|4/1/2010 8:32:00 AM|
|Superintendent's Update #320|
Superintendent Castillo's bi-weekly updates showcase the efforts and achievements of Oregon schools. Through these regular updates, the Superintendent hopes to increase communications regarding important initiatives for Oregon's students. Click here to access archived issues of Superintendent’s Update.
In This Issue:
April Earthquake Awareness MonthSchools Focus on Natural Disaster Preparations
By Susan Castillo
Given the recent catastrophes in Haiti and Chile, it is well worth noting that April is Earthquake and Tsunami Awareness Month. The safety of our students and staff is paramount, and you should know that public schools in Oregon are doing everything they can to prepare our people and buildings in the event of a natural disaster.
We all know that the Northwest is one of the most seismically active regions in the world. So all our public schools are required, at least twice a year, to instruct and drill students on emergency procedures such as "Drop, Cover, Hold." The key to preparedness is practice, so that kids can respond quickly and without panicking when it really counts. In some of our coastal communities, schools also practice tsunami evacuation drills.
If you're at a school that has yet to conduct one of their earthquake drills, April is a great time to get it done! Click here for information regarding instruction and drills.
There is still much work to do to make sure our school buildings are safe in the event of an earthquake. The average Oregon school is 46 years old, and while seismic upgrades have been completed over the years, many buildings are not as safe as they need to be. In fact, a 2007 report from the Department of Oregon Geology and Mineral Industries found that there are 274 public schools across our state considered to be at highest risk in the event of an earthquake.
Earlier this year, Oregon took a step in the right direction by distributing $7.5 million in Seismic Rehabilitation Grants to a number of education and emergency services buildings, including 12 public school buildings from Beaverton to Lakeview. Another $7.5 million will be granted in the second round of applications.
We continue to work toward a long-term plan to ensure that our school buildings are made safer. In the meantime, other schools deemed at risk can apply for future grants through the Oregon Emergency Management Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program. For information about OEM's grant program, visit: www.oregon.gov/OMD/OEM/plans_train/SRGP.shtml.
To access more information and resources, please visit the Oregon Department of Education's "Quake-Safe Schools" page at www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=2061.
Oregon Department of Education Receives State Controller’s Gold Star Certificate
The Oregon Department of Education has earned the State Controller's Gold Star Certificate for the 2009 fiscal year! This certificate is awarded to state agencies that provide accurate and complete fiscal year-end information in a timely manner.
“Our staff has worked really hard and we are happy to receive this award," said Tomas Flores, Director of Financial Services. "It proves that we’ve accomplished our goal of providing complete, accurate, and timely information to the State Controller’s Office," said Flores.
The State Controller's Gold Star Certificate is Oregon's equivalent to the nationally recognized GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. This Gold Star recognition demonstrates the agency and fiscal team’s outstanding efforts in maintaining thorough accounting records throughout the year.
Susan Castillo Names Top School Wellness Programs in State
Fairview Elementary (Klamath Falls City School District), Hoover Elementary (Corvallis School District), and Sacramento Elementary (Parkrose School District) have been named as recipients of the 2010 Oregon School Wellness Award. This is the third year that the Oregon Department of Education has formally recognized outstanding school wellness programs. These award recipients have effectively implemented their district’s wellness policies, are creatively promoting healthy student behavior, and are monitoring and evaluating their programs to meet all student needs. Child nutrition programs provide healthy meals to promote learning readiness and healthy eating behaviors.
As award recipients, each school will receive a $2,500 cash prize, a certificate of recognition, and a banner at a locally organized event that will include all students, faculty and representatives from the Oregon Department of Education and the Nutrition Education Services/Oregon Dairy Council.
“The staff members of Fairview, Hoover and Sacramento elementary schools understand the vital link between healthy living and learning,” State Superintendent Susan Castillo said. “They have proven that solid physical activity and nutrition programs can boost our students’ learning potential. Their wellness policies have contributed to reduced school absenteeism; more alert and involved students; and improved student performance and test scores,” said Castillo.
The Nutrition Education Services/Oregon Dairy Council is the title sponsor of the 2010 Oregon School Wellness Awards.
“These award winning schools are putting words into action with real changes at their schools to improve kids’ food choices and increase their physical activity,” said Anne Goetze, Director of Nutrition Education Services/Oregon Dairy Council. “The Oregon Dairy Council is pleased to recognize and support the efforts of everyone at these schools, from students to superintendents who are working to improve the health of Oregon’s children,” said Goetze.
School Wellness Policies are required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture from school districts receiving federally-funded school meals. These School Wellness Policies, due during the 2006-2007 academic year, set goals for school-based activities that promote healthy eating, daily physical activity, and other wellness behaviors. Individual schools must implement the district policy, but can also go beyond the policy to improve student health.
For more information on the winning schools, go to: www.ode.state.or.us/superintendent/priorities/school-wellness-award-2010-recipient-background.doc
The application and additional information for this award can be found at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=3016
Oregon Diploma Talk
This bi-weekly item highlights actions taken, various questions, and background relating to the Oregon diploma.
Assessment of Essential Skills Toolkit Ready for District and School Use
The Oregon Department of Education is pleased to announce the Assessment of Essential Skills Toolkit – a new web-based interactive planning system.
The Toolkit will help districts and high schools develop a local plan for assessing the essential skills by guiding them through a series of 10 Steps. After completing the steps in the Toolkit, each user may use the information to create a plan for their district.
Steps in the Toolkit include:
• Step 1: Review Essential Skills Requirements
• Step 2: Establish Local Goals and Timelines
• Step 3: Survey Existing Resources
• Step 4: Plan for Special Needs Populations
• Step 5: Plan for Professional Development
• Step 6: Develop Support Structures
• Step 7: Develop a Local Assessment Plan
• Step 8: Develop Record-Keeping and Progress-Tracking Systems
• Step 9: Review Local Policies and Procedures
• Step 10: Review and Assemble Plans
This Toolkit consolidates a tremendous amount of district and ESD knowledge and resources in a single web site. It will continue to evolve as we add additional materials and functions which we hope will make the site more dynamic.
The Toolkit is available at http://assessment.oregonk-12.net.
If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Assessment of Essential Skills Coordinator Barbara Wolfe , (503) 947-5845.
Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools
Recommend Great Oregon Educators for the Oregon Educator Talent Pool
The Oregon Department of Education recognizes educators that have made significant contributions to Oregon education. Superintendent Susan Castillo has formed an Oregon Educator Talent Pool to act as a resource for educator recognition opportunities. The Talent Pool is a collection of information about some of the top educators in Oregon and is used as a reference for awards, publicity, committee development, and other recognition opportunities. You can nominate any outstanding educator for the Oregon Educator Talent Pool by filling out a Talent Pool Form.
At this time, we are trying to strengthen the Talent Pool in the following areas:
• Elementary Teachers with at least 5 years teaching experience and the potential to remain in the profession for at least 15 more years
• Diversity representing our state
Please consider nominating an outstanding teacher. Contact email@example.com for more information.
DHS Community Forums
What are your community’s needs?
The Oregon Department of Human Services and the Oregon Health Authority hope you will join them at one of a series of statewide public forums this spring to share your ideas about your community's local needs and priorities for the 2011-2013 budget and beyond. Help the Department of Human Services and the Oregon Health Authority work toward safe, independent and healthy futures for all Oregonians. Share your ideas about the priorities of the DHS and OHA budgets for 2011-2013. Take part in conversations about how to protect and empower children, families, seniors and people with disabilities. Get involved with OHA's work to build a healthier Oregon by lowering health care costs, increasing access and improving quality of care.
For event information, visit http://www.dhs.state.or.us/communityforum/
FAFSA Friday Webinars - College Goal Oregon
Free Help with Financial Aid Applications
2010 Online webinars March 26, April 30, May 28, June 25
The Oregon Student Assistance Commission is hosting FAFSA Friday, a free online training webinar that helps college-bound students and parents complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Financial aid experts will be available to answer questions about completing the FAFSA.
The FAFSA determines eligibility for need-based federal, state, and campus-based financial aid programs, including the Oregon Opportunity Grant. Students are encouraged to file their FAFSA as soon as possible to increase their chances of funding for the 2010-11 academic year.
The next FAFSA Friday webinar is planned for March 26 at 7:00 p.m. Future FAFSA Friday webinars are scheduled for April 30, May 28 and June 25.
To register, email contactus@AspireOregon.org .
Students should include their parent/guardian, if possible, and have on hand both their own and their parent(s) most recent completed federal income tax return; current value of assets, including cash, checking, savings, investments, and value of business/farm, if any; social security numbers (including parents or guardians); driver's license (if any); and alien registration card (if you are not a U.S. citizen).
College Goal Oregon is part of the national College Goal Sunday program to help students access millions of available financial aid dollars. In 2009, over 2,400 Oregon students and 310 volunteers participated in College Goal Oregon at 28 sites. The event partners with the Oregon Student Assistance Commission, NELA Center for Student Learning, Oregon Assoc. of Student Financial Aid Administrators, and YMCA, and receives support from The Lumina Foundation for Education. For more information about College Goal Oregon, visit: www.CollegeGoalOregon.org.
Honors Diploma Seals for Graduating High School Seniors
Hard work and good grades are to be applauded. Superintendent Susan Castillo and the State Board of Education offer a way for public schools in the State of Oregon to recognize those graduating seniors who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement during their high school careers. An Oregon honors diploma seal is available for students who have obtained a GPA of 3.5 or above, based on the seventh semester accumulative reports.
If you wish to participate, please email Jennifer Busey with the following information:
• School Name:
• Number of Seals Requested:
• Contact Person and Phone Number:
• School Mailing Address:
If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Busey at (503) 947-5740.
March 22- April 5 – No public events are scheduled at the time of this publication.
For scheduling inquires, please visit our website at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?=848
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