School board unanimously agrees to extend superintendent's contract

The Estacada School board unanimously approved Superintendent Mike Call's 2006 to 2009 contract during their Sept. 13 meeting.

Four of the seven board members were present: Jay Alvarado, Danny Scott, Richard Bodreau, and Lauri Hull. Board chair Mark Greene was away on business.

During the superintendent's report, Call introduced the district's newly hired security officer, Larry Pursel. The classified position was created this year. 'We're already seeing a marked decrease in some of the issues,' Call said, 'that have been dogging us for years now.'

Call also said changes in the student handbook pertaining to behavior issues will help make the system more effective. 'We're not looking for a petty, punitive system,' he said. Among the changes are the outlining of clear consequences for behavior problems, and a way for students to 'buy back' some of their privileges after an incident occurs.

According to Call, enrollment so far is up from the end of the 2005-06 school year by approximately 100 students. He also said that the district's technology department is struggling because of high demands and a shortage of employees to provide support.

The seven audience members during the meeting included two Estacada Academy for Educational Excellence board members, Assistant Superintendent Howard Fetz, and one parent.

During the hearing of citizens' non-action items portion of the meeting, the parent addressed the board to complain that many of the classes in the district have 30 or more students. He suggested that funds be made available to alleviate the problem.

Tom State, an Estacada Academy for Educational Excellence board member, addressed the school board, reading a letter written by Academy board chair Dora Morgan, who was not present. District board vice-chair Danny Scott offered State up to 10 minutes for his presentation, rather than the usual three minutes usually allotted. State asked the board to consider holding an 'open-to-the-public work session,' adding that he and the Academy board would appreciate the school board coming 'to the table and talk[ing] with us.'

Morgan received a letter from Superintendent Call Friday, Sept. 8, outlining 11 reasons why the Academy application submitted by the Academy board Aug. 16 did not meet requirements. In the letter State read, Morgan wrote that the Academy board did not accept Call's reasons and therefore plans to disregard his letter and continue pursuing the charter school development.

Scott thanked State for his comments and told him the school board will provide the Academy board with a written response as soon as possible.

The next regular Estacada School board meeting will be held Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the EHS choir room. For more information log onto www.estacada.

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