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Southern Oregon Virtual Student Voice Event

By | News, School Improvement Services, School-Wide Improvement

MAY 29th at 2 PM

What has distance learning been like for you? Your educators want to know! Your Voice Matters! Understanding your experiences will help us better support ALL students as we plan for next year together.OPEN TO STUDENTS IN GRADES 6-12.

Zoom with us here

OR Use:

OR Dial In: +1 669 900 6833
Meeting ID: 647 105 3180

Circles for Educators

By | News, School Improvement Services, School-Wide Improvement

As we navigate through these uncharted times, the power and necessity of community and relationships are becoming increasingly apparent. Although we are practicing social distancing, we still can find creative and innovative ways to foster connection, care for one another, and normalize our experiences. We also can gather together to inspire, learn from and with each other about how to continue trekking bravely forward into this courageous space we now occupy: Distance Learning for All. How can we continuously improve experiences for our educators, students and families during this time while also planning for the future?

Raphi Miller and Cara Walsh of Resolve will be facilitating 14 virtual care and connection circles for educators with the goal of providing a safe and supportive space to share and listen to others in the field of Education as we all navigate the highs and the lows of this time. Space will be provided to lean into listening to each other in order to learn from each other. This is not a training. Participants can join any or all sessions. Please register and obtain Zoom link(s) through PD Networks.

Who should attend? Anyone and everyone in the field of Education who is interested in connecting with other educators to foster community and hear from one another during these unprecedented times filled with changes and unknowns.

Event Dates:

Southern Oregon Educator Administrators

Wednesday, May 20, from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm via Zoom

Southern Oregon Educators

Thursday, May 21, from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm via Zoom
Thursday, May 28, from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm via Zoom
Thursday, June 4, from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm via Zoom
Thursday, June 11, from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm via Zoom

Southern Oregon Building Administrators

Tuesday, May 26, from 1 pm to 2 pm via Zoom
Tuesday, June 2, from 1 pm to 2 pm via Zoom
Tuesday, June 9, from 1 pm to 2 pm via Zoom

Southern Oregon District Office Administrators

Wednesday, May 27, from 1 pm to 2 pm via Zoom
Wednesday, June 3, from 1 pm to 2 pm via Zoom
Wednesday, June 10, from 1 pm to 2 pm via Zoom

Southern Oregon School Paraprofessionals and Support Staff

Thursday, May 28, from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm via Zoom
Thursday, June 4, from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm via Zoom
Thursday, June 11, from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm via Zoom


 SOESD Announces Regional Teacher of the Year

By | News, School Improvement Services, School-Wide Improvement

On behalf of the Oregon Department of Education, Southern Oregon Education Service District (SOESD) is proud to announce the selection of Mr. Jordan Werner, Physical Education Teacher at Riverside Elementary School in Grants Pass, as a 2021 Oregon Regional Teacher of the Year. Werner is also the Grants Pass High School Assistant Track and Field Coach and the head football coach at South Middle School.  Mr. Werner will be honored virtually in the coming month and will be awarded a check for $500.00.

SOESD convened a virtual Blue Ribbon Panel made up of diverse and unbiased panel members who represented the geographic region of Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath counties. The panel, who reviewed seven applications from a larger set of nominations, found that Werner exemplified the following attributes:

  • a wellness focus that is grounded in research
  • is a leader in his school and district
  • work positively impacts students and families
  • has a message to share with Oregon educators that can inspire others
  • has the desire and ability to reach all students
  • applies the Oregon Equity Lens in his decision making and is culturally aware and relevant in his approaches to wellness
  • forges partnerships with the community to promote student wellness
  • has a non-traditional approach to physical education that focuses on lifetime wellness and the social/emotional and learning benefits that wellness promotes

The Oregon Teacher of the Year Program started in 1955, and is managed by the Oregon Department of Education.  Anyone can nominate a candidate for the recognition, but teachers may not nominate themselves.  Once selected, the Oregon Teacher of the Year is also a candidate to apply for the National Teacher of the Year recognition.  The selected teacher serves as the face and voice of exemplary educators across the state of Oregon, and engages and inspires other teachers and community leaders as a representative of the profession.

Oregon Department of Education chose in 2018-19 to expand the selection process for the nominees.  The goal of the expansion is to honor teachers in every region of the state.  Education Service Districts across Oregon reviewed applications submitted from their geographic region and facilitated a Blue Ribbon Panel and review process to identify winners in their regions.  Thirteen winners will go on to be considered for Oregon Teacher of the Year, which will be decided in September.

SOESD is proud of the amazing teachers in our three-county region, exemplified by Mr. Werner, who are focused on quality teaching, learning, and student achievement. 

Distance Learning for All

By | COVID-19, Distance Learning for All, Homepage, News

On 4-8-20, Governor Kate Brown announced that in-person classes with students will not occur for the remainder of the school year, as part of continued efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our communities well. Instead, school and learning will continue using remote methods under Oregon’s Distance Learning for All Plan.

Additionally, under Oregon’s new 2020 Graduation Pathways Plan, high school seniors will receive passing grades for their courses and meet Oregon’s graduation requirements, if they were on-track to graduate prior to the statewide school closure in March. Schools will provide additional focus on credit-earning opportunities and learning for seniors who were not yet passing all required courses.  

Oregon’s plan maintains the 24 credit requirement for the Oregon Diploma and honors continued high standards for learning and achievement. Oregon’s public universities have supported the plan by ensuring no student admitted for fall 2020 will have their admission rescinded due to changes in grading policy or the inability to complete their coursework, so long as they graduate high school.

Districts across Oregon are providing essential services and learning supports for their students through their Distance Learning for All plans.

SOESD is providing essential services and learning supports for students, families, and districts across the region, including child care for essential workers, emotional and navigational support for families, online learning resources, physical educational materials, instruction for students, a regional Help Desk for technical and learning support, and a myriad of special services for unique student and family needs. 

Please visit SOESD’s Distance Learning for All section of our website to access these resources and services.

SOESD helps local Student Skunks group use 3D printers to produce designs and supplies for local medical staff

By | News, School Improvement Services, School-Wide Improvement

During the last week of March local hospital medical professionals and administrators reached out to a group of teachers, community organizations, designers, engineers, manufacturers, and doctors to come together to brainstorm the possibility of designing and producing Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) for local hospitals. They hoped for a local solution, as they waited on delivery of medical supplies to be shipped into the region.

SOESD, Talent Maker City Programs Director Allison French and CTE Regional Coordinator Brian Robin were tasked to help with this work. The two called upon regional CTE high school students who have been trained in Computer Aided Design (CAD) experience to help.  The students are currently working with high school CTE teachers in conjunction with on a “Student Skunks Works group” that interacts with a larger group in the community.

The team is organized using the Slack messaging platform where separate channels focus conversations for each product in need of support. The initial needs were face shields, n95 masks, iso masks, iso gowns, and ventilator manifolds. The group chose team leads to begin each effort, and within 24 hours, 3D printers around the valley were ramping up production of prototypes. Parts were delivered to doctors the same day, and immediate approvals have allowed face shields to begin production.

The group sourced a local manufacturer, Proto Mold Manufacturing based in Central Point to start producing face shields for frontline medical personnel that are taking samples from suspected COVID19 patients, and those that have already been admitted for care.

The Skunk Works group, including Alison French, RCC staff, and high school staff from both North Medford High School and Grants Pass High School, are working on other designs as well.  They are prototyping ventilator/respirator manifolds that would allow a single respirator to support multiple patients at a time.

Other local manufacturers, such as Erickson Aircrane and Care Stream, are also working with members of the Skunk Works Team to provide resources and connections to produce, and source hand sanitizer, N95 masks, gloves, and medical gowns locally.

OIT and Sky Lakes Medical – in Klamath County- are also collaborating with the group in Jackson and Josephine Counties, to help to provide help to hospitals in Klamath County.

“The full force of Southern Oregon Geeks, Nerds, and Doctors aren’t cowering in our homes waiting for this to blow over. We’re fighting back,” says French.

For students who have a 3D printer and are wanting to participate, visit

“The most recent vetted and approved files are posted there along with drop off locations of completed the shields. They can sign up to participate. We’d love their help!” says French.

Read recent Herald and News and Mail Tribune articles featuring the work that the SOESD group has been a part of.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Oregon Statewide School Closure Extension to 4/28/20

By | COVID-19, Homepage

March 17, 2020

Dear SOESD Communities and Staff,

On 3/17/20, Governor Brown announced an extension of Oregon’s statewide school closure to a total of six weeks, until 4/28/20, and also issued further guidance for Oregon’s public schools. This follows the initial two-week closure of Oregon’s schools.

The governor also ordered school districts and ESDs to provide a variety of services during the closure period, such as learning supports and supplemental services to students and families, including meals and child care for health care workers. Please contact your resident district for information regarding meals distribution sites. SOESD is supporting Oregon and our local districts to implement the order intended to slow the rate of COVID-19 transmission, reduce strain on our medical system, and prevent loss of life.

The safety and well-being of staff, children, families, and the community continue to be my highest priority as we plan for COVID-19 and implement the governor’s directives.


Scott Beveridge,
Southern Oregon ESD Superintendent

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

School Closure Notice

By | COVID-19, Homepage

March 13, 2020

Dear SOESD Communities and Staff,

On the evening of 3/12/20, Governor Brown directed all schools in Oregon to close from 3/16/20 – 3/31/20, with plans to reopen schools on 4/1/20.

You may read the press release here:

Please know we are continuing to implement the direction of the governor along with guidance from health officials, and have your health and safety as top priority. SOESD and districts across the state will spend time during this closure on Governor Brown’s additional directives for schools to “develop plans for returning to school that accommodate ongoing impacts of coronavirus” and “for operating schools under updated measures”. Please contact your resident district for some services such as free meals that will continue during the closure.

Please note that Governor Brown stresses “sending Oregon children home will not stop the spread of the coronavirus”, as we’ve known from guidance we’ve been following from health authorities previously. Also, school closure comes with an added concern for increased exposure to the elderly, and the governor is sharing caution that during the closure, children “not be in the care of older adults or those with underlying health issues that are most at-risk from COVID-19”.

We anticipate per the press release that there will be continued guidance during the closure and “timelines will be reevaluated in late March in consultation with school administrators”.

Safety and well-being remain my very highest concern. Please continue to exercise safe practices as preventative measures during the closure such as washing hands; covering coughs and sneezes; avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; and practicing appropriate social distance.

I wish you all the best of health.


Scott Beveridge,
Southern Oregon ESD Superintendent

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Update

By | COVID-19, Homepage | No Comments

March 12, 2020

Dear SOESD Communities and Staff,

SOESD continues to prioritize student, staff, and community health and safety as we coordinate with health officials regarding COVID-19. We, like you, are all concerned about COVID-19 in southern Oregon and worldwide.

With the number of confirmed cases in Oregon increasing, Governor Brown has announced new guidance regarding group gatherings and social distancing. Following the governor’s announcement, today the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) provided guidance based on her direction. The governor, Oregon health authorities, and ODE are continuing to recommend that schools stay open. However, new guidance is to cancel or limit all non-essential gatherings and group activities. 

In accordance with this guidance and in order to minimize potential opportunities for the virus to spread, SOESD has decided to proactively begin suspending events that bring large groups of students, adults, and community members together. We will be continuing some meetings and events in electronic format.

The safety, health, and well-being of our staff and students continue to be our highest priority. In addition to implementing the new guidance, our administrative team has coordinated distribution of cleaning supplies, prioritization for cleaning high-touch surfaces, and establishment of protocols for staff and students, including asking those with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, and shortness of breath) to stay home.

Employees, students, families, and everyone in our community can continue to best support efforts by:

  • Staying home when sick with fever, cough, and shortness of breath, only returning to school or work when free of COVID-19 symptoms for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines. If you are concerned about symptoms, please consult with a doctor. 
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throwing the tissue in the trash.
  • Washing hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaners or wipes.
  • Taking care of your health overall. Staying current on your vaccinations, including flu vaccine, eating well and exercising all help your body stay resilient.
  • A facemask should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. It is not recommended that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding during this difficult time. We will continue to rely on the guidance from the CDC, Oregon Health Authority, the Department of Education, the Office of the Governor, and County Public Health, to minimize both the spread of COVID-19 and disruption to schools and students. If COVID-19 is identified at SOESD or a district we serve, the local health department will collaborate with the district to determine whether closure is warranted or helpful in reducing the spread of the illness.

Please know that this message and decisions are being made in collaboration with the State of Oregon and districts across the state and in our region. We all collectively share the utmost concern for the health and safety of our students, employees, and communities.


Scott Beveridge,
Southern Oregon ESD Superintendent


Mobile Maker Space

By | News, School Improvement Services, School-Wide Improvement

Eagle Point Middle School became the the first school in Jackson County to check out the SOESD Mobile Maker Space. The second Space will be set-up at Hidden Valley High School and a third is about to appear at Henley Middle and High School later in March.

“Eagle Point Middle School Students are getting some hands on experience with robotics thanks to the Mobile Maker Space on loan from the Southern Oregon ESD.  Students will put their newly learned coding skills to the test with Spheros and Lego Mindstorm kits that come with the MMS.  It’s one thing to talk about engineering and robotics, but it’s the experience of actually doing it where real connections are made.” – Jason Clark

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