February 6, 2017 Superintendent’s Update to the School Board

Long Range Facility Master Planning

The Facilities Planning Committee is comprised of about forty people and includes parent representatives from all schools, business, community, and city representatives. It also includes board members and administrative leadership. Thank you to our board liaisons, Alexis McQuillan, Scott Newsham, and Tom Sauret.

The committee was convened for their first workshop last week and got straight to work. Their assessment and analysis will include: the 2015 Demographic Study, the 2014 Facilities Assessment Report, school capacity formula and site by site capacity analysis, school site size characteristics, discussion of efficient use of school sites, special program considerations, facility replacement vs. renovation guidelines, alternatives to new construction, ancillary facility needs, and financing tools for capital improvements. These discussions will all be within the framework of our core values for educational design.

The district has contracted with DLR Group who will guide this process and facilitate committee meetings. They will provide us with a summary of the committee workshops following those meetings. This committee will meet again on February 23rd at Hoover Elementary at 6 pm with an optional building tour starting at 5:30 pm.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the meetings and listen to the presentations and discussion. Public input during the planning process can be provided by phone, email or regular mail and should be directed to Kim Patten, Facilities and Transportation Director.

Complete information about this process and future meetings will be continually updated HERE.

Updates will be provided in my Superintendent’s report each month and sent to the CSD-News email list (formerly known as the Key Communicators email list).

 

OSU Partnership - Training for Teachers of English Language Learners

I’m pleased to share that we have a new partnership with OSU that is part of a $2.5 million federal grant that will support training for Oregon teachers of English learners.

In addition to our district, OSU is partnering with the Beaverton, Bend-La Pine, Springfield, and Greater Albany school districts on the five-year project, which is being funded by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Language Acquisition. The first group of teachers will begin the program this summer.

The goal of the program is to improve educational outcomes for students who do not speak English proficiently when they enter school; these students are considered English learners. English learners face an achievement and opportunity gap that means they are less likely to complete school and go on to higher education. The project will be lead by Karen Thompson, an assistant professor in OSU’s College of Education.

The number of English learners in Oregon has grown dramatically over the last 20 years and now makes up about 10 percent of the state’s kindergarten- through 12th-grade population. But most Oregon teachers do not have specialized training or certification to work with English learners; the state only recently began requiring newly-licensed teachers to have some basic competencies for working with English learners.

Teachers who participate in the new grant project will have the opportunity to earn either an endorsement for teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) or a dual-language specialization for teaching students in two languages, Thompson said.

The first group will focus on ESOL endorsements. Teachers in the second group, to begin in 2019, will have the option of the ESOL endorsement or the dual-language specialization. The dual-language specialization is under development by OSU faculty and would be among the first such program offered in the state of Oregon.

AVID Grants

The Corvallis School District was just notified that both Corvallis High School and Crescent Valley High School have received the Nike School Innovation Fund Grant, to support AVID implementation at both schools.  We introduced AVID in our district in 2012. This is first year that both Corvallis High and Crescent Valley will receive these funds.

The Nike School Innovation Fund Grant provides the opportunity for five staff members from each school to attend the summer AVID Institute. The Summer Institute gives school teams an opportunity to come together and update their school AVID implementation plan, provides teachers with content area professional development and includes training on implementing AVID strategies including WICOR and the AVID elective course.  WICOR includes writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading.

Parent Education Event in March

The EngageCorvallis Parent Conference on Saturday, March 4 will be hosted in Corvallis at Linus Pauling Middle School. Sessions will include the same instructional technology topics that have been included in “Tech Nights” at individual schools.  Elementary and Middle School Principals were invited to suggest session topics and we are looking forward to an informative and fun event.

The event will be held from 9:00 am – 12 noon at Linus Pauling Middle School. The event is free and all parents are invited. Free childcare will be provided with Maker Education Activities available for children ages 5-12 years. Registration is requested.

Event coordination is under the direction of Rob Singleton, Director of Technology.

 

School Funding

The Oregon Legislative Session convened on Wednesday, February 1. Oregon school districts across the state are paying close attention to the state budget and school funding. A number of organizations including Oregon ASBO, Oregon PTA, COSA, Oregon Education Association, Oregon Rising, Oregon School Boards Association, The Oregon Association of Education Service District, OSEA, and the Oregon Small Schools Association have started advocacy work for a budget that maintains funding for our K-12 programs and services. In Corvallis, we are fortunate to have the support of our constituents and the recently renewed local option levy. However, as a superintendent, I believe it is my responsibility to advocate for programs and services for students across the state of Oregon.

The Confederation of Oregon School Administrators (COSA), with support from partner organizations, have developed advocacy posters that highlight potential cuts and additional programs across the state, based on the state budget for public education.

  • The Governor’s proposed budget is $8.02 billion, which represents a $400 million shortfall. This puts our students even further behind and runs contrary to what Oregonians requested in the Oregon Rising survey.
  • A budget of $8.4 billion maintains current programs and allows most, but not all, districts to stay even. Per-student spending in Oregon would still lag about 15% behind national averages.
  • A budget of $8.93 billion would provide for some progress and district’s could provide more programs including summer school and after-school programs for added student support, and more programs and electives to help students stay engaged in school.
  • A budget of $9.97 billion would fully fund the high quality schools that Oregonians want and achieves the outcomes defined in the non-partisan Quality Education Model. It allows for smaller class sizes, more programs and electives, more learning time, a longer school year, and resources to address equity issues, ensuring that all students succeed.

It is possible that we will not have a firm budget number until the conclusion of the legislative session in early July.  During this timeframe I believe it is important that we continue to advocate for the students of Oregon and a state budget that will allow us to continue to educate the students of Oregon.

To contact Superintendent Noss, call 541-757-5841 or send an e-mail to julie.catala@corvallis.k12.or.us
Learn more about school district leadership here.