First off, must give some kudos to Todd Engle and the folks at Friendsview for hosting us last week. What a nice lunch…delicious food attractively presented, nice table decor, and helpful, friendly staff. Thanks so much.
A fellow Rotarian, Bill Rogers from the morning club, was our presenter. Bill is the principal of the Newberg High School Alternative School. He was introduced by Newberg High School Principal Dave Parker, who indicated that the Alternative School offers another opportunity for students to be successful.
Our own Paula Radich originally hired Bill. The school’s first home had a few issues….roof leaked a lot, birds lived in the walls. Luckily, improvements were included in a successful 2011 bond measure.
In 2012, the existing buildings were demolished and the school set up temporary quarters in the basement of the Northside Community Church. They graduated 12 students that year. The Springbrook Education Center on Deborah Road opened in 2013. There are 117 students in the program now. Most come from Newberg High School, although some come from Amity, Dayton and Sherwood.
What does an Alternative School do?
“We explore new ways for students to learn. These kids get outside, connect with the community. Some get to visit college campuses” to inspire them. They learn how to work on a team, to problem solve, to communicate and to control anger. Some examples of this that Bill cited were:
- Doing improvements to the Harvey Creek Trail in Dundee
- Helping with setup for Newberg’s downtown Halloween celebration
- Working for Habitat for Humanity and the Chehalem Cultural Center
- Fixing bicycles
- Taking Jiu Jitsu classes
The goal is to get kids to graduate. “Get ’em on the stage!” declared Bill. Many who do are the first high school graduates in their families.
When asked what the secret to the success of the program was, Bill mentioned two things:
- The teacher-to-student ratio. “With the smaller class sizes, we really get to know the students and what they need,” and
- “The very personal and relational” aspect of the program.
Guests last week included Kaaren Hofmann, a City of Newberg engineer who told us briefly about a pavement maintenance and funding master plan that is being developed by city staff and consultants. With this, the City will look at establishing new funding to better take care of our roads. City Council plans to review the plan in November and take action yet this year. For more information, contact Kaaren at 503-537-1273 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alex Brown attended for the second week in a row, and Brandi Cornelius from the Anvil Academy was Denise Bacon‘s guest. Jim McMaster‘s son Taylor also paid us a visit.
As I’m sure you can tell, Auggie Gonzales was not available to be our photographer last week, as he was visiting family in Mexico.
Don’t forget to mark your calendar for Thursday, Nov. 17 at 6:30pm for a joint meeting with the Early Birds Club to hear a very special presentation from a holocaust survivor.