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October 2022 Education Update

Oregon Achieves... Together!

A Message from the Director of the Oregon Department of Education, Colt Gill

Every fall, we celebrate teaching excellence by announcing the new Oregon Teacher of the Year. And every year I continue to be inspired by the talented educators we have in our state. The personal stories they have and the way they connect with their students differ, but they all share a passion for education that is worthy of recognition.

This year is no different as I was able to join Governor Kate Brown in Woodburn to present the 2023 Oregon Teacher of the Year Award to Nellie Muir Elementary IB School educator, Rosa Floyd. Read more about Rosa below and you will see that her mentorship and advocacy will continue to positively impact her community for years to come.

Congratulations, Rosa! May your work inspire the next generation of educators in Oregon!

Here is some of the press coverage of Rosa’s award:

ODE Director Colt Gill 

October is LGBTQ+ History Month

This October, during LGBTQ+ History Month, educators within Oregon districts have the opportunity to uplift LGBTQ2SIA+ people and affirming practices within all subject and content areas. ODE created an LGBTQ2SIA+ Inclusive Instructional Materials Examples resource for districts to consider, in order to encourage district alignment with the Inclusive Curriculum strategy of the LGBTQ2SIA+ Student Success Plan. ODE also celebrates International Pronouns Day this month, and every month, in order to support gender expansive students and staff in all Oregon school communities.

As recommended by the LGBTQ2SIA+ Student Success Plan, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is committed to demonstrating leadership to districts, schools and families by continuously “collecting and disseminating resources, providing guidance, addressing violations of policy in a timely manner, and proactively building districts’ capacity to create trusting, connected and inclusive environments” (Domain 3, Objective 2).

In order to support districts in making implementation decisions that foster LGBTQ2SIA+ affirming school communities, we have developed an LGBTQ2SIA+ Resources webpage that offers federal and state requirements, standards and instructional materials, in addition to national and statewide partner resources such as sample policy documents and toolkits, professional development opportunities, youth-facing resources, parents and caregiver supports, and more.

Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Language Program Wins National Award

(Information taken from the National Indian Education Association website)

The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Language Program has been awarded the Dr. William Demmert Cultural Freedom Award by the National Indian Education Association. The program was established in 1996 to fulfill the work the Tribes had invested in the languages since the early 1970's.

The founding teachers had been working to turn the tide of language loss and as a result created a pathway which the current teaching staff now continues. At the time, the languages were close to extinction. Since then, due to strategic planning and placement of teachers in early childhood education, the local district and community colleges, the program is working fiercely to revitalize the language in the community.

The Warm Springs Language Program is provided at Early Childhood Education Programs, Warm Springs K-8 grades, Madras High School and Central Oregon Community College. Culture training is provided with communities/entities to include Cultural Presentations and Tribal History/Shared History. In addition, Warm Springs offers a summer youth program focused on learning Indigenous stewardship. Congratulations to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Language Program for this national recognition!

Sign Up By November 15 To Access Thousands of Dollars With The Child Tax Credit

Households with low or no incomes across the country could still get thousands of dollars in federal money with the Child Tax Credit - even if they have never filed taxes before (and if they have not already filed taxes this year). But more than 4 million children nationwide could miss out on up to $3,600 with the Child Tax Credit if their parent/ guardian has not yet filed.

School Districts Can Inform Their Communities

School districts are crucial in spreading the word to families. Districts are encouraged to message families 2-3x before the November 15 deadline:

  • Send a text message to parents/ guardians
  • Send an email or robocall to parents/ guardians
  • Post on your website, social media, or host a Facebook Live

Outreach materials are available here in 11 languages, including flyers, template emails, texts, and robocalls.

Families can be directed to to sign up.

Reduce Barriers to File

Code For America has created a tool,, to reduce barriers to people without filing requirements. This tool enables people to claim the Child Tax Credit and third stimulus payment (up to $5,000 per eligible child) - and people can sign up in 15 minutes or less on their mobile devices in English or Spanish. People must file before November 15 to easily get this money this year.

For more help or to request your unique URL to track your sign-ups in your district - email or sign up here.

Abbreviated School Day Programs Guidance

ODE is excited to announce the release of Abbreviated School Day Programs: Considerations for IEP Teams, available on ODE’s Abbreviated School Day Program Placement website. This comprehensive guidance is designed to support schools, districts, and programs in meeting their responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and ORS 343.161.

The guidance includes an overview of abbreviated day programs, discusses the connection between least restrictive environment (LRE) requirements of the IDEA and the use of abbreviated school day program placements, shares critical information on supporting student behavior with Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBAs) and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs), provides Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams with considerations when they are making placement decisions that may include an abbreviated school day program placement, and discusses informal removals from the school setting and the required documentation for such removals. Please feel free to reach out if you have questions about this guidance or need any support in implementing it within your district or program.

Nightmare Factory Returns

Oregon’s longest running haunted house is returning! Nightmare Factory started in 1987 as a fundraiser for the Oregon School for the Deaf (OSD) and has continued to serve that function ever since. Held on the grounds of the school and run by current and former OSD students, the Nightmare Factory runs every Friday and Saturday night in October and is also open on Halloween and the night before. Check out their website for more information and how to get your tickets!

Updates from the Early Learning Division

Family Voices report highlights marginalized communities

In a partnership between Portland State University, the Early Learning Division, OSLC Developments Inc., and AB Cultural Drivers, the Family Voices report looks at the experiences of families in three important communities and the issues they are facing related to early learning and care. Participating families were those who:

  • Have a child who was suspended or expelled from an early learning program
  • Have infants and toddlers and who (a) identify as African American/Black; (b) are Spanish speaking and live in rural and suburban Oregon; (c) identify as Native American; or (d) are English speaking and live in rural Oregon
  • Have a child aged 0 to 5 years, and who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community

The report details clear, actionable recommendations from the families themselves about how the early learning system can be improved to make their lives better. The data collected will help shape program investments and policy changes in Oregon’s early learning system.

Find the executive summary on the ELD website in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, and Chinese.

HB 3073 Progress Report Available on ELD Website

In September, the Early Learning Division submitted its most recent report to the Oregon Legislature about progress toward the implementation of Department of Early Learning and Care. The report details the status of current major projects, from hiring additional staff to information technology changes. Importantly, the document contains additional information about the transition of the Employment Related Day Care program from ODHS to DELC.

EAC Update

Oregon Teacher Scholars Program Welcomes New Cohort Members: The Oregon Teacher Scholars Program would like to welcome Maderi Erwin and Jadie De Lille Wright as the newest cohort members and scholarship recipients!

The Oregon Teacher Scholar Program (OTSP) offers a scholarship of $10,000 per school year for ethnically diverse or Heritage Speakers of a language other than English. The program serves undergraduate students who are in the final two years of a teaching program or Education major and graduate students enrolled in an Oregon TSPC-approved educator preparation program.

To learn more about the Oregon Teacher Scholars Program, please visit the EAC website.

There’s an EAC App for That! It's Everything EAC, In Your Pocket: Don't miss any updates from the EAC with the new EAC app that’s now available in your phone's app store. Simply search for the Educator Advancement Council to download. Available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Springfield Educator named Oregon History Teacher of the Year

Tyler Nice from Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, has been named the 2022 Oregon History Teacher of the Year! The award is presented annually by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to K-12 American history education. In addition to a $1,000 honorarium, Tyler receives a core archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational materials, recognition at a local ceremony in their honor, and becomes one of 53 finalists for the 2022 National History Teacher of the Year Award.

As an example of his work, Tyler engages his students with primary documents from the 16th and 17th century in order to teach early American history. Sharing visual as well as written documents, Tyler’s skill and care as a teacher allows students to connect to the archaic language of the document and relate the substance to their own lives. This culturally relevant teaching is an excellent example of how the 2021 Social Science Standards helps to expand the narrative of our collective history.

ODE In the News

Resources for National Hispanic Heritage Month – All Year Long

National Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15 and ends on October 15 to recognize the achievements and contributions of Hispanic American champions who have inspired others to achieve success. It first started as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and expanded to a full month by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. The dates were chosen because September 15 is the anniversary of independence for the Latin American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.

Heritage months are a good reminder for the teaching of a more inclusive curriculum, but there is no reason to limit the inclusion to a single month. These resources can be explored and utilized throughout the year:

Oregon Historical Society

National Endowment for the Humanities

The Library of Congress

The National Archives

The Smithsonian Institute

ODE Signs On to Statement to End Harassment and Bullying at Student Activities and Athletics

(The following joint statement from the Oregon School Activities Association, Coalition of Oregon School Administrators, the State Board of Education, the Oregon School Boards Association and ODE is also available in Spanish on the OSAA website.)

Communities throughout Oregon rely on student activities and athletic events to be a safe haven of support and collegiality. These activities are important places where students, families, and staff can join together with pride and enthusiasm that comes with community, competition, and celebration.

At each event that happens at a school, so many people have shared their time and energy to make it a great experience for everyone who attends. Students put hours, weeks, and sometimes years into their performances, whether artistic, academic, or athletic. It takes us all working together to ensure that these activities remain welcoming and fun.

Unfortunately, it only takes one incident to create a negative experience that can frighten and intimidate students and families, limit student participation, suppress volunteer interest, erode community support and reputation, and interfere with the benefits that these activities would otherwise bring to everyone involved. It only takes one incident to impart long lasting harm to an individual or community.

Since before 2019 and continuing into recent years, our organizations have become aware of increasing negativity, bullying, and even hate speech and symbols entering into these activities. We are also dedicated to preventing and responding to harassing conduct. Harassing conduct may take many forms, including verbal intimidation and name-calling; graphic and written statements, which include use of cell phones or the Internet; costumes or other physical expressions; or other conduct that may be physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating. Harassment does not have to include intent to harm, be directed at a specific person or group, or involve repeated incidents.

Each person who is at a school event is able to help make it great. School administrators, event managers, and athletic directors are required to enforce existing policies (listed below) and set their own proactive measures to prevent harassment. They must have a plan in place to discourage and respond to negative behavior. Students can walk into events ready to cheer on their peers without bringing negativity towards others. Spectators and other adults must set a good example by lifting people up, not tearing people down.

When harassment or bullying happens at events based on age, disability, national origin, race, color, marital status, religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation, it violates civil rights laws that our organizations are required to enforce.

The following policies apply to schools in Oregon in these situations:

  1. At their recent summer workshop, the OSAA Executive Board reviewed and approved OSAA’s Interrupting and Preventing Discriminatory Acts Training, which is a new, one-time certification requirement for all athletic directors, coaches, and officials beginning this Fall. This training is in response to an uptick in discriminatory acts taking place across the country and an increased focus from the National Federation of State High School Associations on sportsmanship in all sports. It is intended to increase awareness and intentional planning/communication for interscholastic events.
  2. The OSAA has a complaint response process guide and complaint form which help districts to adhere to Rule 3 of the handbook, requiring sportsmanlike conduct. The OSAA will sanction schools whom it has found negligent in the duties of reasonably protecting those involved in interscholastic activities from derogatory or inappropriate names, insults, verbal assaults, profanity, ridicule or engaging in behavior deemed by the member school to endanger the safety or wellbeing of students, employees, self or others.
  3. The OSAA launched the S.T.A.R. Initiative to encourage Safety, Tolerance, Acceptance and Respect at Oregon high school athletic events while disrupting racism and combatting discrimination. The initiative includes pregame announcements to encourage a positive focus on the student competitors and position hateful, intimidating, and bullying behavior by anyone, including athletes, parents and community members, as completely unacceptable.
  4. Every district in Oregon is required to adopt an Every Student Belongs policy by state law, which applies to hate symbols and bias incidents that may occur at athletic events and school activities. We recommend that in addition to these policies, athletic directors and event managers should be well-versed in their district’s policies and procedures, as well as ODE’s guidance for responding to bias incidents.
  5. Every school board in Oregon is required to adopt a policy in accordance with ORS 339.356 prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying and prohibiting cyberbullying. These policies carry over to school-sponsored events and must be adhered to during extracurricular activities. School districts are encouraged to develop the policy after consultation with parents and guardians, school employees, volunteers, students, administrators and community representatives.
  6. Every school board is required to adopt written policies which assure equity, opportunity and access for all students in each school and program as provided in OAR 581-021-0045 and 581-021-0046. This extends to school-sponsored activities and events.

In addition to these policies, we implore all of Oregon’s education associations, schools, and districts to take their own proactive measures to show that behavior that is insulting, demeaning or hurtful will not be tolerated in our communities.

Let’s create a culture in our communities and at our events that values the worth of every single person.


Peter Weber, Executive Director, Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA)
Guadalupe Martinez Zapata, Chair of the Oregon State Board of Education
Jim Green, Executive Director, Oregon School Boards Association (OSBA)
Craig Hawkins, Executive Director, Coalition of Oregon School Administrators (COSA)
Anthony Veliz, Community Leader
Colt Gill, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, Oregon Department of Education (ODE)

October Is Farm to School Month

Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a proclamation making October Farm to School Month in the State of Oregon. The text of her proclamation is below. More information on the Farm to School program can be found on the ODE website.

WHEREAS: Farm to School enriches community connections with nourishing food and local producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and preschools, providing local food to children, and providing educational experiences including farm field trips, cooking lessons, and school garden activities; and

WHEREAS: Farm to School and school garden programs support students' access to healthy, local foods and have been shown to increase children's participation in school meal programs and consumption of fruits and vegetables, thereby improving childhood nutrition and preventing obesity and obesity-related diseases; and

WHEREAS: Oregon has a $10.2 million Farm to School grant program and 784 established school gardens that improve children's knowledge about, and attitudes toward, agriculture, food, nutrition, and the environment. Farm¬-to-school programs have been shown to result in increased market opportunities for farmers, fishers, ranchers, food processors, and food manufacturers and to support economic development; and

WHEREAS: Racial and ethnic disparities exist in our food system, both in terms of access to healthy food and income from producing food, inextricably linking food justice to racial justice; Oregon's Farm to School efforts involve state agencies, community partners, academia, producers, and child nutrition programs working together to lift up children, families, and communities in an equitable and inclusive way; and

WHEREAS: Oregon's local farmers, farm workers, and school nutrition professionals are key components of our state's vibrant food system; during this month we should show our support and appreciation for our local food and farming heroes and celebrate Farm to School Month in Oregon.

NOW, THEREFORE: I, Kate Brown, Governor of the State of Oregon, hereby proclaim October 2022 to be Farm to School Month in Oregon and encourage all Oregonians to join in this observance.

Student Spotlight