School district eyes changes for Cascade Locks High School

This year’s juniors might be the last students to graduate from Cascade Locks High School. Declining enrollment in Cascade Locks and growing student numbers at Hood River Valley High School suggest the need to examine whether or not to keep Cascade Locks a K-12 school, Superintendent Jerry Sessions said this week. The district has begun studying the idea of changing the school to a kindergarten-through-eighth grade facility, effective in 2003-04. CLHS students would attend Hood River Valley High School or regional community colleges. “We need to start a conversation about the future of Cascade Locks High School,” Sessions said. “We are not talking about closing the school; we are committed to keeping a school open in Cascade Locks.” Sessions said he wants the district to reach a decision by March 2003, when the schools’ funding picture for the next year is known. In what is the start of an extended discussion, Sessions and first-year principal Chris Daniels met with a group of a dozen Cascade Locks citizens Tuesday to discuss what he acknowledges would involve a major change for the Cascade Locks community. “We want input from the community,” Sessions said. He appears likely to receive it. “To the residents of Cascade Locks the closing of the high school is not feasible and not desirable,” said Dr. Robin Voetterl, a Cascade Locks resident who is helping facilitate discussions with the district. “In our minds there is no question. It is a moot suggestion and we are going to work as hard as we can with the county and the city and the school district staff and our own staff to make sure that doesn’t happen,” said Voetterl (pronounced va-TEL). Sessions said the idea of making Cascade Locks K-8 arises from fiscal reality, given the disparate class sizes at the two high schools. Class sizes average about 11 students at CLHS, compared with about 28 at HRVHS. HRVHS will lose 2.33 teaching positions in 2002-03 if the proposed budget is approved next month. Under the proposed budget Cascade Locks’ teaching staff would lose one-half a position, at the elementary level. Sessions said that because of state graduation requirements, CLHS staffing could not be reduced. Sessions said a number of options are open to consideration, including going to a K-10 enrollment at Cascade Locks, and allowing students to take classes at Mt. Hood Community College or Columbia Gorge Community College. The future of Cascade Locks School will be discussed in the school band room on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., during a meeting of an existing visioning group for the school. The group includes students and community members, Sessions said.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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