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Superintendent's Message

Superintendent's Report 11-9-2015
Posted Thursday, November 12, 2015

Student Representatives to the School Board

I am pleased to introduce to you our 2015-16 Student Representatives to the School Board.

Samantha “Sami” McDonald - College Hill

Sami waited a long time to join the College Hill family. Early in her high school experience she began advocating for herself that she needed a more individualized and slower paced education. Moving to College Hill was a transition that Sami not only embraced, but fought to get. Her tenacity has quickly transformed her into a success story. Sami is a lover of all things earthy and organic. She loves to dig her roots deep into Nature. At College Hill, she has not only began her academic recovery towards graduation, but has found a niche as an advocate for the College Hill experience. She has taken on leadership roles in Horticulture, Art Seminar, Phronesis, Field Trips, Creative Writing, and now a School Board student rep. Sami has just returned from a 5 week program with Northwest Youth Corp where she participated in outdoor service learning projects all over the state of Oregon. Her goal is to go to LBCC through the Running Start program and transfer to a four year college to study science and sustainability.

Benjamin “Ben” Fowler - College Hill

When Ben entered the College Hill family, he instantly became a favorite among the staff. He has been doted on with phrases like “wise beyond his years” and “an old soul”. He is a highly introspective young man whose eagerness to learn is only surpassed by his kindness to all. Ben loves to be outside and see the earth grow around him. Like Sami, Ben has also recently returned from 5 weeks with the Northwest Youth Corp. He is an avid reader and seeker of new hiking trails. Next year he plans to attend LBCC through Running Start with the hope of going to a four year college to study science and philosophy.

Vanessa “Nessa” Meade - Crescent Valley

Nessa is the current co-president of the junior class, along with her twin brother Tomas.  She is an Honors/AP student and on the X-Country team.  Along with these activities, Nessa demonstrates positive citizenship and is a positive role model at school.  She demonstrates a deep compassion, and care for her school and broader communities and is always willing to lend a helping hand.

David So - Crescent Valley

David is a junior who plays in the Camerata Orchestra.  He also is involved with National Honor Society and the Robotics team. He takes Honors and Advanced Placement courses and is a 4.0 student.  David is a humble representative of the CV student body.

Avery Allen & Emma Nylin - Corvallis High

Emma and Avery are CHS’s ASB class presidents, and have spent the last year engaging with students, increasing involvement of our minority populations, and revising our school's constitution to best serve all students.  Emma was a transfer student from Central High School in April of her freshman year but she was in our district for elementary and middle school.  Avery moved to the Corvallis School district in third grade and went through Linus Pauling.  You will recall that she served as last year’s CHS Student Representative.  We are happy to have her back!

We are excited to engage our student reps in more of the board’s discussions this year.  We will be seeking their assistance in gathering input from their fellow students on specific topics throughout the year, which will be reported on by the student reps at various board meetings.

Outstanding Classroom Teacher Award

Corvallis High School teacher Britten Clark-Huyck received the Oregon Science Teachers Association’s Outstanding Classroom Teacher Award for Region 2.  Awardees are selected based on their ability to motivate student achievement and excitement in science, community and administrative support, ability to support and mentor new and pre-service teachers, and overall contributions to the profession.  Congratulations, Britten!

Honoring our Veterans

On Wednesday, November 11th, we will uphold and honor Veteran's Day. World War I, referred also as “The Great War” ended officially when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, outside the town of Versailles, France. However, the actual fighting had ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect. This cessation of fighting occurred during the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, has been regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11th as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations….”


Superintendent's Report 10-5-2015
Posted Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Head Start Preschool:

Adams Elementary has been selected as the pilot site this year to partner with the OSU Child Development Center Oregon Head Start Pre-kindergarten Program.  This partnership developed an integrated Pre-K model that aligns pre-kindergarten and kindergarten education approaches.  
This preschool opportunity builds on Positive Behavior & Instructional Supports, promotes positive transition from Pre-K to Kindergarten, draws on professional expertise to build Pre-K and Kindergarten teacher collaboration, and enhances the experience of student teachers studying in the Child Development program at OSU.   

● We currently have two sessions (am and pm) with a maximum of 20 students in each session.
● Students from Adams and Lincoln boundaries are prioritized for participation.
● A health navigator/family advocate is assigned to the program to assist families.
● We are partnering with Early Intervention to provide services at Adams to eligible students.  

I have had the pleasure of visiting a couple of times and love engaging in very interesting and fun activities while talking with our youngest students. On the first day of pre-school, an Adams kindergartner was seen in hallway sizing up the new 3 and 4 year olds. He then look up and down at himself, quite satisfied that he was much bigger than he thought!

City Club Presentation - Earthquake Preparedness:  

Next Monday, October 12, the City Club of Corvallis will engage in a discussion around how Corvallis would respond to a major earthquake.  Jennifer Schroeder will represent the Corvallis School district on a panel and will join individuals from various governmental entities providing updates on the status of their preparedness efforts. Other panelists will include an Oregon State engineer who established the Cascadia Lifelines Program to promote earthquake resilience, and two OSU geologists whose work shows the likelihood of a major quake, such as the one that devastated Japan in 2011.

Tragedy at Umpqua Community College:

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not express our deepest sympathies for the Roseburg community with the recent tragedy at Umpqua Community College. Our thoughts are with the students, staff, and families who have been impacted. Our school counseling staff has been available for our Corvallis students, and parents were provided information as a resource for talking with their children in response to this senseless act of violence.    As part of our regular safety activities, the Corvallis School District has established standard response protocols for all emergencies, and it will be a topic of discussion at our November 9 board meeting. Our schools conduct safety drills on a regular basis and all staff are trained to respond according to the protocols.   

Sadness flies on the wings of the morning, and out of the heart of darkness comes the light. ~ Jean Giraudoux  

This -- this was what made life; a moment of quiet, the water falling in the fountain, the girl’s voice...a moment of captured beauty.
He who is truly wise will never permit such moments to escape. ~ Louis L’Amour   
Superintendent's Report 9-14-15
Posted Friday, September 18, 2015

Back to School:

Staff returned with great energy the first week of September. We started the week with staff reporting to buildings and departments for team building and professional development activities. Board Chair Rochester and I had the opportunity to greet and welcome back more than 750 staff members at our rally held at Corvallis High School.  

My challenge to our educators this year is to focus on providing each and every student with equitable access to an exceptional learning experience. I also shared that we are not following our calling if we fail to identify and remove the barriers that may be getting in the way of even one student from accessing the opportunities that we provide. This is no easy challenge, but our staff is ready to take it on with great commitment. 

One of the most powerful learning experiences for our staff was the Professional Development Fair. Staff selected from a multitude of relevant and meaningful learning sessions, taught by their peers, community members, and specialists. I had the opportunity to drop in on many of the sessions ranging from instructional strategies for student engagement, writing across various curricula, positive behavior strategies, technology in the classroom, and integrating art with mathematics. The day was exciting and well received by our staff members. 

First Week of School:

Last Tuesday our Executive Team and Student Services administrators spent all day in the schools supporting staff, greeting parents, and helping students get settled. It is my favorite day of the year! 

After all of our summer preparation and welcoming staff back, it is rewarding to have students back in school! The hallways and classrooms were buzzing with excitement. As I entered classrooms, it was evident that students were engaged and teachers ready to take on the challenge of a new year with great energy.  

Overall, the start of the school year went very smoothly for our students. The greatest challenge we faced last week was the lack of bus drivers for First Student, our bus transportation provider. This has impacted home to school bus routes for our students and on Thursday some routes had to be combined.

At this point, our first priority is the home to school to home connections. We are problem solving ways to utilize charter buses for athletics and field trips until First Student secures more drivers. The bus driver shortage is a statewide issue right now.  

Technology Update:

Instructional technology is rolling out as planned. I participated in the 8th grade roll out at Cheldelin Middle School on Thursday morning. Our technology team is amazing! Franklin (grades 6-8) and Linus Pauling Middle School will distribute student devices within the next two weeks. The elementary school classrooms have been provided their carts and have access to technology for use in their classrooms. Each school and grade level team will be conducting parent information nights. Just a reminder that for now, elementary iPads do not go home. However, as the school year progresses, some teachers may choose to send home the device depending on a specific project. Our technology staff will work closely with teachers to best communicate with parents when and if this happens. Also, if we are providing iPads at a specific grade level, blends are included so we do not exclude any student in a class. (For instance, Hoover has iPads at the 5th grade level, which includes one class that is a 4/5 blend.)

Our high school pilot classrooms have selected an HP touchscreen laptop to integrate into their classrooms. Once our teachers have started to utilize the tool in their classroom, we will ask them to report to the School Board and demonstrate how the device has been integrated with instruction.

It’s no surprise that I am so very proud of our staff and how hard they worked in preparation for our students. The dedication, work ethic, and passion never ceases to amaze me! We are very fortunate to have such a caring and intelligent workforce!

Superintendent's Report 8-17-15
Posted Monday, August 24, 2015

Back To School Start Up:
As quiet as summer may seem, we are very busy in preparations to ensure a successful and smooth start for staff and most importantly, for students.

Last week our Leadership Team spent quality time together bonding, energizing and learning in preparation for the 2015-16 school year. We challenged ourselves mentally and physically through facilitated team building activities at Camp Dakota, learning about our strengths and areas for growth as leaders. Another day was spent in deep study of
Visible Learning for Teachers, as Dr. Rob Hess from Lebanon, led our group in great discussions. We will put our learning into action this fall as our teachers return and we support and coach within the classrooms.

New administrators met together for the first time this summer and are reading
The First 90 Days as they prepare transition plans for their new assignments. We will meet monthly with this group throughout the school year. Additionally, our new teachers will attend a New Teacher Academy next week as they are welcomed to the Corvallis School District and we set them up for success and mentor support.

All staff will return to schools on September 1st ready to engage in meaningful activities at the buildings. On September 2nd, I will have the opportunity to welcome back all classified and certified staff prior to an all day professional development event at Corvallis High School. Board members are invited to drop by any of the sessions that will be primarily taught by our staff experts. The professional development cohort model is a direct result of the work we have accomplished through the $1.2 million dollar Collaboration Grant we received from the state of Oregon and the
Chalkboard Project.

Technology Update:
Our Technology Department staff has been busy this summer. Led by Technology Manager Rob Singleton. Rob has met several times this summer with middle school principals to plan this year’s iPad rollout and parent communications. Our team completed the upgrade and updates of numerous building student labs with new computers. We also received a major upgrade of hardware and software for the school district phone system.

1:World Phase IV
We’ve add the the following to the student device inventory:

●     750 iPad Airs for grades 3-5 (Garfield and Lincoln full 1:1 buildings, individual classrooms in other buildings), additional iPads for the High School AVID program and Special Education

●     480 iPad Mini’s for grades K-2 (Garfield and Lincoln full 1:1 buildings)

●     38 Anthro carts to secure and charge new ipads in various schools

●     160 HP 360 laptops for the High School Pilot Program

Other completed tasks include:

●     All ipads are inventory tagged and enrolled in our mobile device management software program (MDM) and are ready for student check-out.

●     A new Student Account system was initiated to streamline downloading apps and backing up student work. Generic iTunes accounts have been created for the K-2 classroom iPads.  Individual student iTunes accounts have been created for tablet devices used in Grades 3-12.

●     High School Pilot laptops are on order. Tech staff will format the devices and have ready for deployment mid-to-end of September.

●     Wi Fi installation in school buildings:

        Lincoln 100% completed

        Garfield 100% completed

        Wilson 100% completed

        Harding Center 100% completed

        Adams to be completed over Winter Break

        Jefferson to be completed Summer 2016

        Hoover to be completed Summer 2016

Head Start Coming to Corvallis School District:
The Oregon State University Child Development Center Oregon Head Start Pre-kindergarten Program and Adams Elementary School are partnering this fall to develop an integrated Pre-K model that aligns pre-kindergarten and kindergarten education approaches.

This preschool opportunity builds on Positive Behavior & Instructional Supports, promotes positive transition from Pre-K to Kindergarten, draws on professional expertise to build Pre-K and Kindergarten teacher collaboration, and enhances the experience of student teachers studying in the Child Development program at OSU.

●     Adams Elementary has been selected as the pilot site for this year with OSU Head Start.

●     There will be two sessions (am and pm) with a maximum of 20 students in each session.

●     Students from Adams and Lincoln boundaries will be targeted for participation.

●     A health navigator/family advocate will be assigned to the program to assist families.

●     We are partnering with Early Intervention to provide services at Adams to eligible students.


Superintendent's Message Archive

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Superintendent's Office
Phone:  541-757-5841
Address:  1555 S.W. 35th St., Corvallis, OR 97333
Staff:    Erin Prince, Superintendent, 541-757-5841
  Julie Catala, Executive Assistant, 541-757-5841