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6/17/2010 8:09:00 AM
Superintendent's Update #325
Superintendent's Update

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:
  • Celebrating Oregon's Education Leaders
  • Oregon Diploma Talk
  • Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools
  • Susan’s Schedule

Celebrating Oregon's Education Leaders

I want to recognize and personally thank all of the school and district administrators, classified staff, and educators who went above and beyond to meet the needs of their students this year. This Superintendent’s Update is dedicated to the statewide award-winning administrators who helped create success for their teachers and students. They represent the many talented education leaders who put their skills to work every day for Oregon students.

Susan Castillo

Oregon Elementary Principal of the Year

Congratulations go out to Oregon's Elementary School Principal of the Year, Bruce Reynolds of R.E. Jewell Elementary in Bend. The honor comes as no surprise, as Jewell was an ODE Celebrating Student Success Champion in 2009. NCLB' We know that strong school leadership is a critical ingredient for student achievement, and Bruce has proved that over seven years at Jewell. Bruce has led his staff through some major reforms, including switching to a block schedule to put more focus on reading and math and instituting new intervention and student behavior systems to support struggling students. Perhaps most importantly, he has supported collaboration and teamwork among teachers.

Despite rising poverty, Jewell excels academically -- 98% of students met or exceeded state reading standards and 89% passed in math. Last year, Bruce summed up the school's philosophy this way: "We don't believe failure is an option." The Confederation of Oregon School Administrators honored Reynolds last month at a surprise school assembly.

PHOTO CAPTION: Bruce Reynolds, principal at R.E. Jewell Elementary in Bend-La Pine School District.

Oregon Middle School Principal of the Year

Congratulations to Cathy Carnahan, principal of Duniway Middle School in McMinnville School District, on receiving the honor of Oregon Middle School Principal of the Year. It is the second time in three years that a McMinnville school administrator has been named Oregon Principal of the Year! NCLB'

The three overriding principles at Duniway Middle School are valuing relationships, engaging students and pursuing excellence. This year, Cathy chose the theme “Whatever it Takes” for the school, complementing these three principles. This theme mirrors the fundamental focus of Duniway’s teachers and administration, as they dedicate their time to meeting the academic and social needs of each student. Cathy’s leadership at Duniway is a vital uniting force, as she serves the students as well as the staff.

Cathy will be recognized, along with other state winners, at a fall ceremony in Washington, D.C.

PHOTO CAPTION: Cathy Carnahan, principal of Duniway Middle School in McMinnville School District.

Oregon High School Principal of the Year

Nancy Bush-Lange, principal of Oregon City High School, is this year’s Oregon High School Principal of the Year.NCLB'

Nancy Bush-Lange has held the position of Oregon City High School’s principal for five years. Oregon City High has recently experienced an upswing in test scores, as well as a dramatic reduction in their student dropout rate. These positive improvements can be attributed to an aggressive focus on targeting and meeting students’ specific academic needs and an increased commitment to tracking, contacting and motivating students who drop out to return to school. Oregon City’s unique on-site program for credit recovery classes aids students in getting back on track to earning their diploma. The high school has also implemented a Twilight program where students can attend late afternoon or evening classes on a modified school day schedule.

This honor recognizes Nancy’s strong commitment to best practices in education, and her dedication to continued school-wide improvements and student success. Congratulations Nancy on receiving this much-deserved honor.

PHOTO CAPTION: Principal Nancy Bush-Lange with Senator Jeff Merkley during his recent visit to Oregon City High School. Ellen Spitaleri / Oregon City News

Oregon Superintendent of the Year

Dr. Paula Radich, Superintendent of the Newberg School District, was named the Oregon Superintendent of the Year, an honor that recognizes her dedication and commitment to education, as well as her leadership in the Newberg School district and community.NCLB'

Dr. Radich has served as the Newberg School District Superintendent since 1999. Over the years, she has been instrumental in transforming Newberg High School into four small high schools and expanding community college opportunities for Newberg students, as well as advocating for public education and reaching out to the Newberg/Dundee community. Through these and many other endeavors, Dr. Radich has gained the highest level of respect from countless students and community members.

Dr. Radich currently holds the position of President of the Oregon Association of School Executives, and serves as co-chair of the Steering Committee of the Funding Coalition of State Superintendents. Congratulations to Dr. Radich on receiving this award, which honors her as an exemplary role model for Oregon educators.

PHOTO CAPTION: Dr. Paula Radich, Superintendent of the Newberg School District.

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

Applied Academic Course Content

Q: We are interested in implementing applied academic options but are concerned that the academic content will not be taught at the same level as it would be in our more traditional courses. How can we strengthen the academic content in applied academic courses?

A: This has been a long-standing concern and has historically been associated with a skeptical view of the value of applied academics. The research on the effectiveness of applied academics is mixed, but some patterns emerge from examples that are successful.

1. The academic content standards addressed in applied academic options should be the same as those taught in the more traditional approaches; however, the instructional strategies differ.
2. Developing successful applied academics options involves strong collaborations between teachers. Collaboration helps assure that the application is a valid and robust example of the academic principles and content. A simple cross walk of course standards is not as effective.
3. Applied academics should explicitly address the differences between the academic language and the language of application while valuing both. For example, carpenters will regularly refer to the 3-4-5 triangle, but they seldom talk about the Pythagorean Theorem that is described in math classes even though the two ideas are closely related. An effective applied academic course should use both terms while demonstrating how they are related.
4. Assessments in an applied academic course put equal weight on the application and the academic content.
5. Applied academic courses are treated by the school as an alternative approach rather than an easier option.

Guidance on developing applied academic courses can be found at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/teachlearn/certificates/diploma/appliedacademiccredit.pdf PDF

If you have questions about Applied Academics, please contact Tom Thompson eMail

Opportunities and Financial Resources for Schools

Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program, Round 2

Round 2 for the Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program (SRGP)through Oregon Emergency Management (OEM) will open on July 15th, 2010. Application Materials are now posted on our website: http://www.oregon.gov/OMD/OEM/plans_train/SRGP.shtml.

The SRGP is a competitive grant program that provides state funds on a reimbursable basis for seismic rehabilitation of critical public buildings, including K-12 schools.

OEM has scheduled workshops throughout the state to assist entities with the application process. The workshops will review the application process and go into detail regarding eligibility requirements, changes to the SRGP from Round 1,and the Benefit Cost Analysis. There will be time set aside for additional questions and discussion.

Upcoming Workshops:

  • June 22nd - Salem

  • June 23rd - Teleconference

  • June 24th - Netarts (near Tillamook)

  • June 29th - Coos Bay

  • June 30th - Fairview (near Troutdale)

Workshop details are posted on the OEM website, as well as additional workshops scheduled for July & August.

Please contact Seismic Grants Coordinator Paulina Layton eMail or Seismic Grants Assistant Kiri Carini eMail with any questions, or to register for a workshop.

Statewide Emergency Preparation Drill Planned for October

Stay tuned for more information regarding "Do the Drill," a statewide campaign to highlight the importance of disaster preparedness. Schools are encouraged to practice either a fire drill, earthquake or tsunami drill or lock down drill during Fire Prevention Week in October. More information regarding the statewide "Do the Drill" will be available in August. This event is cosponsored by the Department of Education, Oregon Emergency Management, School Resource Officers Association, Special Districts of Oregon and the Office of State Fire Marshal.

Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards

The Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards run annually from April through January and honor young Latino leaders with grants for their college education or to fund a community service effort the student will plan, oversee and sustain. The 2010 online application will be available April through June and will be open to current high school juniors only who maintain an un-weighted 3.0 GPA. The Application Postmark Date is July 1st, 2010. Award categories include, but are not limited to: Education (future teachers), Engineering and Mathematics, and Science. More categories are added each year and are subject to change without notice.

For questions, Please consult our FAQ’s at http://hhfawards.hispanicheritage.org/2010/forms/faqs.php

Intel’s Summer 2010 Teach Essentials Course

We are looking for 20 teachers to participate in this summer’s Intel’s Teach Essentials Course focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Please share this opportunity with teachers in your district. The session will be held Aug. 2-6 at NWRESD. Participants living farther than 50 miles from the ESD will be reimbursed for mileage and receive hotel accommodations. All participants will receive excellent training and software provided by Vernier.

Teachers may register at http://events.nwresd.org/node/486

Address questions about registration to Patti Richey eMail or questions about the content of the program to Marta Turner eMail.

Susan's Schedule

June 14-30 – Superintendent Castillo has multiple internal and external meetings. A mandatory furlough will be observed on June 18. No public events are scheduled at time of publication.

The June/July 2010 issue of Superintendent's Pipeline is available on the ODE website.

For scheduling inquiries, please visit our website at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?=848
Please forward this UPDATE to others who might find it of interest.

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