Cottage Grove sentinel. (Cottage Grove, Or.) 1909-current, January 17, 2018, Image 1

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He
School board calls
executive session
Meeting comes after 110 SLSD
employees ask for investigation into
whether or not Superintendent Parent
wrote anonymous letter
By Caitlyn May
cmay@cgsentinel.com
PHOTO BY CAITLYN MAY/COTTAGE GROVE SENTINEL
IRC volunteers lend a hand during designated reading and language arts periods in an effort to get more kids reading.
READING BRINGS
GENERATIONS TOGETHER
IN THE CLASSROOM
On Jan. 8, South Lane School Board Chair Alan Baas issued a
statement regarding an anonymous letter received by the board
and reportedly attributed to superintendent Krista Parent.
"... the South Lane School District Board of Directors wants
to assure you that we are working to address the matter. We have
been in touch with the Oregon School Board Association and are
following the advice of legal counsel. We take this issue very
seriously and will work in the best interest of the district," the
statement reads in part.
Earlier in the week, 110 South Lane Education Association
(SLEA) employees approved sending a letter to the school board
that requested Parent be placed on administrative leave until an
independent investigation into the author of the letter could be
completed.
A second statement was released and supported by 13 adminis-
trators asking the school board to respond to the letter approved
by the 110 SLEA employees.
“We are writing in order to show our support for South Lane
School District teachers. It is our hope that you will respond to
the statement provided by SLEA and that you will reassure teach-
ers, administrators and staff that your top priority is to provide an
educational opportunity where Kids Come First. By ignoring the
statement from teachers, you are sending a message that teachers
do not have a voice and that the current level of chaos and dis-
traction is acceptable,” it read in part. “This is an important step
for the Superintendent as well. She should be provided the oppor-
tunity for due process. We want you to know that we support our
teachers and that it is time for the board to show that they support
our teachers too."
In the spring of 2017 the Sdistrict funded a week-long investi-
gation into reports of a personal relationship between Parent and
Please see PARENT PG.
By Caitlyn May
cmay@cgsentinel.com
City saves $700k
in loan restructure
L
CITY
By Caitlyn May
cmay@cgsentinel.com
PHOTO BY CAITLYN MAY/COTTAGE GROVE SENTINEL
Volunteers are in classrooms three times a week as Bohemia continues to pilot the IRC program. Left to right:
Cindy Vogel, Cathie Profi tt, Dacia Marsh, Rachel Nordquist, Lana Walker, Nanci Strickland, Terri Madsen.
same words while a group, stationed at a table under the color and creativity usually re-
served for fi rst-grade classrooms, reads page-by-page under Walker’s watch.
“They think they can’t do it and I tell them they can. They’ll read the page and I tell
them, ‘Now, you just read that whole page and I didn’t help you at all.’ They’re face lights
up,” she said. “There is nothing like it to see the light go on in their eyes, that they know
they can do it, that they read something.”
It’s a sentiment shared by Bohemia’s other volunteers; a mother, a grandmother, a for-
mer tech worker and a churchgoer. The IRC has courted retired community members but
accepts anyone who is willing to help children learn.
“It’s people who may not be in a classroom,” Strickland said, noting the majority retiree
Cottage Grove beat the clock.
The city threw its nearly $9 million in debt in with over $55
billion contributed by other municipalities and organizations to
score a savings over $771,000.
Advanced refunding allowed the city to present its loans to
the market and essentially refi nance the loans at a lower inter-
est rate thanks to the city's new bond rating by Standards and
Poor's of AA.
"It's not the best score but it's pretty close," said Cottage
Grove City Manager Richard Meyers.
The move came prior to new legislation that would have
limited advanced repayment. $55.6 billion went through the
process by Dec. 22 to avoid missing out on the opportunity.
"Typically, there's a window usually fi ve or 10 years out
where you can pay off the loan," he said. "We weren't in that
window but we were in the window for advanced refunding.
The new tax bill would have wiped that out and so we said,
let's try this and jump in and see what we can get."
By doing an advanced repayment, the city put its debt up
for sale.
"Ours sold pretty quickly," Meyers said. "You take the debt
out to the market and basically say, 'Ok, what will you give me
for it?'
We saved, because of the interest rate, over the term of the
loans we'll save almost a million dollars."
The city, according to Meyers, was expecting a savings be-
tween $400,000 and $600,000.
"Our good bonding rating helped," Meyers said.
Please see READING PG. A11
GOVERNMENT
Gateway construction
City fi ned for water
Construction continues at
Gateway. PAGE A3
City will pay $1,575
for May bacteria test at
Middlefi eld. PAGE A6
INDEX
ast summer, two retired teachers
and an elementary school prin-
cipal went to lunch.
Six months later, students at Bohemia
Elementary School have a small army of
helpers at their disposal three days a week
to navigate the sometimes-rocky road to
literacy.
The intergenerational reading collab-
orative (IRC) started in the fall of this
year after teachers from Creswell reached
out to administrators at Bohemia to rave
about the success of having retired volun-
teers in the classroom.
“Its purpose,” said Bohemia Vice Prin-
cipal Laurie Melendy, “is to assist teach-
ers and staff in educating students in the
areas of reading, writing and language
arts.”
Melendy was not at the table during
that summer lunch but Cindy Vogel and
Nanci Strickland were.
Before they retired into what is a new
busy schedule of non-profi t and other
community work, the pair used to teach
and were recruited to lead a group of
approximately 12 volunteers and substi-
tutes who work in classrooms three days
a week.
“It’s a lot,” Vogel said. “We could not
sign-up for three mornings a week so
what these volunteers do is great.”
Lana Walker has been volunteering
since the beginning.
In a fi rst-grade classroom just beyond
the library, there’s reading going on. A
group of students works on word search-
es, fi nding nouns and verbs vital to the
story they’re working on. Another group
arranges magnet letters to spell out those
COFFEE WITH THE EDITOR
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Stop by Backstage Bakery.
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Calendar ...................................... B11
Channel Guide ............................... B5
Classifieds ...................................... B7
Obituaries ...................................... A2
Opinion ......................................... A4
Sports ............................................ B1
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