Madrone Trail parents seek intervention

A parent of two Madrone Trail Charter School students urged the Medford School Board Monday to intervene with the operations of the charter school board.

Lorraine McDonald said she represented a number of parents who have come together to share their worries about the charter school board.

McDonald said the parents had problems with the board bylaws, whether the board is meeting Oregon public meeting laws and the lack of a clear capital fundraising campaign to make improvements at the school.

"We ask you, the Medford School Board, to intervene," said McDonald.

The school, opened in 2007, will be up for renewal in early 2013, and it will be up to the School Board to decide whether the renewal will occur.

McDonald said she was one of the founding parents of the 200-student, Waldorf-inspired charter school, and since its opening, she has grown concerned over the board's ability to manage the school's future.

"I have witnessed a distinct movement away from the original vision of the school," said McDonald.

During a Medford School Board work session Nov. 5, the board listened to a presentation on Madrone Trail from administrator Joe Frodsham and board Chairman Doug Breidenthal.

Members of the Medford board scrutinized the charter school board for failing to adequately update the board bylaws since its opening in 2007.

Members of the Medford School Board said that in order for the charter to be renewed next year, a lot of progress would have to be made very quickly.

The board's bylaws state that to become a member of the charter school board, a person must be nominated by a current member, a concept that drew concern from Medford board members.

Board member Sally Killen also asked Breidenthal and Frodsham for a clear fundraising plan after they talked about plans to build three new classrooms on their campus.

"That's going to take big money," Killen said. "I want to know what your plans are for capital funding."

Breidenthal ensured the School Board that Madrone Trail was on solid financial footing.

McDonald said that while she wants the school's charter to be renewed, she wants the Medford School Board to provide stipulations that will set the Madrone Trail board back in the right direction.

McDonald requested time at a future work session for her and other Madrone Trail parents to air their concerns to the Medford School Board.

Board members Sally Killen, Ron Anderson and Tricia Prendergast all said they would support allowing McDonald to give her presentation at the next work session with time available in the agenda.

Reach reporter Teresa Ristow at 541-776-4459 or

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