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Summer Institute – Teacher Trainings

By | News, Special Education

Join us for summer special education trainings!

SOESD is proud to announce its 4th annual Summer Institute for Special Educators during the weeks of August 12th and 19th.  Our seminars will prepare participants for a  successful, positive start to the ’19-’20 school year by teaching essential skills about setting up the right physical structure, visual strategies and functional communication systems in learning environments.  ASHA and BACB credits are available for select classes.  Parents, Speech and Language Pathologists, Specialists, Mental Health and Social Service providers are welcome to join and learn from our internationally recognized PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and TCCS (Teaching Critical Communication Skills) guest presenter, Anne Overcash, from North Carolina.

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Southern Oregon Equity Summit 2019

By | Migrant Ed/ELL/Indian Ed, News, School Improvement Services

Kick off the 2019-20 school year by joining us for the Southern Oregon Equity Summit 2019. The event includes high-profile speakers and breakout sessions that provide strategies for understanding equity through a trauma-informed practices approach.


Monday August 19th & Tuesday August 20th, 8:30 am – 03:30 pm


Inn at the Commons
200 N Riverside Ave,
Medford, OR 97501
(866) 779-5811

Register Here


For SOESD component districts. For attendees outside the SOESD, price is $129 for one day and $199 for both.

Contact Information

Nancy Hayes at 541-776-8564




The Oregon Center for Educational Equity is a network of highly skilled, diverse facilitators and professional development leaders whose mission is to interrupt and transform current and systemic educational inequities to ensure all students have access to personalized, equitable and high performing schools that believe and demonstrate each student can, should and will succeed.

Carmen X Urbina is a bilingual and bicultural professional with twenty eight years’ experience performing asset based complex and targeted outreach in communities of color to implement effective parent involvement and recruitment strategies in districts, schools and community based organizations. Her equity, diversity and inclusion based professional development work with teachers and leaders are designed to enlighten and empower without guilt, shame, blame or judgment of self or others. Her knowledge in Spiritual Psychology provides a clear lens for viewing individuals, organizations, and the entirety of the systems they operate to guide effective, systemic and long lasting change. Carmen currently serves as the Deputy Director for the Oregon Department of Education.

Dr. Donna Beegle: Born into a migrant labor family and married at 15, earned her GED at age 26, within 10 years she then received her doctorate in Educational Leadership. She is an authentic voice from poverty that speaks, writes and trains across the nation to break the iron cage of poverty for others through Communication Across Barriers (CAB). For more than 25 years, she has traveled throughout hundreds of cities in 47 states and four countries to assist professionals with proven strategies for breaking poverty barriers. State agencies, politicians and other organizations have partnered with her to implement community-wide approaches to improving outcomes for citizens in poverty.

Ricky Robertson has had the privilege to work with students from pre-K to 12th grade who have persevered in the face of adverse experiences and trauma. Drawing from experience as a teacher and Behavior Intervention Specialist, Ricky coaches educators in developing a relationship-based approach to teaching and learning that inspires transformation through compassion, humor, deep listening, and “real talk.”

Eric Butler is a Restorative Justice Educator and Activist. A Hurricane Katrina survivor, he relocated to Oakland, California where he rebuilt a new life, successfully facilitating Grief Circles in response to homicide and extreme violence in area schools as part of Catholic Charities’ crisis response program. He also worked as a lead mediator with Youth Uprising, where he mediated conflicts on the ground in Oakland neighborhoods and schools.

While in Oakland, Eric gained prominence for his impactful Restorative Justice work with youth in West Oakland as the School Coordinator at Bunche High School with Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY). Today, Eric travels from New Orleans to Texas, to New York, to California and all around the country with a personal mission to spread Restorative Justice around the globe.

SOESD Partners to Provide Rotarian Vocational Mentors for Students

By | Career and Technical Education, College and Career (CC4A) / STEAM, Homepage, News

Southern Oregon Education Service District (SOESD) is partnering with the four Rotary Clubs of Josephine County as well as several school districts, Rogue Community College, and Josephine County government in launching a Vocational Mentoring project to provide guidance for students’ vocational aspirations. The collaborative effort is the result of multiple years of work resulting in an agreement creating a single coordinated process for mentors to serve students in schools throughout Josephine County as well as in neighboring Rogue River School District. The project serves as a model for expansion into other counties within SOESD’s service area.

As one of five avenues of service, Rotary Vocational Service encourages Rotary members to serve others through their vocations, education, and skill-sets, while encouraging high ethical standards. Initial funding for the project is underwritten and matched through a $4,000 Rotary District 5110 Grant. Rotarians began signing up to participate as Vocational Mentors at the Rotary Meeting launch event in Grant Pass, Oregon today.

SOESD is very excited to support local school districts, higher education, and business partners in creating a coordinated system for vocational mentors to work with students in ways that can help students propel past high school graduation into career paths that fuel students’ passions and contributions to a thriving community.

For more information or to volunteer as a Rotarian Vocational Mentor, please contact:

Mark Angle-Hobson
SOESD Education Services Coordinator
Phone: (541) 776-8590

Update and FAQs regarding Jackson County PDHH Resource Classrooms

By | Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Homepage, News

SOESD provides services for students through the Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (PDHH) using both an itinerant model where teachers travel to students’ schools and a resource classroom model with three classrooms currently located in elementary, middle, and high schools at Central Point School District (CPSD). This update provides information about the resource classroom model in Jackson County.

Families who live in Medford School District (MSD) received a letter dated February 25, 2019 from MSD Special Education Director Tania Tong, indicating MSD was planning for MSD students to be served next year by the SOESD PDHH program in resource classrooms located in MSD instead of in Central Point School District (CPSD). We understand that MSD has now determined it will not open classrooms in MSD for students to receive PDHH services during the 2019-20 school year. This means that students would continue to attend SOESD PDHH resource classrooms located within CPSD next school year.

At this time, MSD has indicated their intention is to extend their timeline for students to begin being served by SOESD’s PDHH resource program in MSD starting with the 2020-21 school year. Additionally, we understand that MSD has updated their guidance so that MSD students currently being served in CPSD may remain in CPSD through high school graduation, regardless of students’ current grade level and whether students are transitioning between elementary, middle, or high school.

SOESD values input and feedback regarding proposed changes. We recognize that districts we serve may choose to host resource classrooms where SOESD would serve PDHH students, and understand that changes to locations of PDHH resource classrooms impact students and families.

Please know that SOESD will serve students that are eligible for SOESD’s PDHH services regardless of where students live or attend school.

FAQs re: SOESD’s Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (PDHH}

Why was a change being planned for PDHH classroom locations?
Approximately half of the PDHH students in the three classrooms hosted by Central Point School District (CPSD) where SOESD serves Jackson County students are Medford School District (MSD) residents. MSD would like to serve their resident students in MSD schools.

Where will students attend PDHH resource classroom during the 2019-20 school year?

In 2019-20, PDHH resource classrooms will be located in CPSD. MSD has indicated their timeline is for students to begin being served by SOESD’s PDHH resource program in MSD classrooms starting with the 2020-21 school year.

Where will students attend PDHH resource classrooms during the 2020-21 school year?
In 2020-21, it has not yet been determined if PDHH resource classrooms will operate in CPSD, MSD, or both districts. We understand that MSD has updated their placement guidance so that MSD students currently being served in CPSD may remain in CPSD through high school graduation, regardless of students’ current grade level and whether students are transitioning between elementary, middle, or high school.

Where would MSD classrooms be located in the 2020-21 school year?
We understand that MSD’s current plan is to host classrooms at Howard Elementary, Mcloughlin Middle, and South Medford High schools.

Who will be the SOESD staff assigned to MSD classrooms in the 2020-21 school year?
Staff assignments would be determined once student placements are determined.

How would SOESD serve my child as a result of any changes in classroom locations?
SOESD will serve students that are eligible for SOESD’s PDHH services regardless of where students live or attend school.

How do school districts and SOESD partner to fund services for PDHH students?

SOESD’s PDDH teachers are funded through the ODE Regional Programs contract facilitated by SOESD. SOESD interpreters are funded by the school districts where students live. The district hosting PDHH classrooms receives funds from districts that have students attending their classrooms in order to support those students’ general education.

Who can I contact if I have questions about SOESD’s DHH Program?

Please direct all questions about SOESD’s DHH program to SOESD Special Education Director Susan Peck at 541-776-8555.

Who can I contact regarding Medford’s plans to open classrooms in 2020-21?

Please contact Medford School District Special Education Director Tania Tong at 541-842-3628.

Who can I contact regarding the location of my student’s PDHH resource classroom?
Please contact the special education director in the district where you live.

What are the next steps?
SOESD will continue to partner with school districts to create continuity of services for PDHH students.


By | Homepage, News

On behalf of the Oregon Department of Education, Southern Oregon Education Service District (SOESD) is proud to announce the selection of Ms. Tia McLean, kindergarten teacher at Helman Elementary School in the Ashland School District, as a 2019 Oregon Regional Teacher of the Year.  Ms. McLean will be honored at a Helman School assembly on March 21, 2019 at 9:30 AM, where she will be awarded a check for $500.00.

SOESD convened a Blue Ribbon Panel made up of diverse and unbiased panel members who equitably represented the geographic region of Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath counties. The panel, who reviewed six applications from a larger set of nominations, looked for a teacher who exemplified the following attributes:

  • Is an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled teacher in any state-approved or accredited school, pre-kindergarten through grade twelve, who is planning to continue in an active teaching status
  • Is an expert in their field who guides students of all backgrounds and abilities to achieve excellence
  • Collaborates with colleagues, students, and families to create a school culture of respect and success
  • Deliberately connects the classroom and key stakeholders to foster a strong community at large
  • Demonstrates leadership and innovation in and outside of the classroom walls that embodies lifelong learning
  • Expresses themselves in an engaging and articulate way

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.

The Oregon Department of Education chose in 2017-18 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 using a 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 Ms. McLean, who are focused on quality teaching, learning, and student achievement.

SOESD Migrant Program Participant Mrs. Raquel Garay Receives National Migrant Parent of the Year Award!

By | Homepage, Migrant Ed/ELL/Indian Ed, News

Raquel Garay has been named the 2019 National Migrant Parent of the year after being named the Oregon Migrant Parent of the year in 2018. Raquel will be receiving recognition for the national award at the National Migrant Education Conference. The Oregon and national awards recognize Raquel for her excellent leadership skills and passion to help better her community.

Raquel has been part of the Southern Oregon Education Service District (SOESD) Migrant Education Program for over a decade. She currently holds the position of Vice President of the Migrant Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) at Eagle Point School District where her child attends, and is the regional representative for Southern Oregon on the Migrant State Parent Advisory Committee (SPAC), where she also serves as Vice -President. Raquel has also been a member of the Eagle Point School District’s Budget Committee, Bond Committee, and Soccer Club, as well as the Southern Oregon University Latino Programs Planning Committee.

Additionally over the last three years, through the Northwest Health Foundation (NWHF) Healthy Beginnings + Healthy Communities grant written and facilitated by the SOESD Migrant Education program, migrant parents have been able to attend various leadership development conferences, as well as the NWHF Gatherings hosted by different communities. Raquel has attended every one of these meetings for three years and clearly represented the voice of migrant parents.

The Rogue Valley is home to many amazing individuals who change and make our community a better place to be. We are lucky to have people like Raquel Garay advocating for the future of her own children and the children in our community that are part of the SOESD Migrant Education Program. Raquel is no stranger to positively using her voice to improve outcomes for students and families through helping others better understand community needs.

Press Contact: Charlie Bauer, Migrant Education Coordinator Southern Oregon Education Service District (541) 776-8590 |

2019-2020 Local Service Plan

By | News

Southern Oregon Education Service District (SOESD) is proud to present the 2019-20 Local Service Plan (LSP). The LSP is a product of our collaboration with school districts to deliver services that are responsive to districts’ individual and collective needs, by providing flexibility in service choices, while maintaining service quality and stability, and leveraging regional advantages in cost effectiveness and increased opportunities for students.SOESD utilizes State School Funds to provide services required by the LSP process for school districts in Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath counties that serve approximately 50,000 students representing 8.8 percent of the students in Oregon. The SOESD geographic region is the largest ESD region in Oregon comprising almost 10,600 square miles, which is larger than seven of the states in the US. SOESD brings added value to our districts surpassing the requirements of the Local Service Plan by historically obtaining over half (59% in 2018-19) of our annual revenue ($54,857,340 in 2018-19) through grants, contracts, and entrepreneurial services, expanding our partners and the area we serve, while providing enhanced or additional highly valued services to benefit our local districts.SOESD is proud of our accomplishments as a progressive leader in the ESD community, within our region, and in the state. This 2019-20 LSP represents the continued leadership of our organization to provide a leading number of highly valued and innovative services aligned with Oregon’s initiatives, delivered through a modern business model.On behalf of the SOESD board and administrative leadership, I would like to recognize that our success is due to the work of our staff in cooperation with our component districts. It is through staff’s service, responsiveness, and expertise – with a focus on customer service and satisfaction – that we have established and continuously build our value on doing what is best for children, families, and our communities.

View Plan

$1,197,286 for CTE / College and Career / STEAM Pathways

By | Career and Technical Education, College and Career (CC4A) / STEAM, News

The Oregon Department of Education has awarded a $382,286 Career Technical Education Revitalization (CTE-R) grant to SOESD as part of a regional collaborative project with Southern Oregon Air Academy, K-12 school districts, higher education, and other business, industry, and community partners.

The CTE-R grant will supplement other funding SOESD has obtained this school year totaling about $1.2 million to be used in the College and Career for All (CC4A) / STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics) and CTE programs for activities to support teacher training on project-based learning, student internships and teacher externships in local businesses, as well as a variety of out of school camps and in school courses.

Graduation rates for students in Oregon CTE programs are 15.5% higher than the statewide average.  Projects will specifically be targeting traditionally underserved students with a goal of increasing attendance and graduation rates while preparing students in career pathways that result in high wage, high skill, and high demand occupations aligned with the needs of local industry as well as employers across the state and nation.  These include courses in aviation, advanced manufacturing, computer science, electronics, engineering, and medical fields.

The CTE-R Southern Oregon Air Academy Partnership Project is designed to ignite a diversity of middle and high school students’ interest in pursuing aviation sciences, aerospace engineering, and related CTE/STEM subjects. Collaborating with industry stakeholders and area non-profits, SOESD and its education partners will create after school, 10-week long camp experiences led by teachers to be trained in Project Based Learning (PBL) methods. Simultaneously, PBL trained educators collaborating in their Professional Learning Communities with college faculty, will work to align project lessons with STEM/CTE content standards and classroom work to ultimately lay the foundation for building pathway(s) leading to the formation of a new programs of study in aviation engineering and sciences. With access to PBL trained instructors, high-tech equipment, and industry experts, students will engage in rigorous, real-world lessons, career exploration activities and regional robotics / drone competitions fueling their excitement for continued participation in the district’s various CTE/STEM camp offerings and in the pursuit of high wage, high demand jobs throughout the region and beyond.

The various grants SOESD has obtained so far this school year to support our CTE, CC4A, and STEAM efforts include:

  • CTE-R Grant (Southern Oregon Air Academy Partnership Project): $382,286
  • Math in Real Life Grant (Project Based Learning training for teachers): $215,000
  • Southern Promise Grant (Dual high school – college credit in various career pathways): $300,000
  • STEAM Hub Grant (Hub management, teacher externships, and student activities): $300,000
  • Total to date: $ 1,197,286

The CTE-R grant award is a result of the College and Career for All (CC4A) / STEAM initiative at SOESD representing a partnership of SOESD with school districts, colleges and universities, business, industry, and community partners. This collaborative effort provides project-based, hands-on, industry-aligned learning experiences for students in courses leading to certificates and degrees in high-wage, high-demand, high-skill career paths.

For more information, please see:

State of Oregon Press Release

Medford Mail Tribune Article

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