Superintendent Message (English)

As you know, the Dayton School District has been considering a scope of work for a potential general obligation bond to be placed on the ballot in May of this year. Recently, I asked the community to take a survey to help us understand community priorities as it relates to our schools. Thank you to all 265 residents that took the time to take the survey. While we know that you needed to commit a pretty large chunk of time to sharing your opinion in the survey, it did tell us some valuable information. Before I continue with some of the survey results, I want to let you know that the company that helped us construct and analyze the survey weighted the data to best mimic demographics for a likely 2019 May electorate. Thus, the results that follow, are fairly predictive of our electorate’s opinion (please note that the total survey analysis slide show can be viewed on our website):

First, 86% of respondents shared they believe Dayton School District serves our community well.

Second, two “very important” indicators emerged that drive support for a future school bond: (1) “Ensuring every student has an equal opportunity for success,” and (2) “Ensuring every student can learn in a safe, modern, and comfortable learning environment.”

Third, 73% of respondents indicated that they would vote yes to support an $11 million replacement bond that funds basic large scale repairs, removes safety hazards, and saves taxpayer dollars by making schools more energy efficient. Note that 51% of total respondents indicated strong support for a “yes” vote. While these numbers are probably skewed slightly high, they are favorable numbers for a “yes” vote. These funds would allow the school district to increase student and staff safety as well as ensure school facilities can be a long-term asset. The bond would ensure students have the opportunity to learn in a safe, up-to-date environment. The $11 million replacement bond is also estimated to not raise property taxes. 

Fourth, we see a 20-point decline in strong support for the more expensive bond that we asked about. You may remember that the more expensive bond was proposed to include the building of a new Innovations/CTE building on the junior high/high school campus. The “yes” vote drops to 57% with only 31% indicating strong support. These findings lead us to believe that a new building may be something for the School Board to wait on at this time. 

During our January 14th District Facilities Advisory Committee meeting, the 23-person DFAC learned about the above-mentioned survey results and discussed a recommendation to the School Board. The DFAC is recommending to the School Board that an $11 million replacement bond be placed on the May 2019 ballot.

You also may know, the District is on the waiting list for a $4 million state grant which will be available if voters approve these bonds and another district fails to approve their bond. The District is also potentially eligible for Energy Trust of Oregon funds, has submitted a seismic upgrade grant for Dayton Grade School, and will submit a seismic upgrade grant for Dayton High School in the fall of this year. DFAC believes that this $11 million bond and additional grant funding will accomplish much needed repairs that cannot be accomplished with regular yearly funding. It is also worth noting again that the recommended $11 million replacement bond is estimated to not raise taxes past our current rate.

Please see our website for additional information. I will include the full survey analysis and a list of recommended projects that could be accomplished. We will continue to provide facilities planning information to voters and the community in the months to come. I’d be happy to talk with anyone that would like to share an opinion or wants more information. I appreciate all of the people that have come forward and connected with me in the past. You can reach me at 503-864-2215 or at jason.hay@dayton.k12.or.us. Thank you for entrusting us with your children and our future!