Our Sincere Appreciation | May 2022 Education Update

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Education Update: Oregon Department of Education

May 2022

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

ODE Director Colt Gill

I had the honor last week of accompanying Governor Kate Brown at North Star Elementary School in Bend to kick off Teacher Appreciation Week. It’s important to recognize the work teachers do day in and day out, especially considering what we’ve all been through the last two years. Our teachers have shown great strength and resiliency to overcome the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate their work and will never take it for granted.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona pointed out that Teacher Appreciation Week should also be a time of reflection to remember the teachers that were important in our lives as well. I took the Thank a Teacher Challenge and created this video to honor the special teachers during my time in school. I will never forget their dedication and commitment that shaped who I am today.

Of course, teachers can’t do it alone. It takes a lot of people to make our schools safe, inclusive, and effective environments for learning. In April we honored our second ever Education Support Professional of the Year. Melinda Torres is the liaison supporting students who are in foster care or are experiencing houselessness for the Coos Bay School District. Her work is an integral part of the goal of our educational system: to meet the needs of each and every student.

Read More 

Public School COVID-19 Health and Safety for the 2022-23 School Year

COVID Management Plan

ODE sent this press release out on April 28, 2022:

To maintain in-person learning for all public students next school year, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) have released resources to support COVID-19 Management in Schools.

Next year, public schools and programs will incorporate what they have learned from two years of managing COVID-19 in schools into locally developed, held and practiced communicable disease management plans. ODE/OHA joint guidance, known as Ready Schools, Safe Learners (RSSL) Resiliency Framework, remains accessible on ODE’s website for schools to use as a reference and reminder of the tools and practices of the last two years. This design provides resources to support local decision-making and essential operational capacity to respond to changes in COVID-19 transmission and keep schools open and children learning from dedicated teachers and staff.

Continue reading our press release...

May Is...

May calendar

There is a lot to commemorate in May! Click on each link below for resources that will help incorporate these topics into schools:

American Indian/Alaska Native Student Success Plan Transition Grants

Native American Education

Research from the Oregon Indian Education Association and the National Indian Education Association demonstrates that competent and committed educators have the greatest influence on AI/AN student achievement beyond the students’ families. In light of this research, the American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Student Success Plan establishes the goal that all Oregon early learning hubs, providers of early learning services, school districts, education service districts, post-secondary institutions of education, community-based organizations and Tribes have a high-performing culture in which employees have the training, support and professional development to contribute effectively to AI/AN student success.

More about the grants...

New Program Helps Families Connect to the Web

FCC banner

The Affordable Connectivity Program is a Federal Communications Commission program that helps connect families and households struggling to afford internet service. This new benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet from participating providers.

More about the Affordable Connectivity Program...

State Board of Education Student Advisor Opportunity

State Board of Education logo

The Oregon State Board of Education welcomes upcoming high school seniors to apply for a one-year appointment as a student advisor to the Board. This appointment begins August 2022 and ends July 2023. To qualify, students must be a current high school junior (senior during the 2022-23 school year) in good academic standing. As a State Board Advisor, students are expected to attend board meetings beginning in August 2022 and assist the Board in analyzing the policies, proposals and requests before it.

More about the Student Advisor program...

Have You Heard? ELD Will Soon Become DELC 

The Early Learning Division, along with a few Oregon Department of Human Services programs such as Employment Related Day Care, will be changing to the Department of Early Learning and Care (DELC) in about a year. What is the advantage of joining early childhood education systems into one agency? There are several benefits: 

  • Maximize early learning funding and expansion opportunities 
  • Increase the number of culturally responsive child care and early learning settings 
  • Improve access to high-quality child care and early learning for all Oregonians 
  • Deliver more equitable services for families, children, and providers 

In a nutshell, the creation of DELC allows us to expand and strengthen early learning systems to better serve Oregon’s children and families. 

Learn more by visiting the DELC website. You can also check out ELD’s new page on LinkedIn (requires a LinkedIn account to view), where DELC job opportunities will be shared.

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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!

Applications Being Accepted for Choose Kindness Grants

The Choose Kindness Foundation is offering every elementary, middle, and secondary school in Oregon $750 kindness grants. The funds may be used for classroom or school-wide kindness events or celebrations as well as Teacher Wellness through Kindness activities. The goal of the grant program is to support the development of a culture of caring and kindness throughout the school community.

More about the grants...

Making Tracks to Careers in Sports: A Webinar for 7th-12th grade students

The Oregon22 Local Organizing Committee is hosting a free virtual webinar on Wednesday May 25, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. to talk about their current and past experiences making a career connected to sport and what it is like to work for a global sporting event! 

More about the webinar...

2022 Statewide In-Service Day

ODE has received many questions about the 2022 Statewide In-Service Day. Please know that each school district determines their own In-Service Days, not ODE.

Schools have traditionally used the second Friday in October. This year that would be October 14. However, there is no statewide date set by ODE. Each school district determines their own In-Service Days and activities.

ODE In the News

OPB’s Think Out Loud program talked with ODE Director Colt Gill about the supports in place for transgender students in Oregon.

KLCC Radio in Eugene interviewed ODE Indian Education Coordinator Brent Spencer about a new financial aid program for American Indian/Alaska Native students.

The East Oregonian featured an ODE-funded program at La Grande School District where students learn to grow plants without using soil.

Student Spotlight

The Klamath Herald and News talked with students at Henley Middle School in the Klamath County School District who participated in a hands-on CTE Day at the high school.

The Register Guard featured students from schools impacted by wildfires who have bonded over their shared experiences.

The Medford Mail Tribune spotlighted students from the Crater School of Business, Innovation and Science in Central Point who went to the International Career Development Conference.