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Citizen's View: Help inform LOSD bond process by joining board on school tours

As a parent of students, I know that the last thing my boys want to think about during our spectacular July summer is going back to school. So I’m going to excuse all students, but I’d like to ask everyone else to join your school principals, Superintendent Heather Beck, Executive Director of Project Management Randy Miller and the entire Lake Oswego School Board for a tour of our schools over the next few weeks.

You may ask, “Why do we need to tour our schools?” Here’s why: The district is in the final stages of working through our bond proposal to update, modernize and enhance the security of each of our schools, and we want all our citizens to see our buildings up close.

School board and staff have attended more than 50 community meetings and held a series of bond committee meetings in the past two years, making sure we covered every base before we forward a proposal to voters. Now what we really want is your direct input. We would like to personally walk through our community schools with you and really listen to everyone’s suggestions.

It is my belief that the more input we get, the better the outcome. By holding these meetings without students in the buildings, we will be able to give everyone our undivided attention.

Our goal as a board is, as my colleague John Wendland stated, to “measure twice and cut once.” I would say that we have measured dozens of times. But as we fast approach a deadline for deciding what our board will recommend to the community, we felt it important to open our doors and be the beneficiary of your wisdom.

Please feel free to attend as many Open Houses as you wish. It really might be a great time to explore a new school, or perhaps revisit one that your child attended years ago. Either way, just head to a local school in the next few weeks, where you will be welcomed with open arms.

Two schools not on the list of tours are Palisades and Uplands. Palisades is open to the public during regular business hours and is currently leased to the City of Lake Oswego. Uplands Elementary is open for preschool classes during the summer; we will not be giving tours there so that we don’t distract from teaching.

Otherwise, our schedule is as follows:

Lake Oswego High School: Monday, Aug. 1, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Principal Rollin Dickinson and school board member John Wendland will host.

Lakeridge High School: Monday, Aug. 1, from 10-11 a.m. Principal Jennifer Schiele and school board member John Wendland will host.

Forest Hills Elementary: Monday, Aug. 8, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Principal Amy Blakey and school board Vice Chairman John Wallin will host.

Hallinan Elementary: Monday, Aug. 8, from 10-11 a.m. Principal Alix Pickett and school board Chairwoman Sarah Howell will host.

Lake Grove Elementary: Tuesday, Aug. 9, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Principal Carol Whitten and school board member Liz Hartman will host.

Oak Creek Elementary: Tuesday, Aug. 9, from 10-11 a.m. Principal Lilian Sarlos and school board member Liz Hartman will host.

River Grove Elementary: Monday, Aug. 15, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Principal Dan Draper and school board Chairwoman Sarah Howell will host.

Westridge Elementary: Monday, Aug. 15, from 10-11 a.m. Principal Kari Montgomery and school board Chairwoman Sarah Howell will host.

Lake Oswego Junior High: Tuesday, Aug. 16, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Principal Sara Deboy and school board member Bob Barman will host.

Lakeridge Junior High: Tuesday, Aug. 16, from 10-11 a.m. Principal Kurt Schultz and school board member Bob Barman will host.

We all hope to see you at our Lake Oswego School District Open Houses!

Bob Barman is a member of the Lake Oswego School Board.