Spotlighting Education Excellence | March 2023 Education Update

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Education Update: Oregon Department of Education

March 2023

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

ODE Director Colt Gill

The last few weeks have shone a bright and important spotlight on educators throughout Oregon. 

Just last week, we tallied up the final number of record-setting nominations submitted for the 2023-24 Oregon Teacher of the Year: more than 650 educators were nominated across the state! It's so exciting and necessary to see teachers’ work recognized and appreciated. In April and May, Oregon’s 19 Education Service Districts will review applications and determine Regional Teacher of the Year winners. State finalists will then be selected from amongst the regional winners and one teacher will eventually be named the 2023-24 Oregon Teacher of the Year. Thank you to everyone who nominated an educator. 

Congratulations to Beaverton Superintendent Gustavo Balderas, who last month earned Superintendent of the Year from the National Association of Bilingual Educators. The research is clear that knowing more than one language leads to student success and Gustavo has expertly built and expanded dual language programs in both Eugene and Beaverton, creating that crucial multilingual pathway for so many students. His leadership is a shining example for Oregon and I’m heartened to see his work recognized on a national level.

Teachers, superintendents and all school staff enhance student lives and our state’s future every day. Please take a moment this week to thank an educator for their service to students and our communities.

March Is Women’s History Month

Women's history month

March is Women’s History Month, a celebration of women’s contributions to events in history, science, and society. The United States has observed it annually since 1987.

The National Women’s History Alliance (NWHA), which led the movement for March being declared National Women’s History Month, has announced the women’s history theme for 2023, “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.”

More about Women's History month...

Request for Public Comment - Accountability & School Improvement Addendum Proposal

Oregon ESSA logo

ODE is requesting and inviting public comment by March 31, 2023 on a select set of small proposed amendments to Oregon’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan. In February 2022, Oregon invited comment and proceeded in applying for a one-year addendum to the plan, with small changes, in order to comply with the Accountability and School Improvement provisions of the law. The proposed amendments would make the changes outlined in the prior addendum permanent and would also address technical changes in the plan to support meeting federal requirements.

More about the proposal...

Oregon Schools Use the School Safety and Emergency Management (SSEM) Program To Stay Prepared

SSEM logo transparent

Now more than ever it is important for school leaders to know and plan for threats to their community. Over the last few years Oregonians have experienced wildfires, a global pandemic and threats of school violence. Each of these challenges necessitated planning and resources for safe school operations. To support schools statewide, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) has a free service: the School Safety and Emergency Management (SSEM) program. The SSEM connects school leaders to community-based resources and expertise related to emergency management. 

More about the SSEM program...

Oregon Statewide Educator Survey- Deadline EXTENDED

Statewide Educator Survey logo

We want to hear from you!

In an effort to allow Oregon educators more time to participate in the Oregon Statewide Educator Survey, the deadline has been extended to Friday, March 24th. This extension will allow educators additional time to share their experience and provide essential feedback that will be used to help inform local and state school improvements.

For more information about the survey, please visit the EAC website.

Report Highlights Top Concerns of Early Educators 

The Early Learning Division partnered with University of California-Berkeley on a study exploring the work environments of center-based and home-based early educators. The study is the first of its kind since the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 1,000 Oregon early educators shared their lived experiences with work conditions that affect practices and well-being. Here are some key takeaways: 

Supported staff want to stay: To recruit and maintain high-quality staff, programs must offer supportive working conditions for their early educators.  

Training and support needs: Many Oregon early educators reported a lack of training in several areas and a lack of options for sustained, long-term training or opportunities for peer-to-peer learning. 

More about the report...

Oregon CIS Free and Open Access for All

Oregon CIS logo

The Oregon Career Information System (CIS) is excited to announce an expansion of our partnership with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to Free and Open Access for All!

The Oregon CIS is the state’s official career information delivery system – providing occupational and educational data and materials to help Oregonians learn about the world of work and education. We work with schools, colleges, social agencies and businesses who provide career guidance and employee development services.

More about Oregon CIS...

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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!

CISA Helps Schools to Strengthen Cybersecurity Efforts

By: Patrick Massey, CISA Region 10 Regional Director

The relationship Americans have with the schools their children attend has changed dramatically over the last few years. Now, parents and students alike are interacting with schools and teachers online in a variety of new ways.

More about strengthening cybersecurity efforts...

Oregon Spark: Apply to Be a Member of the Redesign Team  

The Research Institute at Western Oregon University (WOU) invites families and early learning and care professionals to help redesign the statewide Quality Recognition Improvement System, also known as Spark. WOU and Community Wealth Partners have created a listening, learning and redesign process led by people who have children or currently work with young children. 

More about the redesign team...

ODE In the News

The Roseburg News-Review highlighted how Farm to School grants from ODE are helping area districts educate students about Oregon foods.

The Polk County Itemizer-Observer outlined how the Central School District will meet goals as a part of ODE’s streamlined grants process.

The Sisters Nugget reported on a school bond proposal that is getting a boost from the Oregon School Capital Improvement Matching (OSCIM) program administered by ODE.

Student Spotlight

Oregon Capital Chronicle covered a meeting where students shared their thoughts on mental health issues with Governor Tina Kotek and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra.

Central Oregon Daily talked with Caldera High School students who won an award from the Bend Chamber of Commerce for their in-school business.

The Lincoln City News Guard wrote about students getting trained to be on the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in order to help during a disaster.

The Rogue Valley Times interviewed students from four local high schools who are putting the welding skills learned through CTE courses to work for local law enforcement.