Building on a Strong Foundation| December 2022 Education Update

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Education Update: Oregon Department of Education

December 2022

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

ODE Director Colt Gill

For the past six years, it has been my honor and privilege to serve under Oregon Governor Kate Brown in her role as Superintendent of Public Instruction; first as Education Innovation Officer and for the last five years as Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction and Director of the Oregon Department of Education.  

I have had the opportunity to see her leadership in action as critical decisions were made, as we prepared to share critical information with Oregonians in press conferences, and as we celebrated Oregon's educators through the Teacher of the Year program. 

Under her leadership, Oregon’s education system has become more equitable, better funded and is seeing higher graduation rates for more diverse student groups than ever before. Governor Brown created a strong foundation that we can build on to ensure that every single student graduates from high school with a plan for their future.

Read More 

Celebrating Winter Holidays

Happy holidays from ODE

This is a time of year when many celebrate and acknowledge the various religious and cultural holiday traditions celebrated during winter months. While there are appropriate educational benefits to teaching about the diverse religious traditions and cultures of our country, public school teachers and administrators must be thoughtful about being inclusive and ensure they do not give students the impression that one set of holidays or beliefs is more important or more acceptable than others. We should also remain aware that some religions do not celebrate holidays and birthdays.

Be accurate and sensitive

Religious and cultural holidays offer excellent opportunities to teach about culture, religion and their historical importance.

More about holiday celebrations...

Oregon School for the Deaf Student Artwork on Display in Washington, D.C.

Ariel Xiong holding artwork

Every year, students from around the country design ornaments for trees that surround the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C. Students from the Oregon School for the Deaf (OSD) participated in the program this year and their artwork is now on display, part of the 100th National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. This news release explains more about the tradition. The Washington Post wrote a story including OSD student Ariel Xiong and her ornament showing mountains and evergreens.

OSCIM Program Continues to Help Districts with Construction Projects


Last month, four school districts around the state passed bond measures that got a boost from the Oregon School Capital Improvement Matching (OSCIM) Program. Commitments are made to districts ahead of the election so districts can inform their communities of the potential for additional funds from the state if the local bond passes. Before submitting an application for the OSCIM Program, districts must also submit a Facilities Assessment and Long-Range Facility Plan. Districts are awarded grants based on their position on the Priority List or First in Time List.

Since the first round of grants in 2016, the OSCIM program has awarded more than $350-million in matching funds that added to $6.5-billion in bonds approved by voters. Here are the districts receiving matching funds following successful bond elections last month:


 Local Bond Value      

 OSCIM Match 

Administrative SD 1



David Douglas SD 40



Forest Grove SD 15



Umatilla SD 6R



Oregon School Wellness and Afterschool Wellness Awards

wellness award logos box

If your school or afterschool program has created a culture that supports the health and wellbeing of students and staff – this is your opportunity to apply for the Oregon School Wellness and Afterschool Wellness Awards!

The award includes statewide recognition, a personalized plaque and a custom banner for the winning school and afterschool program, as well as a cash award—$2,500 for the winning school and $1,000 for the winning afterschool program—to be used to further nutrition, physical activity and/or other wellness efforts within the school or afterschool program.

More about the Wellness Awards including a link to the application form...

Registration Open for Uplift Events for Students

Uplift logo

Applications are now being accepted for the 2023 Uplift by Youth Era events. Uplift is a live, trauma-informed, virtual summit for teens (14-19). Participants will join youth from around the world to master their mental health, learn how to support their friends and how to build community.

Uplift is 100% virtual and completely free for Oregon high school students thanks to funding through the Oregon Health Authority. The 4 day training happens outside of school hours, typically during school breaks, and requires no demands on teachers’ limited time. Students earn a $75 stipend for participation and chances to win lots of prizes.

Encourage students to go to the Uplift website to register for the upcoming events in February and March. If you have questions or are interested in a class/school zoom presentation, email Maj Bonnet, Uplift Outreach, or call (541) 335-1367.

Save the Date!

EAC Educator Survey

The Oregon Statewide Educator Survey (formerly known as the TELL) is Coming February 2023

Designed by educators, for educators.        

What: Action for School Quality (ASQ) Oregon Statewide Educator Survey (formerly known as the TELL)

When: February 2023

Who: School-based, licensed educators in Oregon

Why: Your experience matters. Participation in the redesigned, anonymous survey helps inform decisions affecting conditions and practices in our schools as part of a multi-year project to improve data collection and reporting to be responsive to local and regional needs. The survey results will be publicly available for use by schools, districts, advocates, state agencies, and researchers. 

For updates and to learn more, please visit the EAC website.

The Educator Advancement Council is now on LinkedIn!

Twitter logo

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!

Classroom WISE: FREE Implementation Support for Districts!

ODE is excited to announce that the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network (MHTTC) will be offering a FREE, 3-part training to help districts implement Oregon Classroom WISE in 2023!

MHTTC will also be offering FREE implementation support for Classroom WISE to school districts beginning in January 2023.

More about Classroom WISE...

Rules Resources for Certified School-Age Child Care Centers

The Early Learning Division's Office of Child Care (OCC) hosted two virtual information sessions November 29 and 30 for certified school-age centers. During these sessions, attendees connected with OCC staff, learned about rules for licensed programs that only care for school-age children and explored any questions from programs about these rules.

More about the rules...

Nominate a Teacher for a Financial Empowerment Award

For the second year, Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read and the Oregon State Treasury are recognizing standout educators and organizations that help boost financial empowerment in their communities. These awards are part of a larger initiative to highlight and improve financial literacy and wellness efforts statewide.

“Together, we can celebrate Oregon’s unsung heroes. There are standout individuals and organizations across our state, helping Oregonians make better financial choices and empowering them to build long-term financial security,” said State Treasurer Tobias Read. “For the second year, we’re highlighting those champions that improve the financial wellness of our neighbors and our communities.”

More about the awards and making a nomination...

ODE In the News

The Lake Oswego Review highlighted how Student Success Act dollars are helping schools improve inclusive curriculum and provide a well-rounded education.

The East Oregonian showed how a STEM grant from ODE is helping expand access to computer science programs.

OSBA shared ODE’s recommendations about stopping the spread of airborne diseases in schools.

Student Spotlight

Prineville Elementary students became “junior land use planners” and helped make the Barnes Butte Recreation Area more inclusive.

Crescent Valley HS robotics students got to learn from some alums who developed and patented a machine for harvesting broccoli.

The Parkrose School Board is getting input from students by putting two of them on the board as non-voting members.