News from the Superintendent – May 2018


“Staff, Students and Community Dedicated to Excellence”

Message from the Superintendent

Marcola School District is expanding instructional programs and implementing systems of efficiency!!

Marcola School District continues its mission to achieve excellence by expanding instructional programs, improving facilities, developing systems of efficiency, and providing the support and resources students and staff need to be excellent learners and teachers. In a very short period of time (less than 4 years), we have:

  • Become a nationally recognized accredited school system
  • Passed a bond and built a new elementary school
  • Put plans and instructional courses in place to deliver a CTE (Career Technical Education) and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program. Next year we will have 5 complete Programs of Study – construction, engineering, health occupations, agriculture, computer science can earn college credit in all three programs.
  • Hired a new Superintendent, new Principal, 4 new teachers, new office staff and a new Director of Maintenance.
  • Hiring a new Assistant Principal for the 2018-19 school year plus a FT Athletic Director/Community Schools Director.
  • Purchased three new buses and two vans to decrease maintenance expenses and put our transportation costs and purchases on a 10 year renewal/replacement plan. (No Bus should be older than 10 year)
  • Put a new roof, new boiler system, new gym floor, new gutters and exterior paint on the Middle/High School complex (Also replaced the Indian images with Mustang images)
  • Continue to follow our renewal/ replacement plan for upgrades in technology to maintain and expand our technology goal of 1:1 (computer to student) and continue our efforts to put the tools of the present and the future in front of students, staff and community.
  • Developed and implemented a Strategic plan that addresses: School District Governance, Teaching and Learning, Professional Development, School Resources and Facilities, and Continuous Improvement.
  • Increased Alternative funding by accessing more grant opportunities and business partnerships.
  • Implemented a Standards (proficiency-based) instruction and assessment model – next year we are upgrading our SIS from Schoolmaster to Tyler SIS and we have purchased a new proficiency based report card database.
  • Implemented RTI/PBIS and currently working on implementation of Trauma Informed Practices
  • Hired an additional elementary teacher to have no combined classes for the past four years and moved the 6th grade to be part of the Jr/Sr High School.
  • Increased our enrollment from 199 in 2014 to a projected enrollment of 360 (with the addition of TNW).

Facts and decisions impacting the development of the 2018-19 budget: “Our number one goal is to increase revenues that have a direct impact on student learning and decrease expenditures that do not have a direct impact on student learning

  1. Our estimated total resources (based on an enrollment of 360) is $6,201,600 which is an increase of $2,571,200 from the revenue estimate for 2017-18. The increase is due to an enrollment increase of over 300 students served through the TNW Alternative/Charter School Program.
  2. We are adding .75 FTE teaching positions as we move to the 2018-19 school year (this does not take into account the additional teaching positions TNW will be adding, from their 1.285 million dollar budget). The elementary school will continue to operate without any combined classes next year. We have added a .25 Title I position to make it a 1.0 FTE. We have also added a .5 to a current MS/HS position – making it a 1.0 FTE.
    In addition we have added a Full Time Assistant Principal and a Full Time Activities/Community Schools Director. We will also be adding additional EA (Educational Assistant) positions as needed to provide additional Special Education supports.
  3. We budgeted $2,495,474 for salaries and benefits in 2017-18 and we are budgeting $2,968,930 for salaries and benefits in 2018-19 an increase of $473,456 (we increased by $454,730 the previous year) A needed increase in Staff, PERS, Steps on the salary schedule and a 3% increase – during negotiations contributed to the increase in personnel costs.
  4. With an estimated increase in revenue of $2,571,200 and an estimated increase in personnel expenses of $473,456 – we are looking forward to maintain a reasonable Contingency/Fund Balance of $1,065,270 (over half of which needs to be applied to TNW). Our goal is to end the 2018-19 fiscal year with a 17% contingency/ending fund balance as we move forward a $453,000 beginning fund balance.
  5. 2015-16 we budgeted $131,463 in transfers, we are proposing $79,000 for fiscal year 2018-19 from the general fund to pay for food service costs, bus replacement and a technology reserve fund. With a reduction in food service personnel and more efficiency in food service systems we are transferring fewer dollars from the general fund for financial support of the food service program. In 2015-16, we transferred $64,548.00 from the general fund to support the food service program, this last year the transfer dropped to $21,000 and next year we have budgeted only $19,000 to support the food service program. The increase in transfers to the technology reserve and bus replacement fund is for the additional purchase of 2 buses. State reimburses up to 70% of transportation costs and we receive 10% of the value of the bus for depreciation costs every year for 10 years.
  6. Our strategic plan and recommendations for improvement are screaming for more professional development and mentoring opportunities for our teachers and staff in general. This next year we have budgeted $31,500 for professional development and Travel/Meetings with a focus on RTI, Virtual Instruction/Technology, STEM, and Trauma Informed Practices.
  7. Continuing our efforts to apply for grants or any form of alternative funding (including financial donors) to support our technology, equipment, supplies and material needs is crucial as we move to the 2018-19 school year.

In spite of the Oregon Education Revenue dilemma, I am very grateful for the ongoing support we receive from our community to provide our students the excellent education they deserve. We have tightened our belts and built up a reserve to sustain and improve the programs our students need for a quality education. Marcola schools are always moving toward excellence, we prioritize funding based on the needs of our students to be career and college ready.


Bill Watkins