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9/26/2008 8:00:00 AM
Superintendent's Update #274
Superintendent's Update

In This Issue:
  • Seeking Nominations for Student on the State Board
  • Young Oregon Scientists Compete for National Recognition
  • Oregon Diploma Talk
  • Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools
  • Susan’s Schedule

Seeking Nominations for Student Representative to the State Board of Education
In 2006 and 2007 the State Board of Education enacted a pilot program to add a student in an advisory capacity to the State Board, similar to that of the Superintendent, Community College President and faculty advisors. The Board is extending the pilot again this year.

A student representative to the State Board of Education (SBE) must:
1. Be enrolled in a secondary public school through the academic year 2008-2009.
2. Be a junior or senior.
3. Maintain a cumulative 3.0 G.P.A. and be responsible to makeup school work missed while attending scheduled meetings.
4. Be committed to attend monthly board meetings (Thursday and Friday) and special board functions.
5. Be willing to participate in policy discussions in an appropriate and professional manner.
6. Demonstrate a basic understanding and be knowledgeable about current education issues. Be willing to prepare for State Board meetings ahead of time.
7. Demonstrate leadership and diplomatic qualities in a group setting.
8. Demonstrate a commitment to community involvement.
9. Have access to a computer as correspondence about meeting logistics, agendas, and handouts will be sent by email.

The student representative to the State Board of Education will:
1. Attend and represent students across Oregon at all State Board of Education meetings. Please see http://www.ode.state.or.us, click on State Board - meetings for the schedule of meetings for 2008-2009. State Board meetings are held at the Department of Education in Salem, Oregon.
2. Communicate via email with Superintendent Susan Castillo’s Youth Advisory Team (YAT) Leadership and present a State Board update at the December 12th, March 20th, and May 15th YAT meetings.
3. Communicate with Department of Education staff to prep for the State Board of Education (via phone or email) before each meeting.
4.Arrange transportation to the board meetings in Salem. Student Advisor will get reimbursed for mileage and breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Selection Procedures
1. Nominations can be made by a Principal or Superintendent (a person can nominate one student only)
2. To apply get your application packet at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/superintendent/yat/
3. Submit nominees application packet to include:
Typed one page letter addressing:
  • Why do you want to be on the State Board of Education (SBE)?
  • What would you contribute to the SBE?
  • How will you represent the student body across Oregon?
  • How do you as a candidate fit the qualifications and meet the responsibilities listed above?
The letter must be signed by the applicant, the parents, and the principal or superintendent who nominated the student to attest to the applicant’s sense of responsibility, maturity, and leadership ability. Application letters must be postmarked by October 8, 2008.

Completed packet can be sent to:
Oregon Department of Education
ATTN: Diane Roth
255 Capitol St. NE
Salem, OR 97310

Finalists will be notified by Oct. 10th. Once notified that you are a finalist, you will need to be prepared to be interviewed at the Dept of Education in Salem by Superintendent Castillo’s Youth Advisory Team on October 17th. Finalists will then be forwarded to the State Board for a second interview.

The student selected should be prepared to attend the State Board meetings on: December 12 & 13, January 15 & 16, February 19 & 20, March 19 & 20, April 16 & 17, May 14 & 15, June 18 & 19.

If you have any questions, please contact Diane Roth eMail (503) 947-5791.

PHOTO: Governor Kulongoski and Susan Castillo with Natalie Caceres, Student Advisor to the State Board of Education 2006-07.

Young Beaverton and Portland Scientists Compete for National Recognition and Top $20,000 Scholarship

Washington, DC – Society for Science & the Public today named thirty of the nation’s top young scientists as Finalists of its 2008 Middle School Program, America’s premiere science competition for middle school students.

Two students from Beaverton, OR, were selected as Finalists. Sidharth Dhawan was selected for his project, “Building a Sociable Robot to Help Cure Autism,” and Lawrence Sun was selected with his project, “Patterns in Pythagorean Triplets.” Ayush Gupta from Portland, OR, was also selected as a Finalist with his project, “Property Changing Materials in Glass.”

“I applaud the commitment to science education and mastery of basic research that Sidharth Dhawan, Lawrence Sun, and Ayush Gupta have demonstrated,” said Congressman David Wu. “It is the commitment and leadership of dedicated, curious young people like them that will carry our country forward as we expand the horizons of our scientific knowledge and make exciting new discoveries in the years to come.

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

Higher learning is the main point

AHS adds new lab to help students multiply their math skills
excerpted from the story by Kara Hansen
The Daily Astorian

Kris Marley earned pluses in the early years of his math education, and he says his grades stayed strong through pre-algebra in middle school. But by freshman year at Astoria High, his math grades dipped.

That problem could soon get worse for students like Marley - including a third of this year's freshman class - who must do math at higher levels than previous graduating classes. But Astoria High School has taken action to help.

The school is requiring struggling students to take an extra math class this year. The new skills-based math lab is designed to catch students up to grade level - fast. Students taking the lab are simultaneously enrolled in first-year algebra. The idea, said Principal Larry Lockett, is to meet even tougher state math mandates before they take effect.

This year's freshman class will have to prove their proficiency through a test before they can graduate. Starting with the current crop of juniors, students will need three math credits for a diploma, compared to two required for this year's seniors. For the class of 2014, seventh-graders this year, those math credits won't count unless they're first-level algebra or above.

"We wanted to be prepared and to have a couple of paths available for those kids before they walked in as freshmen," Lockett said. "By putting everyone in algebra class, we're meeting the higher expectations. But we have some kids who are not quite ready for algebra, so we place them in math lab."

Help from the top
State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo advocated that sort of extra help earlier this month, stressing the need for high schools to focus on this year's freshmen. She said many of the students will need extra help to master more rigorous coursework and demonstrate their skills, changes intended to better prepare them for higher education and careers after high school. Schools may need to provide more instructional time, tutoring or afterschool support programs to help teachers and students meet the demands, Castillo said.

In Astoria, because math lab replaces the old pre-algebra classes, the school didn't need to hire additional teachers.

Instructor Chad Madsen said the class not only reinforces basic arithmetic and other foundational skills, but helps students apply lessons to real life and to strengthen their grasp of the abstract concepts they're learning in algebra.

"The age-old question of many students is 'When am I ever going to use this?'" Madsen said. "We try to answer that." Madsen also tries to get the information across through a variety of approaches, including techniques that helped him back when he was a student.

"There were times when I struggled with math, so when I'm dealing with kids at a more remedial level I feel I can relate to them a little more," he said. "Oftentimes I can teach with a different angle or with a different approach. Sometimes that's just what they need."

That may be the case with Marley, 16, who said his learning style clashed with the instruction he received last year, resulting in low grades and landing him in math lab. The lab's constant reinforcement of concepts and skills will also really help, he said, and that wouldn't be possible on a block schedule without taking two math classes.

"It's an extra chance to experience math every day, so you don't forget," he said. "As long as it's fun and I get to learn something, I'm good with that. Hopefully it helps."

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

Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools

2009 American Civil Liberties Union Youth Activist Scholarship
We need your help in identifying students who have a passion for civil liberties!
16 high school students from across the country will be awarded a $12,500 college scholarship for their dedication to preserve our civil liberties. We are seeking students who have stood up for issues involving racial justice, free speech, human rights, equality and tolerance. The scholarship winners will then become part of an elite “class” of student activists, whose talents and passion will be fostered by the ACLU National Office. Please contact Evyn Mitchell at 503-552-2109 or emitchell@aclu-or.org for more information and an application for your students.

For more information on this scholarship program visit www.aclu.org/standup/

2008 Oregon Driver Excellence Scholarship Challenge – Applications due Oct. 10
“Sex, drugs and rock-n-roll” are often cited as the greatest risks to teens’ safety. However, the biggest threat to teens is often parked right in the driveway. Preventable motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for Oregon teens today.

The 2008 Oregon Driver Excellence Scholarship Challenge PDF seeks to prevent crashes and recognize outstanding teen drivers through an innovative scholarship competition. Eligible students will compete for scholarships valued between $500 and $2,000.

The competition includes four parts:
1. Written test – similar to Oregon driver license knowledge test;
2. Perception test – a multi-media assessment asking students to determine best practices;
3. Skill test – examines student’s driving ability including backing, parallel parking and steering through obstacles; and
4. Simulator (Skid Monster) – evaluate student’s reaction to simulated situations.

Sponsored by the Oregon Department of Transportation Safety Division, Western Oregon University, Oregon Traffic Safety Education, Governors Highway Safety Association and funded through a grant from the Ford Motor Company’s Driving Skills for Life program, the 2008 Oregon Driver Excellence Scholarship Challenge will be held at Linn-Benton (Oct. 19).

Participants must be between 16 and 18 years old, enrolled in an Oregon secondary school, have completed an ODOT-approved traffic safety education course, have had an Oregon driver license for at least six months, have a 3.0 grade point average and a clean driving record among other criteria. Applications must be submitted by Oct. 10. A full list of eligibility criteria and Challenge guidelines is available online .

Susan’s Schedule

Week of September 22nd – Susan spoke at the XXIII Bi-national Migrant Education Program Forum, presented Community-School Partnership Awards to the Siletz Community-School Partnership and the Lincoln City Backpack Food Program, met with Senator Devlin, and met with representatives from the Northwest Evaluation Association.

Week of September 29th – Susan will participate in the Business Leaders Advisory Team; meet with Representative Beyer, Al King, Superintendent Nancy Golden, and Tom Lindly to discuss laptops and technology; speak at the annual fall ODE/COSA conference for special education administrators; meet with Senator Courtney about the Oregon Diploma; and meet with Representative Nathanson.

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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255 Capitol Street NE
Salem, OR 97310-0203

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