Salem-Keizer teachers file labor complaint over involuntary transfer, restricted visits

woman writing on dry erase board

The Salem Keizer Education Association has filed an unfair labor practice complaint against Salem-Keizer Public Schools for allegedly discriminating against and unfairly transferring an elementary school teacher, and restricting the union’s access to its members.

The complaint was filed with the Oregon Employment Relations Board in early March, but Lillian Govus, director of communications for the school district, said they have not been served and, as a result, have not issued a formal response.

Once served, district officials have 10 days to respond to the complaint.

Read about the complaint and the district’s response here.




Meet your 2019 Salem-Keizer School Board candidates

i voted sticker lot

Three seats on the Salem-Keizer School Board are up for election May 21, with six candidates in the running after meeting the recent filing deadline.

Mental health support, school funding and expanded opportunities for students were among the priorities cited by the candidates in a Statesman Journal survey. School safety and improving graduation rates were other common goals.

Board members are elected to serve four-year terms without pay. Though they each represent specific zones, the board is responsible for working together to serve all 42,200-plus students in Salem-Keizer Public Schools.

Read the full story here to learn about each candidate.

South Salem High School pairs special needs students with peers in unified program

brown basketball on grey floor

South Salem High School was recently recognized at its Choose to Include assembly as a Unified Champion School by Special Olympics Oregon. They are the 15th school in the state to earn the distinction, and the only one in Salem-Keizer Public Schools.

South Salem is part of the growing movement to make schools more inclusive for  students with special needs and different abilities, not just by offering classes and activities, but by creating a school environment in which bullying is not tolerated, stereotypes aren’t perpetuated and hurtful language isn’t used.

Read the full story here.

McKay High School students in Salem receive $10,000 in MIT invention program


A team of McKay High School students are determined to make life easier for adults with the life-altering condition of dysphagia.

And their solution has proved so successful, McKay’s team was selected as one of 15 teams nationwide to receive a grant of up to $10,000 from the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams program through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

They’re the only team from Oregon.

If they’re able to raise enough money, they’ll fly to MIT in June for the 2019 EurekaFest and present their invention.

Read the full story here.

Salem-Keizer community ‘not ready for integration’ to reach equity in schools

back bus education school

Under a proposed boundary plan for Salem-Keizer Public Schools, older, more racially and economically diverse and overcrowded schools will continue as such, despite improvements under the district’s $620 million capital-construction bond program.

The newer, more white and affluent schools also will receive building and classroom improvements, but no additional students.

That has some patrons from Salem’s and Keizer’s lower-income neighborhoods venting their frustration and disappointment to school administrators and board members, especially since more than half of the district’s 42,200 students identify with a race or ethnicity other than white.

Read more here.

Follow-up: Salem-Keizer School Board OKs boundary changes 5-2

Report: Oregon needs more adults, money, training to handle disruptive classrooms

two girls doing school works

Name calling and profanity. Spitting, kicking and hitting. Ripping books. Brandishing scissors.

These are some of the behaviors educators say are increasing in Oregon classrooms.

Teachers have voiced concerns to the Oregon Education Association over the past few years about disruptive behaviors that not only affect the student doing those things, but also have lasting effects on their peers and educators.

The association released a report  detailing what they call “a crisis of disruptive learning.”

Read more about the report and issues here.



Salem teens head to 61st Annual Grammy Awards for songs about addiction, mental health


Andrew “Chowder” McMains, David “Big D.A.Q.” Bond and Caleb “lil Gordito” McDonald are three Salem teens rapping their way into the music industry with songs about addiction and mental health.

They’ve been recognized for songs they submitted to the national Teens Make Music competition, hosted by California charity MusiCares.

McMains’ and Bond’s song won first place and McDonald’s took third. All three will fly to Los Angeles to attend the 61st Annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10.

Read about the boys and their journey here.

Oregon graduation rates up across the board, Salem-Keizer sees some drops

accomplishment ceremony education graduation

Oregon is seeing more students graduate high school, with increases across the board regardless of demographics.

More than 78 percent of all eligible high schoolers in Oregon graduated in four years in 2017-18, according data released by the Oregon Department of Education.

This is a 2-percentage-point increase from the previous year and brings Oregon the closest it has been in recent history to having 80 percent of students graduating on time.

Even when looking at individual demographics, Oregon’s numbers have all increased.

Regardless of gender, disability or economic status, race or language background, every single group saw gains this past school year.

And while Salem-Keizer Public Schools saw similar gains, but also had some decreases.

Read the full story here.



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