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Letters to the editor published Sept. 4

School board chair welcomes back students

To the editor:

I have been honored by the Woodburn School Board to be the chair of the board for the next year.

As we start another school year, it is with a high level of excitement and expectation. I want to welcome back our students and wish them well in their academic pursuits this year.

During this past year, community members and school staff worked hard to revisit the Strategic Plan for the Woodburn School District. The school district will use this document to set priorities identified by the community to report regularly on progress on these issues.

We have much work to do this year. The board is moving forward with the instructional space deficits identified by community members in last year’s Instructional Space Task Force. Community members and school staff looked at all our facilities and looked for potential solutions to the severe overcrowding in all of our facilities.

Our current bond sunsets next year so we have an opportunity to both address the major maintenance issues in our existing buildings as well as add capacity on many of our campuses. We know we cannot meet all the needs with a revenue neutral bond, meaning no tax increase, but with the guidance of the community we will prioritize the resources available to get as far as we can, efficiently and economically.

Each time I drive by our high school I am inspired by the memories of the community coming together to support our children when the school burned in the spring of 2012. Over the coming months there will be new opportunities for community members to get involved with the education of our children — whether donating school supplies, volunteering to listen to children read, serving on the facilities planning group or attending strategic plan meetings. I feel blessed to live in a community where our children come first and our community supports them.

David Vancil

Woodburn School Board Chair