(FRL = Free and Reduced Lunch)
In this email response from Superintendent Christy Perry, she discusses the resolution to hire a sworn police officer, and the decision that she and the Salem Keizer School District School Board made. They listened to the concerns voiced by SKCE and several other groups and took the information very seriously.
As I shared last week, I truly appreciate the time you took to come to our board meeting and share your concerns around the resolution to authorize SKPS as a law enforcement agency. Tonight, after reflecting on your comments and meeting with a group of community leaders, I am requesting the resolution be withdrawn.
The recommendation to withdraw the resolution was advocated for by members of the NAACP, Mano a Mano, Latinos Unidos Siempre, faith leaders, educators, parents and students. Board Chair Kathy Goss and Vice-Chair Sheronne Blasi joined in the dialogue.
The Salem-Keizer Public Schools (SKPS) Office of Safety and Risk Management will move forward hiring for the position of security manager, which was vacated in June. In keeping with its previous role, it will not be filled by a sworn officer. The security manager will support the threat prevention system, advise staff on operational security, support building staff on security-related issues and serve as a liaison with local law enforcement agencies who staff school resource officers.
The school district will continue examining avenues to better perform in-depth background checks as needed for staff and volunteers.
Thank you to Superintendent Perry and the School Board for being so responsive to concerns voiced by citizen advocates.
The Oregon Community Foundation has awarded a 3-year grant to SKCE, beginning in the summer of 2018. The goal is to strengthen the fundraising and marketing capacity for programming that helps spanish speaking parents improve the educational achievement of their children.
The first year award is $30,000, the second year is $25,000 and the third year is $20,000.
On March 14th, 2018, the Spirit Mountain Community Fund awarded a grant to SKCE. Annalivia Palazzo Angulo and Yadira Juarez received the $40,000 award for SKCE. The Spirit Mountain Community Fund awarded this grant to SKCE so that we can, using our Early Learning parent engagement programs, increase the success of Latino students with immigrant backgrounds and Spanish as their home language in the Salem Keizer School District. Thanks to the generosity of the Spirit Mountain Community Fund, these programs will be in several Title I elementary schools in the spring and fall of 2018.
There is an achievement gap between ELL (English Language Learners) and Latino students compared to White students in the Salem Keizer School District. Research shows that if struggling readers have not successfully met the achievement skills of their peers by third grade or age nine, we risk losing up to 75% of them to low performance, low attendance rates, failure to graduate, not being ready for college, or dropping out altogether. Our Parent Engagement programs are successful in affecting student success, from pre-school to high school, all of which use culturally relevant methods and curriculum, with Latino Parent facilitators who have the same culture and life experiences as participants.