News from the Superintendent – August 2017

First Day Of School 2017-18

August has arrived, which means the first day of school is only a month away with school starting on Wednesday, September 6th, 2017. We welcome back our returning students and we are looking forward to meeting our new students!

New Student Registration

The official first day of registration for all students is August 15th, 2017 from 7:00 AM through 6:00 PM however, we have someone in the office until 3:30 most days and parents are welcome to come in and register before or after the official registration day.

Fall Sports Registration

Be one of the first athletes to be a Mohawk Mustang! Sign ups for Fall Athletics will be held Tuesday, August 8th at the High School STEM Lab. Student-Athletes and Parents are encouraged to attend to meet the coaches, get information about the season and complete the application process.

Mohawk will be hosting three sports this Fall including Cross Country, Football and Volleyball. Athletic Fees for the season are $100 for High School Students and $75 for Middle School Students. We will be taking payment for the season but can only accept cash or check at this time.

Student Athletes are also expected to have a current sports physical on file. Applications will be available at the sign-up event. Practices will begin August 14th. Please check with the coaches for specific requirements for the sport being played.

Teach Northwest Accepting Students

Teach-NW Virtual Charter Academy is starting to enroll students for the inaugural class! Our Charter School Director, Mr. Phil Johnson and our Lead Teacher, Mr. Anthony White will be registering students all year long.

If you have a student or know of a student who does not fit well with the traditional brick and mortar type of education, Teach-NW may be the perfect option as the academy provides a full set of K-12 courses including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) as well as CTE (Career Technical Education) in addition to the core classes.

Students who enroll in the academy can participate in extracurricular activities, clubs, field trips, and or take a few courses live at school while taking other courses through the academy – a hybrid approach to learning. The academy covers the cost of the courses, chromebook and internet activity and provides support when needed or wanted from certified teachers. Teach Northwest is also faith-based friendly and welcomes families who have strong religious beliefs.

Please register your interest online, via our website, and a Teach NW representative will be reach out to those who are interested in gathering more information.

Mustangs Mascot Update

The Mascot Committee met August 1st, 2017 to review and discuss the best images for our new Mascot image. Please visit our website and Facebook for updates on the Mustang Mascot images moving forward. Thank you to our committee members and all stakeholders in the Marcola community for your efforts and thoughtful ideas during the selection process.

Mustangs Pursue Excellence!!

Prior to 2014, Marcola School District, a small rural community 30 miles east of Eugene, had no STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering Math) program and no CTE (Career Technical Education) program of Study. In addition, the school district had very little technology to deliver a STEM or CTE program.

Currently in 2017, the community has built a new elementary school, invested in technology to implement a 1:1 program, worked with industry and local colleges to develop and implement 5 CTE programs of Study (Agriculture, Construction, Health Occupations, Engineering and Computer Science) increased graduation rate from 62% to 91%, implemented proficiency based instruction, and increased its capacity to deliver a synchronous, asynchronous and blended learning environment to its students.

The community understands the challenges of rural isolation and is now sharing their success with other rural communities by expanding virtual opportunities (synchronous, asynchronous and blended) for students to access STEM and CTE programs from anywhere at anytime. With the addition Teach-NW virtual charter academy we have the capacity to expand and deliver more STEM/CTE courses to other students who currently have little or no access to these opportunities.

Our community has rallied behind the possibility of increasing partnerships with industry for the purpose of increasing opportunities for students in Marcola and outside of Marcola to engage in job shadows, internships and pre-apprenticeships. Some of these opportunities can be offered through virtual technology, eliminating geographical barriers.

Call 541-933-2512 or contact the district online for more information.

Closed Campus Policy

Next year, all students at Mohawk Middle/Senior High School can stay on campus and have two points of contact for buying a lunch. For a variety of reasons, we feel students are safer and make better choices when they stay on campus during lunch.

CLOSED CAMPUS POLICY: Mohawk Middle/Senior High School is a closed campus which means that students are not to leave at any time during the regular school day without having first checked out through the office. Any student returning to campus after being off campus without permission may be subject to search upon returning to campus. Exception: During their assigned lunch period, Students in grades 9-12 may leave campus with a signed approval from parents. Students who have vehicles cannot provide a ride for another student unless the driver has written permission from parents to give a specific student rides and the specific student rider has written parental permission allowing the student to ride in the vehicle. All students in grades 6-8 will be required to stay on campus during lunch unless a student lives within walking distance and has written permission from parents to walk home for lunch. This pass is valid only if the student walks home for lunch. No students in grades 6-8 will be authorized to be in a vehicle on or off campus during lunch periods or any other time.

School District Facility Plan

We are extremely excited to have moved into our new elementary school. I reflect back on my first board meeting in July of 2014, when our board members reported that the condition of the elementary school and the school district facilities as a whole can no longer be ignored. They directed me and the facility committee to find solutions – and 3 years later, our community has a new elementary school.

There is no pause for the facility committee, we are implementing the deferred maintenance plan on the middle/high school this Summer. Already, we have a new gym floor and new roof and before school begins the gutters will be replaced, a new boiler will replace the old boiler that no longer functions, and the exterior will be painted and sealed. We must continue to invest in deferred maintenance as a method to save money in the long run.

Oregon Narrowly Passes Education Budget

The Oregon’s K-12 education budget of $8.2 (including lottery funds) was narrowly passed on June 27th, 2017 with many state representatives saying it wasn’t enough money. We built our budget on 7.8 billion the extra revenue actually allowed us to add back a few positions that were cut years ago. However, this is the general fund money for the next two years – and with the cost of PERS and general increases in cost of living, we will be looking at some additional cuts in the near future.

The budget caused havoc with many large school districts requiring them to cut positions and possibly reduce the number of instructional days. I hate to make predictions, however, I do believe we are setting ourselves for a disastrous budget two years from now. Measure 98 also passed. Measure 98 provides additional revenue for CTE programs. With our five CTE programs already in place we will use these funds for new equipment and professional development immediately.

Marcola School District Teachers And Staff Stay Busy During The Summer

It’s obvious our maintenance staff keeps busy during the Summer months getting all the classrooms cleaned and ready for the first day of school. Once again, this year they had to move classroom furniture, set up classrooms for different purposes and uses and paint, clean, and maintain.

Many of our paraprofessionals attended trainings and conferences during the Summer and a few helped our maintenance crew with Summer transportation routes. Several teachers have other jobs in the Summer and/or are taking on extra duties attending committee meetings, trainings, conferences and taking additional courses.

Taking the Summer off is really not an option for education staff – there is work to be done all year long.

STEM Rocks The House!

Marcola School District hosted a week-long STEM Guitar Building Class for teachers in Lane County. Through a STEM grant from Lane ESD, Marcola School District and Mr. Andy Rice agreed to host the class/workshop in the Mohawk Construction Lab. The week-long course was designed to prepare teachers for delivering a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum to students through the process of building a guitar! Mr. Rice finished with a beautiful guitar and plenty of good ideas for delivering the curriculum – but now he needs guitar lessons.

Kids In Transition To School (KITS)

The KITS Program is up and running with about 20 students. Merry Burton, our first grade teacher and also the Summer director for the KITS program is doing a tremendous job getting our transitioning students ready for Kindergarten. KITS is a research backed program that makes the transition to kindergarten easier on the student and family.

Please contact us 541-933-2411 or via our website for more information.

In Closing

We appreciate the support of our community as we continue to make huge improvements for the students we serve each and every day. Our mission is to have all students learn well without the loss of enthusiasm for learning. With your support we have accomplished many of our goals and we continue to set new goals to achieve excellence in all aspects of providing a quality education.