Salem-Keizer School Board considers new student rep, support for dual language expansion

The Salem-Keizer School Board on Tuesday will select its next student representative for the upcoming school year and consider revisions to board policies as the board aims to resume in-person meetings.


Board members will choose between two high school students, Raylin Brennan and Isaac McDonald, who have applied for the one-year volunteer position of student advisor to the school board. The current advisor, McKay High School senior Grace Caldwell, is graduating at the end of the year.

The board will consider adopting new policies governing public comments and practice as they plan to resume in-person meetings. The policies outline situations in which a person may be removed from a public meeting or district property, which include “abusive, threatening, vulgar, or hate speech, including speech articulated on signs and clothing,” damaging district property, vandalism, fighting, threatening behavior, and “conduct that is disruptive to the functioning of district meetings/events or business; making unreasonably loud or disturbing noise.”

“If a person deviates from behavior expectations articulated … the meeting chair or individual facilitating the meeting will take corrective action,” the policy says. “Repeated attempts may be taken to bring a disruptive participant in a meeting to order. If such attempts are unsuccessful, then the disruptive individual may be asked to leave the meeting, or they may be removed from the meeting space and/or district property. The board chair may pause, recess, or adjourn meetings when safety of the meeting and attendees is compromised. Security or law enforcement may assist.” 

The board will consider a resolution in support of expanding the district’s dual language programs, something administrators have planned to begin in the upcoming school year.

Board members will also vote on a 10-year property tax exemption for an apartment building scheduled for construction at 420 Center Street N.E. by applicant DD Salem Center Two under the city’s multiple unit housing tax incentive program. The board on March 8 approved a five-year exemption. According to the agenda, since that vote, the developer has committed to providing 10 affordable housing units as part of the project and are now seeking the 10-year exemption allowed under the program.

Board members will also have a first reading on a contract amendment to the charter for Valley Inquiry Charter School, which would extend its contract an additional five years to 2031. The high school is expanding to add middle school grades, requiring a loan for infrastructure upgrades, and the lender is requesting assurance the school will still be operating at the end of the loan term, according to the agenda item. The board would vote on the amendment at its June 14 meeting.

To participate: The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 10 and will be held online only. Public comment sign-up closed Monday afternoon; comments will be posted on the district website the day after the meeting. View the meeting live on YouTube using the links below.

English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSUL-lQp_Cs

Spanish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIWtll7TMLU

The meeting will also be broadcast on CC:Media, channel 21.

-Rachel Alexander