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Archive for November, 2010


The Federal Department of Education has issued guidance to support educators in combating bullying in schools by clarifying when student bullying may violate federal education anti-discrimination laws. The guidance issued also makes clear that while current laws enforced by the department do not protect against harassment based on religion or sexual orientation, they do include protection against harassment of members of religious groups based on shared ethnic characteristics as well as gender and sexual harassment of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender individuals.

The guidance, which comes in the form of a “Dear Colleague” letter sent to schools, colleges and universities, explains educators’ legal obligations to protect students from student-on-student racial and national origin harassment, sexual and gender-based harassment, and disability harassment. The letter provides examples of harassment and illustrates how a school should respond in each case.

The White House and Department of Education also announced next steps to address bullying and harassment in schools. Early next year, the White House will host a conference to raise awareness and equip young people, parents, educators, coaches and other community leaders with tools to prevent bullying and harassment. This conference will build upon efforts led by the U.S. Department of Education and other federal agencies to spark a dialogue on the ways in which communities can come together to prevent bullying and harassment.

“We’ve got to dispel the myth that bullying is just a normal rite of passage, or an inevitable part of growing up. It’s not,” said President Obama. “We have an obligation to ensure that our schools are safe for all of our kids. Every single young person deserves the opportunity to learn and grow and achieve their potential, without having to worry about the constant threat of harassment.”

“Bullying is a problem that shouldn’t exist. No one should ever feel harassed or unsafe in a school simply because they act or think or dress differently than others,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “To every student who feels threatened or harassed-for whatever reason-please know that you are not alone. Please know that there are people who love you. And please know that we will protect you,” Duncan continued.

“Students cannot learn if they feel threatened or harassed,” said Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Russlynn Ali. “We want to keep students safe and learning, and this guidance will help us do that.”

Following the release, the Department plans to hold technical assistance workshops around the country in early 2011 to help educators better understand their obligations and the resources available to take prompt and effective steps that will end harassment and bullying in schools and on college campuses.

The guidance is just one of several efforts in the Department of Education’s comprehensive approach to end bullying. In 2009, the Department joined the Departments of Defense, Justice, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, and the Interior to form the Obama Administrations Inter-Agency Task Force on Bullying. In August of this year, the Obama administration hosted the first ever National Bullying Summit and launched both the Stop Bullying Now Campaign and http://www.bullyinginfo.org, a national database of effective anti-bullying programs.

For more information about OCR and the anti-discrimination statutes that it enforces, please visit http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/aboutocr.html. To review the “Dear Colleague” letter, please visit: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201010.html.

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Due to the change in the year of accountability, all students must now take their high school statewide assessment by 11th grade or their 3rd year in High School.
Students who took and met or exceeded the alternate achievement standard on the statewide Extended Assessment in 10th grade (last year) will not need to retake the Extended Assessment this year. However, any students who did not meet the alternate achievement assessment standard in 10th grade will need to take the assessment again this year in their 11th grade year in order to be counted as participants for accountability purposes. For students with IEPs, any decision to retest (or to consider retesting) will require revisiting the student’s IEP to ensure the IEP team’s decision has been adequately recorded.

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The Oregon Department of Education has launched a newly redesigned home page with enhanced search options. The enhancements are designed to increase the functionality of the website and better represent the mission of ODE. Learn more about the changes to the home page below:

Personalization
Visitors to the website can personalize the homepage by selecting a group – student, parent, teacher, administrator, reporter or other (default). The homepage will highlight resources and links specifically relevant for each group so that you can more easily access key information.

New Features
The home page will still feature ODE news, but news announcements and press releases have been combined into one news tab. In addition there will now be tabs for popular (most visited) and recent (new or updated) pages and links. This will allow you to quickly browse popular pages or find out what new information has been added to the site. A rotating banner at the top of the page will highlight current hot topics. And a carousel on the right will highlight key applications and web pages for your group.

Search
The Search feature has been enhanced to allow you to more easily access information on the ODE website. The new search will allow you to select the type of results you will see, limit the timeframe for results, and see ODE contacts and topic pages related to your search.

Coming Soon
In the coming months, ODE will roll out a new way to view, access, and search data on the ODE website. Stay tuned for more information on Data Visualization on the ODE website.

How Do I Find…?
We understand that change can be hard, and in redesigning the home page, many of the links you are familiar with may have been moved or reorganized. The following are tips to help you navigate to your favorite pages.
· Look under Topics (under ODE logo at top left). The information that used to be in the menu on the left is now in the Topics drop down.
· Refer to the abbreviate site map at the bottom of the page for key ODE offices and topics.
· When in doubt use the Search.

Feedback
What do you think of the new site? In a few weeks, ODE will post a survey and give you an opportunity to share your feedback on what works well and what needs improvement. ODE greatly appreciates your feedback and suggestions as they continue to improve the site to better meet your needs.

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This fashion show event will be a fun time, raise funds and highlight a topic we all hear too often within the disability community. “Socially Awkward” What does that mean?

Save the Date!
January 29, 2011
Doors open at 6:15 PM
Show begins at 7:00 PM
Venue Pearl
325 NW 13th Avenue
Portland, OR 97214

More information to come!

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In recognition of the importance of sustainability to our economy, society, and the health of our environment, and in support of sustainability education efforts around the state, Governor Kulongoski designated the week of November 8-12 as Sustainability Education Week. In his proclamation, the Governor wrote, “Sustainability education helps students learn skills, perspectives, and values that can guide, motivate and enable them to seek sustainable livelihoods, participate in the green economy, fully participate in a democratic society, and live in a sustainable manner; and young people benefit academically and personally from expanded opportunities to engage in sustainability education.”

Want to learn more about sustainability education and sustainability in our schools? Visit the Sustainable Oregon Schools Initiative website for more information on Sustainable Education Week, a list of sustainability education organizations around the state, sustainability education newsletters, and a wealth of other resources.

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22nd Annual Parent Conference
April 29th – 30th, 2011
Spirit Mountain Casino
27100 S.W. Salmon River Highway
Grand Ronde, OR 97347

The primary purpose of this conference is to bring together parents, educators, and health professionals in an atmosphere of cooperation and exploration. The conference program will address issues that intend to expand the capacity of schools and communities, working in partnership with parents and professionals. To promote the partnership of nurturing and advocating for children, youth and young adults with disabilities,
with a positive focus on their abilities.

The conference seeks to model and facilitate effective relationships between families and service providers. RISE promotes an atmosphere for parents and other professionals with similar interests to interact, and to develop partnerships.
This conference acts as a time of much needed respite, networking and learning for many of our attendees, we ask that no children attend the conference. If you would like to sponsor this annual event, please contact Danielle Bethell, Conference Coordinator at: 503.581.8156 ext. 105 or dbethell@oregonrisecenter.org.

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DATE: Monday, November 22 and Tuesday, November 23, 2010
WHERE: Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE MLK Jr Blvd., Portland, OR.
TIME: Doors open 6 A.M. Patients seen on first-come, first-served basis with a maximum

1,000 patients seen each day. The day’s patient quota is typically reached by 10 A.M.,so come early!

WHO: Adults and children of all ages who are uninsured, underinsured or otherwise unable to visit a dental office and do not have a medically-compromising condition that prohibits receiving care are welcome.

Children under age 18 must be accompanied by parent or guardian.

CARE: Cleanings, fillings, extractions and limited treatment partials offered. All work is provided for free by 1,000 dental professionals and community volunteers donating their time and skills.

NOTE: Photo identification, social security number or other personal identification/documentation is NOT required.

Interpreters will be available to assist Spanish, Russian and Vietnamese speaking patients.

Please do NOT wait for the ODA Mission of Mercy to seek care for dental pain, as this could signal a serious condition. Visit oregondental.org for a list of low-cost dental clinics and other information. If dental pain is severe and accompanied by a fever or swelling, go to a hospital emergency room immediately!

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