Look for the Helpers | October 2020 Education Update

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Education Update: Oregon Department of Education

October 2020

Oregon Achieves... Together!
A Message from the Director of the Oregon Department of Education Colt Gill

ODE Director Colt Gill

The last month has challenged students, families and educators all over the state. With COVID-19 still endangering our health and putting routine life on hold, the turmoil of a country coming to terms with its historic and current racism, and one of our state’s largest natural disasters - the widespread wildfires upending life and destroying communities, it can seem overwhelming.

My heart goes out to everyone impacted by these multiples crises.

I’m reminded of the words of Fred Rogers when he said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

Sure enough, there are plenty of stories of people who are helping. These have been some of my favorite over the last month and I hope they are as encouraging for you as they have been for me that there are always people helping.

Phoenix-Talent School District slowly lifts its community from ashes

Superintendent stays behind to save Santiam Canyon school

School districts work together for communities hurt by fires

Red Cross opens shelter in Phoenix school

After the fire: Superintendent details a district's battle to rebuild

Teens launch nonprofit to destigmatize mental health for Asian Americans

Deaf students in Oregon adapting to distance learning

Prescott Elementary principal focused on building relationships, equity in distance learning

Virtual teaching from real classrooms: Portland-area teachers say it brings normalcy

C.O. special education program gears up to welcome back students

Food, hygiene products, art supplies delivered to Salem youth in need amid COVID-19

Congratulations 2021 Oregon Teacher of the Year

2021 Oregon Teacher of the Year Nicole Butler-Hooton

Irving Elementary School second grade educator Nicole Butler-Hooton is Oregon’s 2021 Teacher of the Year! During a surprise meeting last month over Zoom, Governor Kate Brown and Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill virtually joined Bethel School District Superintendent Chris Parra and Irving Elementary Principal Nathan Bridgens in honoring Butler-Hooton for her transformational rapport with students, families and the school community at large.

More about Nicole Butler-Hooton...

Education Support Professional of the Year Program

Oregon Education Support Professional of the Year

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE), in partnership with the Oregon State Lottery, is launching a new program recognizing the outstanding contributions of Oregon’s Education Support Professionals (ESP)!

The Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2964 in May of 2019 which directed the Oregon Department of Education and Oregon State Lottery to collaborate in designing and implementing this program to honor an education support professional serving students in any grade from prekindergarten through grade 12. ESP’s work together with teachers and administrators in Oregon public schools to perform a variety of jobs promoting quality education, fostering positive learning environments, offering nutritious meals, providing reliable transportation, maintaining safe and clean schools for all students and much more.

More about nominating an ESP for the award...

New Study Addresses Child Care Supply and Demand in Oregon

A new study commissioned by the Early Learning Division and conducted by Oregon State University examines what role a family’s demographics, characteristics, and geography are associated with child care supply. The report titled “Supply and Demand in Oregon: How Equitable is Child Care Access?” was requested by the Oregon Legislature in 2019. The findings from this report will be used to help make recommendations at the end of this year on how to improve access to high-quality affordable child care for all of Oregon’s families.

More about the survey...

New Evidence Links Oregon CTE to Higher Graduation Rates, Earnings

REL Northwest logo

(provided by REL Northwest)

Over the past decade, Oregon has significantly expanded its career and technical education (CTE) programming to ensure students graduate high school with the skills they need to pursue postsecondary education and obtain a family-wage job. A new report from Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Northwest shows this investment is paying off—in 2018, nearly half of the state’s secondary students had completed a full year of coursework in a CTE program.

Read more about the report...

ODE In the News

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Be sure to check out our Twitter page and follow us to stay up-to-date on everything that's happening in education in Oregon!

Student Spotlight

KGW talked with students who created a non-profit organization addressing mental health issues in the Asian-American community.

The Columbia County Spotlight featured a paid internship program for high school students that is showing impressive results.

The Hood River News caught up with some students who are keeping up with their cross country running training even though the high school sports seasons have been delayed.

Come Learn More About Canvas

The Oregon Canvas User Group (OCUG) is coming to you this fall! OCUG will be held virtually on Tuesday, November 10, with sessions throughout the day. 

This event is supported by Oregon Canvas users across the state who come together to share their knowledge, experience, and Canvas experiments with other educators. OCUG is for everyone from first-time Canvas users to experts. Want Canvas to do more for you? Join the group!

Registration link and more...

How has COVID-19 impacted your child care needs?

The Early Learning Division wants to hear from families and caregivers about your family’s experience searching for and using child care during the pandemic. Take the survey and help make a difference! Your input will help the state understand family needs and increase support for child care providers.

Links to the survey...

State Capitol Tours Going Virtual

Every year, the Oregon State Capitol welcomes tens of thousands of school children on interpretive building tours to inspire them to get involved in the democratic process. With the Capitol closed to the public until further notice, and schools across Oregon engaged in remote and hybrid-learning, the Capitol Visitor Services team has sought new ways to deliver its programming and engage Oregon's distance-learners.

More about the tours...