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11/17/2011 10:57:00 AM
Superintendent's Update #352
Superintendent's Update

Superintendent Castillo's 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:
  • American Education Week: Celebrating Public Education Now and Throughout the Year
  • Beating the Odds: Two Oregon Elementary Schools Receive National Recognition for Student Performance
  • International Education Week: Inspiring Students Locally to Succeed Globally
  • Oregon Diploma Talk
  • Opportunities and Financial Resources for Students and Schools
  • Susan’s Schedule

American Education Week: Celebrating Public Education Now and Throughout the Year
By Susan Castillo

This week is American Education Week with special events scheduled across the country to honor and recognize educators, parents, students, and our education system in general. Each day this week has a special focus, from Parent’s Day to Education Support Professional’s Day, Educator for a Day and Substitute Educator Day. AEW'

Organized by the National Education Association, American Education Week provides an opportunity for us to celebrate public education in our nation and our state while raising awareness about the need to provide all children with a high quality public education that prepares them for future success. This week is a wonderful time for celebration, appreciation, and recognition—but it can’t stop there. If we are to build the public education system we know our students and communities need and deserve, it will take all of us working together not just for this one week, but throughout the year.

For 90 years, this event has highlighted the vital role education plays in preparing the next generation of Americans for life, work, and citizenship. I hope American Education Week inspires you to get involved, volunteer, and push for the changes you want to see in your schools.

Providing a high quality, 21st century education to our kids truly is a community effort. So this week I send a big thank you to everyone in our communities who supports education in our state, from the school bus drivers to the administrators, the parent volunteers to the substitute teachers, the afterschool tutors to the classroom teachers. Whatever your role, however you contribute, know that you are appreciated—now and throughout the year.

Learn more about American Education Week at: http://www.nea.org/grants/19823.htm/

Beating the Odds: Two Oregon Elementary Schools Receive National Recognition for Student Performance
By Susan Castillo

This week, I had the pleasure of visiting Guy Lee Elementary, one of Oregon’s two 2011 Title I Distinguished Schools. Every year, the US Department of Education honors schools across the country for their innovation in helping low-income students achieve at high levels. Schools are recognized in the areas of Exceptional Student Performance and Closing the Achievement Gap. This year, Oregon’s Title I Distinguished Schools were Guy Lee Elementary in the Springfield School District and Concord Elementary in the North Clackamas School District. GuyLee'

Title I schools, schools with high numbers of students in poverty, are faced with a wide range of challenges as they work to get all of their kids to succeed academically. But schools like Concord and Guy Lee show us all that poverty does not need to be, and should not be, a predictor of student success. These schools have dedicated teachers and school staff who believe in the power of education to transform lives and break the cycle of poverty. They know that given the right supports—and someone who believes in them—all students can achieve at high levels.

Guy Lee Elementary in the Springfield School District has been recognized as a Title I Distinguished School in the area of Closing the Achievement Gap. Despite having nine in ten students eligible for free and reduced priced lunch and one in five an English Language Learner, Guy Lee has met AYP targets every year, made strong gains in student achievement, and has made progress in closing the achievement gap. The school has put systems in place to make sure no student falls through the cracks. Student data is reviewed regularly to ensure students are on track, and instruction is adjusted to better meet student needs.

Concord Elementary in the North Clackamas School District has been recognized as a Title I Distinguished School in the area of Exceptional Student Performance. Despite having more than half of the student body eligible for free and reduced priced lunch, Concord Elementary has consistently out-performed the state and maintained high levels of student achievement in both reading and math. The school attributes its success to a strong literacy program with clearly identified targets, teacher data teams which regularly review student progress, early intervention with struggling students, strong integration of the arts into instruction, and implementation of the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports system.

These two schools are models for what is possible when an entire staff gets behind a shared vision of excellence for all. Join me in thanking these, and other schools around the state, for their work in beating the odds!

Photo: Superintendent Susan Castillo presents Guy Lee principal Nicki Gorham (left) and former principal Sarah Lewenberg (center) with their $5,000 awards check.

International Education Week: Inspiring Students Locally to Succeed Globally
By Susan Castillo

This week is also International Education Week—an opportunity to celebrate international education and exchange. This event, now in its 11th year, is celebrated in over 100 countries around the world and seeks to promote international understanding and build support for international exchange programs. IEW'

In today’s global economy, it is more critical than ever before that our students have opportunities to learn about, visit, and experience other countries, cultures, and customs. International exchange programs encourage global literacy, help to break down stereotypes, allow our students an opportunity to expand their worldview, and increase our international competitiveness. Whether our students travel abroad or welcome foreign students into their classrooms or homes, these programs can offer a wonderful opportunity to learn, explore, and connect to the greater global community we live in.

International exchanges are also important for our teachers and administrators. As I saw firsthand on an educational trip to Brazil this fall, there is much we can learn from other countries about innovation, creativity, and the integration of technology into the classroom. And I know that our educators who study abroad come home invigorated, inspired, and loaded with new ideas and strategies to improve our education system here in Oregon. I strongly believe that it is only by working with, and learning from, our international partners that we will be able to develop, compete, and thrive as a nation.

International exchanges, whether they are for students or adults, promote the sharing of ideas, challenge our assumptions, and open our eyes to new possibilities and perspectives. And in this rapidly changing world, these exchanges can play a vital role in connecting our students, communities, and countries together in shared learning and development.

Learn more about International Education Week at: http://iew.state.gov/index.cfm.
Read Governor Kitzhaber’s IEW proclamation at: http://iew.state.gov/docs/iew2011_or.pdf PDF.
Find classroom resources on international exchange at: http://iew.state.gov/countries.cfm.

Oregon Diploma Talk
This item highlights key topics relating to the Oregon diploma and the Common Core State Standards.

In order to help districts prepare for the new Essential Skills requirements, ODE is offering WebEx training sessions to prepare local district facilitators to present workshops to staff on assessing the three required Essential Skills – reading, writing, and mathematics. These sessions follow the train the trainer model and will be offered throughout the school year. For more information, a complete schedule of training sessions, and registration information, go to http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=2042 and select Essential Skills Work Samples Training of Trainers.

Opportunities and Financial Resources for Students and Schools

Seeking Nominations for 2012 History Teacher of the Year
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is seeking nominations for the annual $10,000 National History Teacher of the Year Award. Nominations can be made by a student, parent, colleague, principal, or school administrator familiar with the teacher’s work. State winners are awarded $1,000 and each winning school receives an archive of books and other resources. Each winner is honored in a ceremony in his or her home state. In 2012, middle and high school teachers (7-12) will be honored. To be considered for the 2012 award, nominations must be made by February 1, 2012. To nominate a teacher and learn more about the award, visit www.gilderlehrman.org/nhtoy or contact the National History Teacher of the Year coordinator at nhtoy@gilderlehrman.org eMail or 646-366-9666, x28. You may also contact your state coordinator: Andrea Morgan, Education Specialist, Oregon Department of Education, andrea.morgan@state.or.us eMail, 503-947-5772.

Oregon History Day
Sponsored by the Oregon Historical Society, Oregon History Day is part of National History Day, a year-long non-profit education program focused on grades 6-12 that works with both students and teachers to improve the teaching and learning of history in schools. The program includes a history competition that begins at the local level and culminates in a national contest. The competition is open to all Oregon students (grades 6-12) and the theme for 2012 is “Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History.” Student participants will choose a historical topic related to the theme, conduct primary and secondary research, draw conclusions about their topic’s significance in history, and finally present their work through one of five mediums—an original paper, website, exhibit, performance, or documentary. The products will be presented at a competition at the Oregon History Museum on May 5, 2012. Winners in each category will have the opportunity to compete at the national level. Rules and more information about Oregon History Day can be found at http://www.ohs.org/education/oregon-history-day.cfm.

Susan's Schedule

Week of November 7 – Superintendent Castillo met with members of the ESEA waiver work groups; attended the Senate Bill 909 work group meeting in Portland; had lunch with former state superintendent Vern Duncan; attended the Native American Youth Association Banquet; and attended a luncheon at the OSBA Convention where Teacher of the Year Elena Garcia-Velasco spoke and Ron Wilkinson of the Bend-La Pine School District was named Superintendent of the Year.

Week of November 14 – Susan spoke at an all-school assembly at Guy Lee Elementary in Springfield; participated in the 2011 Government to Government Tribal Summit in Lincoln City; and attended the Council of Chief State School Officers’ National Policy Institute in Phoenix.

Week of November 21 – Susan will attend a Senate Bill 909 work group meeting in the Portland area; meet with Julia Brim-Edwards of Nike; participate in education meetings with the Governor’s staff; and will celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family.

The November 2011 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
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