician Ellen Whyte's residency at Estacada Middle School.
She noted that the Aspen Meadow Band will perform a fundraising concert on Saturday, May 5, at the Estacada Auditorium, to support future residencies and other Estacada Together events.
¦ Communications Coordinator Maggie Kelly noted that the district has partnered with the Downtown Estacada Commission to feature art from second-grade students on light posts along Main Street.
¦ Kelly also noted that the school district's website features an emergency communications page.