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4/12/2012 9:36:00 AM
Superintendent's Update #357
Superintendent's Update

Welcome to Superintendent Castillo's monthly update which highlights the hard work and achievements of schools across Oregon. The Superintendent's Update also gives you the latest information on important initiatives facing Oregon educators, administrators, and students.

Here’s what you’ll find in this issue:

  • Celebrating Student Success – Oregon Schools Make Gains in Closing the Gap
  • Oregon Students Attend US Senate Youth Program
  • Oregon Diploma Talk
  • Opportunities and Financial Resources for Students and Schools
  • Susan’s Schedule

Celebrating Student Success – Oregon Schools Make Gains in Closing the Gap
By Susan Castillo

CTAG This week I had the honor of announcing the 2012 Celebrating Student Success Schools. As we look at what it takes to transform our education system, these schools serve as inspiring examples of what is possible when teachers, administrators, parents, students, and communities come together behind a shared vision of excellence for all.

I initiated these awards back in 2005 to recognize leadership within Oregon’s K-12 public school system and highlight schools that have made significant progress toward closing the academic achievement gap. These schools generally have high levels of poverty and diverse student populations, but where some might see challenges, these schools see opportunity. Through dedication, a commitment to high standards for students and staff alike, and a ‘no excuses’ attitude, these schools are doing what it takes to turn things around and increase student achievement for all kids regardless of race, income, disability status, or home language. These schools are showing us that we can, and we will, close the gap.

This year, seven schools from across the state were named 2012 Celebrating Student Success Champions and eight past award winners were recognized as 2012 Continuing Success schools.

Atkison 2012 Celebrating Student Success Champion Schools:
• Atkinson Elementary School, Portland Public Schools
• El Puente Bilingual Elementary School, North Clackamas School District
• Franklin High School, Portland Public Schools
• Lincoln Elementary School, Corvallis School District
• Lincoln Elementary School, Grants Pass School District
• Templeton Elementary School, Tigard-Tualatin School District
• Washington Elementary School, Pendleton School District

2012 Continuing Success Schools:
• Claggett Creek Middle School, Salem-Keizer School District
• Forest Grove High School, Forest Grove School District
• Gilbert Park Elementary School, David Douglas School District
• Lot Whitcomb Elementary School, North Clackamas School District
• Menlo Park Elementary School, David Douglas School District
• Riverside Elementary School, Grants Pass School District
• Weddle Elementary School, Salem-Keizer School District
• Woodburn Academy of Art, Science, and Technology, Woodburn School District

Schools were selected for this award based on a comprehensive review of student achievement data, evidence of significant gains by historically underserved student subgroups (minority groups, students with limited English, special education students, etc.), and review of a narrative application by a Blue Ribbon Panel composed of educators, education stakeholders, and community members. The applications for winning schools are available online.
This year’s winners represent a wide range of schools both small and large, urban and rural. They share a common commitment to using data to drive their decision making, engaging parents and communities as active partners, and providing strong, shared leadership and a focus on high quality instruction. Many of these schools are also utilizing proven strategies such as Professional Learning Communities, Response to Intervention (RTI), Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and Courageous Conversations among others. Despite the differences from school to school, they share a focused and intentional approach to improving achievement and that focus is producing results.

Join me in celebrating these 15 outstanding schools and watch for more information about these schools in future issues of the Update. You can learn more about these schools and past winners online at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=3585.

I would also like to thank our generous sponsors who make this awards program possible. Join me in thanking American Institutes for Research (AIR); Nike School Innovation Fund; Wells Fargo; Wieden+Kennedy; Oregon School Boards Association; Confederation of Oregon School Administrators; The Oregonian; Oregon Education Association; Oregon School Employees Association; and Award Specialties.

Photos: (Top: Superintendent Castillo with Franklin Principal Shay James, Atkinson Principal Debbie Armendariz, and Julia Brim-Edwards of the Nike School Innovation Fund. Middle: Atkinson students holding award checks at the announcement. Bottom: Atkinson first grade choir students singing at Celebrating Student Success Announcement.)

Oregon Students Attend U.S. Senate Youth Program
By Susan Castillo

Ryan Montgomery from Pendleton High School and Caroline Porter from Klamath Union High School joined students from around the country at the 50th Anniversary United States Senate Youth Program in Washington D.C. last week. Each year, two student delegates are selected from each state and are invited to travel to Washington D.C. for a weeklong intensive educational experience about American government.

Senate Ryan Montgomery attends Pendleton High School and serves as senior class president. In addition, Ryan serves as an at-large representative to the Oregon Association of Student Councils Student Executive Council. He is an ASTRA Club volunteer organization president and secretary of state at Oregon Boys State. Ryan is a varsity cross country track runner who qualified for the Oregon State Championships and placed in the Nike Pre-Nationals.Ryan hopes to attend Brigham Young University and double major in international relations and economics.

Caroline “Callie” Porter attends Klamath Union High School and serves as Student Body president. A three-sport athlete, Callie has received nine varsity letters and received the OSAA Scholar-Athlete Awards. She was a varsity basketball captain during her junior year and also elected basketball and track captain during her senior year. Last summer she attended the National Youth Leadership Conference in Washington D.C., fueling her interest in government service and her future studies.

Ryan, Callie, and their fellow delegates had the once in a lifetime opportunity to meet with President Obama at the White House. They also attended a reception with 68 U.S. Senators where they met with Senators from Oregon and across the state. Throughout the week, the student delegates had the opportunity learn from some of the highest level elected and appointed officials in the country. Speakers included Chief Justice John Roberts, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, UK Ambassador to the U.S. Sir Peter Westmacott, and several current members of the U.S. House and Senate. Click here to learn more about the U.S. Senate Youth Program.

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

Last week the Eugene Register Guard published an article about the Reading Essential Skill graduation requirement which is coming on board this year. The article provided a good overview of the essential skills, the options open to students, and what Eugene area school districts are doing to help students get ready. The first few paragraphs of the article are provided below:

First seniors put to the test
“Beginning this year, graduating seniors will have to do more to get their diploma than show they’ve successfully earned 24 high school class credits. Under rules set by the Oregon Board of Education, students will have to prove that all those hours in class have resulted in actual skills. This year, they must show that they can read at a level that will serve them in college and on the job.

“Next year, the state ups the ante. In 2013, graduating seniors will have to show both reading and writing proficiency, and the 2014 graduating class also must pass a math test demonstrating that they won’t need remediation classes to get them up to speed when they hit the university. It’s part of a nationwide movement to make sure U.S. students are better prepared for college and work.”

Click here to access the full Register Guard article.

Opportunities and Financial Resources for Students and Schools

Seeking Nominations for Distinguished Educators Council: Deadline April 17
The Chalkboard Project is seeking award-winning educators to serve on the Distinguished Educators Council. The Council’s mission will be to provide an independent platform for educator voices on reform efforts and implementation, as well as to advise Chalkboard and an array of stakeholders on initiatives not currently being addressed. Applicants should be current classroom teachers who want to participate on the Council in addition to their regular classroom responsibilities. Chosen applicants will earn a $1200 stipend for a year of service on the Council. The application deadline is April 17. Click here for application materials.

Newsweek – America’s Best High Schools 2012
Attention school and district administrators: Newsweek is compiling a ranking of the best public high schools in the country. The list, designed to highlight exceptional and effective public secondary education, will be published in the magazine and online in May. Each high school must self-report certain data to Newsweek by April 20 in order to be considered. This information can be submitted by a high school principal or a district administrator online at: http://newsweek.besthighschools2.sgizmo.com/s3/.

Sustainable Solutions Conference - Building the Pillars of Sustainability
Mark your calendars for the 2nd annual Sustainable Schools – Sustainable Solutions Conference, Building the Pillars of Sustainability, taking place at Gladstone High School on June 19. Featured presenters include Portland State University Professor Veronica Dujon, speaking on "Understanding the Social Dimension of Sustainability: A Fundamental Role of K-12 Education" and Diana Fisher, award-winning K-12 teacher, author and systems thinking / systems dynamics expert, speaking on "Leveraging Systems Thinking and Systems Modeling to Educate for Sustainability". There will be a student panel and the day concludes with the presentation of the Oregon Sustainable School Awards and recognition of Oregon’s U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School Award recipients. Details and registration information are available at: http://www.sustainableschools.org/our-services/2012-conference or by contacting Lori Stole at lstole@zerowaste.org eMail or 503-307-4067.

Susan's Schedule

Week of April 2 – Superintendent Castillo met with various legislators to share updates, met with Governor’s Office staff regarding education updates, released the special education child count and special education report cards, and participated in an ESEA waiver work group meeting with stakeholders from around Oregon.

Week of April 9 – Susan announced the 2012 Celebrating Student Success Awards at an assembly at Atkinson Elementary. Susan was joined at the announcement by PPS Superintendent Carole Smith, Julie Brim-Edwards of the Nike School Innovation Fund, Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer, several Portland School Board members, and principals, students, and staff of Atkinson Elementary and Franklin High school, which are two of this year’s Champion Schools. Susan visited an Advanced Placement classroom at David Douglas High School with Governor Kitzhaber; attended the Oregon Education Investment Board meeting that took place at the David Douglas school district office in Portland; participated in the Oregon Leadership Network Spring Institute in Portland; and will attend the 10-year plan for education outcomes kick off meeting hosted by Ben Cannon of the Governor’s Office.

Week of April 16 – Susan will meet with Governor’s office staff and education leaders regarding education updates and will participate in the State Board of Education meeting where a recognition of Frank Caro, Oregon’s 2012 Milken Educator will take place.

The April 2012 issue of Superintendent's Pipeline is available on the ODE website.

Click here to access archived issues of Superintendent’s Update.

For scheduling inquiries, please visit our website at: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?=848
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