Nov 4, 2019

Dear Parents and Community Members,

In May of 2019, Oregon’s Student Success Act was signed into law. Starting in the 2020-21 school year, when fully implemented across the state, this act will invest approximately $2 billion for early learning and K-12 education. Close to $500 million will go directly to Oregon school districts through the Student Investment Account (SIA).  SIA funds are intended to increase success for our historically disadvantaged and underserved students. This funding will be non-competitive.

I am very proud of our hard-working staff and students as well as the support we receive from our community. Collectively, we have a strong “can-do” spirit in Sweet Home. With the possible addition of receiving new Student Investment Account funding coupled with our Sweet Home resiliency, we could do even more to support our Sweet Home students who face the most disparities.  Nearly 20 percent of our students are identified with disabilities, over 10 percent have experienced homelessness, and many Sweet Home students face poverty; many of these students face barriers to learning. The SIA grant would potentially add annual funding north of a million dollars for the Sweet Home School District to assist in programming and services for our most at-risk students and make a positive impact on all of our Sweet Home students.

The SIA grant requires applicants to conduct and use a needs assessment which includes staff, students, and community input in the following five priority areas:

1. Reducing academic disparities;
2. Meeting students’ mental or behavioral health needs;
3. Providing access to academic courses;
4. Allowing teachers and staff sufficient time to collaborate, review data and develop strategies to help students stay on track to graduate; and
5. Establishing and strengthening partnerships.

While we will honor last year’s staff and community feedback in building our 5-year strategic plan, we also desire additional feedback for the SIA grant application.

We value your time and survey comments. The following link will take you directly to the survey:  Survey

Next steps beyond the survey: We will collect surveys through November and sort the survey information in December. The district will use the information from surveys, review performance data, and follow grant application requirements. Additionally, we will ensure we make program and funding recommendations to the board based on our 5-year strategic plan.  The final step will then be to present the SIA grant application and supporting information to the Sweet Home School Board and the public at a spring board meeting.

If you have specific questions, please send them my way. We appreciate your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Tom Yahraes

Superintendent