PTO Meeting Minutes October 2015

PTO Meeting Minutes 10/20/15


Teachers: Nicole, Terri and Principal Tom

Superintendent Dr. Gustavo Balderas (Gus)

  • 4J has approximately  17000 kids in district.  7th largest.
  • IHS in three high schools, and starting with the first
  • International baccalaureate program in the state.
  • First few months, he was mostly just listening.
  • Goal is to develop a community action plan.  Listen and see what community expectations for 4J will be.  Will take a while but very good information. Incremental changes at district level.
  • Staffing allocations and class size.  Looking at different ways to allocate.  Spring projections.
  • Allocate staffing in the budget.  Very proactive looking at numbers all summer to make sure there is an action plan in place to manage the numbers, especially in Kindergarten.
  • He’s also looking at the transfer process and considering transportation for those students.
  • Master plan.  Camas will have a new building in 2018.  Now Roosevelt and Howard.  Next for ATA and River Road.   We are high on the list.
  • Property taxes are already allocated.
  • We are working at 125% here.  How can we manage?  Possibly changing boundaries.  Not a popular option, especially considering the school will be rebuilt, larger in the new few years.  Portables or modulars.  Interim measures to go out to bond.
  • Wouldn’t do reboundary right now, since we are going to build   probably do modular.
  • New building will be at 600 capacity.
  • Big believer in community schools.  Interim measures to keep everyone here.
  • Tom’s last year.  Will be have any participation in new principal selection?
  • Process will be that the Superintendent comes out and meets with parents, teachers and staff to find out qualities sought.  Option for a couple parents sitting on committee.  Screening and interview committee.  He makes the final selection.    Someone will come out in the spring to talk to the PTO.
  • Some felt that parents’ voices heard but didn’t have much impact in the past.  Teachers and parents work so hard for this school and frustrating to not have the right person.  It will be a very transparent process.  Personality and fit is important.
  • Will build on same property site.   It would go on lower ground and then remove this building and make a playground.
  • Look at structure and effectivity.  Community action process.  40-50 leaders review data.  Surveying district data.  Frame up important areas. Try to align budget to those priorities.
  • How do we provide support to keep kids in school and graduate.
  • 600 is really an optimal amount to eliminate blended classrooms.  The model for rebuild will be for a 600 student school.
  • City expected to grow by 30-40 thousand people this next year.  Will study and figure out best moves toward schools.  Gus doesn’t like to close schools.  Only save $400K closing.
  • Is there any other options for teachers’ aides?  Budget driven and already been allocated.   Post measure 5.    Need a permanent solution.
  • Goal to reduce class size.  Especially at K-3, with additional support at elementary.
  • New principal will be matched for someone believing in Project Based Learning and multiage classrooms.
  • How can we utilize university students ?


  • Staff is super clear about who can fill this role to help move forward.  Not a school for a rookie.  Complicated school.  A lot of people want this job. Should have a lot of applicants.
  • There is a process and what happens beneath sand within that process.  Have been working it for almost three years.   Tom knows how the district works and has good relationships with HR.
  • Tom promotes Camas to the district and has a good reputation.  Less likely that the district will say, “We know better than you”.
  • We got an increase in staff this year, but also a large increase in neighborhood families.
  • We are closed to transfers.   Can’t get off the waiting list.  The trajectory of where it’s going is amazing.   Unlike any school he’s been too.  Doesn’t matter as much about school size than class size.
  • PTO supports about $35K of staffing funds.
  • Kinder is getting a .3FTE to help Terri and Liz.
  • Task force on class sizes will be formed.