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2023-24 Communicable Disease Management Plan

By COVID-19, School-Wide Improvement

A district’s Communicable Disease Management Plan verifies that a school and/or program is ready to:

  • Prevent, detect, respond to, and recover from communicable diseases.
  • Ensure continuity of instruction for all students, regardless of support needs.
  • Ensure continuity of learning during and after periods of increased transmission.
  • Communicate plans to their staff, students, families, and community.

This 2023-2024 Communicable Disease Management Plan is structured as an update to last year’s planning, fine-tuning the instructions to reflect the operational capacity built over the last three years as we recover from COVID-19. This year’s planning represents a shift to annual plan updates to ensure school operational readiness for communicable disease-related disruptions to operations.

SOESD has published two documents that guide our schools and staff:

SOESD aligns our plans with the plans of the districts and the communities we serve in order to provide services that meet the needs of students and families across our regional service area. Each district we serve submits their own Communicable Disease Management Plan for each of its schools where we may serve students.

SOESD assists districts with preparing and updating their management plans with resources available at

The Communicable Disease Plans for all the districts in southern Oregon (and the state) are located on ODE’s web site.

Southern Oregon Equity Summit 2021

By Autism, Curriculum and Assessment, Distance Learning for All, Homepage-Notices, News, School Improvement Services, School-Wide Improvement

Kick off the new school year by joining us for the Southern Oregon Equity Summit 2021. The event includes high-profile speakers and breakout sessions that provide strategies for understanding equity through a trauma-informed practices approach.

We’ll be holding this year’s Summit at the Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites and working with multiple partners to offer access to sites across Oregon. These sites will provide virtual access to speakers and enable people to attend as a group and thus engage in interactive discussions and exercises the presenters put forth.

Please join us and if your district or organization would like to host a site please contact Aaron Cooke or Nancy Hayes.


August 16th-2oth


The Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites and multiple site-based venues.

In-person Fee Schedule

In-person and remote attendance for SOESD regional educators is free.

(We have Closed registration for on-site)

Pre-Conference Greene Monday 8/16 – Tuesday 8/17
Local Partners       $149
Out of Area            $199
Summit Wednesday 8/18 – Thursday 8/19
Local Partners       $99
Out of Area            $149
Theory to Practice only Friday 8/20
Local Partners       $20
Out of Area            $49

Summit costs include Theory to Practice sessions, or the sessions may be attended as a standalone event.

Our ESD partners may provide the summit at their own locations by purchasing an onsite remote access license. The licenses will be available for $500 for up to 25 individuals; multiple licenses may be purchased.

Our Equity Summit is made available through a variety of programs and grants so is free to SOESD districts and their educators.

We are able to offer attendance to our local community partners and non-regional participants for a nominal fee.

Contact Information

Aaron Cooke at 541-261-0107

SOESD Helpdesk Call  541-776-8590 ext 1106.


  • Pre-Conference =12
  • Summit =12
  • Theory to Practice = 5
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Equity Summit Complete Book List
Summit Agenda
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Two Day Pre-Conference Workshops

Monday the 16th and Tuesday the 17th

Dr. Ross Greene

*This workshop has been changed to virtual*

Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., is the New York Times bestselling author of the influential books The Explosive Child, Lost at School, Lost and Found, and Raising Human Beings.

Ross W. Greene Ph.D photo

He is the originator of the model of care described in those books, now called Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS). Dr. Greene was on the faculty at Harvard Medical School for over 20 years and is now the founding director of the nonprofit Lives in the Balance, which provides a vast array of free, web-based resources on the CPS model. He has appeared in a wide range of media, including The Oprah Show, Good Morning America, The Morning Show, National Public Radio, Mother Jones magazine, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and the Boston Globe. Dr. Greene lectures and consults widely throughout the world and lives in Portland, Maine.

Oregon Center for Educational Equity

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.

From addressing systemic issues of educational inequity to implementing effective collaboration practices to creating school structures and classrooms that work for historically oppressed student populations, we are committed to working with educators, organizations and communities to collectively meet the needs of our children through strong, effective, and equity-focused leadership.

Beginning Equity Academy Seminar

*This workshop has been changed to virtual*

Equity Academy is an initiative to support educators who want to improve their educational settings by taking a lead on equity. The academy, which consists of two one-day sessions scheduled back-to-back at our pre-conference offers two different levels of instruction for administrators: initial and advanced. OCEE staff will lead the sessions, creating a space and delivering a curriculum that supports educational leaders as they reflect on and transform their practice. The focus on working from the inside out will challenge participants to step out of their comfort zone and create new entry points for becoming aware of and interrupting inequitable beliefs, policies and practices.

The Equity Academy includes an introductory course for education leaders who want to learn how to help their students meet high expectations equitably, regardless of social indicators.  During these sessions participants are expected to develop a deeper personal awareness about how who they are impacts how they teach and lead.  We will go deeper into supporting practicing educators in examining and improving their effectiveness in addressing issues of equity, diversity and inclusion.  Educators should be familiar with basic terminology and concepts around the nature of prejudice, discrimination, micro-aggressions, implicit bias, and systemic oppression.  Participants need to possess a genuine commitment to actively addressing inequities in school systems and changing beliefs, behaviors, practices, policies and structures to serve each student and family well. District teams are encouraged to attend.

Instructor: Jesse Scott

Jesse 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).


Alison Schlicht

Alison Schlicht currently works with North Clackamas School District as an elementary school principal. She is bilingual in Spanish and English with experience teaching and leading diverse groups of staff and students with a focus on bilingual education and teaching students learning English as a second language. Prior to working as a principal, Alison worked as a specialist and trainer in culturally responsive instructional practices.  She is committed to her service as a leader for educational equity.  As a facilitator with the Oregon Center for Educational Equity (OCEE), Alison supports school district efforts to create more equitable systems and structures.

Summit Keynotes

Wednesday the 18th and Thursday the 19th

Lessons for SEL

Founded in 2019 Lessons for SEL is a publishing group designed to offer Social Emotional Learning lessons to schools across the country. Their books include 6 Minute Social Emotional Learning, Circle Talk, and Discovering the Ultimate You: Lessons designed to reach students in a timeframe schools can meet. These resources have supported districts during the pandemic and create opportunities for youth of color and disabilities, as well as all students to prosper during these isolating and difficult times. Lessons for SEL is a forward-looking organization providing multiple formats and offering a variety of web resources for families and schools. The goals of Lessons for SEL are driven by its founder Dr. Byron McClure.

Keynote: How Healing Centered Practices Promote Equity & Favorable Outcomes for Students

Description: Many educators and school leaders are wondering what practices might improve outcomes for students. More specifically, emerging consideration is being given to understanding how Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Restorative Practices might promote equity and improve outcomes for students. This session will help educators to understand the importance of adopting practices that are healing centered. Finally, participants will understand why the time is now to shift towards action-oriented practices.

Session I: Thinking Creatively About SEL Practices

Description: Across the nation, school districts are moving towards implementing social emotional learning (SEL) and restorative practices. However, many educators still have questions such as what is SEL? What are restorative practices? How do we implement restorative practices? Many educators are attempting to figure out their role with implementing SEL as well as restorative practices. This session will help educators to develop an understanding of SEL and practices to support students as well as staff.

Session II: Thinking Creatively About Restorative Practices

Description: When done right, restorative practices can help set a foundation established on trust, compassion, equity, inclusivity, safety, and accountability. This session will help educators to develop an understanding of restorative practices. Participants will learn the most effective approach to systemically implementing restorative practices that are sustainable. Finally, participants will learn how to begin having restorative conversations.

Dr. William Blake

Dr. William Blake currently serves at the Director of Social Emotional Learning for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). In this role, Dr. Blake ensures systems and structures are in place to support the development of the whole child. Over the span of 14 years in urban education, Dr. Blake has served as a Classroom Teacher, Assistant Principal and Principal. Dr. Blake believes that educators must strategically focus on closing the access gap for students furthest from opportunity, which is why he is dedicated to using social emotional learning in the district as a lever to create equitable outcomes for students, especially for students of color.

Dr. Blake earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Morgan State University. He later attended Trinity University to earn his Master’s in Curriculum in Instruction. Lastly, he earned his Doctorate Degree from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Dr. Blake is a devoted member Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Native Wellness Institute

The Native Wellness Institute recognizes the great impacts of historical trauma and oppression on our people. We understand that historic trauma has caused current day trauma in our families and communities. This is evident by the high rates of substance abuse, violence, gossip, negativity, poverty and other destructive behaviors and conditions.

As Native people we have the strength and resiliency to move beyond and forward from the hurtful past and utilize what our ancestors left us: prayer, faith, songs, dances, ceremony, language and the perseverance to leave a positive legacy for our future generations.

The Native Wellness Institute exists to help create an awareness of where our negative behavior comes from, provide opportunities for growth and healing and most importantly to help our people move forward in a good way. We do this by providing training and technical assistance based in Native culture that promote the wellbeing of individuals, families, communities and places of work.

NWI lives and promotes the “Warrior’s Spirit” which means paying the greatest respect to our ancestors by being as positive, productive and proactive as we can, everyday of our lives.

Keynote: Coming Into the Circle: Equity Through an Indigenous Lens

What is equity and how do we navigate it during this time of social justice revolution? What can we learn from Indigenous values and teachings regarding tools and strategies to bring everyone into the circle. Further, what do we do when we are all in the circle? This interactive session will have us connecting and collaborating.

Session I: Integrating Healing Strategies for Native Youth Programming

As adults, we may forget that our young people experience trauma, hold on to hurt and pain and may not know how to articulate their need for healing. When we look at how trauma plays out in our families and communities, we have to assume that our young people could benefit from healing opportunities. This workshop will give examples of how healing opportunities can be integrated into school and community settings.

Session II: Where There Has Been Trauma, Healing is the Answer

What a year we have had- navigating a pandemic, becoming Zoom Warriors, dealing with fires and smoke, deeply feeling the sadness of the forced assimilation camps (boarding school) findings and so much more. We have been in a state of grief and loss. It has impacted every age and stage in life and we have all moved through this in different ways. This workshop will allow the time and space to discuss, process and collectively heal by learning tools and strategies for our well-being and the well-being of those we serve.

Presenter: Jillene Joseph Executive Director

Jillene is an enrolled member of the Gros Ventre or Aaniiih people from Fort Belknap, Montana. She lives in Oregon with her life partner and children. She is the Executive Director of the Native Wellness Institute and helped to found the national nonprofit organization in 2000. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health Education and has served Indian Country for 30 years providing training and technical assistance in a variety of areas. Jillene has traveled to hundreds of Native communities and interacted with and learned from thousands of people. Whether she is providing youth leadership training, assisting women heal from childhood trauma or helping to bring wellness to the workplace, Jillene shares her passion for being positive, productive and proactive. She enjoys beading, reading, pow wowing and spending time with family and friends.

At Corwin, we take pride that our stakeholders are learners all over the world: that’s whom we invest in; that’s whom we want to live rich, abundant lives through education. On the eve of profound political, cultural, and social change, CEO David McCune challenged us at Corwin to dream, to dare, and to innovate. So dream, dare, and innovate we did, quickly establishing ourselves as the essential source of what works best, when, and for whom in education.

Keynote: Identity Safe Spaces for LGBTQIA+ Students: Belonging, Inclusion, and Validation

Description:These last two years, the pandemic made it rough for everyone – especially young people.
For LGBTQIA+ youth, returning to in-person school could be a godsend for those whose families are unaware of or reject their sexuality and gender identity. For others, returning to school may be a source of dread, coming back to incessant bullying or exclusion. Recently, there have been new threats that undermine LGBTQIA+ inclusion. In this session, we’ll discuss how to create identity safe spaces that are welcoming and validate all LGBTQIA+ identities. We’ll learn evidence-based practices that lead to identity safety for students of all backgrounds.

Breakout Session I: Upstanders – Strengthening Our Capacity to Speak Up and Stand Up to Bias and Homophobia

Description: An upstander is a person who speaks up or stands up to hate, intolerance, and bullying, to prevent and/or intervene when someone is being harmed. Upstanders also take action when whole groups of people are targeted. LGBTQIA+ students are often subject to teasing, bullying, and harassment. Frequently, they are attacked on social media and exposed to hateful comments in the news.
We can strengthen our personal capacity to speak out against homophobia and help students learn to safely be upstanders. In this session, we will learn useful skills to teach students of all ages. We will also practice strengthening our own upstander muscles using case studies to prepare ourselves to be ready to speak up.

Breakout Session II: Breaking Out of the Binary – Identity Safe Practices for Supporting Transgender and Non-Binary Students

Description: For all time, there have been people who have broken out of the constrictions of stereotypes about gender and sexuality. Today, we are experiencing a revolution that is breaking open some of these constrictions. While exciting and liberating, as with all major changes and cultural shifts, there is a backlash. In this workshop, we will learn more about non-binary and trans-inclusive identities and how educators can create identity safety for them. We will also discuss some of the recent threats and external pressures on students, their families, and educators and ways to counteract them.

Becki Cohn-Vargas, EdD

Becki Cohn-Vargas, EdD, (she/her) is the co-author of three books about identity safety including Identity  Safe Classrooms Grades K–5: Places to Belong and Learn, Identity Safe Classrooms Grades 6–12: Pathways to Belonging and Learning, and Belonging and Inclusion in Identity Safe Schools: A Guide for Educational Leaders (released this summer). She designs curriculum, publishes articles, coaches schools, and produces films for Learning for Justice, Edutopia, Not In Our Town, and many other organizations. She presents internationally at conferences and provides professional development in schools and districts. Dr. Cohn-Vargas began her 35-year career in early childhood education in Sonoma County, California. She lived abroad for five years where she did earthquake relief at a hospital in the Guatemalan Highlands and produced educational films for the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education. She returned to California and worked as a teacher and principal in Oakland, curriculum director in Palo Alto, and as superintendent of a small district in San Jose. She also served as an adjunct professor at University of San Diego, Mills College, and Cal State University, East. Bay. In each setting, she focused on educational equity and effective strategies for diverse populations. She has extensive experience in creating safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ students. Her short film “Our Family, A Film About Family Diversity,” features children introducing their families, including those with  LGBTQIA+ parents. Dr. Cohn-Vargas and her husband live in the San Francisco Bay Area. They have three adult children including Priscilla, Melania, and Luna. Her daughter, Melania and her wife Roya have made Becki the proud grandmother of a one-year-old grandchild, Anteo.

The Core Collaborative

The Core Collaborative Learning Network specializes in expanding holistic, learner-centered systems. Our goal is to strengthen systems to be more grounded, connected, focused and authentic. Our aim is to produce holistic results in ways that raise the collective standard. We believe in social justice. We believe that when we learn together we can make a difference in the lives of ALL students. We believe that compassion drives performance.

Keynote: Learning from the Past to Plan for the Future

Over the past year, we’ve been through quite a bit: A pandemic that has exposed social inequities, a reckoning that focused the nation on racial inequality and injustice, an insurrection that threatened the possibility of democracy, and a political backlash to the increased efforts to address social inequality. Thus, as we reopen our schools in the fall, it is more important than ever to be productive as we approach our challenges.  To that end, this keynote offers an approach that centers belonging and dignity to prepare for starting next school year in a manner that lays the foundation for equity and inclusion.

Session I: Avoiding the Dysfunctional Cycle of Equity Work

Although racial inequality and injustice captured the world’s attention over the past year, most schools and organizations that sought to “do something” missed the mark with equity implementation. Big time. Why? Because they repeated a predictable, normal pattern of failure, which includes experiencing a catalyst, condemning injustice, fumbling around with taking action, and upholding the inequitable status quo until the next catalyst or incident occurs. Furthermore, that subsequent incident is often a backlash to the overall effort, creating a chilling effect and delays progress. Learn what you can do to break this dysfunctional cycle, avoid problematic implementation, and facilitate positive change.

Session II: Eliminating the Stereotype Threat Through Belonging

Without belonging, access can be harmful. Why? When uncertain of whether or not they belong, students and staff members are vulnerable to the stereotype threat — a fear that they will do something to confirm negative stereotypes of social groups with which they identify (Steele & Aronson, 1995). The stereotype threat is a social-psychological phenomena that results in significant underperformance. Over the past three decades, over 19,000 studies have confirmed its devastating negative impact. Fortunately, research shows that there is an antidote — belonging. Thus, if our schools are to provide the conditions within which all students (and staff members) can thrive, we must prioritize belonging. How do we do that? By shaping a culture of dignity. In this session, receive a proven framework for eliminating the stereotype threat through belonging and dignity.

John Krownapple

John Krownapple specializes in helping organizations learn and grow in the area of human relations. His career has focused on education, diversity and inclusion, equity, and social justice. In his book Guiding Teams to Excellence with Equity, he provides a protocol for facilitating systemic, equitable change. His most recent book, Belonging Through a Culture of  Dignity, co-authored with Dr. Floyd Cobb, concretely illustrates his mission to help each of us get in touch with our own dignity so that we can honor the dignity of others on structural, interpersonal, and intrapersonal levels. In doing so, John believes that we can grow as effective organizations, inclusive communities, and as a democratic society. Simply put, we can improve quality of our lives and the lives of others through dignity.

An inspirational speaker and workshop facilitator, John is currently an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University. He also serves as the Coordinator of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Howard County Public School System.

Theory to Practice Sessions

Friday the 20th

Equity Coaching (Two Part Session)

Tackling bias and oppression requires solutions beyond the technical approaches of implementing policies and “best” practices. This work requires what Ronald Heifetz calls adaptive leadership. That means creating an environment that is capable of holding staff members in a place where they are uncomfortable enough to change, but not so uncomfortable as to disengage or revolt. Leaders must have a clear vision. They must also have an ability to engage others in collaborative work. And that work has to be driven by a moral imperative to change adult behaviors in order to provide better support to the most vulnerable students or clients.

The core tenets of our work are oppression analysislearning theory, and coaching for changeCreating equity requires an understanding of the creation of systemic oppression, as well as the way well-intentioned individuals perpetuate inequities through cultural schema and implicit bias. In order to interrupt biases and inequities, you must understand how human brains learn and grow over time. In this work, the brains of both children and adults must be understood and supported. To provide that support, we believe in using a coaching approach as our primary intervention for provoking change and sustaining new practices over time.

Geneva Jones & Associates: Are We Doing Enough to Prevent Systemic Racism in Special Education?

Participants will explore the sensitive topic of racism in special education. Schools across the country have departmentalized, often due to budget or legislative decisions, causing an increase in the identification of students as special education so that the student could receive additional education support or assistance thus beginning the national crisis of over-identification of students of color. Our best intentions have gone awry leaving the question for educators: are we doing enough to prevent systemic racism in special education.

Restorative Justice in Schools

Restorative justice in schools engages trauma-informed principles and practices that support administrators, teachers, students, and families in building relationships, strengthening community, and repairing relationships and community after harm or wrong-doing. Resolve works with schools and districts across southern Oregon to engage in system-wide change through whole school implementation of restorative justice. Participants will walk away with an understanding of what restorative justice is, how the principles and practices are applied in schools, and what the implementation process looks like for whole-school systems change.

Creating a Gender Inclusive Elementary Classroom

Transgender and gender nonconforming youth often feel unsafe in the school setting where they experience rejection, exclusion, and struggle to find a sense of belonging. This workshop provides tools and strategies to create a safe, nurturing, gender inclusive environment for all students in the elementary school classroom. All children experience gender. Understanding this concept, as well as how gender roles and identity impact students is important for every educator. The creation of welcoming, gender inclusive spaces beginning at an early age will help minimize peer rejection and strengthen gender nonconforming students’ sense of belonging.

From Access to Equity: Supporting Diverse Students’ Success in Advanced High School Classes (Three Part Session)

Three southern Oregon teachers will share strategies for making advanced high school classes more accessible and more equitable for students from a range of racial, cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic backgrounds. Learn practical approaches to implement—at the school/district level, in a department or PLC, and in the classroom—that support access and equity in AP, dual-credit, and other advanced classes.

Collective Wellbeing: Promoting resilience and equity in organizations Two Part Session

Trauma is the most pervasive public health issue of our time. We are educators but we are also first responders. In order to build safe, stable relationships with our students, we must ensure we are emotionally resilient. In this session we will discuss the impact of secondary trauma and a framework for resilient communities. Through peer support and active listening we can disrupt burnout and bias in our schools.

Tribal History/Shared History SB13 (Two Part Session)

This is an introduction about the history of SB13. We will discuss the 9 Tribes of Oregon, the importance of cultural understanding of First Nations’ perspective and issues as non-Native educators. You will learn where to get resources and ODE’s guidelines of implementing the curriculum and who can facilitate and train in your school district. We will play a Native game called stick game so please bring a small gift to enter into the game.

With Decades of National and State Data Demonstrating Disproportionality it is Not a Question of ‘If’ but “Why”.

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Program (OSEP) collects data on a local, state, and national level. Their findings have demonstrated disproportionality for decades. Participants will examine the multiple causes of disproportionality and the multiple systems that are causing the continued disparities.

Continued from Prior Session:

  • Equity Coaching
  • From Access to Equity: Supporting Diverse Students’ Success in Advanced High School Classes

Equity in Grading Practices

This session will discuss the research and outcomes of various reviews of grading practices and how districts can review the impacts of grading and student performance through an equity lens. The session will build on the work of Dr. Thomas R. Guskey, Ken O’Connor, and Dr. Douglas Reeves. Examples will include regional approaches as well as the work of Lyons Township High School District 204 LaGrange, IL. We will be starting this journey together and continuing it with your districts in ongoing work to enhance your grading systems for more equitable outcomes for students. This session will reflect the purpose and knowledge SOESD’s School Improvement team has gained through working with Learning Forward.

Special Education Assessment Practices that Over-Identify, Under-Identify and Misidentify Students of Color.

While there are multiple causes of disproportionality of students of color in special education the IDEA eligibility criteria, standardized assessments, and non-standardized assessment practices facilitate bias in evaluating students of color. Attendees will explore how our assessment practices lead to disproportionality in evaluating students of color.

Continued from Prior Session:

  • Collective Wellbeing: Promoting resilience and equity in organizations
  • Tribal History/Shared History SB13
  • From Access to Equity: Supporting Diverse Students’ Success in Advanced High School Classes

The Human Stress Response System and Resilience: Tools to Support Students Facing Adversity (Two Part Session)

In this session you will learn about the humans stress response system, what areas of the brain are impacted by stress, and how we can help each other regulate so we can think well to overcome adversities.

We will be looking at the neurological processes of the stress response system as well as the state and stages of stress arousal in humans: calm, alert, alarmed, fear, and terror. Understanding how humans react to stressors gives us important insight into how to help us all become regulated and to be our best selves. Understanding how we adapt neurologically to stressors also provides for targeted interventions. We will explore the idea that we feel and then we think. This idea is very important when we consider what a person experiences throughout the day. In terms of equity, diversity, and inclusion, knowing that when a person does not feel safe, their body is living in a state of stress and that there are inherent dangers to the body when it is under stress for too long. This course will look at specific and practical tools that help create a safe environment that increases learning. This course will focus on the classroom, but all of the tools will be useful in any work or learning environment.

Equity & Inclusion in Action: Restorative Justice Community Building Circles (Two Part Session)

Community building circles are a foundational practice in restorative justice in education. This session will provide participants with the knowledge, skills, and tools to begin implementing restorative justice community building circles with their students, enhancing a classroom community that is more relational, equitable, and inclusive.

Southern Oregon White Antiracist Educators: Building a White Affinity Group

Southern Oregon Antiracist White Educators began in 2020 as an affinity group for White educators. This group exists as a space for White folks to examine and think critically about White culture and privilege. Please join us to learn more about this space, its application to your work, and the future of the group.

The Boilerplate Sentence: Are We Actually Considering Exclusionary Factors in Special Education?

Every report for special education includes a boilerplate sentence on exclusionary factors but the data suggest that we are not actually considering or exploring the exclusionary factors. Participants will examine the exclusionary factors and their obligation beyond the boilerplate languages.

Equity Coaching (Two Part Session)

Tackling bias and oppression requires solutions beyond the technical approaches of implementing policies and “best” practices. This work requires what Ronald Heifetz calls adaptive leadership. That means creating an environment that is capable of holding staff members in a place where they are uncomfortable enough to change, but not so uncomfortable as to disengage or revolt. Leaders must have a clear vision. They must also have an ability to engage others in collaborative work. And that work has to be driven by a moral imperative to change adult behaviors in order to provide better support to the most vulnerable students or clients.

The core tenets of our work are oppression analysislearning theory, and coaching for changeCreating equity requires an understanding of the creation of systemic oppression, as well as the way well-intentioned individuals perpetuate inequities through cultural schema and implicit bias. In order to interrupt biases and inequities, you must understand how human brains learn and grow over time. In this work, the brains of both children and adults must be understood and supported. To provide that support, we believe in using a coaching approach as our primary intervention for provoking change and sustaining new practices over time.

Equity Audits for District and School Curriculum

Grounded in the work of Glenn Singleton we will begin the conversation of what is the purpose and effect of a curriculum on students and staff in a district. What lies beneath the surface of the educational frameworks that we use as the basis of our educational systems? As Oregon expands its understanding of Equity we will need to examine our curriculum for vestiges of racism and bias to ensure a more equitable experience for all our students. We will look at ways bias is continued through systematic inclusion in our curricular and instructional frameworks. This is meant to begin a long range project within districts that SOESD will support in reformatting basic constructs within schools to promote equal access and remove barriers to the success of our historically marginalized populations.

Practical Implications of Addressing the Topics Discussed/How-to/Lessons Learned

During this final session, Geneva Jones is going to “Get Back to Basics.” She will address what does the law say and what is best for students? There is no instant cure or singular answer. Ms. Jones will discuss how individuals, departments, and school systems can take affirmative steps to eradicate systemic racism in special education.

Continued from Prior Session:

  • The Human Stress Response System and Resilience: Tools to Support Students Facing Adversity
  • Equity & Inclusion in Action: Restorative Justice Community Building Circles
  • Equity Coaching

Theory to Practice Sessions Speaker Bios

The Equity Collaborative

The Equity Collaborative LogoThe Equity Collaborative specializes in equity coaching. We work with schools, school districts, and youth development nonprofits. Our goal is to help organizations develop their own capacity to create educational equity and social justice by addressing bias and oppression.

We are a national consulting firm focused on helping schools, school systems, and youth development organizations create educational equity. We believe that lasting reform begins with a “whole system” view. Real change integrates technical and relational approaches, and it focuses on building new capacities in the people and teams that comprise the system. We work in partnership with each client to prioritize the elements of need. Our facilitation and coaching approach provides a powerful accelerator for the development of new, more equitable practices.

Jamie Almanzán

Jamie Almanzán is a facilitator, teacher, curriculum developer and leadership coach currently working as an Equity Leadership Coach and the owner of The Equity Collaborative, LLC in Oakland, California. Prior to leading The Equity Collaborative, he held the position of Senior Coach at the National Equity Project, in Oakland and he has held the position of Director of Learning and Teaching at Pacific Educational Group in San Francisco. He has focused his career on working with school and district teams to create more equitable learning environments incorporating observation, collaboration, and changing instruction to best meet the needs of underserved populations, particularly African American and Latino students. Jamie is involved in systemic school reform initiatives and is responsible for the development and facilitation of leadership seminars for state, regional and district teams across the country. Jamie leads professional learning and coaches in a wide range of schools and districts in California and nationally.

M.A., Education with specialization in English language development instruction, Stanford University
B.A., Religious Studies and English Literature, California State University Chico

Jessica Gammell

Jessica Gammell is a facilitator, coach, and teacher who catalyzes adult learning by attending to both the technical and relational aspects of change. In her work as a high school math teacher and assistant principal in the San Francisco Bay Area, she experienced firsthand how adult professional communities, when committed to learning together and focused on disrupting systemic oppression, could significantly impact student achievement. Her journey to spread that experience to others led her to the National Equity Project and Partners in School Innovation, where she coached school and district leaders and facilitated networks focused on school transformation through equity-centered continuous improvement. She is currently enrolled in an ICF certification program to deepen her coaching skills.

B.A., Mathematics, University of California at Santa Barbara


  • Equity Coaching

Geneva Jones & Associates  Geneva Jones Pic

Presented in partnership with the High Desert ESD

Geneva is the founder of Geneva Jones & Associates, a law firm dedicated to education. Geneva has long been recognized as one of the foremost school law attorneys in the country. She is a nationally recognized school law expert, news commentator, trainer, and public speaker on special education, discipline, disability law, and education for the socio-economically disadvantaged. Geneva explains the law in simple, common-sense language, illustrated with frequent examples from real-world experiences, and focuses on the legal framework’s everyday implications. Geneva’s expertise is unparalleled. She uses straight talk, humor, practical experience, and women’s intuition. Geneva’s speaking engagements provide a potent dose of realism and inspiration. She has shared her insights with thousands of people throughout the United States. Described by audiences as “inspirational” and “practical,” Geneva’s passion comes through in every word of her high-energy speaking engagements and training. Her style is fun, fast-paced, and, most importantly, actionable.

Honored as a 2021 Super Lawyer, and multi-year and multi-state Super Lawyer Rising Star, Geneva is also a Rosenthal Bar Recipient for her dedication to public interest law. Geneva is the creator of Geneva’s Guidance a professional publication providing vital information on diverse school law topics.

Geneva’s passion derives from being the parent of a student with a disability. Rare for an attorney, Geneva attended one of the only law schools in the country with a special education law program. Geneva received a full fellowship in the law school’s Center for Children’s Rights. Her entire legal career has been spent representing public education agencies in their magnanimous calling to provide students an education. Geneva’s child-centered legal philosophy is twofold, and she is often quoted as saying, “Let’s get back to basics. What does the law say, and what is best for students?”


  • “Are We Doing Enough to Prevent Systemic Racism in Special Education?”
  • With Decades of National and State Data Demonstrating Disproportionality it is Not a Question of ‘If’ but “Why”.
  • Special Education Assessment Practices that Over-Identify, Under-Identify and Misidentify Students of Color.
  • The Boilerplate Sentence: Are We Actually Considering Exclusionary Factors in Special Education?
  • Practical Implications of Addressing the Topics Discussed/How-to/Lessons Learned

Dr. Todd Bloomquist

Dr. Todd Bloomquist has been working in public education since 1991. He has worked in both elementary and secondary schools as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal. He is currently the Director of School Improvement for the Grants Pass School District, overseeing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, homeless supports, mental health services, trauma-informed practices, and district technology. Todd received his doctorate in education from George Fox University and enjoys teaching as an adjunct faculty member at Southern Oregon University. He is a certified master Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES) trainer and a certified Neurosequential Model in Education (NME) trainer.


  • The Human Stress Response System and Resilience: Tools to Support Students Facing Adversity

Aaron Cooke

Aaron Cooke is the Program Manager for Data Analytics with Southern Oregon ESD. His work at the ESD includes organizing and delivering professional development, data driven decision making, online instruction, equity training and regular attendance work. Prior to this he held administrative positions at Oregon Connections Academy, the Oregon Virtual Academy, Portland Public Schools, Brookings-Harbor, and Linn Benton Lincoln ESD. He taught Social Studies, Math, Marketing and Computer Applications for Lebanon and Three Rivers Schools.  Aaron holds Associate degrees in Criminal Justice/Social Work and Liberal Arts. He also earned Bachelor’s degrees in History and Education as well as his Master’s in Education from Western Oregon University. His administrative credentials are from Portland State University. Aaron currently serves as the Vice-President of the Oregon Digital Leaders Coalition and presents across the country on topics of virtual education. He is an avid hiker & camper who can often be found in the wild places of the Siskiyou and Coastal Ranges of Oregon with his wife Carrie.


  • Equity in Grading Practices
  • Equity Audits for District and School Curriculum

Presenter Emily Santiago MS, LEP, NCSP

Emily Santiago is an Educational Psychologist and founder of the Center for Cognitive Diversity (CogDiv). She received a psychology and education degree from Brandeis University (BS ’99) and CSUEB (MS 2010). Since then she has worked in rural, urban and private schools in the US and abroad as a school psychologist, teacher, wraparound facilitator and university instructor for over 20 years. Her experience effectively transforming school climate and responding to the needs of families in crisis set the groundwork for the national Trauma Informed Specialist certification program which is offered through CogDiv. ​ After being impacted by traumatic stress in her career and witnessing high levels of turnover in her schools, Emily developed the strength based Dynamic Empowerment assessment and Trauma Informed Reflective Supervision models to address burnout and bias. ​Emily has been a speaker at national and international conferences including SXSWedu focusing on the topics of burnout, mental health, mindfulness and trauma.

Presenter Meryl Roberts M.Ed

Meryl Roberts M.Ed is a Autism Specialist and Trauma Informed Education Specialist (certified from Center for Cognitive Diversity). She has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University Of Denver. She earned her Master’s in Special Education and Autism Specialization at Southern Oregon University. She taught in a variety of special education settings as an aide and a teacher, then went on to be a Behavior Intervention Specialist. She is a former yoga teacher and is trained by Mindful Schools . She currently works with special education assessment and eligibility for a school district in Southern Oregon and facilitates reflective supervision sessions for the Center of Cognitive Diversity. She is passionate about supporting educators and advocating for youth.


  • Collective Wellbeing: Promoting Resilience and Equity in Organizations

Presenter Camille Schuler Teacher, Advanced Placement and dual-credit ELA

Camille Schuler teaches Advanced Southern Credit and AP English at South Medford High School. She provides professional development for dual-credit and AP teachers in Southern Oregon and Northern California. She is a regular workshop leader for the Oregon Writing Project, and has presented at the state level and at the NCTE 2020 National Conference on building academic equity and cultural empathy in the classroom. Her doctoral research focused on strengthening the core identity of Spanish Heritage speakers through academic language and literacy.


Presenter Kelly Fogg-Johnson

Kelly Fogg-Johnson has taught ELA for the past 17 years, seven of which were at Phoenix High School. She has created and taught a wide variety of classes, including Advanced Southern Credit, AP Literature and Composition, and AP Language and Composition.

Teresa Connelly

Teresa Connelly has taught ELA, including Advanced Southern Credit English, at Grants Pass High School for more than 30 years. She is passionate about teaching and constantly looking for ways to affect her students in positive ways.


  • From Access to Equity: Supporting Diverse Students’ Success in Advanced High School Classes

Presenter Teresa Cisneros

Indian Education Facilitator Southern Oregon ESD
I am Estok’gna Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of Texas. I identify as Chicana Indigena and use She/her/ella pronouns. I am beginning my 3rd year as the Indian Education Facilitator. I come from a family of social justice activists who instilled the importance of my civic duty. I also have been given the responsibility to be a voice for our people and honor that role and do my best to walk in gratitude to my ancestors and teachers. Currently it is showing up through my job duties as the Indian ed facilitator and I am committed to building cultural capacity of our teachers and administrators to support our goals in creating an education system that empowers ALL our students. I am also dedicated to supporting our First Nations students and families in schools by encouraging Native American Student Unions and growing our Consortium Parent Committee. It is vital we create an education community that normalizes the history of the 9 Tribes of Oregon, and its honest history and begin healing and becoming whole together.


  • Tribal History/Shared History SB13

Presenter Raphi Miller

Director of Restorative Justice Resolve Center for Dispute Resolution and Restorative Justice
Raphi has worked with Resolve since 2011, joining the staff as a director in 2013. In her work as a lead restorative justice practitioner, trainer, coach and consultant, Raphi supports the development and delivery of restorative justice programs and services including system-wide implementation of restorative justice in schools, justice facilities, and throughout the wider community. Raphi earned her Master’s in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and completed her undergraduate degree in Human Communication and Conflict Resolution at Southern Oregon University.

KeriAnn Rumrey

KeriAnn Rumrey is a Restorative Justice Specialist at Resolve Center for Dispute Resolution and Restorative Justice. KeriAnn specializes in consultation, training, and process coaching in several local schools as well as facilitates restorative justice dialogues between juvenile offenders and their victim/survivor(s). She graduated from Corban University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Performance and Psychology. She holds a deep belief in the interconnectedness and inherent dignity and worth of all people. KeriAnn is passionate about promoting deliberate, equitable spaces that invite the presence, voice, and lived experiences of all.


  • Equity & Inclusion in Action: Restorative Justice Community Building Circles
  • Restorative Justice in Schools

Presenter Liz Fletcher

Counselor at Eagle Point High School
Liz Fletcher is a counselor at Eagle Point High School, in Eagle Point, OR. Liz joined SOWARE as a co-facilitator to think more critically about White racial identity, listen and learn from others, and commit to action through accountability.


Sarai Lacy

Sarai Lacy is a high school humanities and art teacher at Crater Renaissance Academy in Central Point, OR. She was a part of the SOWARE planning team and helped to develop and facilitate the agenda for the meetings. The constructivist approach is an integral part of her philosophy when teaching and learning about race both with SOWARE, in the classroom, and beyond. Resilience as an ally is built through continual exposure to sitting with discomfort, noticing how we react in certain situations, a persistent dedication to never being done with the work, and pushing beyond your comfort zone to challenge all forms of oppression.


  • Southern Oregon White Antiracist Educators: Building a White Affinity Group

Presenter Debra Koutnik, MD

Mental Health and Wellness Specialist Southern Oregon Education Service District
Debra Koutnik, MD is a Board Certified Pediatrician with additional training at Cornell University Department of Neurobiology and Behavior and has been providing psychological and medical gender-affirming health care to gender diverse children and adolescents in southern Oregon and northern California for the past 13 years.



Sage Trail

Sage Trail is a transgender man working as a tattoo artist in Portland, OR. He is a fierce activist and advocate for the queer community, serves as a youth mentor to LGBTQIA+ youth, and educates middle schoolers around issues of inclusion and gender identity. Sage strives to foster an open and safe environment when discussing these topics with educators and students, and he is committed to promoting inclusion and acceptance both in and out of the classroom.


  • Creating a Gender Inclusive Elementary Classroom
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