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6/20/2008 5:00:00 PM
Superintendent's Update #260
Superintendent's Update

In This Issue:
  • State Board Changes Oregon Diploma Requirements
  • Oregon’s Statewide Data System: A Key Component to Student Achievement
  • Two Gresham-Barlow Principals Earn Top State Honors
  • Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools
  • Susan’s Schedule

State Board Changes Oregon Diploma Requirements
Oregon’s State Board of Education took a bold step into the 21st century today when they voted unanimously to change the state’s longstanding high school graduation requirements at their meeting in Salem. The new Oregon high school diploma includes increased credit requirements, multiple options for students to demonstrate a set of Essential Skills, and the requirement for students to complete personalized learning activities. The new requirements affect graduates in the class of 2012 (next fall’s ninth grade students).

“We have set a new vision for all students in Oregon’s public schools, and the high school diploma approved today will ensure that students graduate ready for work, for college and for life,” State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo said.

“Two-thirds of all new jobs require education and training beyond high school, and too many of today’s high school graduates have not been fully prepared for the increased demands of employers or colleges and universities. I am proud that we have raised expectations for all students and taken this strong, positive step. I will work with the Governor, Legislative leadership and all our education partners to get classroom teachers the resources they need to be successful,” Castillo said.

Click here for more details.
Oregon’s Statewide Data System: A Key Component to Student Achievement
Information about a student’s performance is the key to student success. It helps teachers tailor instruction to specific needs. Information that moves with a student ensures that the education of students remains the top priority, not record-keeping. Oregon is building an integrated Statewide Education Data System that will support the use of data to improve instruction. Oregon is on track to have one of the best data systems in the country and it is beginning to attract national attention. sojourner' Currently, Oregon school districts collect information about K-12 students in a variety of ways. Some of the information goes to ODE to meet compliance requirements. This information is often not shared with the field, analyzed or used to improve student achievement. Teachers and administrators are often not aware of how to use this information to more effectively target classroom instruction. In addition, different data centers are in use throughout the state. This makes accessing and using student data between districts difficult, if not impossible. The Statewide Data System will change all of that.

There are four initiatives in Oregon that are working closely together to ensure the success of a Statewide Data System. The Teaching Learning Connection (TLC) is providing the foundation necessary for professional development. The Oregon DATA Project is building the capacity of schools and districts to better use their data. The KIDS Project is developing the statewide structure for a pre-K through grade 12 data system. And the Longitudinal Growth Model is developing a system to measure and report on individual student growth over time and across grades, in order to provide a more multi-dimensional view of student achievement. These projects provide the direction and professional development necessary to develop a system that meets the needs of all educational stakeholders. Click here for more information.
Two Gresham-Barlow Principals Earn Top State Honors
Anita Harris, Principal of Hogan Cedars Elementary School in the Gresham Barlow School District, was recently named Oregon’s 2007-08 Elementary Principal of the Year by the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA). Hogan Cedars is a Title I school with a diverse population of 550 students. sojourner'

Recently Harris was promoted to the districts elementary education director. As the elementary education director, Harris will be responsible for the instructional programs of the district’s 11 elementary schools. Harris's philosophy is that she “leads as a servant, and serves as a leader.” She fosters teacher leadership, values active collaboration, teamwork, shared responsibility, data driven goal setting, and continuing staff development for teachers and paraprofessionals.

The award is sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, in cooperation with the US Department of Education and in corporate partnership with AIG VALIC.
Photo: Anita Harris, Oregon 2007-08 Elementary Principal of the Year

John Koch, principal of Clear Creek Middle School, has earned top state honor from COSA as Oregon’s 2008 Middle School Principal of the Year. A Gresham administrator for more than 10 years, Koch has been principal of Clear Creek Middle School for the past five years. sojourner' In 2007, Clear Creek was one of 10 middle schools in the metropolitan region to post gains of 10 percentage points or more in eighth-grade reading scores. Also, during the 2006-07 school year, Clear Creek moved from a satisfactory rating to a strong rating with the state of Oregon.

One of the cornerstones of Koch's success at Clear Creek is built around the 4 R’s: Respect, Responsibility, Relationships and Results. One of his assistant principals, Nicki Hudson, puts it this way: “John Koch begins with courage, proceeds with intelligence, and ends in success in his every endeavor.”

The Middle School Principal of the Year Award is sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Administrators and MetLife. All state winners will be honored at the Principals’ Conference next fall, where they will have the opportunity to share their experience and expertise with each other, as well as national leaders in education.
Photo: John Koch, Oregon’s 2008 Middle School Principal of the Year
Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools

New Website Provides Free Resources for Educators to Prepare All Students for College and Career
Achieve, Inc., and the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin today publicly launched new web-based tools to help states and school districts establish mathematics coursework aligned with entry requirements for higher education and the workplace. The "Mathematics Benchmarks, Grades K-12" website makes the tools available at no charge to educators nationwide.

The online resource provides benchmarks and tools to ensure that mathematics education is streamlined and connected from grade to grade as students progress toward high school graduation. Also included are classroom and workplace tasks that illustrate the practical application of the benchmarks. The resource also makes available program, school and district practices that show promise in strengthening secondary mathematics teaching and learning.

"Our common goal," said Uri Treisman, the Dana Center's executive director, "is to provide school districts with practical curriculum, instructional, and planning tools to help them ensure that their graduates are prepared to succeed in their collegiate studies and to flourish in high-quality workplaces." Click here to learn more about the "Mathematics Benchmarks, Grades K-12" website.

2008 CETPA Annual Conference – The Time is Now
Don’t miss this exciting and informative conference for Educational Technologists! The California Educational Technology Professionals Association (CETPA) has launched many new initiatives and partnerships, all of which will bring to this its annual conference a wealth of ideas and possibilities. The K-12 educational community is increasingly dependent on the creativity and dedication of IT professionals. This year’s conference will showcase examples, strategies and technologies that IT and Educational Technology Professionals can utilize to help create vital and dynamic learning and working environments. Sessions follow four strands:

*Secure and Reliable Infrastructure
*Technology Tools for Education
*Policy and Programs that Impact Education
*New Learning Environments

The conference also offers a Vendor Exhibitor’s Show filled with K12 vendors all anxious to show you the latest in educational technology. They will have 175 booths this year so it is the perfect place to do your research. The Registration fee includes all sessions, hands-on-labs, tech-talks, general sessions, vendor show, president’s reception and hospitality suites. Continental breakfast is offered on Wednesday and Thursday and a full breakfast on Friday. Lunch is served on Wednesday and Thursday. The President's Reception is offered on Wednesday with complimentary drinks and food.

Click here for more information, or contact Andrea Bennett, CETPA Executive Director.

OCF Issues Environmental Education Program Request for Proposals
The Gray Family Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation is committed to creating age appropriate experiences that build a sense of place and responsibility towards Oregon and the region. The Environmental Education Program seeks to encourage a strong local land ethic, sustainable communities, and stewardship of the natural environment by citizens throughout Oregon.

The program supports four general goals:
*Strengthening and developing programs that provide outdoor experiences for youth from early childhood through grade 12.
*Creating, expanding and improving programs that connect schools with their communities and provide students with practical hands-on experience in addressing environmental issues both locally and globally.
*Programs committed to creating comprehensive, significant, lasting change in educational systems to foster improved understanding of and interaction with our natural systems.
*Encouraging programs that explore and integrate boundaries between art and science, and connect creativity with the natural environment.

Grants will be made to schools, government agencies, and nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations. Most grants range from $10,000 to $40,000, unless the project is a multi-year effort. The application deadline August 1st. Electronic materials including the Application and Evaluation Report Form are available under Programs at: www.ocf1.org. Direct questions to Lara Utman eMail, 503-227-6846.
Susan’s Schedule
Week of June 16th – Susan Castillo met with Cam Prues, Commissioner of the Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development; met with Mickey Lansing, Director of the Commission of Children and Families; participated in the June state Board of Education meeting; and was on OPB's Think Out Loud to share updates on the Oregon Diploma.
Week of June 23rd– Susan will speak to the New Leadership Oregon class at the Capitol; meet with Lennie Bjornsen of Oregon Commission on Children and Families; meet with Self Enhancement Inc staff and tour facilities in Portland; deliver the keynote address at the Northwest Evaluation Association national conference; and meet with Chris Tebben of Grantmakers for Education.

The June/July 2008 issue PDF of Superintendent's Pipeline is available on the ODE website.

For scheduling inquires, please visit our website at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?=848
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