Information of the Camas Faculty District’s impending price range cuts has unfold panic amongst a bunch of fogeys and college students who worry that one of many district’s different faculties, the Hayes Freedom Faculty, could possibly be closed or consolidated elsewhere within the district.
In a February 22 letter to folks, Camas Superintendent John Anzalone mentioned the district is concentrating on a $6 million price range minimize for the 2023-2024 college 12 months. Acknowledging social media posts in regards to the potential change, Anzalone mentioned Hayes and different small-select excessive faculties wouldn’t be closed throughout price range evaluations.
“One of many many choices into account is discovering methods to share employees amongst smaller choose excessive faculties equivalent to Camas Join Academy, Discovery Excessive Faculty, and Hayes Freedom Excessive Faculty,” wrote Anzalone. “I would like our neighborhood to know that we aren’t going to eradicate a highschool on this powerful price range course of and we aren’t transferring Hayes Freedom Excessive Faculty.”
Regardless of this reassurance, some dad and mom are nonetheless involved that the varsity district is not going to stay as much as its promise, because it has not particularly addressed the varsity’s fall 2023 standing.
“They are saying Hayes will keep open throughout this price range course of,” mentioned Kimberly Berry, whose daughter attends Hayes. “I would like (Camas) to say they’ll preserve Hayes open in September. And that is not what they provide us.”
Hayes is a part of a small college in Camas with simply 144 college students as of fall 2022, however serves among the most at-risk neurodivergent kids within the district via a “trauma-informed” method to training.
“They took my hand in elevating my daughter. They’ve been my companion and village in elevating my two daughters,” mentioned Berry. “They know a lot about psychological well being and with the ability to be in a spot that helps psychological well being stabilization is nice for our household.”
Since early February, Berry and different dad and mom mentioned they discovered via inside district emails and conversations with college employees how Camas might combine Hayes’ program and studying type with different faculties within the district, such because the newly constructed Discovery Excessive Faculty.
Skepticism in regards to the district’s commitments stemmed from the sudden cessation of built-in arts and educational applications in 2020, Berry mentioned. stunned by the motion
In response, Berry started utilizing the hashtag #onehallwayoneheart and created a Fb group known as “Save Hayes Freedom Excessive Faculty” to gather tales of the varsity’s successes from dad and mom and previous college students. The group has 455 members as of Friday afternoon.
“Hayes Freedom Excessive Faculty welcomed me with open arms,” mentioned Miranda Batten, a 2013 Hayes graduate.
“As the large crowd gathered at (Camas Excessive Faculty), I felt very alone and really anxious. Hayes Freedom not solely helped me overcome my insecurities, nevertheless it made me know that I used to be not alone.”
Berry mentioned the neighborhood helped keep in mind how highly effective the varsity’s mission was for them and for others.
“(Hayes’ tight-knit neighborhood and small constructing) permits college and principals to see college students instantly, see college students instantly and construct relationships with college students. “You may’t get it on a giant field, cookie-cutter setting,” Berry mentioned.
Subsequent steps within the price range course of
Anzalone’s letter mentioned the district’s priorities in any price range cuts would deal with district workplaces, constructing administration and all confidential and licensed employees.
“To attenuate the impression on college students, we are going to first focus reductions on district workplace employees and constructing administration,” Anzalone wrote.
The letter additionally incorporates a basic timeline of what is going to occur subsequent.
In mid-March, Camas will announce preliminary price range cuts. By the tip of this month, the district hopes to inform all affected staff. Might 15 and June 1 are contractual deadlines to inform affected certification and classification employees, respectively.
“The one cause I stay in Camas is due to the varsity.” mentioned Berry, whose eldest daughter additionally attended Hayes. She “sacrifted all the pieces to stay as a single mum or dad in Camas in order that my daughters might attend there.”