If you are driving north on NW 185th and cross Highway 26, just as you see the silhouette of Westview High School looming on the right, you may observe an unimposing structure right at the corner of the school lot. This building is not mentioned to Westview's new teachers, even though a lot of Westview students will leave school during the course of the day without any formal check-out and go to that building...during "study hall" time.
Ms. Dungca's able colleague, Betsy Hammond, wrote a piece ("Portland-area high schools increasingly require study halls" 9/21/11) about how high schools "warehouse" kids during study hall. She quoted an assistant principal from Westview High School, Cheryl Ashdown, who contributed some fluff about expecting kids to "go to tutoring centers, retake tests, meet in study groups or use the computer lab for research." What Ms. Ashdown failed to mention and what Vicki Lukich, Beaverton's executive administrator for high schools, did not reveal to Ms. Hammond is that, in Beaverton, there are small innocuous buildings located in close proximity to public schools where, in the past, Beaverton's Mormon students go durig their "non-class" time, instead of being assigned study hall, like other students.
I don't know if these buildings are on school property or private property, but I know that the vast expansion of the Beaverton Schools occurred during two decades of leadership under one superintendent, Boyd Applegarth, also a leader in the LDS church (like Phil Knight, who moved Nike to B'ton right about this time).
The curious juxtaposition of these buildings and this special treatment of the LDS kids always puzzled me, but I had over-crowded classes and unsupervised administrators and a full plate, so I never spent any energy there.
Now, with Ms. Dungca's revelation of a blurring of the church/state separation in Milwaukie, coupled with the approaching deadline for ballots deciding the fate of the Beaverton Board's request for more tax money, the public enjoys an opportunity to take a close look at the involvement of church leadership in our public schools.
I don't think Ms. Hammond or her contacts in the Beaverton School District mentioned Beaverton's off-campus LDS study halls when they spoke, on the record, about the use of that time by public school students.
1995 Woodford County (KY) Middle School
Accelerated Language Arts unit "The Renaissance"
(Talented and Gifted class)
An eighth grade "Creative Enrichment-Language Arts" at a small middle school in horse country in central Kentucky...