School Board FAQ

How will parents be informed on the current curriculum, including Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Health standards?

The process for curriculum adoption is as follows and is also in Board Policy IIA, IFD, IG:

“As outlined in Board Policy IIA Instructional Resources/Instructional Material: All basic instructional materials recommended for adoption need to be approved for use by the Board. Prior to Board approval, parents, students and interested district patrons will have the opportunity to review the recommended instructional materials and be encouraged to provide opinions about them and their use in the classrooms.”

In addition, our district follows the OARs for curriculum adoption, as outlined here:

Via the board meetings, agenda and minutes posted on our district website, the public is invited to view the curriculum options being considered by the district. The board also reviews the curriculum and ultimately is the adopting body of all curriculum in the district. We value input from our community when it comes to the adoption of curriculum being taught in our schools.

We have had questions on the Health Standards in the State of Oregon (implemented Fall of 2018). When it comes to sex education and/or controversial material, staff will inform parents of the content and when the topic will be addressed. Families can then decide if they want their child to participate in the lesson(s).

What is the policy on keeping personal politics out of the classrooms?

The Partnership between the administration and the teachers union will ensure that staff understands the expectations and each will hold each other accountable to professional standards that we expect from staff. District policy will guide our actions and options if violations occur. We believe our staff will provide and present information in accordance with Board Policy and TSPC Ethical Educator. Board Policy INB outlines process for staff. In addition, Board Policy GBG guides staff on Political Activity.

All of our licensed teachers and administrators must follow TSPC’s Ethical Educator and Professional Practices requirements.

We have board policy which addresses staff participation in political activities. If a student or guardian suspects that a teacher is not in compliance with policies, the public complaint procedure through Board Policy KL is encouraged.

Have you made a decision regarding masks for the 2021-22 school year?

In July, it was announced by the state that masks will be required for students, staff and volunteers to return to in-person learning for K-12 schools while indoors when students are present. With this announcement, the board will not be voting on mask requirements during the board meeting. To be clear, this is no longer a local decision but a statewide mandate. We appreciate the input on the survey and you can see the results on our website. There will be more opportunities via surveys at a later date to provide feedback.

What does equity look like in Phoenix-Talent Schools?

Board Policy JBB District Equity Policy states: “Phoenix-Talent Schools believes in, and is committed to, honoring the inherent worth and dignity of every human being. We believe in, and are committed to, creating an inclusive culture where every student, staff member, and family feels seen, heard, and validated in their existence as a human being. We believe in, and are committed to, fostering a culture of belonging where people can show up as their full and authentic selves. In short, we believe, and are committed to, creating and maintaining an antiracist and equitable school environment.”

In addition, we have a team who helps guide our district and is committed to ensuring that our schools are a safe and welcoming place for all students and staff. Board Policy ACB, All Students Belong, shares a commitment that discriminatory acts and/or hate symbols will not be tolerated in the public school system.

As a public school district, we serve all students, regardless of race, demographics, language, or backgrounds; our goal is to serve children and families to help each child reach their potential and be their true, authentic selves. Based on the different needs of our students, our equitable services provide differing resources. For example, some, but not all, students need special education services and/or English Language Development. Click here to view the equity initiatives outlined by the Oregon Department of Education.

How do I access board agendas and board meeting minutes from past board meetings?

The board posts agendas and minutes on the website for the public to access. In addition, there are hyperlinks within the action items and/or the information and discussion items when available and appropriate.

When will the Phoenix-Talent School District Board of Directors return to in-person board meetings that the public can attend?

The board revisits this topic on a regular basis and at this time the board will continue to meet virtually because local COVID-19 case rates are still very high. When it is safe to do so, the board will resume in-person meetings that will be open to the public, and meetings will continue to be accessible virtually. We look forward to the day when it is safe to meet our public in person.

What is the procedure or process if I have a question or concern about a school policy or incident in one of the school buildings?

The first place to start is with the teacher/administrator of the building in question. This allows for all the information to be gathered and shared with all parties. If there is still a concern, the next step is to contact the teacher’s/administrator’s supervisor. If there is a specific policy that is a concern and all steps have been followed, parents, guardians and citizens of the school district may choose to submit a public comment electronically or via board meeting public comment to the school board.