Brookings-Harbor School District 17C
Key Communicators eNews
August 2016 | Volume 2 | Issue 1
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Superintendent Gallagher: Welcome Back!

Staff, Students, Parents, and Constituents:

I would like to welcome everyone back for the 2016-17 school year. We are all excited about the great work that we can achieve together. The district motto of “Every Student Can Succeed” drives our district as we focus on the best interests of our students.  We need everyone’s support as we strive to provide the highest quality of education for all students.

The first official day for students is Tuesday September 6. Refer to registration materials, and district websites for details. The district will be celebrating the new school year with a community breakfast event starting at 7:30 AM on Monday August 29 at Brookings Harbor High School Cafeteria.  We will be welcoming all of our new hires to our community at this event and recognizing those that continue to support our district including the “Stuff The Bus” program proceeds facilitated by one of our community partners, KURY radio. The 21 new faces to our school district have come from all over the nation including Alaska, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Florida, and Colorado.   

The 2016-17 district goals are consistent with focusing on

  1. Increasing the graduation rate; 
  2. Improving student achievement;
  3. Closing the achievement gap;
  4. College and Career Readiness for all students;
  5. Recruitment and Retention of Employees; and 
  6. Improved Community Communications. 

We will be reporting on progress throughout the 2016-17 school year as data becomes available.  

I look forward to working with all of you this year and am honored to continue as your Superintendent. I know that we will have a great school year. See you in the community.


Sean Gallagher, Superintendent



Summer school helps students stay-on-track

High school is a journey of many days, and the Bruin leadership team endeavors to keep students on the right track and on pace. The longer a student goes without help, the harder it gets to catch up.

"At the end of every year, we meet as a staff team and go student-by-student to determine what they need to graduate,” Brookings-Harbor High School Principal Lisa Dion said.

"We look at every struggling learner and come up with a plan for them,” Vice Principal Merritt added. “Our goal is to ensure that as many students as possible finish in four years and are done.” This includes considering options for alternatives to diplomas, such as the GED.

It doesn’t take long to identify that core group of struggling, reluctant learners, according to Dion, and the high school works with those students and their parents or guardians to suggest a course of action, that sometimes includes summer school to help them improve study habits or complete course work.

Brookings-Harbor's summer school programs have three main areas: The credit recovery program for struggling or accelerated high school upperclassmen; the Bridge Program to promote the success of incoming ninth graders; and the extended school year program for special education students from all grades to continue their individual education plans throughout the summer months.

This year’s summer school ran from June 20 to July 21. Athletic Director Buell Gonzales, Jr. and Special Education Director Baron Guido oversaw the programs.

Credit Recovery

Twenty-four 10th through 12th graders attended all or part of summer school with the goal of earning credit for early graduation, credit recovery, grade replacement, foreign exchange credit, regular diploma work or fifth year senior completion.

Credit Recovery can be done for any class that a student previously failed or was unable to take during the school year, such as math, english or science. Veteran Brookings-Harbor High School teacher Wendy Ross teaches the credit recovery program over the summer, which includes a lot of independent study and individual progress meetings with students..

"It’s an aggressive approach and we need an aggressive approach to turn around graduation rates in this community,” Dion said. “By the time they walk across the stage at graduation, they will be thanking their teachers for sticking with them.”

“There’s a reason they call them interventions,” Merritt said.

According to Gonzales, 71 percent of the students that attended received credit. Seven students attended, but did not receive credit. The total number of credits earned this summer by high school participants was 15, with 0.5 being the most credits possible to earn per student.

Bridge Program

A total of nine students attended the Bridge Program for incoming ninth graders. Only two student attended but did not receive credit. Eighty-two percent of the students were successful in earning credit through the program. The program focuses on keeping students on track in math and english, while orientating them to the high school environment.

The Bridge Program teachers this summer were Dr. Michelle Mitchell-Foust and Ibrahim Mesanovic, who also led the program last year.

Being part of the summer school programs gives students easy access to free breakfast and lunch programs located at the high school. “I really want to make it a positive fun place,” Gonzales said. “We try to build relationships with each kid.”

At the end, not only should students have retained and improved literacy and math skills, but they should know several teachers, have bonded with other classmates through fun summer activities and know their way around the school.

The school-wide "freshman-on-track" rate has improved from 50 percent to 85 percent in recent years, due in part to the Bridge Program, Dion said.

Extended School Year

Finally, 26 elementary, 11 middle school and 9 high school students attended the extended school year special education program that helps keep students on-track with their individual education programs in the summer months.

“Extended school year services cover a wide range including academics, social-emotional and therapy,” Guido said. 

Not all special education students in the district attend summer school. There are about 250 students total in the district with an individual education plan for special education needs — typically, only the most in-need students attend summer special education programs to prevent regression.

Summer-time programs are intimate and include a lot of field trips and opportunities for community interaction, including trips to the farmers market. “We don’t focus on disability, we don’t focus on struggles,” Guido said. “We focus on what you can do … How can we grow those strengths?”

“It’s awesome to be in a small community and really know on a first name basis the parents and grandparents of the students that you serve,” Guido added.

Summer special education staff included: Nunzio Lagattuta; Greg Goode; Jennifer Demalgoski; Michelle Mayhen; James Johnson; Penny Wolf; Christine Ballou; Melanie McVay; Kristina Martinez; Emily Sherwood, SLP; Patricia Walker, RN; Tiffany Newman, OT; and Devon Levine, PT.

In total, 61 students were served by the three summer school programs in the Brookings-Harbor School District this summer.


School gardens grow skills for youth; add healthy bite to summer food program

Photos: Students Ethan Featherstone, Daniel Cruickshank, Phillip Fagan and Walker Doan work to maintain the school gardens on a rainy foggy morning in July. Produce from the school gardens earned numerous awards at the 2016 Curry County Fair, including 23 blue ribbons, 22 second place and two third place. There was also one Championship Ribbon, one Best of Show and one Judge's Choice award.


It was another great growing season in the two gardens found on the high school and elementary school sites — The Bruin Patch and the Little Bear Patch.

Youth Transition Coordinator Michelle Prudden works with paid students as well as community volunteers each year to maintain the gardens. She has been with the district since October 2010. She also mentors student entrepreneurs who operate two school based businesses: Big Wave Catering and the Bruin Patch.

Big Wave teaches students culinary and business skills and has catered recent events such as the Superintendent Meet & Greet and Oregon Rising community forums. The Bruin Patch crew harvests and sells produce from the school gardens at the local farmers market. Students also harvest and donate extra food regularly to the local soup kitchen and food bank. Prudden’s Youth Transition Program (YTP) students have even taken the initiative to create a seed bank for the town, in case of emergency.

This summer, Prudden hired eight students with grant money to work on employment "soft skills" while maintaining the garden. Students earned minimum wage and worked 10 hours a week in either food service or agriculture -- depending on their interests. 

"Several students have landed jobs in industry because of their experience both this summer and throughout the school year with our school-based businesses," Prudden said. 

The school gardens received a new grant from Northwest Farm Credit Services this summer, adding to a long list of local and regional donors that have helped cultivate the project. Generous local businesses have donated thousands in materials for fencing, raised beds, seeds and other supplies. By Prudden’s reckoning, at least $10,000 in grants and materials has been donated to school gardens.

In the Bruin Patch, students used a square-foot gardening approach this summer. Recycled twine was used to layout a grid over each raised bed. This guide is useful for proper plant spacing and growth assessment. Students also used various colors of twine to indicate the amount of sun that each bed gets.

There are 38 beds in the high school garden and a geodesic dome that serves as a greenhouse. Recents projects included designing a flower bed and creating benches for the garden, as well as daily chores such as watering, weeding and picking.

Local volunteers who have helped make the garden possible include:

  • Mark St. James 
  • Pam Billingston 
  • Judy May Lopez 
  • Barbara Lillth
  • Jamie Henley
  • Lynette McPherson
  • Linda and Larry Beecher
  • Jacob Patchen

During the summer, some of the harvest goes right next door to the high school cafeteria, where is it used in the Summer Food Program. This year’s harvest included kale, peas, cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, green beans and zucchini, strawberries, blueberries, mason berries, pumpkin, corn, cabbage, chard, lettuce, carrots and flowers.

“Towards the end of the summer program that the salad bar was pretty much all from the garden!” Prudden said.


Schedule change for Kalmiopsis Elementary

We are excited to announce the 2016-2017 Kalmiopsis Elementary School schedule provides increased instructional opportunities for all of our students. Our schedule will allow equal access to the valuable resources that we have within the building, including but not limited to, reading intervention in the Reading Lab and in class support for small group reading time. Additionally, due to the longer instructional day on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, students will be afforded opportunities for experiential learning in the areas of Social Studies, Science, Art, Music and Physical Education. The schedule change does not significantly increase instructional time overall rather it redistributes time to allow for a longer day four days per week. We are looking forward to a great 2016-2017 school year!

The Kalmiopsis Elementary School schedule will be as follows for the 2016-2017 school year:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

  • 7:45-8:20 Students are welcome to eat breakfast, visit the library or attend recess from 8:05-8:20
  • 8:20-2:50 Student Instructional Day
  • 2:50 Dismissal/Bus Loading


  • 7:45-8:20 Students are welcome to eat breakfast, visit the library or attend recess from 8:05-8:20
  • 8:20-1:40 Student Instructional Day
  • 1:40 Dismissal/Bus Loading

The schedule change provides the following:

  • Reading lab invention time for all grade levels during the school day
  • All grade levels will receive in class support from trained reading interventionists during small group reading time
  • The longer day four days per week will allow classroom teachers additional time for Social Studies, Science, Music, Art and Physical Education, specifically experiential learning 
  • The shorter day on Wednesday will allow for teacher collaboration time to analyze and use student data to make instructional decisions and continue to work on building professional development initiatives in Mathematics and Language Arts
  • PLC time for staff at Kalmiopsis on Wednesday’s provides equity amongst all three buildings in the district

Making any change in a school schedule is never taken lightly. We appreciate the constant support and flexibility of our students and their families, the district and the community as we keep our focus on the most important part of our job, improving student instruction. 

Helena Chirinian, Principal
Krista Connelly, Vice Principal


New after-school program seeks volunteers

Are you a community member who wants to enrich local children’s lives? Do you have a skill or hobby to share? Brookings-Harbor School District invites you to participate in a new initiative to meet the after-school needs of middle school students in Brookings and Harbor.

The Azalea After-School Academy will provide enriching after-school experiences to middle-level students in the Brookings area with a focus on strengthening the student-school connection, developing skills for self-reliance, and promoting academic success. “With the help of community volunteers and trained teaching staff, this program will provide opportunities not currently available to our middle school students during the school day,” Azalea Vice-Principal, Sean O’Malley, said. “It’s a great opportunity to share life experiences and career pathways with kids and help prepare them for high school and beyond, while providing great after-school care options for local families.”

Students and their families can choose from interest clubs, intramural sports, tutoring groups and various social-emotional supports offered after school. The academy program will be three days per week this fall: 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays; 2 to 3:20 p.m. Wednesdays; and 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. Thursdays at Azalea Middle School.

The new program is in particular need of community volunteers to mentor club activities. The program is seeking at least 10 volunteers that can commit to 1-2 hours per week to lead fun, educational activities such as cooking, art, computer gaming, computer programming/coding, music, bike building and creative writing. 

Interested volunteers should submit a proposal of their activity to Azalea Middle School Vice-Principal Sean O’Malley via email or call 541-469-7427 by September 2016 and must pass a background check. Proposal and Volunteer Clearance forms are available at Azalea Middle School.


District welcomes new teachers and staff

  • Alice Klarke, Math Teacher
  • Daniel Schilter, Robotics Teacher
  • Debbie Jones, Elementary Teacher
  • Deborah Dorn, Special Education Teacher
  • Elizabeth Cordier, Elementary Teacher
  • Emilie McCormick Aliamus, Core Academics (half-time)
  • Gregory Scott, Social Studies Teacher
  • Jacqueline Scott, Elementary Teacher
  • James Johnson, Special Education Teacher
  • Jennifer Demagalski, Special Education Instructional Aide
  • Jessalynn Hall, Math Teacher
  • Joan Ryan, Elementary Teacher
  • Joe Salcido, Custodian
  • Kyla Siri, Elementary Teacher
  • Lloyd Alto, Custodian
  • Melissa Fraizer, School Psychologist
  • Michael Dunn, Counselor
  • Nick Courtnage, Music Teacher
  • Patricia Clark, School Librarian
  • Patricia Walker, Nurse
  • Patrick Douglas, Math Teacher
  • Rebecca Conary, Special Education Teacher
  • Rebecca Farmer, Life Skills Teacher

New website for Brookings-Harbor Athletics

Welcome to another year of Brookings-Harbor High School Athletics! There has been a lot of exciting things happening on campus throughout the summer and the kids and coaches are ready to go. Early numbers indicate that participation is up for the third year in a row. It's going to be a great year! 

Athletics has a new website this year. All Fall Schedules are located at the new website and the former website ( will no longer be used.
You can download this PDF version of the sports schedule for August and September, but keep in mind that dates and times may get updated on the website at a later date.

Don’t forget to register your student-athlete on Just go to the website and find either Azalea Middle School or Brookings-Harbor High School. You can also pay your fees online.

Buell Gonzales, Athletic Director


Upcoming Events

Back-to-School Community Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 29, at the Brookings-Harbor High School Cafeteria, 625 Pioneer Rd. Help us welcome new teachers to the district; hear remarks from school district leadership; and check out the presentation of school supplies from the annual "Stuff the Bus" school supply drive. Breakfast served at 7:30 a.m.; program starts 8 a.m.; staff training begins/visitors excused at 8:30 a.m. Donations suggested. All money will go to the school supply drive.

First Day of School Freshmen & New Students, 8 a.m. to 3:17 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 6. All 9th graders and new students to the district will take part in an exciting and fun filled day including orientation by Link Crew Leaders, school tour, and a chance to meet all your teacher and other BHHS staff! Meet in the BHHS gym at 8:00am ready to go! Lunch will be provided.

All Other Students First Day of School, 8:05 a.m. to 3:17 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 7.

Senior/Junior & Parent Information Night, 6 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 5, BHHS Bruin Career Center (Next to Guidance & Counseling Office). If you miss the Senior/Junior & Parent Information Night you can still review the information that is shared via Powerpoint on the Bruin Center website.

Unfair Labor Practice hearings, Sept. 12-13, Southwestern Oregon Community College. 

Regular Board Meeting: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, Kalmiopsis Elementary School Library. School Board information.

There is currently an opening for a community member on the Budget Committee. For information, please contact Dede Corpening, Executive Assistant to Superintendent & School Board, 541-469-7443 ext. 5105. 

Brookings-Harbor School District will participate in the “Great Oregon ShakeOut” earthquake drill on Oct. 20, 2015. Information.


Recent News

Here's a brief list of available coverage of Brookings-Harbor schools people and programs. Inclusion of any item constitutes neither endorsement nor critique, but is intended only to make the BHSD community aware of significant items in the media. Shared when links are available.

Curry Coastal Pilot: Azalea offers after-school options for local children (Aug. 26)

Curry Coastal Pilot: Brookings-Harbor school district gearing up for fall sport activities (Aug. 19)

Curry Coastal Pilot: Stuff the Bus campaign gathers supplies for students (Aug. 12)

Curry Coastal Pilot: Camp brings pro-level experience to Lady Bruins (Aug. 2)

Curry Coastal Pilot: Bruins show growth, finish seventh (July 26)

Coos Bay World: Teachers learn about high school/college program (June 25)

Curry Coastal Pilot: Beat the Heat basketball tourney begins Thursday (June 24)

Curry Coastal Pilot: Southern Oregon Kite Festival: A crowd pleaser (July 20)

Curry Coastal Pilot: Lady Bruin qualifies for nationals (June 15)

Curry Coastal Pilot: Bruins, Lady Bruins compete in soccer tournament (July 12)


Job Postings

No open positions at this time. For information on employment opportunities with the Brookings-Harbor School District, see the  website and online application.
Copyright © 2016 Brookings-Harbor School District, All rights reserved.

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