Public can still weigh in on school boundaries

Both community forums for the school attendance boundary study have come and gone, but parents and other community members have until the end of March to share their ideas for solutions with the 12-member committee that has been looking at the imbalance in school enrollment and building capacities throughout the district.

“Even though we looked at it from every angle we could think of, we welcome your ideas,” said Supt. Charlie Beck, one of the committee members, at his presentation at Hood River Middle School Wednesday evening. “I have yet to have one of these community forums where we haven’t heard at least one new idea.”

The presentation he gave Monday at Wy’east Middle School and Wednesday at HRMS is now posted online, along with a survey, and feedback will be collected until March 31.

“Then we will gather your ideas and try to come up with the best solution to the problem, and present it to the board in April,” Beck said.

That problem is the imbalance in enrollment between May Street and Westside elementary schools, Mid Valley and Parkdale elementary schools, and Hood River and Wy’east middle schools.

Beck said that the committee’s overall goal is to create equal educational opportunities while minimizing negative student impact. So far, the committee has come up with several options, but they would welcome new ones.

Survey questions

Answers to these questions may be submitted via the online survey ( or delivered to any school office or the administration building. The survey will be removed from the website at the end of the day on March 31.

  1. What options do you see that we have not explored?

  2. What options would create equal educational opportunities while minimizing negative student impact?

  3. What would be your preferred options? (Check boxes that apply, or fill in “other”)

  4. If we make no changes, how would we resolve the current and projected over-enrollments?

  5. If we grandfathered current students:

a. would you send your student to your current school with no district transportation provided?

b. would you send your student to your current school with district transportation provided?

  1. Would you support students from one elementary attending two different middle schools?

  2. If we provided magnet schools, would you be willing to transfer your student?

a. Technology

b. Fine Arts

c. Natural Resources

d. Language

  1. Would you support a capital bond to increase capacity with no increase in tax rate?

  2. What schools do your student(s) currently attend?

  3. Do you have children not yet in school?

  4. Are you impacted by one of the options?

  5. What additional information could be helpful to you?

  6. Other comments.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for April 10 at 6:30 p.m. in the district office, 1011 Eugene St., Hood River. The public is welcome to attend.

The agenda will be posted online by Friday, April 5, and can be viewed at

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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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