Superintendent Report

July 8, 2020


Preparing for the upcoming year continues to be the primary focus for EPSD9. We are now operating under a new Governor’s Executive Order (20-29) as well as guidelines - a new revision was released today- for opening schools this fall. As has been the case throughout the spring we continue to work in a world where plans are tentative. We know there will continue to be revisions to the guidelines during the summer. We also know that circumstances may change with Jackson County’s status within the pandemic.

Our strategy for reopening is to build a “hybrid” model of instruction that combines in-school instruction with virtual learning. We need to be prepared to return to distance learning if necessary. Secondly, we want to maximize the in-school time for all of our students, but most especially elementary students. Our third priority is to improve the virtual instruction by adopting a common platform (LMS) across the district. Lastly, we want to provide a completely virtual option to those students who are unable to return to on-site learning.

We began our work at the building level and wrote draft blueprints for each school for the fall. We have then taken those drafts and begun working on the district level planning. Most of this work will take place through July.

Currently, and again I would like to emphasize tentatively, our plan is to bring Pre-K through fifth graders to our schools five days a week. For Grades 6-12 our intent is to have a schedule we are calling, “Brick and Click”. That means, half the students of each school will come each day to the “Brick” while the other half attends school virtually; the “Click.”

We have been receiving feedback from staff and parents. As of this writing we know we will need to send an additional survey to parents and we will be holding a community meeting on July 9th.

We do think we have a good model, but we know it’s not perfect and we know it needs more input. I’m going to take the opportunity of this meeting and Superintendent’s message to publicize again the email address we are using for feedback and suggestions;

In the board packet you will have documents outlining the changes I’ve initiated in the district’s organization and leadership. Due to the economic outlook I felt it is necessary not to fill the recently vacated director's position. Next year, instead of five central office administrators, we will have four. This is in keeping with the strategy of reduction in personnel through attrition that I outlined in my Superintendent's Budget. This decision necessitated an adjustment in how responsibilities are organized. I have included a chart outlining how responsibilities will be delegated in the work session packet.

In considering these changes I felt it was also necessary to consider the entire administrative team and place our leaders where I perceive our organization would be most successful. With this in mind, I have decided to move Joni Parsons from Eagle Rock Elementary and Lake Creek Learning Center to the central office and Vanessa Jones to the ERES/LCLC principalship. I am also moving Ryan Swearingen from Eagle Point High School to the district office to take on new duties including Human Resources. With this reorganization, Allen Barber will be the new principal at Eagle Point Middle School.

I would also like to emphasize that these transfers are not evaluative. Each of these leaders are competent and proven administrators. I am making these changes in the belief that I am placing our people where EPSD9 can be best served going into the coming year.

Kids Unlimited
In normal times the partnership we are exploring with Kids Unlimited would be the highest priority. Unfortunately for both organizations managing our schools and district through the pandemic has taken the majority of our time and energy. I have shared with you the proposal from Kids Unlimited. Our internal evaluation has found this proposal to be overall good. There are some topics we are negotiating, seeking clarification or seeking clarification on. We also still need a legal review.

I had hoped to have the board fully informed and prepared to vote on this during the July meeting. I do not feel confident in bringing this to board at this time. However, I feel that waiting until August would be too late for a successful start to the program. I will be requesting the board consider a special board meeting later in July to review and vote on this proposal.


Andy Kovach
Eagle Point School District 9 - Eagle Point
541-830-6200 (fax)