Continuing Care and Connection | March 2022 Education Update

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Education Update: Oregon Department of Education

March 2022

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

ODE Director Colt Gill

Last summer, ODE launched the Care and Connection Campaign to provide resources to districts to promote the mental health and well-being of students and staff for the current school year. As you prepare for the start of next year, you will be happy to know we are working to add new inspiration and resources to support Care and Connection throughout the coming school year!

More than half of the school districts in the state participated in the Care and Connection Campaign, or implemented other tools to ensure their school buildings were safe, welcoming environments. We’d love to build on that for next year so that every student in the state starts the school year off with a healthy foundation to build upon. We also hope you’ll continue your care and connection activities throughout the school year!

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Resiliency Framework Revisions Effective March 12

Resiliency Framework cover 3-12-22

Here is the message we sent March 2nd describing the changes to the face coverings, quarantine and testing guidance.

Dear Colleagues,

As you thoughtfully prepare and plan health and safety mitigation for March 12 and beyond, we want to share a few practical updates to the Ready Schools, Safe Learner Resiliency Framework and share the latest School Health Advisory.

The Resiliency Framework effective March 12 includes safety protocols for quarantine, contact tracing and testing that meet the current conditions of the pandemic.

The March/April School Health Advisory reinforces the updates to the Resiliency Framework and reiterates how we support every student and family through this transition to ensure that students and staff stay safe during in-person learning.

Resiliency Framework Effective March 12

Monday, Governor Brown announced Oregon would lift mask requirements for indoor public spaces and schools on March 11 at 11:59 PM. This decision is based on current COVID-19 case forecasting from OHSU, which projects hospitalization falling below 400 or fewer Oregonians per day by March 12. This will return Oregon to a level of hospitalization experienced prior to the Omicron variant. Additionally, because of high vaccination rates and previous infection due to Omicron, Oregon now has significant population immunity. OHA estimates that upwards of 82% of individuals are currently immune. The duration of this immunity is unknown, but is believed to provide protection from reinfection for at least 90 days. This is good news for Oregon. And, the shift in decision making for masking to local levels will bring additional questions about school operations this spring.

More about the revisions...

Face Covering and Quarantine Guidance Changes for Early Learning  

Father helping child with face covering

On February 28, Governor Kate Brown announced Oregon will lift mask requirements for indoor public spaces and schools, including child care, on March 11, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. This decision is based on current COVID-19 case forecasting, which projects hospitalizations falling below 400 or fewer Oregonians per day by March 12. This will return Oregon to a level of hospitalization experienced prior to the Omicron variant. Additionally, because of high vaccination rates and previous infection due to Omicron, Oregon now has significant population immunity.  

Beginning March 12, 2022, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will pause the quarantine requirement for individuals exposed to COVID-19 in child care and K-12 settings. Staff and children who are ill with COVID-like symptoms or test positive must be excluded from child care and isolate at home for 5 days. They may then return when symptoms are improving and they have been fever-free for 24 hours. When returning to care, staff and children 2 years and older should wear a well-fitting mask in child care and public settings for an additional 5 days after their isolation is completed. 

More from ELD on face coverings...

Teaching About the War in Ukraine

Ukraine Map

The news of the day continues to focus on the war in Ukraine. Many Oregon students have connections to Ukraine, Russia and the surrounding nation-states. As teachers discuss current events in the classroom, it is important to consider the stress students may already be experiencing.

ODE Social Science Specialist Amit Kobrowski compiled a number of resources to help teach about the current situation within Oregon’s social science standards. There are additional materials on Oregon Open Learning. Oregon Open Learning lessons and resources are always free with registration. Several news sites also offer suggestions for teaching about current conflicts with trauma-informed considerations and how to help students identify dubious social media postings and misinformation on the conflict

March is Women’s History Month

Women's History

Every year, March is designated Women’s History Month by presidential proclamation. The month is set aside to honor women’s contributions to American history.

Women’s History Month began as a local celebration in Santa Rosa, California. The Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women planned and executed a “Women’s History Week” celebration in 1978. The organizers selected the week of March 8 to correspond with International Women’s Day. The movement spread across the country as other communities initiated their own Women’s History Week celebrations the following year.

In 1980, a consortium of women’s groups and historians—led by the National Women’s History Project (now the National Women's History Alliance)—successfully lobbied for national recognition. In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8th, 1980 as National Women’s History Week. Since 1995, each president has issued annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”

Governor Kate Brown signed a proclamation and also sent a message on Women’s History Month out on social media.

More about Women's History Month...

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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 Education Equity Development Survey Amplifies Student Voices!

The Student Education Equity Development Survey (SEED Survey) and Alt-SEED Survey are now available! Please administer the survey in your schools to gain valuable information from students’ voices. These surveys, for students who participate in our general assessments in grades 3-11 and for students with significant cognitive disabilities who take our alternate assessments in grades 3-8 and 11, provide an opportunity for districts to gather student voice in areas such as sense of belonging, opportunity to learn, access to resources and self-efficacy beliefs. The SEED and Alt-SEED Surveys are the product of a collaboration between Oregon Department of Education, University of Oregon partners, Oregon educators, students and community partners.

More about the SEED Survey...

ODE In the News

ODE Senior Mental Health Officer Dr. B. Grace Bullock shared her thoughts about how mindfulness can reduce stress and improve relationships on the OEA Grow Podcast.

ODE is teaming up with Oregon’s Kitchen Table for a series of community conversations and a survey of Oregonians on the future of graduation requirements in the state. Here’s some of the media stories about the issue:

Student Spotlight

The Oregonian covered students at Madras High School learning a tribal language to prevent it from going extinct.

The Oregon City News followed students making presentations to the city council on potential uses for a vacant lot, inspired by a book they read in class.

KOBI TV in Medford highlighted students in the Phoenix-Talent School District who collected experiences from the devastating fires of 2020 to enter NPR’s Podcast Challenge.