School News

Fri
12
Sep

OSD: Getting the word out

Let the public relations offensive begin.

With the district’s pair of failed 2012 referendums still clearly visible in the rear-view mirror, district officials and board members are trying to make sure their message gets out to the public before the Nov. 4 vote. Some criticism of the failed referendums included a lack of clear communication from the district on what was being asked for and why, something board members are clearly trying to avoid this time around.

Fri
12
Sep

VASD: Enrollment well below projections

While the number of students in the Verona Area School District will likely grow once again in 2014-15, it might not be by much.

A preliminary count Sept. 4 showed only six students more than last year’s 5,433, listed on the state Department of Instruction (DPI) website. The district had projected total enrollment to grow to 5,500.

Fri
12
Sep

VASD: Eskrich named SOMS acting principal

A Savanna Oaks Middle School associate principal took over for the school’s principal in August due to the principal’s health concerns.

Sandy Eskrich, who has been at SOMS for four years, took over Aug. 18, according to a letter sent home to parents from principal Steve Penne and superintendent Dean Gorrell.

In the letter, Penne said he was taking a medical leave effective immediately, and that no return date had been established.

Wed
03
Sep

OSD: Inside the numbers: Major renovations, additions in referendums

The last time Oregon School District officials asked voters to support a pair of referendums, in 2012, they were rejected by a significant margin.

The district was asking for around $33 million then. Last week, the school board voted to bring forward two more referendums, with a cost of around $55 million, and the clock is ticking toward decision time for district residents on Nov. 4.

Fri
29
Aug

VASD: Drake brings high school experience to VAIS


Photo by Scott Girard. New Verona Area International School director Barbara Drake stands in front of a map of China in one of the school’s classrooms.

For years before she retired in 2009, Barbara Drake worked to bring a Chinese program to her high school in Illinois.

She couldn’t get it mostly because of tight budgets. Instead, she’ll help bring the language to Verona students as the new director at Verona Area International School.

Fri
29
Aug

Admin trio gets fresh start at VAHS


Photo by Scott Girard. Pheng Lee, Dan Kigeya and Tamara Sutor were all hired since May, as all three of last year’s associate principals at Verona Area High School left. They hope to bring fresh ideas to the school, and all report enjoying their short time in the district thus far.

Pheng Lee was “very hesitant to come to Verona” when he was offered an associate principal job at Verona Area High School in the spring.

In fact, he turned down the first job the district offered him in May, calling VAHS principal Pam Hammen two days before the school board was set to approve his contract.

Thu
28
Aug

OSD: Following the footsteps


Photo by Scott De Laruelle. New Oregon High School assistant principal Josh Iverson takes some time out to chat during a day-long session on personalized learning earlier this month.

Assistant high school principals often get a reputation for being the “heavy,” or the school disciplinarian. But new Oregon High School assistant principal Josh Iverson comes to his job with a different perspective – a background in special education teaching that carries on a family tradition.

The Viroqua native credits his passion for teaching special education to his mother, a long-time special education teacher.

Thu
28
Aug

OSD: $54.6 million referendum on Nov. ballot

Oregon School District voters will decide in November on a pair of referendums totaling nearly $55 million.

The two questions are both related to capital projects and maintenance on district schools.

A third potential referendum question that was discussed at the previous week’s special meeting related to teacher compensation was pushed back, as the board indicated a desire to instead put that on the April ballot.

Sat
23
Aug

VAHS block schedule plan back for 2015-16

After another year of planning, the seven 50-minute class period schedule once again appears set to become history at Verona Area High School.

A “block schedule,” featuring three classes up to 90 minutes each and two “skinny” blocks – a full block split in half – would replace the current schedule in 2015-16 under the proposal.

Sat
23
Aug

VAHS: AP enrollment demographics improving

After presenting a set of troubling statistics on Advanced Placement enrollment to the school board in December, Hammen returned to the school board with good news Monday night.

In December, she had outlined the lack of underrepresented and low-income students signing up for the college preparation classes, despite a survey that found 94 percent of VAHS students had college aspirations.

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