Medford School Board votes on Vibes expansion

, Posted: Mon, May 12 2014 at 4:20 PM, Updated: Mon, May 12 2014 at 11:14 PM

Medford School Board votes on Vibes expansion

Medford, Ore. -- The Medford School District board members voted 4 to 1 in favor of adding two new grades at Vibes Charter School. They will be adding 50 kindergartners and 50 fourth graders.  The school will be the first in Southern Oregon to have kindergartners attend full school days rather than half days. The school currently serves 150 students, first through third grade.

Most all of the board members during the discussion Monday night said they have toured the facility and they like what they saw, and voted in favor. Only one board member Sally Killen voted a quote " big fat no." She said Vibes has a  weak budget and it's simply too soon. "Educationally, they don't have enough data from the first year, they are not even done with their first year. I don't want to experiment with more of our kids in an unproven system," Killen said.

Vibes Charter School Director Tom Cole along with some parents were at the meeting Monday night and were happy with the overall decision. "The school board is being open and willing to look at more creative ways to help the graduation rate. That's what this really about," said parent Rich Hutchins. Director Tom Cole said  "we are really grateful and excited because it's a win for kids."

Vibes like other charter schools has its own budget but operates under the umbrella of the Medford School District.  The school will be adding an additional 7 classrooms to the current 6 and also adding onto the building for more room. That construction will start in June. The new grades are expected to be added for the 2014-2015 school year.

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