Wednesday, October 19, 2005/lk
Morrison school scores
high with review team
DALLAS - "Morrison School is a legal entity responsible for itself. It's not in the (Dallas) District. It's an independent school."
Those statements were made by Kaaren Heikes, Oregon Program Director of Charter Schools Development Center at the Oct. 13 meeting of the Morrison Charter School Board.
Heikes and Eric Premack of the Charter School Development organization conducted a September site review of Morrison and gave its education and school operations high marks.
The review gave Morrison a 2.7 score (on a 4-point scale) for its educational program and a 3.7 score for its operations and financial management.
"Morrison's academic scores indicate its academic competence. Morrison's operations scores, exceeding two-thirds of the criteria, indicate its operational expertise," it said.
Recommendations from Heikes include developing comprehensive data collection to better track student progress, and regularly apprising the board of student performance data.
She also suggested looking at fiscal planning for three to five years ahead.
Heikes, who has worked with charter schools around the state, suggested, "Outside the scope of my review, I would recommend the district board and the charter school board get together. There seems to be confusion as to the roles of the boards. One other thing I must say is Morrison teachers love to teach their students."
Morrison Board chairman Don Curry directed Don Wildfang, Morrison's executive director, to invite the Dallas School Board to a mutual meeting. It was further suggested that representatives of Oregon Department of Education and the Charter School Development Center be present.
Said Wildfang: "We did it all. We went back to the charter agreement, point by point." He was responding to Superintendent Christy Perry's statement, published in the Itemizer-Observer, that the CSDC review didn't fulfill Morrison's annual report requirement to the Dallas district.
Curry stated emphatically that "We're not going to react to comments any more. We have a good school. Good staff works here. Kids want to be here. We're tired (of negative comments)."
Wildfang complimented Perry by saying, "You're doing an excellent job of partnering with me."
She responded, "The school board has wanted to meet with you (the Morrison board)."
Morrison board member Jerry Nathan said, "We need to keep meeting until the bygones are past."
Morrison board member Lisa Koloen, addressing Michael Blanchard and Lu Ann Meyer of the Dallas board, said, "We need to know what you are afraid of from Morrison. From my perspective I see some micro-managing."