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Bond sale yields additional funds for projects

Posted on: August 23, 2017

The District recently sold the bonds approved by voters for school construction projects. There was very good news: they were able to get more for the money through premium bonds, a higher cost bond for investors. For GAPS taxpayers, this means that an additional $28 million will be available for projects at no additional cost to them.

The District also qualified for $6.9 million in state matching funds that became available after other districts with higher priority for the funds failed to pass their measures. These funds will ensure that the tax rate stays at the level that was estimated prior to the election.

Planning for the projects is on a fast track. Design drawings, timelines and project details will be published this fall. We’ll publish the news as we get it.

Read the story in the Democrat-Herald.

Rep. Olson chooses GAPS teachers for civic scholar initiative

Posted on: August 15, 2017

Memorial Middle School teacher Jana Swearingen and West Albany High School teacher Erik Ihde will join teachers from around the state at a statewide civics conference. The two were nominated by Representative Andy Olson to represent civics educators from his house district.

The following announcement came from the conference sponsor, the Classroom Law Project:

Congratulations on two teachers from the Greater Albany School District being named 2017-18 Civic Scholars by Representative Andy Olson for House District 15! They are Jana Swearingen, Memorial MS, and Erik Ihde, West Albany HS. Congratulations!

Every state legislator is naming two teachers from their district to be Civic Scholars. This is part of a statewide initiative to enhance high quality professional development in civic education for teachers.

With the recognition of Civic Scholar, teachers receive:

  •  registration for the Civics Conference for Teachers at the State Capitol, Dec. 1, 2017. The conference will feature workshop presenters from each branch of Oregon government as well as strategies from master teachers.
  •  special recognition at the conference
  •  follow-up classroom assistance

We look forward to seeing Ms. Swearingen and Mr. Ihde the conference. Best wishes and, again, congratulations!


West Albany places second in first statewide unified basketball tournament

Posted on: August 4, 2017

In July, the the West Albany unified basketball team took second place in the first annual Unified Basketball State Championships.

The tournament was sponsored by the Oregon School Activities Association and the Oregon Special Olympics. Teams from around the state earned a spot at state after competing in regional competitions last spring.

Alix Wasteney, Director of School Engagement for Special Olympics of Oregon, issued the following statement:

This year Special Olympics Oregon and Oregon School Activities Association made history by holding the first annual Unified Basketball State Championship in conjunction with the OSAA 4A State Basketball Championships. This was the first time inclusive Special Olympics Unified basketball teams were included and recognized at State Championships in Oregon.

Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team to train and compete together.

Congratulations to all four teams that competed and demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship and skills!

The top four teams were

  • 1st place: Forest Grove Vikings
  • 2nd place: West Albany Bulldogs
  • 3rd place: Bend Lava Bears
  • 4th place: Wilson Trojans