School district works to minimize jobs lost

April 30, 2011

A school staff layoff plan appears to have somewhat smaller an impact than district officials had first thought.

Once the Hood River County School District's budget committee gave its approval to the administration's recommended budget reductions for the 2011-12 school year, the job fell to Human Resources Director Bob Dais to work out the details of the staff reduction part of the equation, before the final budget goes before the board for its adoption May 11.

At the board's personnel policy and procedure work session Wednesday evening, Dais gave the board an update on how things are going in that department.

"It's been a huge task," Dais said. "I'd say the climate of our staff is stressed."

The budget reductions required that Dais reduce personnel for 2011-12 by 10 classified staff positions, 22 licensed positions, 1.5 administrative positions and 1 confidential employee.

Dais and his assistant, Leslie McMorran, have been working to minimize the number of jobs lost by taking advantage of retirements, vacant positions and other opportunities for keeping teachers and staff employed.

The plan they came up with leaves a considerably smaller number without jobs next year - 4.75 positions - of the 12 employees getting some kind of reduction in hours.

Details on whose jobs those are won't be known until after the budget has been adopted. But, Dais said, "Tentative letters have been sent out, saying basically 'Your job is in jeopardy.' After the board adopts the budget, the final letters will be sent out."

The board is scheduled to vote on the budget at its next meeting, 7 p.m. May 11 at Pine Grove Elementary School.

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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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