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About Polk County itemizer observer. (Dallas, Or) 1992-current | View Entire Issue (Aug. 10, 2016)
Polk County Education
10A Polk County Itemizer-Observer • August 10, 2016
School’s bottom line up
By Jolene Guzman
DALLAS — The Dallas
School District received
good financial news Mon-
day, at least for the short-
The future still is clouded
with the prospect of increas-
ing Oregon Public Employ-
ees Retirement System rates
and possible declining en-
rollment. But on Monday,
Business Manager Tami
Montague repor ted an
unanticipated increase in
the amount of money left
over from the 2015-16
school year, called an “end-
ing fund balance.”
“A couple things hap-
pened near the end of the
year that’s now making my
ending fund balance projec-
tion go up bit,”Montague
The 2015-16 fiscal year
hasn’t been completely
closed out, but the estimate
is that the district will end
the year with $1.4 million,
instead of $1 million previ-
The boost is due to the
State Land Board approving
an increase in funding going
to K-12 schools from the
Common School Fund. For
Dallas, that meant an addi-
Montague also credits dis-
ciplined spending at the dis-
trict’s schools for ending the
year on a higher note than
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“We were doing a really
good job of closing down
purchase orders without
doing some unnecessary
spending at the end of the
year,” Montague said. “The
did an amazing job.”
Montague said not all the
staff has been hired for the
upcoming school year and
some expenses are not cal-
culated yet, but she estimat-
ed the district will end the
2016-17 in a similar position
with about $1.5 million in
ending fund balance.
“A lot of will depend on
what our enrollment turns
up in September, how many
kids show up for school,”
The district is preparing
for a significant PERS in-
crease in July 2017. Final pro-
jections should be known
soon, but, for now, the dis-
trict is anticipating a cost of
$700,000 due to PERS.
“We are hearing there is
no movement legislatively
for PERS reform, so what we
are seeing now, we are pretty
sure we are going to get,”
She said while expendi-
tures are guaranteed to go
up, there may be changes to
the amount of money going
to schools. November’s gen-
eral election will have voters
decide on Measure 97, a tax
on sales of corporations in
the state earning more than
$25 million annually, with
the revenue going to
schools, health care and
“If there is revenue re-
form, that will help the pic-
ture for 2017-19, but without
some kind of revenue re-
form, we are not anticipat-
ing we will receive enough to
roll current services for-
ward,” Montague said.
Track to be tested
By Jolene Guzman
DALLAS — Dallas High School’s track will undergo an oﬃcial
test for surface hardness next week to answer questions about its
The district has performed a rudimentary “golf ball test,” which
measures the hardness of a surface by how high the ball bounces
when it is dropped on the track. The higher the bounce, the hard-
er the surface.
Based on those tests, the surface is holding up well, despite
being installed in 2004, district oﬃcials said. However, coaches
and athletes have expressed concerns about the potential for in-
juries such as shin splints and have altered training schedules to
avoid the risk.
“The current surface appears to absorb more impact than the
top-of-the-line material used to patch the surface three years ago,”
Facilities Manager Kevin Montague said. “We will, however, have
more data once the consultant performs the testing next week.”
Montague said the consultant who examined the track’s condi-
tion in July determined the track is in good condition, but sug-
gested testing with the machine.
“He also oﬀered to locate a testing machine that his company
has to test the hardness at no cost to the district,” he said.
He added tracks, unlike turf ﬁelds, don’t have established pa-
rameters for determining what is too hard.
Superintendent Michelle Johnstone said the district needs to
begin planning for replacing the track when it is needed, whether
that be immediately or down the line.
“We need to ﬁgure out how to get that into the budget somehow
and set that money aside, so if we don’t repair the track this year, we
start making movement toward getting it repaired,” she said.
Dallas Family Night Out ready for school
DALLAS — Summer still is going strong, but it’s time to start
thinking about getting ready for back to school.
Dallas Family Night Out on Aug. 17 at Dallas Methodist
Church, 565 LaCreole Drive, has all the bases covered for get-
ting students back into class, from school supplies to haircuts.
The event runs from 3 to 7 p.m.
This year, Dallas Family Night Out has joined forces with Sal-
vation Army’s Tools for Schools Program and the Apple Tree
School Drive in an eﬀort to help more families.
“Our committee is working on reaching even more families
to distribute more backpacks and school supplies to Dallas-
area residents,” said Sheri Beehner, the event’s coordinator.
Dallas Family Night Out will oﬀer backpacks with school sup-
plies, haircuts, immunizations, well-child checkups, a clothing
giveaway for the whole family, a free meal, games and prizes
All services are oﬀered for free and day-of sign up for a back-
packs and supplies is available. Parents should bring proof of
Dallas residency to pick up a backpack, including a driver’s li-
cense, state ID, utility bill, or lease agreement.
For more information: email@example.com.
‘Tools for School’ set for Aug. 18 in FC
FALLS CITY — The Salvation Army and Falls City Christian
Church is gearing up to give away 175 backpacks packed with
school supplies on Aug. 18.
The event will be at George Kitchen Park or Upper Park in
Falls City from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
More than just school supplies, the giveaway oﬀers dinner,
haircuts, a resource fair, bouncy house, face painting and more.
Those who attend the Falls City School District will be eligi-
ble to receive a free backpack stuﬀed with supplies with photo
identiﬁcation or proof of Falls City residence.
For more information, contact Nicole Bats at The Salvation
Army Polk County oﬃce, 503-623-9664 ext. 2481.
If you would like to donate to this event, contact Lacey Carl-
son at 503-798-4843.
Whitworth seismic upgrade set for 2017
DALLAS — The Dallas School District and the state have ﬁ-
nalized a contract allowing the district to use a $1.493 million
grant for seismic upgrades at Whitworth Elementary School.
By the terms of the contract, the work needs to take place
within two years of the grant being awarded. In order to meet
that timeline, the upgrades are scheduled for the summer of
“It’s going to make for a busy summer next year,” said Facili-
ties Manager Kevin Montague.
Central faucets show little, no lead
INDEPENDENCE — Central School District oﬃcials began
testing faucets and sinks in school buildings in June. Results
were recently returned, showing no detection of lead in nine of
the 14 samples pulled.
The highest sample showed 5.9 parts per billion. It was taken
from the upper building water fountain at Talmadge Middle
Stating that no level of lead is considered safe, facilities man-
ager Cec Koontz said that further testing will be done on those
faucets that showed any lead at all.
“We’ve been waiting on those results just to conﬁrm we
aren’t facing an actionable problem,” Koontz said.
For registration information, as
well as other school news,
see Page 2A