September Social Science Update

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together



Sept Pic 2

Cool morning Portland

September is usually the "Welcome Back" Social Science Newsletter. With schools closed and meeting and greeting students limited to screens and phone calls, this is a September like no other. Although almost everything about what school looks like has changed, the core of what you do remains the same. Kids are eager to learn about the world. Students are excited to interact with classmates. The relationships you establish in your classroom builds trust and encourages learners to take risks and embrace academic challenges. The most significant change (something that we have known for a long time) is the broad recognition that Social Science content and skills are central to the health and well-being of our students, or communities, and our democracy.

We have heard from students, parents, and politicians that Social Science instruction is vital: that students need to know the history of Oregon and the United States, to understand that protests and voting are constitutional rights but are not the only opportunities for civic engagement and that equality, liberty, and justice are complementary values and their pursuit is foundational to our shared humanity.

As you set-up your virtual classrooms for the start of the year, please let me know if there is anything I can do to support you and your students.


Amit Kobrowski

ODE and OOL Logo

Designing Learning and Oregon Open Learning Resources

The Oregon Department has published Content Specific Guidance for comprehensive distance learning.

What is essential learning? (pg. 15) What tools and resources do I use? (pg. 16) How do I adapt instruction to engage students in learning? (pg. 16) How will I measure learning?(pg. 17)

A single PDF exclusively for Social Science is also available.

Oregon Open Learning

As you prepare for the first days of school, Oregon Open Learning wants to remind you about the over 50,000 open educational resources (OER) available on OER Commons, searchable by grade level, subject, and standard. When you find Social Science resources that are worth sharing, be sure to save them to Oregon Social Science group so that other Oregon educators can find them more easily. You can also save them to grade-level folders.

Periodically, we’ll feature a few of the resources that have recently been added to our group. Be sure to check out these resources that were recently added to the Hub:

· Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs. A set of lessons to explore the history of Portland and the Civil Rights movement with a number of primary text and photo documents

Finally, did you know that OER can be saved directly to your Google Classroom? Click the green chalkboard icon to try it out. Do you use Schoology or Canvas instead? Have your district’s learningmanagement system (LMS) administrator connect to OER Commons.

See you on the Oregon Open Learning Hub!

my school votes

Teaching Tolerance

Tune in to this webinar to get your high school students ready to vote! Along with special guest and My School Votes Director Andrew Amore, we will go over strategies for building school-based voter registration campaigns. You’ll become familiar with tools, resources and guides to do this work, and you’ll see examples of strategic plans you can implement and adapt to your needs. You’ll also learn about Teaching Tolerance’s new Future Voters Project and leave with insight to help your school community become more civically engaged. Join us! 


Title: My School Votes

Date: Thursday, September 03, 2020

Time: 03:30 PM Central Daylight Time

Duration: 1 hour

council economic

Discussing Race & Inequality in the Classroom: A Virtual Event 

High school and college educators, you’re invited to discover how to better engage your economics students on this timely and relevant topic.

This no-cost virtual event features economists who draw from years of teaching experience and research. They’ll share strategies for discussing race in the economics classroom.

Date: Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020

Time: 4-5:30 p.m. PT | 5-6:30 p.m. MT | 6-7:30 p.m. CT | 7-8:30 p.m. ET Format: Via Zoom

The National Conference for The Council on Economic Education Sept 30 – Oct 2nd; Virtual event

This conference offers many sessions which may be invaluable to you in teaching economics to your students.  Even better news, the Oregon Council on Economics Education will pay your registration fees (as well as the cost of providing a substitute teacher for you) for the first 5 teachers who contact us to express an interest in attending the conference.  If you are interested in this offer, email;  


United in Spirit JFP

Shared Legacies, The African American–Jewish Civil Rights Alliance

This feature-length documentary focuses on a proud chapter in modern American history when two communities of different backgrounds — African Americans and Jews — collaborated to transform the moral conscience of the nation. The powerful lessons of this crucial history must be remembered. For too many people today, this history of coming together has never been shared nor heard.

Screen the film from home on Sunday, September 13 and Monday, September 14. Join the Zoom discussion on Wednesday, September 16 at 7pm with the filmmaker Dr. Shari Rogers; Reverend E.D. Mondainé, board president of the Portland Chapter of NAACP; and Rabbi Michael Cahana, senior rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel. Both the film and discussion are FREE but registration is required. Click here to register. The screening link for the film will be sent out individually to those that have registered as well as detailed instructions on how to view the film. This link will be sent out at 6 am on Sunday, September 13 and it will be active through 11:59 pm on Monday, September 14. Watch the trailer here.

This event is co-sponsored by United in Spirit, a collaboration between the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, the Portland Chapter of NAACP, The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, and Dialogues Unlimted.


OHS Special Announcement: Free Oregon History Workshops for All Grades!

As our schools continue to operate remotely, the Oregon Historical Society remains committed to supporting the teaching of Oregon history in meaningful ways. OHS is providing professional development webinars for educators on our Experience Oregon curriculum. These webinars will help students make connections between the diverse peoples who have shaped our state's history and society with current events, and allow students to see themselves as makers of history.

Workshops include two modules for each grade unit as well as asynchronous learning between units; 6 PDUs will be available on request after the completion of both modules. All workshops will be delivered virtually and will include information about adjusting lessons for use in distance-learning formats.

Grades K–2: Lessons on Recognizing and Creating Inclusive Neighborhoods and Communities
Tuesday, October 7, 3:30pm–5pm (module 1)

Wednesday, October 28, 3:30pm–5pm (module 2)

Grades 3–5: Lessons on the Indigenous Peoples of Oregon (aligned with Tribal History/Shared History, SB13 curriculum)

Wednesday, November 4, 3:30pm–5pm (module 1)
Wednesday, December 2, 3:30pm–5pm

Grades 6–12, Lessons on the Exclusion and Inclusion of Oregonians
Wednesday, October 21, 3:30pm–5pm (module 1)
Wednesday, November 18, 3:30pm–5pm

Please note: Educators must have attended module 1 to attend module 2. 

ODE Logo

Understanding a Balanced Assessment System Webinar Session

As part of the Oregon Statewide Summative Assessment: Interim Assessment Series, ODE will host its first of several webinar sessions on Thursday, September 3, 2020, from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.


In Session 1 - Understanding a Balanced Assessment System: Participants will build assessment literacy to improve instructional practices by connecting formative assessment practices, interim assessments, and summative assessments to continually improve access and outcomes for each and every learner in their care.

Additionally, participants will learn about the different components of a balanced assessment system, identify the different uses and purposes of each part of the balanced assessment system, and, make connections to local instructional practice implications. Participants can register directly and will receive one PDU from ODE after the session has been completed.


ODE’s Fall Calendar for the Interim Assessment Webinar Series

For the first time, Oregon educators and students have access to a statewide interim assessment system to support student learning and instruction. Oregon’s interim assessment system provides educators with flexible and remote administration options, as well as the full suite of designated supports and accommodations, to support students. In addition to supporting instructional practices, the Interim Assessment System provides the opportunity for educators to elicit evidence of student learning, provide actionable feedback, and adjust instruction accordingly.

The Oregon Department of Education will offer multiple sessions for educators to build their knowledge of the Interim Assessment System. After completing each session ODE will provide educators with PDUs for their participation.

To view specific dates and register for upcoming sessions, refer to the ODE Interim Assessment Series Informational Flyer. For additional information about session outcomes, please refer to the Oregon Statewide Summative Assessment: Interim Assessment Series PowerPoint

Oregon Care Funds

Oregon Cares Fund for Black Relief and Resiliency 

A grant program for families, businesses, and organizations within the state’s Black community – is now accepting applications. The Oregon Legislative Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus said Monday that the fund is intended to help Black people, Black business owners and Black-led nonprofits statewide weather the financial hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $62 million is funded through the Oregon Legislature’s Emergency Board and will be administered through two non-profits – The Contingent and The Black United Fund.

The funds must be disbursed by the end of the year and must go to Oregon applicants who can show the economic harm from the pandemic.

Source: Applications open for $62 million fund for COVID-19 relief in Oregon’s Black community


Book Recommendation

Isabel Wilkerson's first book "The Warmth of Other Suns" was a beautiful and comprehensive examination of the the Great Migration. In Caste, Wilkerson dives deeply into the stratifications of social structures.  By including India and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson's examination of the division in American society by caste (setting aside "race" as too fraught to be helpful) allows the reader to see and think about the deep structural issues that shape our history and present world. Years of research culminated in finishing the book during Covid-19 quarantine and Wilkerson includes very recent events in her analysis. A wonderful resource for teacher background with short chapters or passages that could be used with 8th and H.S. students.

NPR's Throughline as well as Ezra Klein recently hosted Wilkerson on their podcasts. The book was also selected for Oprah's book club.  Penguin Random House has created a discussion guide.