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SOESD Kicks off School Year with Southern Oregon Regular Attender Network for Improvement Event

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

Southern Oregon Education Service District (SOESD) kicked off the school year on Sept. 17, 2019 by hosting over 125 educators, staff and administrators from 12 districts across several counties. Attendees included staff from Attendance and 9th grade On Track Teams, ODE’s Every Day Matters Staff and Regional Capacity Builders.

The vision of the event was to build districts’ capacity to create environments within their schools in which all students feel more safe, know they matter and they belong, in order to inspire more students to come to school more often. To achieve this vision SOESD focuses on building capacity by leveraging research and experienced-based practices in data, teaming and communication.

The event also introduced The Center for High School Success (CHSS)—a project of Stand for Children—providing FREE training, technical assistance, data support, and resources to districts and high schools interested in developing effective 9th grade success programs as a key lever for increasing on-time graduation rates.

The Every Day Matters campaign was also discussed. This program is designed to assist districts with materials and messaging they can use to increase attendance.

The group took a deep dive into the local data and addressing barriers to attendance.  SOESD has developed a toolkit for district use that can be found here.

For more information from the Oregon Department of Education, click here.


Big turnout at Southern Oregon Careers Trade Expo

By | News, School Improvement Services

On Sept. 26, 2019 nearly 2000 students gathered at Seven Feather’s Convention Center in Canyonville for the Southern Oregon Careers Trade Expo. This event, for which SOESD is the fiscal agent, is organized to introduce high school juniors and seniors, veterans, currently serving Military Personnel, and referred public and private agencies to exciting opportunities in many arenas. Some of these include aviation and rail, archaeology, construction trades, wildlandfire fighting, mechanics and more.

“I had no idea what sparked my interest, but being here made me realize that there are a lot more options than what it seems out there,”   said Mary Burnett, a 12th grader.

SOESD attended the event to hand out t-shirts to students (pictured) and witness the activities in action.

For more information visit

Graduation Motivation in Klamath County

By | News, School Improvement Services

About 700 seniors gathered this September for an annual event organized by Klamath Promise and the Herald & News. Students learned about the many opportunities open to them post-graduation. Singer, motivational speaker and author Jessie Funk spoke, sang and joked with the students from all over Klamath County. Funk told personal stories to motivate students to rise above the challenges they face in school and beyond. The event, designed to encourage high school seniors to “finish strong”, is an annual crowd pleaser and a great way to kick off the school year for the class of 2020.

Klamath Promise is a Regional Achievement Collaborative supported by SOESD and is dedicated to bringing together education, business, and community partners to ensure all students complete high school. For more information about Klamath Promise visit

Feature-length documentary film viewing: No Small Matter

By | News, Uncategorized

Community members and partners are invited to attend feature-length documentary film viewing,  No Small Matter on October 30th, 2019.

No Small Matter is a feature-length documentary film and national engagement campaign that brings public attention to this vital question by sharing powerful stories and stunning truths about the human capacity for early intelligence and the potential for quality early care and education to benefit America’s social and economic future. This multifaceted project reveals how our country is raising its youngest citizens, why making the most of this time in their lives is so crucial, and most importantly, what we can do to change the perception of when learning begins.  The first major theatrical documentary to tackle this topic, No Small Matter is designed to kick-start the public conversation about early care and education. The ultimate goal: to produce an entertaining, accessible, and inspiring film that redefines the audience’s understanding of the issue and helps drive it to the top of the political agenda. Or, as one advocate put it, “not just to make a documentary about early childhood education, but to make the documentary about early childhood education.

Seating is limited.

RSVP to Attend

September 2019: Update regarding Jackson County PDHH Resource Classrooms

By | Deaf and Hard of Hearing, News, Special Education

In May, 2019 Medford School District announced plans to have their students currently attending the SOESD PDHH classrooms hosted in Central Point School District (CPSD) instead be served by the SOESD PDHH program in resource classrooms located in Medford schools during the 2020-21 school year.

Medford School District (MSD) has now informed SOESD that MSD no longer intends to move forward with these plans, but has determined that students should remain in the SOESD PDHH program located in CPSD.

This means that the current  SOESD PDHH classrooms hosted by CPSD will continue to serve MSD students  as well as other  students in the Rogue Valley whose IEP teams determine this model of service best meets the students’ needs.

MSD parents have received a letter directly from MSD Special Education Director Tania Tong on this matter, indicating the decision was based on several factors, with the most important one being that MSD wants students to remain  with a community in which they are experiencing success and belonging.

SOESD Special Education Director Susan Peck has followed up with a letter to all parents/guardians of students in SOESD’s PDHH classrooms located in CPSD to provide an update on MSD’s decision.

SOESD looks forward to continuing to serve students who are deaf or hard of hearing in our PDHH resource classrooms.


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.

View Schedule

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




Carmen X Urbina is a proven leader who brings the diverse, lived-experience and unique skills we need in Oregon today. She has developed her exceptional talents serving in early learning settings, K-12 school districts and ESDs, higher education, and leading culturally specific and highly respected community-based organizations in Oregon. Carmen’s efforts are always grounded in equity, focused on the needs of all our students and families, and designed to bring community and education organizations together in both safe and effective ways.

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

Ricky Robertson has had the privilege to work with students from pre-K to 12th grade who have persevered in the face of adversity and trauma.  Ricky is the co-author of the book, “Building Resilience in Students Impacted by Adverse Childhood Experiences: A Whole-Staff Approach.”  As a consultant and coach, Ricky assists schools in developing trauma-informed systems of support and Restorative Practices that foster resilience and success for staff and students.


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.


Leah Hinkle has been an education consultant to ten school districts with the Teaching and Learning Department at Clackamas Education Service District for the last four years. Her specialty is English learner instruction and services funded through Title III. She formerly worked in the Greater Albany School District for ten years, first as a bilingual educational assistant, then an ELD teacher at the middle and high school levels, and lastly as the district’s Teacher on Special Assignment to English Learner Programs.

Raphaelle (Raphi) Miller, Director of Education & School Services joined the staff of Resolve in 2013, having previously served as a volunteer and intern since 2011. In her work as a restorative justice practitioner, trainer, coach and consultant, Raphi supports schools in system-wide implementation of restorative justice practices. Raphi works collaboratively to advance restorative justice in education through participation in regional collective impact initiatives and as a planning committee member for the Northwest Justice Forum. Raphi is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She graduated magna cum laude from Southern Oregon University with her B.A. in Human Communication, certificates in Conflict Resolution and the Management of Human Resources, and a minor in Business Administration.

Cara Walsh, As the Director of Restorative Justice, Cara has been working to support the development, implementation, and delivery of restorative justice services since 2010. In addition to providing training, consultation, and coaching on a local level, Cara works for the advancement of restorative justice throughout the region via her leadership with the Restorative Justice Coalition of Oregon, the Northwest Justice Forum and the Transforming Justice Advisory Committee. Her professional and educational experience is grounded in her passion for creating and facilitating integrative opportunities and experiences for community engagement, empowerment and transformation. Cara earned her M.A. from Prescott College.

Dr. Julie McCann has been an educator for 40 years currently working as a professor in the Concordia College Doctoral Program and as a Senior Associate for the Oregon Center for Educational Equity (OCEE). She was the 2000 Oregon Principal of the Year and as a leader focused on underserved children and families and systemic reform. She has consulted throughout the state on issues of diversity, inclusion, equity and school change.  She has presented at both state and national conferences around her dissertation topic: White Leaders Examine Power and Privilege: The Challenges of Leading for Equity.

has been an educator for 20 years.  He is currently a middle school social studies teacher in Eugene, Oregon, focusing on teaching history through a non-dominant lens.  He guides his students to critically examine, discuss and explore, through historical analysis and current events, an array of social justice issues and actions.  Jesse embraces opportunities to engage in challenging conversations around equity, diversity and inclusion with his colleagues, his students, and his own multi-racial children. He also provides professional development as a Facilitator for the Oregon Center for Educational Equity (OCEE).

K’Ehleyr is a member of the Ohlone Costanoan Esselen Nation whose traditional homelands are located in the now Greater Monterey Bay Area of California. She is the Youth Development Specialist for the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, primarily supporting families with youth ages 0-15. Her work includes providing resources to families with early learners, IEP and 504 support for students and families, tutoring at the Expanding Horizons Youth Center, Tribal education benefit program management and, of course, duties as assigned.

K’Ehleyr grew up in a small town in rural Northern Arizona and is working to reconnect with her Tribal heritage, traditional knowledge, and language. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Paleobiology from the University of California, Santa Barbara where she became an active member of the campus American Indian Student Association. Finding a family with these Native peers cemented her desire to pursue working in Indian Country, where she hopes to stay for the duration of her career.

Renae Guenther is a member of the Cow Creek South Umpqua Tribe of Indians and has been on the Tribal Attendance Pilot Project (TAPP) since its beginning in 2016. TAPP is a collaborative project of all nine federally recognized tribes of Oregon with the Oregon Department of Education to address chronic absenteeism of American Indian/Alaska Native students in selected schools. Now three years into the project, TAPP is showing gains in AI/AN attendance rates.

Being a Tribally enrolled student herself, Renae battled with chronic absenteeism and a lack of positive and accurate representations of the Native American culture and peoples. Through making connections with her peers and her tribe, Renae is now a graduate student attending Southern Oregon University. Renae focuses her efforts on encouraging the youth of American Indian/Alaska Native descent to finish primary school and progress to higher education for the success of themselves and their tribal communities.

Cow Creek Umpqua Tribal Member Rhonda Richardson has worked for the Tribe for 28 years. She has been dedicated in her previous position as the Human Services Director and is now continuing on her path as the Cultural Development Coordinator. It has been a long time passion for Rhonda to continue her career in the Cultural field. She is working alongside the Natural Resources Team. Rhonda has been involved in various committees and projects throughout the years that has touched the life situations from ages 0-99, from birth to death and helped people navigate through life. The revitalization of the Takelma Language has become the main focus of developing the culture for our Tribal community.

Lynda Coates is a Gold Star Speaker with Communication Across Barriers (CAB), a national consulting firm that provides training and keynotes that empower professionals who assist people with moving out of poverty. Lynda has a Master’s Degree in Com­munication from Portland State University and has been speaking and training for over a decade across the country. She is an authentic voice, born into generational poverty, who grew up homeless with her parents and five siblings.

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

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