Interim superintendent Joe Morelock proposes forming potentially large committee to meet four timesbeginning in October

One of the Newberg School District board of director's biggest tasks this year will be to create a new strategic plan for the district, which in turn will inform how it approaches another primary objective for 2018-2019, which is to hire a permanent superintendent.

The board will rely heavily on interim superintendent Joe Morelock to incorporate more input from its various stakeholders; he shared his vision for that process at the board's Sept. 11 meeting.

Morelock, who recently helped the Lake Oswego School District draft a new plan prior to coming to Newberg, plans to create a large committee that will meet four times over five weeks, beginning Oct. 10.

"We would spend that time developing a list of all the kinds of things that people want from their schools," Morelock said. "We'll start with where we think we are now and how do we get to that place in the future. The general process is that you go through a large brainstorming activity and then you take those lists and you sort those as a group."

All the meetings, which will skip the week of Halloween and conclude Nov. 7, will run from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday nights and likely be held in the Newberg High School west commons.

Morelock told the board that he doesn't expect to limit the size of the committee, in part because he wants to include a wide range of perspectives, but also because he is asking that potential committee members fill out an "interest application" and commit to attending all four meetings.

Those meetings will be open to the public and because board members are expected to attend, it will be considered an open meeting and minutes will be taken. Morelock stressed that the application will not be used to vet potential members, but simply to reinforce full participation.

"I've run similar processes with 50 or 60 people in the room," he said. "We could do 100. Generally, what's going to happen is we'll have stations, so everyone will be able to contribute. You're doing a lot of brainstorming and making lists."

Morelock will act as a facilitator and use a normative process to identify areas of agreement and whittle priorities down into a manageable plan. District staff will also assist in developing metrics to measure progress.

Parents, staff, students and community members will all be invited to participate, with principals also doing outreach to groups and populations that may not have felt included in the past. The district also plans to provide interpreters, including American Sign Language and services for the blind, if necessary, as well as child care and refreshments.

Morelock said he expects the committee to have a plan ready to present to the board prior to Thanksgiving so that it can be finalized prior to winter break.

Morelock presented his plan during a time set aside by the board to discuss its efforts to improve morale in the district and although not very exciting, board chairman Bob Woodruff felt it was certainly relevant.

"We get to do the really fun stuff to help build morale by creating structures," Woodruff joked. "Parent groups get to hand out cookies and kids get to give hugs. We get to write strategic plans. Everybody plays their part."

Schools in brief

Five will enter St. Paul Hall of Fame at ceremony set for Friday at Tack Room

The St. Paul School District announced that four individuals and one team will be inducted into its Hall of Fame in a ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Tack Room at the St. Paul Rodeo grounds.

The St. Paul football team will then host Crow at 7 p.m. The class of 2018 will include Jerry White, John Hartford, Madeline Ernst, Ed Brentano and the 1993 girls basketball team. Food and beverages will be provided.

For more information, call 503-633-2541.

Financial Aid Night on tap at Newberg High School

Newberg High School will host Financial Aid Night from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 25 in the west commons.

The event will help junior and senior students and their parents learn about paying for college, college options, various loans and grants, how to get scholarships, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA).

Tiger Manufacturing open house slated for Oct. 5

Tiger Manufacturing, the student-operated machine shop at Newberg High School, will host an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 5. The event will also showcase the school's welding, integrated design, computer-assisted drafting/computer assisted manufacturing, robotics, horticulture, drama, FFA, culinary, graphic arts, band, orchestra, choir, drama, art and ceramics programs, as well as the New Forest program. Students will lead visitors through the school, direct parking, run presentations and provide interactive activities and displays for visitors. For more information, email Hadley Massey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

V Foundation golf tournament on tap

For his senior project, St. Paul High School's Zach Brentano is organizing a golf tournament fundraiser to benefit the V Foundation for Cancer Research on Oct. 7 at Chehalem Glenn Golf Course. The putting green and driving range will be open to participants at 11 a.m., with a 1 p.m. shotgun start. Dinner following the round is also included. Cost is $60 for St. Paul students or $80 for the general public. For more information, including about sponsorship opportunities, email Brentano at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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