December 13, 2017

November / December Board Highlights

From: Laura Conroy


Alternative Pathways / TRIO Program Presentation
Program manager Geoff Garner and students in the program provided the board with an overview of the Alternative Pathways / TRIO Program. The program is designed to assist alternative high school students who are the first in their family to go to college, are from low-income families, and / or who have the potential to succeed in post-secondary education. The goal is to increase the number of youth who graduate from high school or earn a GED and enroll in a post-secondary institution. To achieve that goal the program provide students with academic, career, social, and cultural opportunities. The program has served alternative high schools throughout Portland since 1998. 

Board Donates Funds to Support Northwest Down Syndrome Association
The Board made a donation to the Northwest Down Syndrome Association to provide outreach and support to families and kids experiencing disability. NWDSA Executive Director Angela Jarvis-Holland explained that funds will be used to support welcome baskets when the association makes hospital visits to families of newborns impacted by disability.



Principal Erick Welsh Provided the Board with an Overview of Wheatley School
Wheatley Students
Wheatley supports students with multiple disabilities who need a self-contained educational setting.  Approximately sixty students attend Wheatley School. Of those sixty, 80% are impacted with autism, 25% with seizure disorders, 50% are non-verbal, and 50% need assistance with toileting, eating or both. Students attend Wheatley because, at times, their behaviors become out of control and then need adult assistance to keep themselves safe.  These behaviors range in intensity from yelling, slapping at objects or knocking over chairs or tables, to trying to hit, kick, or bite other individuals in the school setting. 
Wheatley Staff
Over ninety staff working with some of the biggest behavioral challenges in all of education support students at Wheatley. In the face of all this, they work toward the students achieving their IEP goals and objectives. Our highly trained staff shows up ready to work and do what is best for students, always. 

Wheatley Classrooms
Classrooms are staffed at a minimum 1:1 ratio. Each classroom has a teacher who directs instruction, which occurs both inside and around the classroom and in the community. Instruction is focused on on Functional Life Skills including academics, communication, self-regulation of behaviors, sensory skills and vocational skills.    

Board Votes Yes To Endorse Ballot Measure 101
The Board considered and adopted a resolution to support a "Yes" vote on Ballot Measure 101. Ballot Measure 101 gives voters the opportunity to sustain funding for health coverage for thousands of Oregonians participating in the Oregon Health Plan. 
Oregon voters will have an opportunity to vote on Ballot Measure 101 next month.  

Board Members Arzate and Ying Elected to OSBA Persons of Color Caucus
Board member Jessica Arzate who serves as the MESD representative to the Oregon School Boards Association reported that efforts to form a Persons of Color Caucus with the Oregon School Boards Association have been successful. Arzate was elected as the caucus Co-President and Board member Helen Ying was elected as Secretary. 

Board Member Helen Ying Appointed to ODE Ethnic Studies Advisory Group
MESD Board member Helen Ying has been appointed to serve on the ODE Ethnic Studies Advisory Group. The group was formed pursuant to House Bill 2845, which directs ODE to create the first set of comprehensive ethnic studies standards for K-12 schools and to convene a group of 13 individuals—each from a diverse background—who will advise the state on where “it fails to recognize the histories, contributions and perspectives of ethnic minorities and social minorities” by June 15, 2019. The advisory group will submit a report to the Department recommending adjustments to statewide social studies standards for public school’s students in grades K-12. ODE will then consider those recommendations to adopt standards for ethnic studies by September 15, 2020. Under HB 2845, the comprehensive definition of Ethnic Studies is “the histories and contributions of ethnic and social minorities,” including people who are Alaskan, Native American, people of African, Asian, Pacific Island, Chicano, Latino, Middle Eastern and Jewish descent. The work also covers social minorities, including women, people with disabilities, immigrants, refugees and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.
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