By Kevin Cassidy
Baker 5J Board Chair
The Baker School District Long‐range Facilities Planning process is underway. We believe the school district's facility question has met its time for a solution. As you might imagine, a process to address this question will take some planning, effort, time and a lot of input!
In February, a committee comprised of 25 community members, including district staff, began meeting to review information regarding the state of our facilities and discussing what is in the best interest of our community to develop a Long‐range Facilities Plan (LRFP). This plan will be an active document that provides information and structure to the district as well as a course of action for the next 10 years in regard to essential facilities upgrades and potential funding sources.
As mentioned in a previous newsletter, the district has received a $25,000 grant from the Oregon Department of Education to help offset the costs of this endeavor and has contracted with Wenaha Group Inc. to help facilitate the process.
The committee will be meeting about twice a month for the next 10 months to review and discuss key data about the district including population studies, student enrollment, building capacity, national educational adequacy standards, economic impact and regional relevancy.
Members will also be taking building tours of Baker School District facilities, participating in site visits to other school districts and engaging in various meetings with staff, students, and community.
In addition to the Long-range Facilities Planning Committee, the district has also started gathering information from building staff Site Teams. These groups are currently conducting site‐based evaluations regarding current and future facility needs from their “boots on the ground” perspective as it relates to educational impact, student achievement, and programmatic efficiency.
The goal of this process is to provide valuable input to the committee about what the needs are from most critical to best practice. These teams will also be touring Baker School District facilities along with outside district visits to help provide an informed perspective. Staff member groups will also be meeting several times over the next few months to help in the prioritization of facility need and even assist with high-level conceptual planning.
Education is the foundation of our community and it is extremely important for us to foster an equitable and inclusive process that adequately represents our greater Baker community. We hope that you will watch our newsletter and website for opportunities to be involved in the discussion about the exciting transformations we can make at our facilities to better serve our students for years to come.
Source: Bulldog Pride