Spotlight on North Douglas School District
“We do what it takes to help students succeed. The staff goes the extra mile.”
– North Douglas School District Superintendent Jody Cyr
Spotlight on North Douglas School District
North Douglas School District has a vision: Transform the student experience so that they are equipped to learn, live, work and contribute to their communities. The northernmost school district in Douglas County located in Drain serves approximately 350 students who attend PreK through twelfth grades.
The district stays focused by preparing students for the challenges of today and inspiring a vision for tomorrow. “We’re able to give students individualized attention,” said North Douglas School District Superintendent Jody Cyr. “We do what it takes to help students succeed. The staff goes the extra mile.”
Cyr’s professional background includes teaching, coaching and administration. As superintendent he continues to coach and took time to talk about the district before he headed to the girls’ high school basketball practice.
Cyr explained that the district has a clear idea of their mission, which guides decisions. “We figure out how to use funding to address priorities and goals,” he said. “Our five-person volunteer school board works tirelessly to set policies to meet the needs of students. Our staff also plays a part in meeting our goals.”
The district is committed to creating caring and positive learning environments beginning in preschool. North Douglas Preschool is a Preschool Promise site located in the elementary wing of the North Douglas Elementary Middle School campus. A focus on hands-on activities and social-emotional learning prepares young students for kindergarten and beyond.
Principal Emily Reed began her 19-year career at the district’s elementary and middle school. She worked as a teacher, coach and special education director before stepping into her new role last year. “We’re all here for the same reasons, the kids,” she said.
Reed explained that there’s a focus on treating others with kindness. “We want kids to feel safe, be respectful and be responsible,” she said. “We set the expectations and acknowledge students who display examples of expected behavior.” Pizza with the Principal is a monthly event intended to celebrate students and is one of the ways that students’ exemplary behavior is recognized.
Additionally, an emphasis on reading is another objective of the district. “Our goal is for all students to be able to read by third grade,” said Reed. A reading coordinator provides assessments and guidance to support students and teachers.
“We have a fantastic team full of energy who brings new ideas and perspectives,” said Reed. Recently, the middle school teachers pitched an idea to expand electives to include Community 101, art, digital media and world cultures. “We go out of our way to make learning fun.”
Opportunities for an enjoyable learning experience continue into high school. In addition to a traditional academic curriculum, students are also required to take careers, computer applications, health, personal finance, physical education, weights and fitness, and a culminating high school project seminar. Electives are also an important piece in a student’s journey. There are various options such as art, building construction, multi-media and business classes. Students may also take dual credit college level courses from Southern Oregon University and Umpqua Community College.
Principal Scott Yakovich is proud of the senior class. “Our seniors were freshman at the start of the pandemic,” he said. “This class is a strong group of kids. They’re good students.”
High school students may also participate in extracurricular activities such as band, FBLA and athletics.
The athletics program includes football, volleyball, cross country, basketball, wrestling, baseball, softball, and track, with opportunities that continue from middle school, and begin as early as first grade through a partnership with Drain’s North Douglas Park and Recreation Department.
Athletics provide a way for students to have fun and spend time with friends in the presence of a mentor. “Some of the most influential people in my life were coaches as well as teachers,” Yakovich said, remembering his childhood. He has also worked as a coach and understands the important influence that coaches have on students.
This community-centered district continues making plans, looking forward. The highlights mentioned represent a fraction of opportunities, improvements and success stories within this district. To learn more, visit www.northdouglas.k12.or.us.