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4/18/2008 8:10:00 AM
Superintendent's Update #251
Superintendent's Update

In This Issue:
  • Join us to Celebrate Schools Closing the Achievement Gap
  • State Recognizes School District's Community Partnerships
  • Oregon Diploma Talk
  • Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools
  • Susan’s Schedule

Join us to Celebrate Schools Closing the Achievement Gap

The Fourth Annual Celebrating Student Success Banquet will be held on Friday, May 9th at the Oregon Convention Center from 6-8 in the Oregon Ballroom. Join us for an evening of awards, videos, entertainment, food, wine and celebration as we recognize 16 Oregon schools from around the state for their work on closing the achievement gap. Learn from these success stories and find techniques and strategies to apply in your school. soberson'

Entertainment will be provided by members of the Portland Youth Philharmonic, the Portland Tanuki Taiko Drummers and the Grant High School Royal Blues. Brenda Braxton of KGW will emcee the event. Tickets for the event are $40 a seat or $400 for a table of ten. Registration for the banquet is open through May 1st. Registration is available by contacting Crystal Weber eMail at 503-947-5650 or click here to register online.

The 2008 Celebrating Student Success Champion Schools are:
* Boise-Eliot School, Portland Public Schools
* Centennial Elementary, Springfield School District
* Gilbert Park Elementary, David Douglas School District
* Grant Community School, Salem-Keizer School District
* McLoughlin High School, Milton-Freewater Unified School District
* Merrill Elementary, Klamath County School District

The 2008 Celebrating Student Success Rising Star Schools are:
* Davis Elementary, Reynolds School District
* Hosford Middle School, Portland Public Schools
* Lincoln Elementary, Woodburn School District
* McNary Heights Elementary, Umatilla School District
* Oaklea Middle School, Junction City School District
* Talent Elementary, Phoenix-Talent School District

The 2008 Continuing Success Schools are:
* Forest Grove High School, Forest Grove School District
* Keizer Elementary, Salem-Keizer School District
* Metzger Elementary, Tigard-Tualatin School District
* Nellie Muir Elementary, Woodburn School District

Click here to read the full press release.

This at-cost event is funded by business sponsors with special thanks to our Title Sponsor ECMC foundation. For more information on the event please visit our website or contact Crystal Weber eMail at 503-947-5650.

PHOTO: Students from 2008 Celebrating Student Success Champion School, Boise-Eliot Elementary.
State Recognizes School District's Community Partnerships

Excerpt from the News-Times by Terry Dillman

Two collaborative efforts within the Lincoln County School District - one in Lincoln City, the other in Siletz - earned state recognition this week with State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo's April 8 announcement of the 2008 Outstanding Community/School Partnership Awards.

Community Schools The Siletz Tribal Community School Partnership and the Lincoln City Backpacks for Kids Program were among the seven recipients named based on dedicated missions, diverse participants and partnerships, sustainable funding, meaningful programs, and attainable goals.

"Teamwork and partnership are wise investments in our schools, our students, their families, and our communities," Castillo said. "When we pool our resources and services, we ensure that each and every child is given the best chance to succeed. When every community puts education first, then the needs of all children are met through the work of family members, community members, and school leaders."

The Siletz effort began in 2003, when community members rallied to rescue the elementary school from the brink of closure due to budget cuts. They formed the Siletz Valley School, a K-8 charter school forged just in time for the start of the 2003-2004 school year.

Community and tribal leaders have done whatever they could to keep the school viable, while working toward their dream of restarting the high school (grades 9-12) program, which had been dormant since 1982. They reached that goal during the 2005-2006 school year when the doors opened to the Siletz Valley Early College Academy, a second charter school designed to provide Siletz area students with an integrated, seamless K-12 program. The school also provides an opportunity for students to earn college credits and graduate with a high school diploma in one hand, and an associate's degree in the other.

A strong partnership between school and community, including the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, provides the foundation for success.

"The Siletz Tribal Community School Partnership is working together to create the best education experience for students to live, work, and progress in a diverse society," Castillo noted. "Their efforts are paying off."

Lincoln City folks are equally supportive of a vital effort to provide "chronically hungry" children with proper nutrition by sending them home on weekends with backpacks stuffed with easy-to-prepare foods they can eat during the critical times when they lack access to school breakfast and lunch programs. Originated at Oceanlake Elementary under the auspices of Pat Robertson and Karen Dummer, the program stocks backpacks with nutritious, child-friendly foods, and distributes them "discreetly and confidentially" to students on the last day of each school week.

Organizers say many children rely on school cafeterias for their most nutritious meal of the day, and in some cases, the only meal(s) they receive. Studies indicate backpack food programs boost attendance, student concentration abilities, and academic achievement, while simultaneously reducing behavioral problems at school.

The north Lincoln County effort began at the elementary level, but has since expanded to encompass middle and high school students. Organizers say foods must be "shelf stable, easy to prepare, and nutritionally sound." Among the items they seek are bread, peanut butter, jelly, soups, crackers, sugar-free cereal, tuna, protein bars, and fruit snacks. Volunteers stock shelves at a dozen drop-off points throughout Lincoln City. They also pick up donated food from various businesses and churches, purchase food using cash donations, pack the backpacks, and transport the filled packs to the schools.

"The Lincoln City community is doing amazing things," said Castillo, noting that within a year of its inception, the program grew from serving 10 to 12 students per week to helping more than 100 each week. "By ensuring that kids are not hungry, the program makes sure students can focus more on their studies."

Backpacks for Kids is coordinated at Oceanlake Elementary School. Anyone with questions about the program, or those who would like to contribute time or money to the effort should call the school at 541-994-5296.

Click here for a complete list of this year's Outstanding Community School Partnership Awardees and for information on nominating an outstanding partnership in your community.
Oregon Diploma Talk
This weekly item highlights actions taken, various questions and background relating to the new Oregon diploma.

You've Been Talking and We're Listening
We've received many questions regarding the Oregon Diploma since the new diploma requirements were passed by the State Board of Education. Why did the Board make these changes? Are higher requirements really necessary as not every student goes to college after high school? What does it mean that all math credits have to be Algebra I content level and above? Click here to access a comprehensive FAQ answering many of your diploma related questions.

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

Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools

Where did the name Oregon come from? What areas were home to Umatilla, Tenino, Clatskanie, and other indigenous people in Oregon? How did Portland create the nation’s first Youth Orchestra? When did Mt. Hood last erupt?

Students, teachers, and citizens interested in Oregon will find answers to these questions and more in The Oregon Encyclopedia, an on-line resource of all things Oregon, including people, places, events, institutions, art, and animal and plant life. Culminating in 2009 as part of the state’s Sesquicentennial, the encyclopedia will contain thousands of entries written by knowledgeable authors, reviewed by experts, and meticulously checked to ensure accuracy. Sample classroom curricula will also be developed.

The Oregon Encyclopedia is a collaborative project of Portland State University and the Oregon Historical Society, with generous support from the Oregon Cultural Trust, the Oregon Council of Teachers of English, the Oregon Heritage Commission and the Oregon Council for the Humanities. Click here to view the encyclopedia or submit an entry.

Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) announced a new resource on the CCSSO website that provides general educators with information about teaching students who have disabilities. The website is a product of the Special Education Resources for General Educators (SERGE) project funded through a grant from the MetLife Foundation and completed by the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC).

The SERGE project articulated general educator learning outcomes for the INTASC’s Model Standards for Licensing General and Special Education Teachers of Students with Disabilities: A Resource for State Dialogue (2001) and then located online information and resources that address the outcomes. The SERGE website provides educators with easy-to-access information and hyperlinks to federal and non-profit resources that will help them more effectively address the learning needs of their students who have disabilities.

Click here to access the SERGE resources.

The Oregon Student Assistance Commission (OSAC) is pleased to announce that there are a limited number of openings for new ASPIRE sites in 2008-09. Launched in 1998, ASPIRE (Access to Student assistance Programs In Reach of Everyone) is a school-based volunteer mentor program to guide students though planning for life after high school. Originally piloted in four Oregon high schools, ASPIRE is currently adopted in 112 high schools throughout the state. ASPIRE matches trained adult volunteer mentors with high school students for one-on-one assistance, guidance, and support. Governor Kulongoski and the 2007 Oregon Legislature passed legislation that makes ASPIRE an official state program and provided state General Funds to expand the reach of ASPIRE.

ASPIRE has three main program goals:
• Provide resources and mentoring to help students access education and training beyond high school;
• Help schools build a sustainable corps of community volunteers, and;
• Educate students and families about scholarships and other postsecondary funding options.

ASPIRE is for all students and encourages all types of postsecondary training. ASPIRE is not just for the high-achieving students or the "at-risk" students; it serves the whole student body. By being inclusive, the program is more likely to reach those students who may feel that college is beyond their reach. Volunteer advisors encourage students to explore many options, including community colleges, universities, vocational/technical schools, and apprenticeship programs.

ASPIRE is open to any site that serves Oregon secondary students. Sites interested in applying for 2008-09 should contact Karen Edmonds eMail, Access and Outreach Program Manager at 541-687-7471. The deadline to apply is May 16, 2008.
Susan’s Schedule

Week of April 14th – Susan Castillo attended the Council of Chief State School Officers 2008 Legislative Conference in Washington D.C.; met with Congresswoman Darlene Hooley; met with Senator Ron Wyden, met with Representative David Wu; met with Senator Gordon Smith's Office; and attended a discussion of Singapore math curriculum hosted by the Asia Society.
Week of April 21st – Susan will visit Eugene International High School, winner of the 2007 Goldman Sachs Foundation Prize for Excellence in International Education; meet with Sue Hildick of Chalkboard Project and Dan Jamison, Superintendent of Sherwood School District to get a briefing on the CLASS project; lead an Executive Leadership Program for Educators (ExEL) Study Team meeting; meet with Superintendent Carole Smith and Zeke Smith of Portland Public School District; meet with Representative Chip Shields; meet with Doug Stamm of Meyer Memorial Trust; meet with Register Guard Editorial Board; speak at Springfield Service Learning Day; and speak at OSBA Celebrating Educational Opportunities for Diverse Students Conference.

The April 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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