Letter at length, August 31

Ways to help out in this coming school year

For the Ashland School District, this coming school year is going to be dominated by one word, "challenging."

Last year, the Ashland School District was compelled to cut $3.8 million from its general fund budget, laying off the equivalent of 56 full-time staff members. Fortunately, no programs were eliminated, but the cuts are deep and will impact all school district staff members, students and parents. Most families have not yet felt the full impact of these cuts.

This will change when the schools open this fall and the budget cuts become more tangible.

Some of these impacts include larger classes, voice mail instead of staff members, fewer class changes (especially at the high school), fewer field trips, shorter library hours and other still-unforeseen impacts.

All staff members are being asked to do more in a school day. Time will be tight. Our staff members make this district phenomenal and we must support them as they help educate our children.

As a parent or volunteer, here is how you can help:

  • Be patient. It may take longer to respond, but teachers and staff members will answer your questions and requests.
  • Use the Web. Our Web site is www.ashland.k12.or.us. All bell schedules and school events are posted online. The school offices will have less staff available for calls and questions. Use the high school athletics Web page, www.ashlandathletics.org, to find out game times and schedules. All of the sports schedules are posted online.
  • E-mail. The best way to communicate with ASD staff will be via e-mail.
  • Volunteer. We could use more volunteers now! If you have volunteered in the past, thank you! Our community has always given generously of its time to help our youth. Our volunteer coordinator is Marigny Goodyear. If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, please see our Web site at www.ashland.k12.or.us.
  • Be involved with your student and your school.

As the chair of the Board of Directors, I can tell you that the Ashland School District appreciates all the wonderful support shown by the residents of our incredible community. We look forward with optimism and hope for the future and we appreciate the role that our community takes in educating our youth.

Keith Massie

Board chair, on behalf of the Ashland School Board

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