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Read about Oak Elementary School’s community service projects

Posted on: November 8, 2017

Oak Elementary School has an all-school community service program on Friday afternoons. The new program is funded by an Albany Public Schools Foundation grant. Students are allowed to choose an activity for the last half hour of every Friday.

“Students were able to choose their activity at the beginning of the session. We will run three sessions this year,” said Principal Kelly Bussard. “We have STEM (science, technology, engineering and math activities, cooking, sewing, theatre, choir, art and several others. The students really seem to enjoy it.”

Read more about the new Oak program in the Democrat-Herald.




Oak Grove replacement plan approved by School Board and Bond Oversight Committee

Posted on: November 6, 2017

The School Board and the Bond Oversight Committee met tonight in a joint meeting to discuss the plans for Oak Grove Elementary School. After substantial discussion, the group voted to replace and reconstruct the building rather than add classrooms to the existing structure.

The plan for Oak Grove in the bond proposal was to add classrooms and a new cafeteria to accommodate increasing student enrollment in the school’s high-growth neighborhoods. The priority throughout the bond planning process was to address the most pressing needs while balancing the costs to taxpayers.

As the architects began to design the building, it became clear that tearing down the 70-year-old structure and constructing a new building would cost only slightly more than renovating the old structure. New construction would ensure that the building met modern educational standards, was seismically safe and energy efficient.

Estimates for a new building are $167,883 more than the previous plan. Thanks to a favorable bond market, the bond premium will cover the higher costs and allow construction of a larger school.

The new school will have a 500-student enrollment capacity. It will meet seismic codes and allow for better student supervision.

Several teachers from Oak Grove were at the meeting to express their support for the new construction plan. Fifth-grade teacher Beth Riley said, “I think starting fresh is a wonderful idea.” She said she supports the new design, which would allow additional expansion if needed for growth. “Having a plan for expansion if needed in the future on land we already own is smart.”

The new schools is scheduled to break ground and begin construction as soon as school is out. It will open for the fall 2019 school year. Students will be relocated to other school sites for the 2018-19 school year during construction.

District leaders are reviewing options for Oak Grove students and will announce the plan in February.

For more information about the construction plan for Oak Grove, see the cost analysis and comparison.  

Architectural Designs:
New Construction
Existing Building

Annual school radon tests will start this week

Posted on: November 5, 2017

Radon testing is scheduled to start this week and will be conducted at all schools by the end of January.

Radon tests in schools are required by the state to ensure that air quality is safe for students. Radon is a gas found in soil caused by natural deposits of uranium. It is more common in some geographic areas, but it can be found anywhere. If it is present and moves through the soil into a building, it can disperse into the air and release damaging particles that can lead to lung cancer after prolonged exposure.

The following is the anticipated schedule for this round of testing:

School Approximate Test Dates
Week 1
Timber Ridge School November 6 – 10, 2017
Clover Ridge Elementary November 6 – 10, 2017
South Shore Elementary November 6 – 10, 2017
Waverly Elementary School November 6 – 10, 2017
Week 2
North Albany Elementary November 13 – 17, 2017
North Albany Middle School November 13 – 17, 2017
Fir Grove Elementary November 13 – 17, 2017
Oak Grove Elementary November 13 – 17, 2017
Fairmount November 13 – 17, 2017
Week 3
Memorial Middle School November 27 – December 1, 2017
Liberty Elementary School November 27 – December 1, 2017
Takena Elementary School November 27 – December 1, 2017
Oak Elementary School November 27 – December 1, 2017
Week 4
Central Elementary School December 4 – 8, 2017
Calapooia Middle School December 4 – 8, 2017
Periwinkle Elementary School December 4 – 8, 2017
Tangent Elementary School December 4 – 8, 2017
Week 5
Albany Options School December 11 – 15, 2017
Sunrise Elementary School December 11 – 15, 2017
Lafayette Elementary School December 11 – 15, 2017
Week 6
South Albany High School January 8 – 12, 2018
Week 7
West Albany High School January 22 – 26, 2018


Congratulations, Rich Engel, Oregon Asst. Principal of the Year!

Posted on: November 3, 2017

West Albany Assistant Principal Rich Engel has been selected as the Oregon Assistant Principal of the Year the 2017-18 school year:

“The Assistant Principal of the Year program recognizes outstanding middle level and high school assistant principals who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as demonstrating exemplary contributions to the profession.”

The Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) will recognize him at the annual conference in June 2018. He is also a candidate for national honors as the National Assistant Principal of the Year through the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).

Calapooia honors staff member for keeping students safe

Posted on: November 3, 2017

On Thursday morning, Calapooia Middle School administrators called a school meeting before classes started to honor a staff member as a “hero” for her quick thinking and action to ensure student safety.

Special Education Assistant Ashley Custis was on bus duty earlier this week when she prevented a student from running in front of a bus after school.

Assistant Principal George Sanchez said, “Heroes don’t fly around in capes like in the movies. They come to school every day and teach everybody.”

Calapooia Middle School students at assembly in gym