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Special Olympics Unified Sports, elementary reboundary study covered Nov. 18

Unified Sports and the elementary school boundary study were two of the major items covered at a busy Lake Oswego School Board meeting Nov. 18.

Contract review

Lake Oswego School District Executive Director of Project Management Tony Vandenberg presented a change order for the Oak Creek Elementary school renovation. Among the change order items being proposed were a restroom, kitchen and roof remodel. The total cost for the 14-item change order is $388,445.45.

The motion to approve the change order was passed.

Vandenberg also presented a change order for Lakeridge Middle School. Changing some of the shear walls from concrete masonry units (CMU) to cast-in-place concrete will speed up the construction schedule and assist in recovery from schedule delays earlier in the project. The change will affect interior walls, and alter the timeframe so they can work more effectively.

"We've been told that these concrete walls are actually stronger than the block so if anything it increases seismic resiliency," Vandenberg said.

The change order will lead to changes in cost, but the changes are within budget constraints.

The motion to approve the change order passed.

Unified Sports

Lake Oswego Junior High School Principal Kevin Mills, Learning Specialist Casey Hansen and Executive Director of Secondary Programs Lou Bailey presented to the board the work they've done with the new Special Olympics Unified Sports program. This fall, they kicked off the program with a soccer team comprised of 12 players, half of whom experience disabilities. Next month they will be seeking players for their basketball team.

The board applauded their efforts and said they hope it's just the beginning of what will become a bigger program.

Superintendent update

Superintendent Lora de la Cruz talked to the board about the feedback given by parents in the Student Success Act survey released earlier in the fall.

As part of the Student Success Act — which was passed by state lawmakers earlier this year to pump an additional $1 billion to schools annually — the Student Investment Account was created to provide close to $500 million in non-competitive grant money for all Oregon school districts.

De la Cruz said the state has given clarity on what districts can use the grant money for. Those categories are expanding instructional time, addressing student health and safety, reducing class size and caseloads and providing well-rounded education, all through an equity lens. With that new information, the district is looking at class sizes, social emotional learning and healing-centered teaching practices.

De la Cruz also addressed the pool open house held Nov. 6. "That (meeting) led us to see that we, as a staff and community, need to pause and reevaluate and get very specific in the info that we share moving forward … It also got us reflecting on methods of facilitation," de la Cruz said. The district hired facilitators to organize and run the next meeting to create respectful conversation and community engagement.

She recently wrapped up her listening tour around the district and shared a few insights on what she had heard. She said throughout the sessions, praise was given for the dedicated teachers and staff. Across the district there was a desire for more engaging, innovative and experiential ways of learning. Students voiced that they want more empowerment in their education and opportunities for talking about emotional growth, cultural learning and how to access mental health support.

Elementary reboundary study

McKay Larrabee, a representative from FLO Analytics, presented an update on the boundary review process. She went over the survey results, enrollment trends, attendance-based 10-year forecast and the guiding principles and committee charge.

The reboundary study came about to look at how LOSD can provide adequate space for elementary schools and balance elementary school enrollment district-wide for students today and in the future.

The survey had over 750 respondents, correlating with school population. The most important outcomes respondents wanted, based on rank and weight, were small class sizes and equitable program access, as well as the ability for kids to attend their neighborhood school and remain on the same middle school and high school path.

A committee will be formed consisting of two parents and a principal from each elementary school, as well as a north and south side secondary education representative. Committee selection is scheduled to be complete by Nov. 22.

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