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11/16/2007 3:15:00 PM
Superintendent’s Update #230
Superintendent with Student

1. Letter from State Superintendent Susan Castillo to the 2007 OSBA Convention

2. Oregon Diploma Talk

3. Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools

4. Susan’s Schedule

The November Issue PDF of Superintendent's Pipeline is available on the ODE website: http://www.ode.state.or.us/pipeline/november-pipeline-07.pdf PDF

Learn about what is new with the Oregon Diploma at http://www.getreadyoregon.org/

1. Letter from State Superintendent Susan Castillo to the 2007 OSBA Convention

I want to thank you for your work and dedication. Make no mistake, being a school board member is tough work. There are many meetings to attend, reports to read, and constituents to listen to, respond to, and try to keep happy. However, I want you to never lose sight of the fact that the work you do is deeply important, that you are playing a critical, front-line role in shaping not only the quality of your local schools, but the future of Oregon.

As we start the 2007-2008 school year, there is plenty to keep us involved and inspired. We have just enjoyed one of our most successful legislative sessions for schools in recent memory. We have an education budget that represents the biggest investment in our schools in a decade. We have accomplished a great deal more: expanding early childhood education, establishing a rainy day fund for schools, and creating a school improvement fund to help increase student achievement.

Now it’s up to school districts to make smart, strategic decisions about where to put those dollars. Yes, we need to restore vital programs that were cut in the past. But we also need to move forward. We must embrace innovation and try new ways of doing business. We must do all we can to keep our priorities in order and the focus on what’s best for kids.

Personally, I am looking forward to continuing our work in closing the achievement gap, creating stronger school/community connections, and cultivating strong, effective leadership in school districts and buildings.

My No. 1 priority for the coming year is an initiative that brings all this work together – the continuing development and implementation of the Oregon Diploma.

I believe the changes we are making will have a profound impact on the quality of education and the quality of graduates our public schools produce. I encourage you to visit www.getreadyoregon.org to get the latest information about the diploma work.

I am sure you know that the new Oregon Diploma requirements are about increasing the rigor and relevance of what we’re doing in our schools so that graduates will be better prepared for careers, citizenship, and life. Whether they are going on to college or into the workforce, the 21st century economy demands much higher levels of preparation of graduates than just a generation ago.

The Oregon Diploma is all about making connections – between schools and communities, between what students learn in classrooms and what they need to know to succeed in the real world, not only today, but also tomorrow.

The changes include stronger graduation requirements, a new focus on essential skills and demonstrated proficiency, personalized education plans focused on students’ academic and career goals. I believe these changes at the high school level, coupled with our efforts to strengthen early childhood education, will reap benefits across the pre-K-12 spectrum and beyond, into higher education.

These diploma changes are going to be phased in gradually. Some are already underway in schools, while others take effect for the Class of 2014 (this year’s 6th graders), which will be here before we know it. We are working with partners from across the state on creating strategies for a successful implementation.

As we move forward with the Oregon Diploma, I fully understand that the success of these reforms will depend, ultimately, on the work of local districts and schools. From the start of this process, we have emphasized the importance of getting community input, which has helped us get to where we are now. I hope you continue lending us your support your ideas and your leadership as we move further into implementation.

Again, thank you for your dedication and for everything you do to make Oregon’s schools the very best they can be.

Sincerely,

Susan Castillo
Superintendent of Public Instruction

2. Oregon Diploma Talk

This weekly item highlights actions taken, various questions and background relating to the new Oregon diploma.

A significant percentage of Oregon recent high school graduates enter postsecondary education and work unprepared for the demands of learning and earning. As many as 39 percent of recent graduates now enrolled in college and 46 percent in the workforce say there were significant gaps in their preparation. Professors and employers agree, estimating that four out of 10 graduates are not ready for college or employment.

3. Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools

COMPETITIVE HEAD START PREKINDERGARTEN EXPANSION OPPORTUNITY

On November 7, 2007 the Oregon Department of Education opened a competitive expansion process to award approximately $11 million to increase Head Start Pre-kindergarten child slots during the second year of the 2007-2009 biennium. This is in addition to the funding for over 1700 child slots that was awarded to current Oregon grantees during 2007.

These expansion opportunities were created when the 74th Oregon Legislative Assembly appropriated 39 million dollars through SB 5019 to increase the numbers of eligible children served through Oregon’s Head Start Pre-kindergarten programs.

Information can be obtained from the Competitive Grant Application Overview and on the web at http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/results/?id=41 and by contacting Gayle McMurria-Bachik at (503) 947-5728 or Laurie Danahy at (503) 947-6500.

Grant application packets may be obtained by contacting Sandy Bates at (503) 947-5738.

If you have any difficulty opening the attached document, please contact Jan Burgoyne at (503) 947-5784.

4. Susan’s Schedule

Week of November 12th – Susan Castillo attended a monthly luncheon for statewide elected officials; met with United States Senate Youth Program Oregon semi-finalists; met with Ann Rautio, Oregon Liaison for Education Commission of the States; met with Nancy Orr, State Fire Marshall about fire prevention curriculum; attended a Unified Education Enterprise joint boards committee meeting; attended a Literacy Leadership State Steering Committee meeting; met with Gail Connelly, Executive Director of National Association of Elementary School Principals; met with Annette Klinefelter of Girls Incorporated of NW Oregon; met with Dr. David Barker, Dr. Kent Thornberg of OSHU, Dr. Bruce Goldberg and Bryan Johnston of DHS, and Jennifer Wagner of Congresswoman Hooley's office about children’s health; and met with House Speaker Jeff Merkley.

Week of November 19th – Susan will meet with Anne Williams of Register Guard; attend Lane County Educational Service District superintendents' meeting; meet with Kevin McCann, Oregon School Board Association Executive Director; and meet with Sue Hildick, Executive Director Chalkboard Project.

  • For scheduling inquires, please contact Jennifer Busey at (503) 947-5740.
  • Please forward this UPDATE to others who might find it of interest.

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