|11/2/2007 8:44:00 AM|
|Superintendent’s Update #228|
1. Lessons Learned from TOPOFF 4
2. Oregon Diploma Talk
3. Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools
4. Susan's ScheduleThe November Issue of Superintendent's Pipeline is available on the ODE website: http://www.ode.state.or.us/pipeline/november-pipeline-07.pdf
Learn about what is new with the Oregon Diploma at http://www.getreadyoregon.org/
1. Lessons Learned from TOPOFF 4 Emergency ExerciseBy Susan Castillo
Many of you saw the news stories about the "dirty bomb" attack on Portland in October. While it was only a drill, we learned a lot. TOPOFF 4 was the nation's fourth major exercise in emergency preparedness, and the largest civilian exercise ever conducted in Oregon. For five days in October, Oregon tested the state's ability to respond to and recover from a "virtual terrorist attack." As State Schools Superintendent, I was very interested in TOPOFF 4 because of the potential impact on students, their families, and local schools. During the exercise, I was in the Salem incident command post at the Anderson Readiness Center.
Here are some of the lessons we learned from the event:
It is vital to have an emergency plan that covers a wide contingency of circumstances. Schools have excellent evacuation and lockdown plans but it is also essential to have a "shelter in place" plan. Some Portland schools involved in October's TOPOFF may have needed adequate 72 hour emergency kits, sleeping provisions and other supplies for students and staff to spend a prolonged period of time "sheltered in place" at school to protect them from the "radiological effects" of the virtual dirty bomb detonated in Portland as part of the exercise.
Equally important is maintaining a well established communications plan. Schools need to communicate their emergency plan with the school community before a disaster hits. As any parent knows, their first instinct in an emergency would likely be to rush to the school to get their child. During TOPOFF, this would actually have compromised the safety of students. By clearly communicating the emergency plan, schools and parents will understand expectations and what their respective roles are during that emergency to ensure maximum protection.
My greatest "lesson learned" was that it is imperative for education leaders to be actively engaged in the incident command center in order to deliver key information during an emergency. During the initial response to the "dirty bomb," it was important to be at the table as we discussed the potential impact decisions would have on students, teachers and schools.
TOPOFF illustrated the need for clear communication channels and contacts during an emergency. It sparked further thinking about how we would communicate in the event of a major natural disaster. How would the state communicate to the districts and with other state and local officials if there was a power outage and we had no emails or phone lines? In the event of an earthquake or another natural disaster, we may not be able to rely on the usual methods of communication.
No one likes to think about situations that pose a risk to our children and students. However, by participating in TOPOFF, we gained valuable insights to help guide us in future planning and promote best practices as we adjust emergency preparation plans.
I want to thank the Governor for his leadership in bringing this national terrorist exercise to our state.
In the coming months, I will work with education service districts, school districts and other education partners to coordinate a statewide emergency communications plan to better prepare us for the "real thing."
2. Oregon Diploma TalkThis weekly item highlights actions taken, various questions and background relating to the new Oregon diploma.
Partnership for 21st Century Skills http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/ recently conducted a nationwide poll of registered voters revealing Americans are deeply concerned that the United States is not preparing young people with the skills they need to compete in the global economy. The findings indicate Americans understand that the economy has changed and a different set of skills are required to be competitive in the workplace. Without skills that reflect today's workforce demands, young people may face tougher challenges earning a living wage and maintaining U.S. competitiveness than previous generations did. The voters were clear: We need to expand what our schools are teaching to keep pace with the demands of our modern workforce. Our future economic success depends on our education system and schools are fundamental in helping students regain their competitive advantage in a quickly changing world. To read the Partnership report and summary of findings go to: http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/. To learn about Oregon's plan for preparing students for life after high school in the 21st Century go to: http://www.getreadyoregon.org/.
3. Opportunities and Financial Resources for SchoolsSEXUALITY EDUCATION IMPLEMENTATION WORKSHOP FOR SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS The Oregon Department of Education in conjunction with Healthy Kids Learn Better, Student Learning and Partnership and National Association of School Board Executives is offering a series of comprehensive sexuality education workshops. These workshops will give an overview of the revised OAR 581-022-1440 relating to sexuality education and review laws related to health education. In addition, participants will receive help with developing an action plan for implementing the revised OAR within their respective communities. For more information and to registration contact Barbara Brown Barbara.firstname.lastname@example.org , Healthy Kids Learn Better, 503-947-5815.
Work Shop Dates and Locations (All workshops 9am-11am):
*November 27 - Willamette ESD
*December 10 - Union-Baker ESD
*December 11 - High Desert ESD
*January 14 - Southern Oregon ESD
*January 15 - South Coast ESD
*February 6 - NW Region ESD
STUDENT INTERNSHIPS AVAILABLE WITH THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION The Oregon Department of Education offers a variety of internships associated with various functions, programs and divisions within the agency. The internships are designed to give students real work experience and the opportunity to observe and engage in a variety of roles within state government. Contact Diane Roth Diane.Roth@state.or.us at 503-947-5791 for details and how to apply. General information regarding the internship program including details about the types of internships available; program guidelines; an agency overview; and how to apply are available at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=691.
The Superintendent's office is currently seeking several unpaid interns for the following projects:
4. Susan's ScheduleWeek of October 29th - Susan Castillo met with Rep. Peter Buckley, Rep. Dave Hunt, Rep. Mary Nolan, Senator Richard Devlin, and Senate President Peter Courtney; met with Camille Preus, Commissioner of Community Colleges and Workforce Development; and attended the Oregon Commission on Children and Families retreat in Salem.
Week of November 5th - Susan will meet with Bob Goerke, Oregon Representative for the National Association of Elementary School Principals and attend the Council of Chief State School Officers Policy Institute in Ohio.
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