Oregon’s 287 high schools have to wait longer


News staff writer

May 6, 2006

Oregon’s 287 high schools have been waiting almost two months now for progress from mediations between the Oregon School Activities Association and school districts from Eugene, Salem-Keizer and Medford.

And after a statement released Wednesday by state schools superintendent Susan Castillo, they will have to wait longer.

“Last month, I told the OSAA and the Eugene, Salem-Keizer and Medford schools that before I made the final decision in the redistricting dispute, I wanted to give the parties an opportunity to settle the dispute themselves,” Castillo stated. “Working with OSAA and the school districts, I selected former Oregon Supreme Court Justice Edwin Peterson and former executive of the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators Ozzie Rose to act as mediators. The mediators met with the parties all day on April 18 and 26 and ultimately were not able to reach a solution.”

The case will now go to a hearing Monday in Salem. The parties will plead their cases to Hearings Office Bill Young, after which he will make a recommendation to Castillo, who will then make a ruling on the matter. At that point, the losing party can choose to take the case to the Oregon Court of Appeals.

“Of course, I am disappointed that OSAA and the schools were not able to resolve the dispute through mediation,” said Castillo. “This is a very important issue for students, their families and our schools. As a result, it will now have to be settled in a hearing — and possibly in state court.”

Mediation attempts were necessary after the three school districts appealed the OSAA’s plan, finalized last October, to renovate the current 4A athletic classification system to a 6A system. The school districts maintain that the change, which would go into effect this fall, would cause students harm due to increased absences from class and increased travel and expenses.

The reclassification plan allowed Hood River Valley High School the option to either remain in the current Intermountain Conference or opt up to a 6A league with schools in the current Mount Hood Conference. The Eagles opted up and were en-route to being back in the league they were removed from in 2000.

Rose offered the following comment; “We all worked for two full days to come up with a way to resolve the issues. At several points during the process I thought that we were very close to a solution, but at the end of the day we weren’t able to come to agreement that was satisfactory to all the affected schools.”

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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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