Students who are chronically absent from school – defined as missing 10 percent or more days of school in a year – are far more likely to face negative outcomes such as dropping out, not graduating or even juvenile justice contacts. That’s why Governor Kate Brown, the Oregon Legislature and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) are making it a priority to reduce the state’s high rate of chronic absenteeism.
We have a Chronic Absenteeism State Plan
to guide the work and lawmakers approved $7.4-million for the current biennium to fund strategies to combat the problem. While the rate of chronic absenteeism is high for all students in Oregon, it’s disproportionally high for some specific student groups such as American Indian/Alaska Native, students with disabilities, students of color and students experiencing economic disadvantages. Addressing the problem will require partnerships with local and state health agencies, community based organizations, community and business members and families.
One such partnership is already showing some success. The Tribal Attendance Pilot Projects (TAPP)
bring together nine school districts and each of the nine federally recognized Native American tribes to bring family advocates into schools to help address chronic absenteeism. In its first year, 10 of the 17 schools who had TAPP family advocates saw improved chronic absenteeism rates compared to the year before. TAPP received funding to continue for the current biennium and we look forward to sharing more as their work continues.
Earlier this fall, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) shared an update regarding the Oregon Plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)’s accountability system, including how schools will be identified for Comprehensive (CSI) and Targeted (TSI) supports. This message provides an updated timeline and supporting information related to the new accountability model.
staff will conduct initial outreach to superintendents in school districts
with a significant number of preliminarily identified CSI and TSI schools*;
will include an invitation for school districts to participate in an improvement
partnership aimed at engagement protocols for examining state and local data.
January – February 2018
districts that elect to engage in an improvement partnership with ODE will
receive small grants to support initial planning meetings.
staff and partners will provide support and technical assistance on
engagement protocols to aid district leadership in determining improvement
priorities and next steps.
will formally identify CSI and TSI schools;
ODE staff will conduct outreach to superintendents in all
districts that have identified CSI and TSI schools.
*The District and School Effectiveness team is unable to include all Oregon districts with suggested CSI/TSI schools in the preliminary outreach for the 2017-2018 school year.
- ODE continues to refine the state model and approach for accountability and support for alternative schools;
- ODE is committed to reengaging stakeholders to ensure the new accountability model and the models for improvement meet the needs of districts who have alternative or non-traditional schools identified for comprehensive or targeted support.
- Bottom 10% (Level 1) for at least half of the rated indicators for all students
- Bottom 10% (Level 1) for at least half of the rated indicators for specific student groups
Indicators used to identify schools:
- Chronic Absenteeism
- ELA/Math Achievement
- ELA/Math Growth
- EL Progress/ EL Proficiency
- 9th Grade-on-Track
- 4-Year Graduation
- 5-Year Graduation
- 5-Year Completer
Thank you for your continued service to Oregon and Oregon’s students. If you have additional questions, please contact Tim Boyd or Shawna Moran.
Educators! December is a month that presents multiple “teachable moments.” This is the month where many of you and/or your students may celebrate one or more holidays and/or religious celebrations, which offers great opportunities for teaching about our multicultural world.
Some of the celebrations and events that will happen this year:
- Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexican)
- St. Lucia Day (Swedish)
- Hanukkah (Jewish)
- Christmas Day (Christian)
- Mawlid (Islam)
- Omisoka (Japanese)
- Yule (German)
- Kwanzaa (African American)
You can go online to Education World or simply Google the holiday and/or celebration, and you will find a great deal of information about the specific celebration days, the origin, concepts, and practice.
Let’s look at one in which you may not be too familiar:
Learn about Kwanzaa, the world's fastest growing holiday, with activities that include the following:
- Label an Africa map
- Make a Kwanzaa game
- Colorful flags
- Kwanzaa word search
- Weave a Kwanzaa mat
- Plus more lessons!
It is very interesting about Kwanzaa. December 26th will start the first day of the 52nd year of this celebration. As a young teenager, I was in Los Angeles and a member of Us Organization, founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga, who is also the founder of Kwanzaa. I have been celebrating Kwanzaa for 51 years.
There were only about 40 or 50 people involved in my first year, 1967, but during the development days, some of us were able to make contributions to the celebration or simply participate. Kwanzaa grew and spread from Los Angeles to San Diego, from the Bay area to Newark and New York, over to Philadelphia, jumping to Chicago and New Orleans, and then over about a five-year span moving throughout the country. The first Kwanzaa celebration in Oregon was in 1971. It still continues today, at least the public ceremonies, at centers in Portland. It has always been difficult to determine how many individual households celebrate this holiday. I have celebrated and/or participated in Kwanzaa public programs in 11 cities over the years.
Kwanzaa, according to Education World, is considered the fastest growing holiday in the world. And, yes, in many places there is a diverse population. Celebrations can be found in places with a substantial biracial and/or multicultural population such as Oregon and Minnesota in the United States, and Canada and Europe. Over the years, I have seen many individuals -- largely White but certainly not omitting other race and ethnic groups -- that may have wed into predominantly African-American families or have close African-American friends, attend public programs or individual family celebrations. It is also celebrated in some places in the Caribbean, South America, and the African continent.
Thus, if you celebrate any holiday, "Happy Holidays!" If it’s Kwanzaa, I say, "Kwanzaa yenu iwe na heri (may your Kwanzaa be filled with joy)!"
In November 2017, two Summer Food Service Program sponsors in Oregon were selected by the United States Department of Agriculture Western Regional Office (USDA WRO) as Summer Sunshine Awards award recipients. The Summer Sunshine Award is a competitive award that recognizes outstanding achievements of individuals and organizations who, through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) or Seamless Summer Option (SSO), provide nutritious summer meals to children in the Western Region states.
North Clackamas School District (NCSD) and Lake Health District both received the Summer Sunshine award for “Successful and Innovative Community Partnerships.” This year, the award review panel included representatives from USDA WRO as well as the Food and Research Action Center (FRAC), Share our Strength, Feeding America, and the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Office of Community Food Systems. Each awardee will receive a certificate, banner and SFSP promotion materials.
NCSD partnered with more than 10 organizations, including Providence Health Services who provided enrichment through healthy eating and physical activities. This partnership was formed during a Summer Meals Partner meeting involving summer meal sponsors and partner organizations in January 2017. This meeting was presented by Oregon Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs (ODE CNP), Partners for a Hunger- Free Oregon (PHFO), USDA WRO, and FRAC. In addition to offering enrichment opportunities, NCSD was able to add 3 new meal sites with the help of district partnerships. NCSD also brought in an intern through PHFO to assist with summer meal outreach in 2017.
The summer of 2017 was the first time that Lake Health District participated in the summer meal program. The last time a summer meals site was available in Lake County was in 2014. Additionally, Lake Health District was the only summer meal sponsor in Lake County and operated five meal sites in its inaugural year. They partnered with over 15 organizations, including Lake County SD 7, and at least 80 volunteers to reach children last summer. In addition to offering summer meals, Lake Health District offered enrichment opportunities through numerous partners, including garden-related activities and bike safety.
NCSD, Providence Health Services and Lake Health District were recipients of Start-up and Expansion Grants for At-Risk Afterschool and Summer Meal Programs through ODE CNP. NCSD and Lake Health District also received Summer Meals Support Fund grants from PHFO. Both of these grants assist in funding various strategies meant to increase participation in these child nutrition programs.
A new funding cycle has begun and Start-up and Expansion Grants for At-risk Afterschool and Summer Meal Programs are available for up to $20,000 per organization for the 2017-2019 state biennium. These funds may be used to reimburse food service equipment, outreach materials, enrichment materials, and some staff costs to expand access to At-risk Afterschool and Summer Meals. For more information on the Start-up and Expansion Grants for At-risk Afterschool and Summer Meal programs and/or Summer Meal Partner meetings, please contact Cathy Brock
at (503) 947-5898.