RAC Blog

Oregon’s STEM Hub Network Welcomes Two Americorp VISTA Members

In 2015, Oregon’s statewide network of eleven regional STEM Hubs was selected as one of 27 communities recognized by the National STEM Funders Network for innovative cross-sector partnership work focused on alignment and coordination of systems to support applied learning opportunities for Oregon’s learners. With support from the Chief Education Office and the Oregon Department of Education, South Metro Salem STEM Partnership (SMSP) and the Southern Oregon STEM Hub applied and were awarded two full-time Americorps VISTA volunteers through the STEM Funders Network’s STEM Ecosystems Initiative to support communications and the integration of youth voice and empowerment in design and decision-making regarding applied learning opportunities.

SMSP Welcomes Communications volunteer

The South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership, hosted by Oregon Tech in Wilsonville, is excited to welcome an Americorps VISTA member in August to support capacity-building goals in the area of communication and outreach for the entire state STEM Hub network.  Ian Zentner, a recent computer science graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz, will bring enthusiasm and skills developed through his extracurricular management of a college community radio program to the work of the STEM Hubs.

Ian will support the STEM Hub Network in two main ways.  First, he will facilitate the development of shared communication and marketing materials that support the development and distribution of some common core messages.  This work is critically important in strengthening the larger network infrastructure that unites the STEM Hubs.  Second, the South Metro-Salem STEM partnership developed and launched an online platform in early 2015, Oregon Connections, for industry professionals to engage with educators and students to expose students to the real-world applications of academic concepts and available career pathways.  Investments from the Department of Education and Higher Education Coordinating Commission’s Office of Community College and Workforce Development allowed for the expanded licensure of Oregon Connections to teachers throughout the state, beginning in Fall 2016.  Ian will support the development of training and recruitment materials to bring industry and community professionals into the system to support student learning in all areas of the state.

The Southern Oregon STEM Hub Welcomes Youth Voice VISTA Member

The Southern Oregon STEM Hub is thrilled to welcome an Americorps VISTA member, Allison Sweeney, who will support the Hub’s work in incorporating youth voice into STEM initiatives. With Allison’s leadership as a program coordinator, The Southern Oregon STEM Hub will pilot an initiative called the Chief Science Officer program beginning Fall 2016 with an eye to building a statewide network of young STEM leaders who will be empowered to take action and to be at decision-making tables regarding STEM opportunities in their schools and across the State of Oregon. Chief Science Officers are peer elected middle and high school students who build leadership skills and use them to bring exciting STEM experiences to their campus in order to foster a culture of curiosity and a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, helping to build a diverse and creative workforce. They also represent their peers in the STEM community and provide youth input to leaders in education and industry, providing a bridge between our current learners and the fastest growing sector of careers. Allison will focus her first year on building relationships with schools, community organizations, and industry partners to create a network of committed adults who will support the training and work of 50 CSOs who will be elected in Spring 2017. Over the next three years we hope to support at least 80 Chief Science Officers representing all 13 school districts in Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath Counties.

Oregon’s 2016 Reach Higher Summit

Landing Page Reach Higher

Oregon students share reflections on challenges and opportunities related to planning for their future at the Reach Higher Oregon Summit. Thanks to the First Lady’s Reach Higher Initiative and to Americas Promise and their Grad Nation campaign for their partnership in putting on the Summit.

 

Building a Web of Support; Study shows ways to keep students in school and headed for graduation

Seven threats

Gerry Obrian: Seven Threats

The Klamath Promise has been striving to improve student achievement in Klamath County with the goal of 100 percent high school graduation. Key in the Klamath Promise’s mission is the phrase, “we all play a part.”

The part everyone plays can make the difference between a graduate’s success or failure. According to a report released last year from America’s Promise and Grad Nation, the more support a young person has, the more likely he or she is to succeed and graduate from high school.

“Don’t Quit on Me” was published in September 2015. It builds on the 2014 report, “Don’t Call Them Dropouts.” While the previous report focused on why students didn’t complete high school, the 2015 report examines what fellow students, families and communities can do to help students succeed.

“The more sources of support a young person has, the more likely he or she is to stay in school,” is one of the simplest statements of the Don’t Quit on Me’s conclusion. Even one person’s influence can bring a dropout back to the classroom. “This anchoring relationship allows the young person to access available community assets – and to leverage internal strengths. This trusted, stabilizing adult … provides a foundation that allows a young person to consider new possibilities for the future and engage a Web of Support.”

That “Web of Support” is what the study calls friends, adults, school and friends who, together, help students achieve.

“To put it simply,” the report reads, “some young people may be standing in a room that contains all the support they need, but they need someone else to turn on the lights so they can see what’s there and reach for it.”

Adverse Life Experiences

Don’t Quit on Me identifies the “hurdles” to graduation by a more technical term, “adverse life experiences.” These are detrimental things that can happen in a young person’s life, especially between the ages of 14 to 18, that keep him or her from graduating and likely from succeeding later in life.

Common adverse life experiences are: suspension or expulsion; becoming a teen parent; experiencing a major health issue, homelessness or moving many times, often called mobility.

The study listed these findings

n Students who stop going to high school have had twice as many adverse life experiences as students who don’t drop out.

n More than half of students who stop going to high school had five or more adverse life experiences, compared to 20 percent of those who graduated

n For each additional adverse life experience, the chances of not graduating from high school rises by 19 percent.

n Being suspended or expelled more than doubles the odds of dropping out.

Building the web

How to combat these adverse life experiences and detrimental statistics? Relationships, the study says.

This is where the Web of Support comes in.

One Don’t Quit on Me’s key findings states: Social supports from multiple sources buffer the effects of adverse life experiences for most young people. However, those who are facing the greatest adversity need more intensive support than family, school and friends can provide.

It may sound obvious, but the more support from more places better combats those bad experiences earlier in life. The ones that made a difference were people who “cared about me, treated me fairly, showed me how to do things, helped me solve problems, made sure I had what I needed for school,” students told Don’t Quit on Me.

“The young people we interviewed and surveyed showed us that the strength, number and nature of relationships in their lives are important factors that influence their engagement with school,” the report reads. “What we learned, in part, is that small interventions can make a big difference for most youth. You don’t need to be everyone to be someone for a young person.”

Building a Web of Support; Study shows ways to keep students in school and headed for graduation

Seven threats

Gerry Obrian: Seven Threats

The Klamath Promise has been striving to improve student achievement in Klamath County with the goal of 100 percent high school graduation. Key in the Klamath Promise’s mission is the phrase, “we all play a part.”

The part everyone plays can make the difference between a graduate’s success or failure. According to a report released last year from America’s Promise and Grad Nation, the more support a young person has, the more likely he or she is to succeed and graduate from high school.

“Don’t Quit on Me” was published in September 2015. It builds on the 2014 report, “Don’t Call Them Dropouts.” While the previous report focused on why students didn’t complete high school, the 2015 report examines what fellow students, families and communities can do to help students succeed.

“The more sources of support a young person has, the more likely he or she is to stay in school,” is one of the simplest statements of the Don’t Quit on Me’s conclusion. Even one person’s influence can bring a dropout back to the classroom. “This anchoring relationship allows the young person to access available community assets – and to leverage internal strengths. This trusted, stabilizing adult … provides a foundation that allows a young person to consider new possibilities for the future and engage a Web of Support.”

That “Web of Support” is what the study calls friends, adults, school and friends who, together, help students achieve.

“To put it simply,” the report reads, “some young people may be standing in a room that contains all the support they need, but they need someone else to turn on the lights so they can see what’s there and reach for it.”

Adverse Life Experiences

Don’t Quit on Me identifies the “hurdles” to graduation by a more technical term, “adverse life experiences.” These are detrimental things that can happen in a young person’s life, especially between the ages of 14 to 18, that keep him or her from graduating and likely from succeeding later in life.

Common adverse life experiences are: suspension or expulsion; becoming a teen parent; experiencing a major health issue, homelessness or moving many times, often called mobility.

The study listed these findings

n Students who stop going to high school have had twice as many adverse life experiences as students who don’t drop out.

n More than half of students who stop going to high school had five or more adverse life experiences, compared to 20 percent of those who graduated

n For each additional adverse life experience, the chances of not graduating from high school rises by 19 percent.

n Being suspended or expelled more than doubles the odds of dropping out.

Building the web

How to combat these adverse life experiences and detrimental statistics? Relationships, the study says.

This is where the Web of Support comes in.

One Don’t Quit on Me’s key findings states: Social supports from multiple sources buffer the effects of adverse life experiences for most young people. However, those who are facing the greatest adversity need more intensive support than family, school and friends can provide.

It may sound obvious, but the more support from more places better combats those bad experiences earlier in life. The ones that made a difference were people who “cared about me, treated me fairly, showed me how to do things, helped me solve problems, made sure I had what I needed for school,” students told Don’t Quit on Me.

“The young people we interviewed and surveyed showed us that the strength, number and nature of relationships in their lives are important factors that influence their engagement with school,” the report reads. “What we learned, in part, is that small interventions can make a big difference for most youth. You don’t need to be everyone to be someone for a young person.”

Oregon’s 2016 Reach Higher Summit

Landing Page Reach Higher

Oregon students share reflections on challenges and opportunities related to planning for their future at the Reach Higher Oregon Summit. Thanks to the First Lady’s Reach Higher Initiative and to Americas Promise and their Grad Nation campaign for their partnership in putting on the Summit.

 

High school graduation more than a big deal: It’s absolutely vital

For the past couple of weeks high school students have been going through graduation exercises, sitting in folding chairs in cap and gown, waiting for their name to be called and then striding across the stage to pick up their diplomas that mark an important stepping stone in their lives.

Our congratulations to them and their families and to the teachers who helped them in high school, and, we hope, encouraged them to move on to advanced education in some form, whether at the university level, or technical training.

We also greatly appreciate the efforts being made to recognize the value of the high school education, which in today’s economy — and by itself — has to be considered as an essential means to something more, rather than as an end goal.

High school can be difficult — not just for the students, but their parents who have to make sure the kids get to school each day. Good attendance is one of the basics of a good education — a key one.

Klamath County has been working on improving the rate of high school graduation. It takes effort and it involves the community.

Most of the effort has been in providing help for those who need in various forms, such as mentors and tutors. But we also like the idea of community recognition shown in the “Graduation Sensation” parade down Main Street in Klamath Falls Thursday with students in cap and gown.

It was sponsored by Klamath Promise organization, which, along with its partners, is trying to increase the local graduation rate. That’s a years-long process and is important to the community. We need educated young people. (More about the organization, and how to help, can be found athttp://klamathpromise.org.)

High school graduation is a big deal. That comment is for those who think it isn’t. Some of them, may come from earlier generations when a job “in the mill” was always available and the wages were good. Most of those jobs have left and even the ones that still exist dependend on modern technology, which require more education. It’s a new economy.

Klamath County residents should be thankful there are people working hard to improve the graduation rate and stressing the importance of education beyond that.

Salute the new graduates, especially the ones who struggled, but stuck with it.

Salute their moms and dads, or those filled the gap when one or both were missing and someone else stepped in.

And continue to let the graduates and the ones coming up behind them know that high school graduation is not only a big deal, but vital.

High school graduation more than a big deal: It’s absolutely vital

For the past couple of weeks high school students have been going through graduation exercises, sitting in folding chairs in cap and gown, waiting for their name to be called and then striding across the stage to pick up their diplomas that mark an important stepping stone in their lives.

Our congratulations to them and their families and to the teachers who helped them in high school, and, we hope, encouraged them to move on to advanced education in some form, whether at the university level, or technical training.

We also greatly appreciate the efforts being made to recognize the value of the high school education, which in today’s economy — and by itself — has to be considered as an essential means to something more, rather than as an end goal.

High school can be difficult — not just for the students, but their parents who have to make sure the kids get to school each day. Good attendance is one of the basics of a good education — a key one.

Klamath County has been working on improving the rate of high school graduation. It takes effort and it involves the community.

Most of the effort has been in providing help for those who need in various forms, such as mentors and tutors. But we also like the idea of community recognition shown in the “Graduation Sensation” parade down Main Street in Klamath Falls Thursday with students in cap and gown.

It was sponsored by Klamath Promise organization, which, along with its partners, is trying to increase the local graduation rate. That’s a years-long process and is important to the community. We need educated young people. (More about the organization, and how to help, can be found athttp://klamathpromise.org.)

High school graduation is a big deal. That comment is for those who think it isn’t. Some of them, may come from earlier generations when a job “in the mill” was always available and the wages were good. Most of those jobs have left and even the ones that still exist dependend on modern technology, which require more education. It’s a new economy.

Klamath County residents should be thankful there are people working hard to improve the graduation rate and stressing the importance of education beyond that.

Salute the new graduates, especially the ones who struggled, but stuck with it.

Salute their moms and dads, or those filled the gap when one or both were missing and someone else stepped in.

And continue to let the graduates and the ones coming up behind them know that high school graduation is not only a big deal, but vital.

Community partners seek to help open doors

HERMISTON HERALD
Published on May 4, 2016 8:35AM

A number of community partners seek to ease access of obtaining services through ‘No Wrong Door’ collaboration.

A number of community partners seek to ease access of obtaining services through ‘No Wrong Door’ collaboration.

The path to finding the appropriate resources for education, child care, nutrition or housing services can sometimes be a bewildering jumble of doors.

A network of community partners in Morrow, Umatilla and Union counties is opening the door for families who are trying to navigate through the process of seeking information and assistance. Through the implementation of a “No Wrong Door” system, families will be able to access community resources from any starting point. The system ensures any of the doors they choose will be the right one.

A person seeking assistance will no longer need to know what services they may qualify for in order to access the supports they need. By completing a short application, people will be linked to a recruiter who is knowledgeable of all child and family services including, but not limited to, preschool opportunities, parenting education, child care, health and human services, housing and transportation.

By accessing the No Wrong Door icon on any partner agency’s website or visiting the office of a community partner participating in the No Wrong Door process, a family will be contacted within two business days. After the initial contact, appropriate services will then be determined as quickly as possible.

Partners in the project include the Blue Mountain Early Learning Hub, Umatilla County Public Health, Umatilla-Morrow Head Start, InterMountain Education Service District, WIC, Child Care Resource and Referral, Healthy Families Oregon, the Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative, Nurse-Family Partnership, Pioneer Relief Nursery, Oregon Child Development Coalition, Eastern Oregon Head Start and Morrow County Public Health.

“The program will allow families to access community resources or to allow those assisting a family in accessing resources to do so efficiently and effectively,” said Cade Burnette, co-coordinator of the Blue Mountain Early Learning Hub.

The approach is not intended to replace the intake process of specific agencies that are already in place, Burnette said, but rather to act as a safety net to ensure all families have easy access to the resources that they may be eligible for.

For more information, call Burnette at 541-564-6878.

Community partners seek to help open doors

HERMISTON HERALD
Published on May 4, 2016 8:35AM

A number of community partners seek to ease access of obtaining services through ‘No Wrong Door’ collaboration.

A number of community partners seek to ease access of obtaining services through ‘No Wrong Door’ collaboration.

The path to finding the appropriate resources for education, child care, nutrition or housing services can sometimes be a bewildering jumble of doors.

A network of community partners in Morrow, Umatilla and Union counties is opening the door for families who are trying to navigate through the process of seeking information and assistance. Through the implementation of a “No Wrong Door” system, families will be able to access community resources from any starting point. The system ensures any of the doors they choose will be the right one.

A person seeking assistance will no longer need to know what services they may qualify for in order to access the supports they need. By completing a short application, people will be linked to a recruiter who is knowledgeable of all child and family services including, but not limited to, preschool opportunities, parenting education, child care, health and human services, housing and transportation.

By accessing the No Wrong Door icon on any partner agency’s website or visiting the office of a community partner participating in the No Wrong Door process, a family will be contacted within two business days. After the initial contact, appropriate services will then be determined as quickly as possible.

Partners in the project include the Blue Mountain Early Learning Hub, Umatilla County Public Health, Umatilla-Morrow Head Start, InterMountain Education Service District, WIC, Child Care Resource and Referral, Healthy Families Oregon, the Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative, Nurse-Family Partnership, Pioneer Relief Nursery, Oregon Child Development Coalition, Eastern Oregon Head Start and Morrow County Public Health.

“The program will allow families to access community resources or to allow those assisting a family in accessing resources to do so efficiently and effectively,” said Cade Burnette, co-coordinator of the Blue Mountain Early Learning Hub.

The approach is not intended to replace the intake process of specific agencies that are already in place, Burnette said, but rather to act as a safety net to ensure all families have easy access to the resources that they may be eligible for.

For more information, call Burnette at 541-564-6878.

Video: Oregon’s Regional Achievement Collaboratives

At a recent convening of RAC partners, leaders in communities across the state talked about the unprecedented partnerships they have formed, and the barriers they are busting in their region on behalf of students. Watch this short video to learn more.

RaC Video Tile