The Philomath School Board is scheduled to vote on a resolution to challenge the State Board of Education’s ban on the use of American Indian names, mascots and logos in public schools.
The resolution is one of several action items on the agenda for the school board’s meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at Philomath High School, 2054 Applegate St.
Under the ban, K-12 schools have until July 1, 2017, to phase out American Indian mascots (Indians, Chiefs, Braves) or risk the loss of state funding.
Schools that use the “Warriors” name can keep that name but must remove any logos or images associated with American Indian culture.
Philomath High School’s mascot is the Warriors; Philomath Middle School’s is the Braves. Both schools’ mascots include depictions of Native Americans.
Philomath Schools Superintendent Dan Forbess said the resolution supports the one passed by the Lebanon School District last month; the Lebanon district believes the state board is exceeding its authority by defining what’s discriminatory.
Board members also are scheduled to discuss public comments gathered at a May 10 forum in reaction to the district’s 2012-13 calendar. The calendar includes weekly early-release days for students, so teachers and staff can have more time to work on planning.
“What we heard is that while community members supported the idea, they want to make sure that staff was using that time productively,” Forbess said. “So the board may want to discuss how that time will be used.”
Forbess said he also plans to ask school board members about lowering the cost of the district’s full-day kindergarten program, which costs $320 a month.
He said that as many as six families in the Philomath School District boundary are planning to take advantage of the Alsea School District’s open enrollment policy because the Alsea district plans to offer free full-day kindergarten and transportation. Forbess said that losing six kindergarten students could cost the district about $18,000.
“Kindergarten enrollment has been declining the past few years,” Forbess said. “So I’d like to see if lowering the price of our full-day program would help us retain more students.”
For more information about Monday’s meeting, call 541-929-3169.