TELL Survey deadline extended to March 4

The deadline for educators to complete the 2018 Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning (TELL) Survey has been extended until Sunday, March 4, at midnight.

Nearly 19,000 educators, about 52 percent have taken the survey, but it’s important for as many educators as possible to take the survey and let their voice be heard. You can check the progress of your school or district on the 2018 Tell Oregon website: .

Other helpful links:
2018 Tell Oregon website:
Take the survey:
Get help:

SB 182 work well under way

 Senate Bill 182 (2017) creates the Educator Advancement Council to provide a systematic and equitable approach to supporting the educators who guide students in Oregon classrooms every day. The council will develop local educator networks that will prioritize needs for educator professional development and support and distribute funding in an equitable manner.

The Chief Education Office will coordinate across education agencies to provide support and accountability to this new council, connect educator networks, and coordinate and conduct research on teaching and learning conditions, educator workforce supply and demand, and common measures for accountability

In January 2018, the Chief Education Office submitted a report to the Legislature that updates the work under way to implement SB 182. To read the report, click here. The Office will be providing more information about the new council through its website in the coming weeks.

Report details college and career readiness initiatives

A critical focus of Governor Kate Brown and the state’s education agencies is to ensure that each Oregon student graduates high school with a plan for their future. In 2015, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 418, aimed at improving college and career readiness. The bill directed the Chief Education Office (CEdO), Oregon Department of Education (ODE), and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) to develop recommendations for programs and resources to help students transition from high school to college and into the workforce. Funding for initiatives was provided by the 2016 Legislature. To learn more about the outcomes of these initiatives and recommendations for moving forward, read the agencies’ report, Improving Transitional Supports for Student Success: A Snapshot of Outcomes.

Two new STEM hubs come online

The state recently funded two new Regional STEM Hubs, bringing the total statewide to 13. These Hubs bring together schools, nonprofits, businesses, and local leaders to drive hands-on learning in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. The new Hubs are:

  • Mid-Valley Mid-Coast STEM-CTE, serving Benton, Linn and parts of Lincoln County, received $47,382. It is a partnership among Lane Benton Community College and Oregon State University, the Linn Benton Lincoln Educational Service District, K-12 school, and industry and community partners. The Hub aims to provide a unified, coordinated approach to meeting workforce needs and addressing social and economic inequities in the region.
  • Northwest STEM Hub, serving Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook counties, received $49,875. Housed at the Northwest Regional Education Service District (ESD), the mission of the Northwest STEM Hub is to provide local students the opportunity to develop real-world skills linked to high-wage and high-demand careers and postsecondary education and training.

Reflections from Education Innovation Officer, Colt Gill, on His Statewide Engagement

Looking Outside Oregon…

The last four days I have shifted away from statewide engagement to look to communities beyond Oregon’s borders. I have been attending the Community Convention by the America’s Promise Alliance. America’s Promise Alliance launched the GradNation campaign in 2010, building on 105 dropout prevention summits convened across the country to raise awareness and inspire action. GradNation is now a large and growing movement of dedicated individuals, organizations and communities working together to end America’s dropout crisis. Attending this has allowed me to learn from state and community leaders from across the country who have all focused improving graduation outcomes for students.

I have learned about public-private partnerships, programs that target historically underserved students, and policy initiatives that have made the transition into widespread practices and positive outcomes for children. These communities and states have proven that when an entire community comes together they can improve outcomes.

One of the many examples I learned from is the Academies of Nashville. This program includes over 350 private and public partnerships. It has improved their graduation rates by more than 9 percentage points over the last four years. Perhaps more importantly it has set students up with a plan for their future after high school graduation. Check-out this 5-minute video to learn more:

The research of this week and next I’ll be wrapping up the statewide engagement with more conversations in Lane, Douglas, Marion, and Multnomah counties. Later this month or early in November we’ll be able to share back what we have learned from Oregon’s students, parents, educators, and community leaders.


Culturally Sustaining Practices in Portland


I learned a lot. I learned from students and dedicated staff members, community partners, university leaders, and district and school leaders in Portland. Last week I visited three programs in Portland, some of which serve multiple districts. I got to see culturally responsive and sustaining programs in action. Programs that truly connect with the students, families and communities they serve. The staff, volunteers, and partners have a deep dedication to the people they serve and the mission they are trying to accomplish. This commitment to community and mission is one commonality these three programs share. But there are more… all three rely on cross-agency, inclusive partnerships to reach the community and their mission and they all three willingly share their methods with others so that their success can be replicated.

The programs were:


The list of partners is impressive:


I really did learn a lot! Each of this programs is focused on helping students reach graduation with a plan for their future. Each one of these programs recognizes that Oregon is becoming more and more diverse and that schools must change their practices to reach all students and families. And, each one of them is moving beyond talk and plans to serve our most marginalized students…they are doing it and they are a model for all of us.

KairosPDX knows that education is a gateway to future opportunity. They start with families and their youngest children through their Early Learning Network. The KairosPDX Early Learning network is focused on  providing direct and  indirect, culturally competent consulting and services to current in-home providers and families/friends and neighbors who serve under-represented youth including low-income youth and youth of color. They also offer a Family connections program, born of the belief that families are first teachers and children exist in the context of their families. The family connections program also serves as a broker and connector to community resources. Oh yes, and they operate a K-3 (eventually to grade 5) school or multicultural service learning academy.

OPEN School East is OPEN School’s newest 7th-12th grade college-prep school in East Portland. It helps students excel academically, graduate, and go to college. They focus on rigorous academics, teachers who are given time to develop meaningful relationships with students, and a lot of love and support – yes, I witnessed this…it is present in the halls, outside the school,  and in the classrooms. And, it seems to work. Their students advance an average of 2.5 grade levels in math and reading in their first year in the program.

3 to PhD is a unique partnership between Faubion K-8 School and the Concordia College of Education. This is a partnership that has been in existence for several years. It has now grown to a new level. The K-8 and the College of education will soon be housed within the same building! They aim to create a safer, healthier and more educated community. Their goal is to close the opportunity gap for the most marginalized and vulnerable children and families in the community. 3 to PhD hopes to restore a school as the heartbeat of a community. The effort includes:

  • Wrap-around services for children and families;
  • early childhood education;
  • health & wellness programs;
  • STEAM (science, technology engineering, arts and math) educational opportunities; and
  • one-on-one tutors, mentors and coaches from Concordia


Innovation is happening in Oregon! Over the next two weeks I will continue to visit with students, families, educators, and community in Lane, Marion, Linn, Benton, and Douglas Counties. Look for a report of all our findings in late October or early November.

State Chronic Absenteeism Plan Survey Tool: Share Your Perspective Today

House Bill 4002 (2016) directed the Oregon Department of Education and the Chief Education Office, in cooperation with other state education agencies, Department of Human Services, Oregon Health Authority, Early Learning Division, and community and education stakeholders, to develop a statewide plan to address chronic absences of students in the public schools of the state.

The Legislature has specifically required the following four elements to be included in the plan:

  1. A process for publicly disclosing annual information on chronic absence rates for each school.
  2. Guidance and best practices for all schools and school districts to use to track, monitor and address chronic absences and improve attendance.
  3. A process for identifying schools in need of support to reduce chronic absences and improve attendance.
  4. A description of technical assistance available to schools identified as being in need of support, including technical assistance that will be provided by the department or the office.


This survey is being sent out to “ground test” some of the practices that have been identified based on national and Oregon research and by the members of the HB 4002 Workgroup. This survey is one part of a community and statewide engagement strategy to help refine and prioritize elements of the final plan and consider local context.

The survey will be open until October 14th. Please feel free to share in your networks, and thank you for taking a few minutes to share your voice and perspective.

Reflections from Education Innovation Officer, Colt Gill, on His Statewide Engagement

Innovation in Southern Oregon


Community involvement was the main theme as I heard from over 20 community conversations across Southern Oregon last week. I was able to visit with students, families, educators, and many community partners from the South Coast region, through the Medford-area, and on to Klamath Falls. We heard from citizens of Douglas, Coos, Curry, Josephine, Jackson, Klamath, and Lake counties.

The level of community engagement was second-to-none that I have experienced in my statewide tour so far. Community partners included other government agencies, non-profits, philanthropists, involved citizens, and private industry and business leaders. All were focused on improving experiences and outcomes for students and the community as a whole. All these leaders see education as a primary driver for the success of their local community. They focused on the need to invest in quality programs in the schools that not only addressed skill development and relevance to each student’s future…but also developing a school culture that let’s each student know they are appreciated and cared for.


Two program areas where these distinct Southern Oregon Communities have invested their efforts include:

Trauma-informed practices with restorative practices that help students feel welcome and successful and engaged in school. And,

Strong high school-to-post secondary education. They have developed powerful partnerships with OregonTech, SWOCC, KCC, and RCC that are delivering high quality college credits to high school students in the area. All the K-12 and college partners in this effort want to see further commitment by Oregon’s education leadership to ensure the full transferability of credits earned by students at these institutions.

Many thanks to our Southern Oregon and South Coast education partners. Your dedication to students is clear and the results of your efforts both serve as an example across the state and further the success of your students and communities.


Healthy Kids Learn Better

Last week I had the opportunity to connect with the Health Kids Learn Better Coalition at Upstream Public Health in Multnomah County. The focus of our convening was the intersection of health and education and included other critical factors like transportation. We discussed the need to support the whole child (and their family) so that they could be ready to learn and succeed at school. I heard about a number of ways that schools can partner with other public, non-profit, and private organizations to help support students and their families, these included programs with proven outcomes like Playworks and Safe Routes to School. But we also discussed missing elements of support within Oregon’s schools. Oregon has well below the recommended ratio of each of these critical school professionals who provide vital support for students and learning: School Counselors- 1 for every 250 students (ASCA), School Psychologists- 1 for 500-700 students (NASP), School Social Workers- 1 for every 250 students (SSWAA), and School Nurses- staffed at levels sufficient to provide the range of health care necessary to meet the needs of school populations: 1 for every 125-750 students depending on the local needs (NASN).

Each community I have the opportunity to connect with adds richness to our dataset and underscores the need for regional flexibility in our approach to policy that will support improvement of Oregon’s graduation outcomes.


Innovation in Central Oregon

Innovation was the theme during my multiple day visits with educators, students, families and community leaders in Warm Springs, Bend, La Pine, Redmond, Madras, Prineville and other Central Oregon communities. The area has a thriving a ESD, partnerships like the Better Together-Regional Achievement Collaborative, and engaged community groups such as the Let’s Talk Diversity Coalition.

I learned about efforts to expand the  Juntos program in the region’s schools given the high graduation and college persistence rates of Latino students who have been through the program. I met with high school students considering the field of education from the Teach Oregon Program. They were brilliant students who could help to diversify Oregon’s teaching force. I met with a group of business leaders that are working with the Bend-La Pine School District to design an innovation zone to teach technology and entrepreneurial skills. In meeting with members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, I learned of their efforts to infuse more culturally relevant and sustaining programming in the schools that support their children. These programs are essential to both connect with the students and community and to maintain local culture.