School Business Affairs May 2020 SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS | MAY 2020 5 A child’s voice was heard in the background of the conference call for our $499 million bond clos- ing this morning. No one asked whether she was the child of the paying agent or the bond counsel; we were at the critical point of confirming that funds were received and the transaction was closed. In the month since our governor invoked a Stay at Home order, we have become accus- tomed to the daily Zoom and Google Meet calls. We have come to know more personally our coworkers and business partners as we see them in their homes. Our appreciation of their commitment has grown. I am amazed by our senior budget manager who has led a fully remote team to produce our proposed budget document from home with two small children at her side. With a bond market that has been volatile since COVID-19 emerged as a global pan- demic, creating one of the fastest economic contractions ever realized, our team has had to move the official bond sale date several times. We created a contingency plan to move from a competitive sale to a negotiated sale because we didn’t want to redo the bond ratings calls. Finally, we sold $441 million in bonds with a 1.88% total interest cost and a $68 million premium for proceeds totaling $509 million. While it was hard to land a transaction, the results were outstanding. One of the most difficult moments since the pandemic began was hearing a high school senior describe the disappointment of missing the culminating activities of her K–12 educa- tion. No prom. No graduation ceremony. No grad night. While she is looking forward to entering a university in the fall, she reminds us the members of the class of 2020 are missing so many of the celebrations and traditions oth- ers before them have experienced. Oregon has determined seniors with pass- ing grades at the quarter will receive a Pass grade and full credit for all classes despite not attending spring classes. They will “gradu- ate,” but not surrounded by classmates and teachers. Social distancing and working from home have changed our lives today and likely will change them well into the future. Learning as We Go Visionary Superintendent Alberto Carvalho of Miami-Dade School District describes the unprecedented shutting down of America’s schools as sparking a remarkable transition from traditional classroom teaching to remote learning. He speaks of how teaching and learn- ing will be changed forever. Online learning has given parents a front row seat as they watch first-hand the level of interaction between teachers and students, the level of responsiveness even from afar. The curtains have been opened and the possibili- ties—indeed the importance—of partnerships between parents and teachers has never been stronger. Carvalho believes this transformation will translate into the next evolution in educa- tion—one that harnesses technology to surge us into a new era of truly blended learning. Gone will be mandated seat time with associ- ated funding; students may be learning from seats in their living rooms and not always in brick and mortar schools. We can all build on what we have all learned from this crisis and use it to ensure a continuity of learning regardless the circumstances next week, next year, and well into the future. A Sign of the Times By Claire Hertz, CSBA, SFO president’s message Claire Hertz, CSBA, SFO Deputy Superintendent, Business &Operations Portland (Oregon) Public Schools Tom Wohlleber, CSRM Immediate Past President Marvin Dereef Jr., SFO Director through 2020 Bill Sutter, SFO Director through 2020 2020 Board of Directors Ed Chabal Vice President David Ginsberg Director through 2022 Susan Harkin, SFO Director through 2021 Ryan Stechschulte Director through 2022 John Hutchison, CPA, SFO Director through 2021 David J. Lewis Executive Director