The Lincoln County School Board had a pretty big agenda this week so let’s get to it.
Student enrollments in the district, from Lincoln City to Waldport, are up creating the need for more classrooms. Two new ones are being built as you read this at Yaquina View School. The school board also set aside funds for another school site somewhere in the district. Details are still being worked out.
The board also expects to acquire the old Newport City Pool building next to Sam Case Elementary to be renovated and then schools services personnel will move in to it thereby freeing up space for school rooms at existing schools district wide.
Speaking of Sam Case, the district landed a couple of sizeable federal grants to make Sam Case “earthquake resistant” should the ‘big one’ hit during school hours. And another grant was awarded to the district to re-enforce Newport High’s gym for the same reason. Two years ago Toledo High’s gym was also made earthquake resistant using the same federal grant program.
The Newport Sports Booster Club has been doing some serious fundraising lately and are now in a position to come up with half the funds to create a multi-sports field at Newport Middle School – Football, Soccer, Baseball and Softball. The trick will be to stripe the fields to accommodate all four sports. They say combining funds from the Boosters, with matching funds from the school district, should have that big empty area behind the middle school pretty well full up with kids throwing, batting and kicking their way around the two multi-use fields that will greet them in the Fall. And a big thank you goes out to the Boosters with able assistance from Oregon Coast Bank!
School District officials say that despite the fact that most of the district’s new student enrollments are not homeless or low income, the district’s already existing poverty rate is still high enough to keep the Free-Breakfasts-and-Lunches-for-All program in place for next school year. It’s paid for by federal money passed through the state to local school districts, so local taxpayers aren’t directly footing the bill.
Former Schools Superintendent, now interim Schools Superintendent Tom Rinearson, has agreed to stay in the saddle until June of next year while the school board looks for a permanent replacement for former Superintendent Steve Boynton who resigned recently. The board said it wants enough time to advertise the opening which they hope will produce some top notch candidates, one among them that can handle all the unique aspects of Lincoln County Schools and of the demands that the county’s 7 cities and even more rural communities expect for their students.
And the school board proudly noted that a number school district employees and at least one student were honored by the annual Lincoln City Community Days organization. Their board issued two awards to Taft 7-12 Principal Majalise Tolan as Woman of the Year and the Community Spirit Award. Taft 7-12’s Sandie Tucker was honored as the Classified Employee of the Year, Taft Elementary Teacher Brian Pacheco was named Teacher of the Year, Taft 7-12 teacher Marcy Martin as the Tiger Educator of the Year and the Outstanding Youth Award went to Taft 7-12 student William Irwin.