Text of: News from the La Grande School District over the image of Mt Emily

Date: April 19, 2024


This week Oregon Department of Education (ODE) communicated with districts about the State Summer Learning Grant program (HB 4082). As part of ODE’s communication, they stated that, “HB 4082 provides $30 million for Summer Learning Grants to school districts, charter schools, and ESDs for the summer of 2024. These grant funds are to be focused on serving historically underserved students for applicants with pre-existing plans for summer programming while prioritizing collaboration with community partners and tribal nations.” To achieve this vision, ODE rank-ordered district based on grant criteria (i.e., historically underserved populations, etc.) and notified district if they automatically qualified for funding, were placed on a waiting list, or ineligible for funding. Fifty districts were notified that they automatically qualified for Summer Learning Grant funds and were eligible to submit plans and budgets to ODE. Unfortunately, La Grande School District was ranked 136th of 197 districts and notified that we did not automatically qualify for funding and would be 86th in line on the “waiting list” to receive Summer Learning Grant funds.

This news from Oregon Department of Education has required La Grande School District to review summer program and to make significant cuts to our offerings Summer 2024 as Summer Learning Grant funds are now not available. Previous state cuts to this grant had forced the district to cut summer camps (over 120 camps over 2 summers) for students. The full removal of the state Summer Learning Grant funds for the district means that we will not be able to provide K-8 JumpStart and Tiger Academy that has run the first three weeks in August prior to the new school year. La Grande School District is frustrated by this outcome, but very appreciative of our community partners, families, staff, and students that have previously supported our students in our JumpStart and Tiger Academy programs. Students were positively impacted by these programs!

La Grande School District has prioritized and will continue to provide an online summer option for high school students who need credit recovery or original credit to maintain “on-track” status for graduation. Additionally, district funds will be used to fund Extended School Year (ESY) services for Special Education students who qualify for this programming. Other grants will be used to maintain Youth in Transition (YTP) programming and student learning opportunities at the J House and other locations. As other grants become available, we will continue to review and expand programming for Summer 2024 and beyond to support La Grande SD students and families.

Summer learning public notice on LGSD letterheadLa Grande School District wants to express its absolute gratitude for our staff and community partners who have made previous camps, JumpStart, and Tiger Academy. These efforts were highly successful in helping our student recover from learning loss during the COVID pandemic academically, mentally, and socially. These efforts were well-beyond teacher and classified work calendars and illustrate the passion and dedication of our staff in support of students. We also recognize the wonderful community and community partners that have supported students as part of our overall approach to improve outcomes for students – a heartfelt thank you!