School job cuts remain in flux

June 4, 2011

Bob Dais has had his hands full the past few months.

Hood River County School District's human resources director has been trying to minimize the job losses resulting from cuts to next year's school budget.

Though staffing decisions are tentative overall and some decisions won't be made until the end of the year, Dais said that the district is wrapping up its teacher, administrative and classified assignments this week.

"Though the district had to reduce its staffing substantially, it was through a combination of retirements, staff electing to work in job-share positions, resignations and leave requests we were able to place most of our teachers," he said.

"The staff have been through a lot and I can only commend the professionalism each displayed as I met with them to inform them of their job loss," Dais said.

Overall, the 2011-12 budget cuts meant the school district was faced with reductions as follows:

Classified staff - 10 FTE (full time equivalent) positions, including instructional support, custodial and secretarial;

Licensed staff - 22.38 FTE positions, including elementary PE (2.05) and music (2.55) specialists, elementary teachers (5.45) , high school positions (4.33) including computer apps, credit recovery, Spanish, theater, English Language Learners and early childhood, middle school teachers (2.00) including health (Wy'east) and consumer specialist (HRMS), district child development specialist (1.00) and Pine Grove and Dos Mundos teaching positions (5.00);

Administrative - 1.55 FTE positions, including Cascade Locks principal (.50), maintenance supervisor (.50) and Pine Grove principal (.55);

Confidential staff - 1.00, district office

From this initial "reduction in force" of nearly 35 positions, Dais has been able to get that list shortened to 11 names, with the aforementioned combination of retirements, job sharing, resignations and leaves of absence. Those staff members are on a recall list, and will be placed in open positions as they occur.

The list includes four elementary PE specialists, three elementary music specialists, two child development specialists, an early childhood education teacher and one credit recovery teacher. Dais stressed that the list will change by the end of the year.

Dais will bring the school board up to date on personnel issues at its next regular meeting, 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Transportation building in Odell.

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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