Reflecting and Looking Forward | June 2023 Education Update

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Education Update: Oregon Department of Education

June 2023

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

ODE Director Colt Gill

June is always one of the busiest months as it asks educators to complete and reflect on the past academic year and look forward to the next one. With finals, report cards, graduation ceremonies, preparations for summer learning and planning for next school year, it makes for a hectic schedule. 

There is a lot of reason for optimism about next school year. We’ve released Oregon’s Early Literacy Framework to provide coherence, clarity and common ground for high-quality, comprehensive early literacy education statewide. Our Guidance Supporting Gender Expansive Students will help schools build safe learning environments where LGBTQ2SIA+ students feel welcome, accepted and celebrated for who they are. The Jumpstart Kindergarten Program helps students and their families experience a smooth and successful transition from early childhood into kindergarten. And we’re building on previous investments like the Student Success Act and High School Success to transform education in our state. We can already see those investments paying dividends. We hope that optimism is boosted by a quick passage of a state budget with a historic investment in education.

Be sure to recognize and reflect on all the ways, big and small, that you’ve supported your school community. Your work is shaping Oregon’s future. Thank you for all that you are doing to make that future a bright one.

I hope that you are all able to make some time over the next few months to reset and recharge.

Happy Juneteenth!

Juneteenth banner

Juneteenth celebrates the date, June 19, 1865, when Union troops reached Galveston Bay, Texas, to inform the enslaved African-Americans there that they, along with the more than 250,000 other enslaved black people in the state, were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. Even though the holiday occurs when most schools are on summer break, the events and symbolism of the holiday are important aspects of our nation's history and civic knowledge that students can explore in the final weeks of school or throughout the year when learning about civic holidays, civil rights, democracy and U.S. History.

Juneteenth Teaching Resources: 

Freedom is in the Claiming (NYT 2020)

National Museum of African American History

10 Books for Adults, Teens, Kids to Celebrate Juneteenth

Learning for Justice Teaching Juneteenth

Gilder-Lehrman Juneteenth Lesson Plan

More ideas for teaching Juneteenth in K-5 

Vox: Why all Americans should honor Juneteenth

TedEd Video (5min)

June is Pride Month!


Including positive representations of LGBTQ2SIA+ history and people in the curriculum is most effective when it is a regular practice. Celebrating Pride Month in June provides an opportunity to connect topics with current events and celebrations. The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) National School Climate Survey consistently finds that students with inclusive curricula feel a greater sense of belonging to their school community, hear fewer homophobic remarks, and are less likely to be victimized or feel unsafe at school than those without inclusive curricula. Including LGBTQ2SIA+ topics year-round, helps make school safer for all students.

Pride Teaching Resources. 

Frank Kameny & The Fight For Civil Rights

Facing History: Teaching Missing History

One Archive and UCLA LBTQ Lesson Plans

Queer America Podcast from Southern Poverty Law Center

Video from OPB on Marie Equi  & Primary Documents from Oregon Historical Society

Elementary Booklist from GLSEN

National Park Services on the Lavender Scare 

Teaching Stonewall Background Reading from Learning For Justice

Stonewall Riots Primary Documents and PowerPoint from SHEG

Stonewall Uprising High School Lesson Plan from Anti-Defamation League 

LGBTQ Supreme Court Cases 

Oregon Releases Early Literacy Framework 

Early Literacy Framework

On May 30, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) released the final version of Oregon’s Early Literacy Framework, a statewide resource document to fuel action and improve literacy proficiency for Oregon’s students. An overview of the framework is also available.

The framework provides coherence, clarity and common ground for high-quality, comprehensive early literacy education statewide. This resource elevates critical elements of comprehensive literacy instruction including fostering students’ sense of belonging in school, instruction grounded in the science of reading, culturally responsive teaching, and a focus on serving all students, inclusive of multilingual students, students experiencing disabilities, and students with dyslexia.

Oregon's Early Literacy Framework is informed by extensive literacy research, state literacy data, literacy frameworks in other states, consultation with literacy researchers, and conversations with practitioners and community partners. ODE included feedback from educators, literacy experts, and community members across Oregon, building from the preview draft released in March. 

More about the Framework...

OSCIM Program Continues to Help Districts with Construction Projects

Last month, six 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 $410 million in matching funds that added to $7.5 billion in bonds approved by voters. Here are the districts receiving matching funds following successful bond elections last month:

OSCIM May 2023

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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!

Congratulations to the 2023 Education Support Professional of the Year Zandra Jansma

Last month, Southern Oregon Success Academy Office Manager Zandra Jansma was named Oregon’s 2023 Education Support Professional of the Year! ODE Director Colt Gill was joined by Three Rivers School District Superintendent David Valenzuela and Southern Oregon Success Academy (SOSA) Principal Mike Herzog to surprise Jansma with the news.

The announcement was covered by local radio and Jansma was also congratulated by the Oregon State Education Association.

Oregon’s New aRPy Ambassador

Congratulations to FACT Oregon Director of Outreach and Training Cori Mielke for her selection as an aRPy ambassador! An aRPy Ambassador is an early childhood professional who acts as a disseminator of information about the Division for Early Childhood’s (DEC’s) Recommended Practices (RP). The RPs provide guidance about the most effective ways to improve learning outcomes and promote the development of young children (birth through five years of age) who have or are at risk for developmental delays or disabilities. 

More about the program...

ODE In the News

The launch of Oregon’s Early Literacy Framework got quite a bit of coverage in the press, including:

An inspiring article about Ashland High School Valedictorian Luke Laurenson included a powerful reminder on the importance of inclusion from ODE Assistant Superintendent of Enhancing Student Opportunities Tenneal Wetherell.

Student Spotlight

The Beaverton Valley Times spotlighted two Westview HS students who self-published books to help their peers better understand math and engineering.

The Sherwood Gazette highlighted a Sherwood Middle School student who went way above and beyond to help a child in his community with leukemia.

The Eugene Register- Guard featured the student mariachi band at Springfield High School as it celebrated its 15th anniversary with a quinceañera.