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Susanne Smith, 503-947-5637

October 27, 2010

Five Schools Removed from Oregon’s Safety “Watch List”

Continued Focus on Building Statewide Support for Safe Schools

SALEM – State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo announced today that five Oregon public schools have been removed from this year’s federal No Child Left Behind safety watch list. No Oregon schools were identified this year for placement on the “watch list” under the federal reporting requirements.

“Students can’t learn in unsafe or disruptive classrooms,” said Superintendent Susan Castillo. “As we lose federal funding for Safe and Drug Free Schools, I am proud of the work we are doing here in Oregon to create and maintain safe learning environments for kids through a statewide initiative called Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.”

Schools removed from the “watch list”:
Klamath Falls City Schools District – Ponderosa Junior High School
Medford School District – Hedrick Middle School, McLoughlin Middle School
Reynolds School District - Reynolds Learning Academy, Reynolds Middle School

Criteria for Unsafe School Definition Updated
At the request of several legislators, the Oregon Department of Education convened a workgroup composed of law enforcement, school districts, and other education stakeholders in December 2008 to update Oregon’s criteria for unsafe schools. The changes include clarifying that only expulsions for weapons or expulsions based on arrests for violent criminal offenses count towards a school’s identification on the watch list or as persistently dangerous. Expulsions are now counted on a “per incident” basis rather than on a “per student basis.”

A full explanation of the revisions can be found on the Oregon Department of Education’s website at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/news/announcements/announcement.aspx?=4867.
For more information on Oregon’s definition of unsafe school please visit: Unsafe School Choice Option Policy MS-Word.

“I am proud that ODE clarified the definition of dangerous schools to not penalize schools which actively maintain safe environments for our children and staff,” Representative Gene Whisnant (R Sunriver) commented. “The Bend-LaPine Superintendent alerted me to the problems with the old definition and without legislation, we were able to achieve the desired results.”

Statewide Initiative: Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
Understanding that prevention is the most effective and efficient means of stemming disruptive and aggressive behavior, the Oregon Department of Education is supporting a statewide system of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). PBIS is a school wide behavioral model designed to address behavioral needs through a graduated system of interventions.

The Oregon Department of Education, in collaboration with Clackamas, High Desert, and Linn Benton Lincoln Education Service Districts, is supporting statewide and regional efforts to create behavior interventions where all students experience success. It is a research-based, systematic approach to preventing problem behavior in the classroom. PBIS supports student learning and encourages the teaching and reinforcement of appropriate social expectations and behavior across all environments for all students.

In the first four years, the ODE PBIS initiative has provided funding, training, and technical assistance to nine Education Service Districts, 60 school districts and 350+ schools for implementing school-wide PBIS to support all students. For more information go to: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?=553

For an audio clip of Susan Castillo go to: http://video.orvsd.org/ode/10-22-10-SafeSchools.MP3

Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Susanne Smith, Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5637

Oregon Department of Education News Releases contain information that was originally released to the press as an official release.  Refer to each News Release for the details.

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Oregon Department of Education
Voice: 503-947-5600
Fax: 503-378-5156
255 Capitol Street NE
Salem, OR 97310-0203

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