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3/14/2008 7:49:00 AM
Superintendent's Update #246
Superintendent's Update

In This Issue:
  • State Releases 2007-08 Special Education Child Count
  • New Security Plan Aims to Keep Fans Orderly
  • Oregon Diploma Talk
  • Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools
  • Susan’s Schedule

State Releases 2007-08 Special Education Child Count

SALEM – State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo has released the numbers for Oregon’s Special Education Child Count for the 2007-08 school year. The report shows that the total number of Oregon children, aged 0-21, in special education programs has increased to 80,826 – an increase from last year’s 80,314.

The number of school-age students in special education (aged K-21) is 72,068 – an increase from last year’s 71,834. This represents 13% of the school-age population in the state. Special education students are supported by federal, state and local resources, and funding for the 2007-08 school year is over $500 million.

Every child in Oregon identified as special education has at least one of the disabilities defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), shown below:

Disability 2007-08 2006-07 2005-06
Autism 7,078 6,374 5,634
Deaf/Blindness 24 15 28
Developmental Delay (0-4 years) 4,291 4,293 4,238
Emotional Disturbance 4,682 4,695 4,703
Hearing Impairment 1,100 1,045 1,011
Mental Retardation 4,212 4,275 4,294
Other Health Impairment 8,788 8,304 7,683
Orthopedic Impairment 1,009 1,019 1,025
Specific Learning Disability 28,044 28,997 30,072
Speech/Language Impairment 20,870 20,583 20,398
Traumatic Brain Injury 271 278 279
Visual Impairment 457 436 415
Total 80,826 80,314 79,780

Since 1975, the federal government has required that all children receive a free and appropriate public education and special services to meet their education needs. Today, IDEA governs special education and related services, provided at no cost to parents. Under Oregon law, IDEA applies to all eligible children with disabilities aged 0-21. A child is eligible for special education and related services if a team of professionals and the parent determines that the child has a disability (defined in the law) and needs special education services because of that disability.

“The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is vital to special education programs in Oregon. Special education students rely on these services to attain a quality education. In the past, schools educated only about one in five students with disabilities. Today, IDEA guarantees students with disabilities access to a free and appropriate public education,” Castillo said.

“The vast majority of special education students attend regular public schools for at least part of their school day, and we track and report their academic achievement along with the rest of the student population,” Castillo said.

Click here to read entire release.
New Security Plan Aims to Keep Fans Orderly

Excerpt from Oregonian by Jeff Smith

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

EUGENE -- When the large-school state boys basketball tournaments begin today at McArthur Court, much will be different from last year.
In many ways, last season's OSAA Class 5A and 6A boys tournaments were among the most successful ever, with a four-day total of about 40,000 fans. Many came to watch Lake Oswego's Kevin Love and South Medford's Kyle Singler, two of the nation's top high school players, as well as inspiring Roosevelt High School, which reached the state final for the first time since 1949. OSAA' But most of the on-court action -- including the state titles won by South Medford and North Eugene -- was overshadowed by racial taunting directed at Roosevelt students and faculty members.

"It took the negative actions of a few people to put a black cloud over the whole tournament," said Tom Welter, executive director of the Oregon School Activities Association.

In the aftermath of the ugly nature of last season's well-publicized incidents, the OSAA and the involved school districts pledged to educate students and spectators to try to prevent a recurrence. The OSAA commissioned an independent investigation, which produced a 17-page document written by former Oregon Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Deits that offered nine recommendations -- ranging from crowd management to proper diversity training -- that the OSAA supported.

The OSAA then took it a step further by forming a spectator conduct committee that met four times from August to November to discuss racial discrimination and sportsmanship at its events. The committee presented its recommendation to the OSAA executive board in December. Welter said the executive board will act on the recommendations at its meeting in May.

"All of the entities involved have learned that this is a serious matter," said Winston Cornwall, an Oregon Department of Education civil rights specialist who worked with the OSAA and the involved school districts on the issue for six months last year. "Incidents of harassment at sporting events require a certain amount of response and attention. The most exciting thing for me is that everyone responded to this immediately."

The key theme of the OSAA's charge to improve spectator conduct involves increased communication between schools and event staff. Brad Garrett, an assistant executive director with OSAA, has been closely involved with the groups that will work at Mac Court this week and believes a better security plan is in place. This season, students waiting for their school's game to start will be seated in general admission sections in the upper levels before descending to the court level. There also will be a constant adult presence near the students, with visible credentials being worn by school officials at all times. Security staff and school officials are expected to be aware of one another's location during games.

Cornwall, the civil rights specialist, plans to show his support for the progress that has been made in the past year by attending Friday's semifinal games and Saturday's championship games.

"We just got one more test to go and that's this year's tournament," Cornwall said. "That's where the rubber hits the road. To my knowledge, everyone involved has done everything that he or she is supposed to do. I'm hopeful."

Click here for the entire article.
Oregon Diploma Talk
This weekly item highlights actions taken, various questions and background relating to the new Oregon diploma.

Oregon State Board Begins Discussion of Assessment of Essential Skills Required for High School Diploma

SALEM – State Board of Education members took a big step to further define the state’s new high school graduation requirements at their regular meeting in Salem. Members took up the discussion of how students would demonstrate that they are prepared to graduate from Oregon high schools.

Last year, the State Board voted to increase Oregon’s graduation requirements in order to better prepare students for work and college. All students will be required to take more rigorous coursework and higher levels of math and science in order to receive a diploma, including increased required credits from 22 to 24. In addition, all students will be required to demonstrate that they are proficient in a set of “essential skills,” listed below:

· Read and interpret a variety of texts
· Write for a variety of purposes
· Speak and present publicly
· Apply mathematics in a variety of settings
· Think critically and analytically
· Use technology
· Demonstrate civic and community engagement
· Demonstrate global literacy
· Demonstrate career related learning standards

Today, the Board discussed a basic assessment framework for how students could be required to demonstrate proficiency in the essential skills - initially only math, reading, writing, and speaking. The framework was described as “multiple pathways for students to demonstrate proficiency.” Board discussion centered on the idea that students could demonstrate their mastery of some essential skills by one of the following:
1. Achieving a state-determined score on the state assessment (OAKS) in reading, math, writing, and/or science.
2. Achieving a state-determined score on a nationally normed test, such as the SAT, ACT, Advanced Placement exam, or other assessment.
3. Complete a rigorous locally determined and scored assessment, such as a work sample or student project.

The discussion will continue at the next State Board meeting in Salem on April 17-18, and ODE staff will present proposed Administrative Rules for discussion at that time. The State Board plans to make final decisions on the issue in June.

The first class to graduate under the new requirements will be next year’s ninth graders (graduating class of 2012). The goal is to have the assessments and targets in place by the beginning of next school year.

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

Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools

Anyone who opens a new account directly with the Oregon College Savings Plan in March is automatically entered to win a $4,000 scholarship. This is a great opportunity for families to put away money for college, apprenticeships and vocational training.

Every week in March 2008, a winner will be picked from the eligible entries. The week will extend from Saturday, March 1, through the following Friday, March 7. The next week will begin on Saturday, March 8. This will continue throughout the month of March. Everyone is eligible to participate.

Entering is easy:
1. Anyone who opens a new account directly with the Oregon College Savings Plan account in March is automatically entered; or
2. Send a letter to the State Treasurer’s office requesting entry into the contest.

Click here for contest rules and to enroll online.

The Oregon Historical Society would like to remind all High School Juniors in the State of Oregon about the opportunity to participate in a competition based on the exhibit, A House Divided: Lincoln in His Own Words. The exhibit displays original Lincoln letters and documents from public and private collections that illuminate his political career, his presidency and his assassination.

The winner of this competition will receive a scholarship of $10,000 to be used for tuition at an institution of higher education. The topic to be addressed for this contest is “What Does Lincoln Mean to Us Today?”

1. A typewritten essay not to exceed 1250 words.
2. A videotaped performance not to exceed ten minutes.
3. A videotaped speech (please also include the written version) not to exceed five minutes.
4. A video documentary not to exceed 10 minutes.
5. A poem in any written form not to exceed 1250 words.

A prestigious panel of judges will review entry applications. Entry forms along with entry rules are available at the Oregon Historical Society.

Each student must submit a completed entry form and one of the above listed entries in order to be eligible. The deadline for entries to be accepted is March 31, 2008.

Now in it's third year, the Toyota International Teacher Program to the Galapagos Islands will travel with 30 educators in late November 2008 to this World Heritage Site in the Pacific Ocean. Full time teachers and teacher librarians in grades 6-12 are encouraged to apply for this fully funded international professional development opportunity. Click here to learn more and access the online application. The paper portion and online portion of the application are due to IIE by no later than May 9, 2008. All applicants will be notified of their status by the middle of June. Please allow time for delivery. Galapagos Applicants: Click here for reference and principal approval forms.

Registration is open for Oregon's Professional Educator Fair at the Oregon Convention Center, April 1-2. This fair brings together top school districts and outstanding teacher candidates for a valuable time of information sharing and interviewing. Those who may be interested in attending include: graduates who are seeking first positions; experienced teachers and administrative personnel who want to change school systems or relocate to other communities; school administrators who want to recruit qualified candidates for classroom, special education, support staff and administrative positions; and college and university personnel who want to assist their graduates in the job search process as well as provide information about post graduate opportunities. Register online by March 24th.

Join the Coalition for Community Schools for their 10th Annual National Forum, April 30 - May 2nd in Portland, Oregon.

  • Keynotes: Pedro Noguera, Vicki Phillips, Susan Castillo
  • International community schools plenary
  • More than 80 workshops by local and national experts
  • Site visits to community schools
  • Leaders symposium and more
The Coalition for Community Schools believes that strong communities require strong schools and strong schools require strong communities. We envision a future in which schools are centers of thriving communities where everyone belongs, works together, and succeeds. For more information and to register, visit the 10th Anniversary National Forum website.

Susan’s Schedule

Week of March 10th – Susan Castillo participated in a Council of Chief State School Officer’s Board of Directors meeting; met with the Statesman Journal’s editorial board on the Oregon Diploma; attended a monthly luncheon with statewide elected officials; attended the March State Board of Education meeting; had dinner with the State Board of Education; received the State Interagency Coordinating Council on Early Education's annual report; and attended the Unified Education Enterprise committee meeting of the Joint Boards of Education meeting.

Week of March 17th – Susan will speak at a public meeting for the West Eugene Wetlands Education Center; attend a Harvard Executive Leadership Program for Educators State Team meeting; speak at the second annual Oregon Kindergarten Summit in Portland; and speak at the Governor’s Early Childhood Education Summit in Portland.

The March 2008 issue of Superintendent's Pipeline is available on the ODE website: http://www.ode.state.or.us/pipeline/march-pipeline-08.pdf PDF

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

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