Listening and Acting

Last February the school board hosted a meeting of the community to talk about their goals and the challenges they face in meeting them. Numerous community members were offered the podium to share their thoughts and concerns. The result was that the staff and board discerned four areas to focus their attention.  At the January 9, 2017 board meeting, the administrative team presented the following summary of actions that they instigated in the subsequent eleven months.

  • Build revenue resources by increasing student enrollment in our K-5 elementary school.
    1. Family Literacy Night
    2. Updated website
    3. Video project
    4. Monitor available properties for rent or sale within district
    5. Enhanced collaboration with PSF
    6. Research and reports given about other small school districts
    7. Talks with ASD about opportunities for Ashland students to attend Pinehurst
    8. Investigation into a bussing program
  • Exceed academic state standards and innovate learning experiences to enrich the education of our students beyond the CCSS.
    1. Excellent staff
    2. STEM lab
    3. Marge Glass- outdoor education place based curriculum
    4. School garden
    5. Guest teachers
    6. Family Literacy Night
    7.  School Play
    8. ESD
    9. Art Room upgrades
  • Promote and foster Pinehurst School’s unique educational assets.
    1. Hosting Friends of the Monument BioBlitz
    2. Meeting in August 2016 with Friends of the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument, SOU Environmental Ed Program and the BLM.
    3. Support all GSFR efforts
    4. Friendship with GSI
    5. Friendship with New Frontier Ranch
    6. Continually developing relationships with ASD and the ESD.
    7. Baking program/ Healthy snacks seminar
    8. Guest art teachers
    9. School Play- parent involvement
    10. PE- guest teachers
    11. Winterfest
    12. PSF- volunteers- fundraisers- community support
  • Maintain the safety, appearance and function of the district campus.
    1. Breezeway renovation
    2. Safe walkways
    3. Maintenance of fences and fields
    4. Continually prioritizing capital projects
    5. Relationship with Buddy Smart at ODOT station


Now the board and staff have to build upon information and facts their research has uncovered. Here are the topics highest on the priority list as we commence 2017.

  1. Last fall the board directed the administration to explore the pros and cons of launching  a bussing program to bring children from the valley up to our school.  After listening to the administrative report, the board members identified many more reservations than benefits. They decided to table the idea at this time.
  2. You may have read that Medford, Central Point and Grants Pass, three of the regions’ largest districts, are exploring the possibility of withdrawing from the Southern Oregon Educational Service District.  This consortium provides our district with special education, educational technology services, professional development opportunities, group purchasing discounts and many other advantages we would not be able to provide if the loss of these districts and their much larger contributions to the consortium ceased.  Our administrators are very involved along with the other smaller districts in Southern Oregon in helping to make sure any changes will not leave us short of vital services.
  3. As ever, we are always alert to new families moving into our district.  At the board meeting we were able to identify at least five families who may enroll children in the school.
  4. As budget season begins, we know that the funds available to every public school in Oregon will be affected by the legislature’s decisions this winter/spring. The Pinehurst board and administration will continue their vigilant and flexible approach to budgeting to insure costs stay on par with our enrollment.

The school board meets in public session on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 P.M. in the school annex. Minutes of their meeting are available in the school office. Holly and Sam hold office hours most school days when citizens are welcome to make appointments to discuss any issues connected to the smooth and effective progress of learning at the Pinehurst School. Drop ins are welcome but we prefer to make appointments to avoid waiting.

Sam Alvord