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9/12/2008 7:00:00 AM
Superintendent's Update #272
Superintendent's Update

In This Issue:
  • State Releases Homeless Student Report
  • Oregon's Fourth Annual Poetry Out Loud Contest
  • Oregon Diploma Talk
  • Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools
  • Susan’s Schedule

State Releases Homeless Student Report

SALEM – State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo announced today that Oregon’s homeless student population for the 2007-08 school year was 15,859. Homeless students are defined as those who lack fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. A homeless family could live in an emergency shelter or share housing with others due to loss of housing or economic hardship, stay at motels, or live in cars, parks, public places, tents, trailers, or other similar settings. The number of homeless students in Oregon has continued to grow since the first report was issued five years ago:
  • 8,143 (2003-04)
  • 11,294 (2004-05)
  • 13,159 (2005-06)
  • 15,517 (2006-07)
  • 15,859 (2007-08) – an increase of 93% since 2003-04
"Thousands of children in Oregon continue to attend school despite unstable living situations,” Castillo said. “Homeless students face huge challenges before they even get to the classroom door. Schools have an important part to play in helping these students, along with many other public and private organizations. The value of this report is that it shines a light on students who need extra support to overcome barriers to their success in school, and I encourage education and community leaders to look at their local plans for ensuring their classroom doors are open to all students."

Other results of the 2007-08 homeless student count are listed below:
  • 15,859 of Oregon’s 566,067 students (3%) were homeless for some period of time during 2007-08
  • 7,032 homeless students were in elementary schools (enrolled in grades K-5)
  • 3,224 homeless students were in middle schools (enrolled in grades 6-8)
  • 5,603 homeless students were in high schools (enrolled in grades 9-12)
  • Just as in past years, the greatest numbers of homeless students were 12th graders (1,774)
  • 2,802 students within the total count were unaccompanied homeless minors who had been abandoned by parents, or had run away from home or foster care placement.
  • 11,112 homeless students shared housing with relatives or friends due to economic hardship, such as foreclosure, homes destroyed by floods or fires, job losses, etc.
  • 970 students in Oregon lived in a motel as their primary residence during the 07-08 school year
  • 1,820 homeless students lived in a shelter as their primary residence
  • 1,957 students were “unsheltered,” meaning they lived in cars, sheds, tents, on the streets, and/or in structures not meant for human habitation.
Funding for school districts serving homeless students comes from the federal McKinney-Vento Act’s Homeless Education Program. The Act ensures that homeless children have equal access to the same education provided to other children, with special accommodations if students need items such as clothing and shoes. Districts also use Title I-A of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) to help fund services to homeless students, as well as local funds, donations and fundraising activities.

The following school districts reported the largest numbers of homeless students during 2007-08:
Portland (1,232 of 49,297 total enrollment)
Medford (1,094 of 12,408 total enrollment)
Beaverton (973 of 37,812 total enrollment)
Salem-Keizer (844 of 40,144 total enrollment)
Eugene (632 of 18,025 total enrollment)
Bend-LaPine (624 of 15,874 total enrollment)
Reynolds (546 of 11,105 total enrollment)
David Douglas (505 of 10,401 total enrollment)

Each school district is required to have a Homeless Liaison to coordinate outreach efforts and services for homeless students in their area, as well as conduct the annual counts. Homeless Liaisons make sure students are enrolled in school, have the supplies they need and provide referrals to the community services for shelter, health care and counseling. They are also called on to assist other county and community efforts to end homelessness, such as Ten-Year Plan Committees, County Homeless Councils, Continuums of Care and other local public and non-profit collaborations. They are now helping with grant applications for supportive housing and other programs in their communities, through agencies such as Oregon Housing and Community Services, and the Commission on Children and Families.


Oregon's Fourth Annual Poetry Out Loud Contest

The Oregon Arts Commission, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, announces the 2009 Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest http://www.oregonartscommission.org/education/. Now in its fourth year in Oregon, Poetry Out Loud encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition. Schools are invited to adopt the 2008 - 2009 Poetry Out Loud curriculum, present school-wide contests, and advance to the state competition, to be held Saturday, March 14, 2009, in Salem. Oregon's state champion will advance to the national finals, April 26 - 28, 2009 in Washington, DC. Oregon

Key Dates and Information: Poetry Out Loud seeks to foster the next generation of literary readers by capitalizing on the latest trends in poetry - recitation and performance. The program builds on the resurgence of poetry as an oral art form, as seen in the slam poetry movement and the immense popularity of rap music. Poetry Out Loud invites the dynamic aspects of slam poetry, spoken word and theater into the English class. Through Poetry Out Loud, students can master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. The NEA and the Poetry Foundation have awarded grants to state arts agencies, established prizes, and will coordinate the national finals next April. With this support, the Oregon Arts Commission is able to make Poetry Out Loud -- and its scholarship opportunities -- available to all public, private and parochial high schools across the state.

Contact: Deb Vaughn eMail, Arts Education Coordinator, Oregon Arts Commission or 503-986-0085.



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

In order to help schools share information about the changes to the Oregon Diploma, ODE will be sending each middle and high school in the state copies of the newly updated “Moving Education Forward” diploma brochure. There will be one brochure for each 6-9th grader in the state and schools can distribute these as they wish. Some ideas for sharing these with your students, their families, and your community include:
  • distributing the brochures at back to school nights
  • handing them out at parent-teacher conferences
  • giving a copy to every school board member, site council member, and PTA parent
  • sending them home with a student’s first report card
  • sticking one in a mailing sent to parents
These brochures will reach schools in late September. If you do not receive your brochures by early October, or if you need additional copies, please contact Crystal Greene eMail at 503-947-5650.

Detailed information regarding the Oregon Diploma can be found at
Get Ready Oregon



Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools

Mini-Grants Available to educators in Lane, Deschutes, Linn, Benton, Marion and Polk Counties
SELCO Community Credit Union is pleased to offer its annual Mini-Grant Program to K-12 educators in the following six counties: Lane, Deschutes, Linn, Benton, Marion and Polk. Each Fall, SELCO reviews each request submitted and makes funding choices of up to $250 per project. Visit SELCO's website: www.selco.org from September 10th through October 10th to get all the details and apply on-line. Applications must be received electronically. No handwritten, mailed, or faxed forms will be accepted. Award notifications will be announced on SELCO's website on November 3rd. Checks will be mailed to the schools of the winners beginning November 20th.


Oregon Culture Trust Video Competition The Oregon Culture Trust would like your video definition of Oregon culture. Submit a short (3 minutes or less) video, suitable for posting on YouTube, which will be promoted across Oregon. There are 1,200 ways to define culture in Oregon, what’s yours? The competition is open to any Oregonian, individually or in teams. If a video is selected, prizes include: First Place, $500; Second Place, $250; Five Runners-up, certificate for an Oregon cultural license plate.

The rules are simple:
  • an original video, three minutes or less, using Quicktime or FLV
  • created by Oregonians, individually or in teams
  • for posting on YouTube, the Cultural Trust website, and hundreds of other sites across Oregon
  • to include the phrase “Oregon Cultural Trust” and www.culturaltrust.org
  • Deadline 3 PM, Monday, September 22, 2008
Submit your video, with your photo or jpeg, a brief bio (one page or less), your postal and email addresses, and phone number, to:

Video Competition
cultural.trust@state.or.us eMail
-or –
775 Summer Street NE, Ste 200
Salem, OR 97301

Complete Guidelines are at http://www.culturaltrust.org/supporting_documents/pdf/Video_Call_to_Submit.pdf PDF; for more information: 503-986-0088 or cultural.trust@state.or.us eMail.


Susan’s Schedule

Week of September 8th – Susan Castillo moderated an education panel at the US Senate Democratic Latina Summit in D.C. and participated in the American Diploma Project Leadership Team Meeting in D.C.

Week of September 15th – Susan will join Oregon’s National Teacher of the Year, Michael Geisen, in a presentation to Intel employees, help host a reception with Intel and OMSI for the National Teacher of the Year, and participate in the monthly State Board meeting.

The September 2008 issue 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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Contact(s) for this Announcement
  • Crystal Greene Email    (503) 947-5650
    Communications - Communications Director
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