Dear Members of the St Paul Community,
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2016-17 school year in St Paul. This has been a busy and productive summer and we are fast approaching the September 6, 2016 start date for our schools.
I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of the work that has been completed over the summer as a result of the bond construction projects. The Mid/High school girls’ locker room has been completed as well as the remodeling of the Agricultural Sciences classroom. The repaving of the south parking lot and the excavation for the auxiliary gym is under way. As a result of the construction that will be ongoing during the year there will be limitations on parking and access to right of ways due to the presence of the construction fencing and equipment. Please be patient, we will do all we can to reduce the amount of disruption to student pick up and drop off at both buildings.
If you have concerns based on your experience in dealing with any aspect of the construction, please contact the district office. I have included the new construction time line on the bond information tab on the district website. We have a district team that meets weekly with the contractor and project manager and we will continue to provide updates to you as we move forward with this project.
Currently we are redesigning the elementary building to include the seismic upgrades that were made possible by the 1.4 million dollar grant that the district qualified for this past spring.
The new design should be completed in time for the district to put this project out for bid in December of 2016 with a proposed construction start date of June 2017.
Early this summer when the first concerns were raised about lead in drinking water in other districts we made the decision to test all water sources in the St Paul public schools and the results were provided to the school board at the July meeting. All water outlets in the district produced samples that were well within the acceptable limits for both lead and copper indicating that our water is safe for students to drink.
We have received our preliminary test results back from the state of Oregon and again this past year the students in St Paul have performed well on the Smarter Balanced assessments. The public release of this information will occur on September 8th and we will provide you with a summary of those results in the weeks ahead.
As a district we are grateful to you for your strong support of our programs, I would like to thank the St Paul School Board, the Bond Advisory Committee, St Paul Booster Club, Elementary PTC and the many other groups that support our district, schools and students.
Superintendent of Schools
St Paul SD #45
The St. Paul school district has achieved a great deal this past year with our instructional program and our efforts to improve the learning environment for our students. As a result we have many individuals and groups to thank for our continued success.
Academically this past year based on statewide assessments the students from St. Paul outperformed the state averages for students who met the state standard in grade levels 3-11 for both English Language Arts and Mathematics. Perhaps even more important, is the fact that the students in St. Paul showed more academic growth based on data from the department of education than many other districts in the state. The following is a quote from the assessment department staff at the Oregon Department of Education about the student performance in St. Paul, “students across all tested grades in St. Paul SD performed as good as or better than the majority of students in Oregon who had similar scores the previous year. These are all very impressive, and only a few districts in Oregon demonstrated as high of performance.”
It is the outstanding work of our teachers, the hard work of our students and the support of our parents and community members that have helped us to achieve so much. You can find additional information about student achievement on the web at-http://www.ode.state.or.us/data/reportcard/reports.aspx.
This year thanks to the support of our community we are engaged in the work of planning and implementing a bond project for our district with construction scheduled to begin this summer. As I mentioned in my last bond update letter the bond advisory committee and the school board, as well as our staff have been instrumental in keeping this project on track. As a district we have been working with a project manager (David McKay) and the architectural firm of (AC and Company) to complete a design that includes all of the items that were outlined in the project scope during the initial stages of the discussion with the community and staff. As many of you know, our design was delayed by nearly three weeks following a third party estimators return of cost estimates that exceeded our financial capacity based on the resources provided by the bond sale. Since that time we have worked with additional estimators (contractors) and the advisory committee to make recommendations to modify the design in a way that still meets the criteria as outlined in the original scope of the project and that aligns more precisely with the budget. I am excited to move the district to the final stages of design with the plan of obtaining school board approval to proceed to bid following the March 14th meeting of the St. Paul school board of directors. The highlights of the bond work will include the renovation of the girls’ locker room at the high school, the construction of an auxiliary gym and music room as well as upgrades to the elementary school which will include: new windows, new heating and cooling units for the classrooms, new flooring, lighting and other electrical improvements.
All of these projects will enhance the learning environment for our students and improve the livability of the district facilities. I have included for your information the updated calendar which indicates the time line the district will follow as we move forward with the project this spring. You can find additional information about the bond project, my advisory committee, as well as other information about our school district and the success of our students in academics, athletics and other programs on the district website athttp://stpaul.schoolwires.net/site/default.aspx?PageID=1
On behalf of the entire staff I would like to extend our appreciation to you for the continued support of our schools, its students and our district and invite you to contact me directly with any questions or comments that you may have. It is my pleasure to serve and work in a district that has such tremendous pride in its students and schools.
Joseph M. Wehrli
Superintendent of Schools
St. Paul School District #45