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Presenting at the EDTech Summit 2020

By Curriculum and Assessment, News, School Improvement Services, UncategorizedNo Comments

Calling All Presenters


The Southern Oregon EDTech Summit is looking for your ideas to present at our virtual Summit ”2020 Vision” August 11th. The Southern Oregon EDTech Summit is a long-standing educator to educator conference designed to show how you have integrated technology into your practice, and how it has supported students, streamlined your work, or helped managed your school. This year with the many changes we face we, your fellow educators, need to share our collective knowledge in support of one another.

Whether you’ve just learned it through “Distance Learning for All” or you’ve been honing your craft for a while, share what you’ve learned and how it has supported students, families, your school, or district. Found a better way to organize your work digitally, tips & tricks for engaging kids, your favorite tool and how to use it we want to hear about it. We are accepting proposals to present now, apply today. Be sure to tell us about what is working with your kids.

This year we are partnering with the Oregon STEM Hubs to provide a great experience. Come and join us and present at the Southern Oregon EDTech Summit 2020!


August 11th 8:00-4:00



Contact Information

Nancy Hayes at 541-776-8564 or

Aaron Cooke at 541-261-0107


Southern Oregon Equity Summit 2020

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

Kick off the 2020-2021 school year by joining us for the Southern Oregon Equity Summit 2020. The event includes high-profile speakers and breakout sessions that provide strategies for understanding equity through a trauma-informed practices approach.

To accommodate expected social distancing mandates and help keep our attendees safe and healthy, we’ll be working with multiple partners to offer meeting rooms throughout Southern Oregon. Each meeting room will provide access to speakers and enable people to attend as a group and thus engage in interactive discussions and exercises the presenters put forth.

With consideration to current social movements in the U.S., as well as the recent advent of widespread distance learning, equity work is needed now more than ever. Our students deserve our highest-level of support.

Please join us by registering and if your district, of organization would like to offer a site, or host one of our speakers at your site please contact Aaron Cooke, or Nancy Hayes.


August 19th-21st


Multiple site based venues and virtual.


Free for SOESD Districts

Contact Information

Nancy Hayes at 541-776-8564

Aaron Cooke at 541-261-0107




Equity Themes

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 promotes the well-being 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.

Dr. Donna Beagle: 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 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.

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.

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, Included 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.

The Resolve Center for Dispute Resolution and Restorative Justice transforms the way the people and communities of southern Oregon manage and resolve conflict and repair from harm.

Resolve has been serving southern Oregon communities since 1990, helping people manage conflict through mediation, restoring harmed relationships and communities through dialogue and mentorship, and advancing peace through education and training.

Southern Oregon Ed Tech Summit “2020 Vision”

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

EDTech “2020 Vision”

We are happy to announce that we are going fully virtual this year! Southern Oregon is bringing back our premier “Teacher to Teacher” instructional technology integration training event: the annual Southern Oregon EDTech Summit, now in its 9th year, on August 11th 2020. This event will feature teachers sharing their knowledge and skills for integrating technical tools for teaching and learning. Come join us for a variety of engaging topics presented by your fellow educators, just in time to support your fall classes.

This year we will be focusing on skills to support you in teaching distance- and hybrid-education models. Fellow educators from across Southern Oregon and around the state will provide practical ways to engage students in multiple methods for all age groups. They also will support administrators in visioning approaches to hybrid and distance learning.

We will kick off our 2020 event with Southern Oregon’s own Tisha Richmond offering an exciting and “Magical” keynote, which will be followed by four rounds of breakout sessions scheduled throughout the day.


August 11th 8:00-4:00




Free for SOESD districts

Contact Information

Nancy Hayes at 541-776-8564 or  Aaron Cooke at 541-261-0107



Apply to be a Presenter


Author and Tech Integration Specialist for Medford School District
SESSIONS: Make Learning Magical & Game On

Tisha is an innovative district Tech Integration Specialist, speaker, and author from Southern Oregon. She has taught Family and Consumer Science for 25 years and has served in various leadership roles in her school and district as well as on Oregon regional and state edtech cadres. Tisha is the author of the book Make Learning MAGICAL, which unlocks seven keys to transform teaching and create unforgettable experiences in the classroom. She speaks nationally on a variety of topics related to teaching and learning in all content and grade levels, Family and Consumer Science being her specialty. ​In 2018, she was a recipient of Medford School District’s Golden Pear Educator Secondary Teacher Award and a first place winner of the Henry Ford Innovation Nation Educator Award. Tisha is passionate about infusing joy, passion, play, and gamified strategies to immerse and empower our 21st century learners and make learning a MAGICAL experience for all! She connects globally with educators around the world continuously reaching beyond her comfort zone to grow and help transform the educational landscape so all learners can thrive.


Educators know the importance of maintaining solid relationships with students. That is where learning starts. But how do you maintain, and even foster those relationships from a distance? Morgan will share methods and ideas on how to do just that.

Speaker: Morgan Cottle

Morgan has over 30 years experience with public schools in Southern Oregon. He spent 28 years at the elementary classroom followed by district and region leadership in technology integration. Currently he is the principal of South Valley Academy, a new grades 3-12 public school in Rogue River. SVA is a blended model, brick-and-mortar and off campus school focusing on personalized learning. Students are on flexible schedules and proficiency based.

Emerging research has shown that esports (competitive video game play) is a smart, engaging activity that stimulates brain development and awakens career curiosity. This session will demonstrate current uses of esports-infused curricula at various middle and high schools across the US, with particular focus on a disruptive format or embedding CTE and state-approved elements into pathways. Session attendees will first be invited to participate in an activity that will level-set their current skills and knowledge of esports. From there, facilitators will outline the history and theory behind the coursework. Sample lesson plans from across the 9th – 12th grades will demonstrate the integration of CTE/STEAM content throughout the academic year, with project-based learning, learning artifacts and student-managed events clearly showcasing students’ mastery of both ELA content and CTE/STEAM skills as they are manifested in alignment within the esports ecosystem. Integration with middle school content and early career association will also be covered, with details of programs from Florida and California schools. Lastly, the linkage to post-secondary education and the world of work will be examined with a critical eye as to how ELA + CTE/STEAM + esports can open the road to scholarships, collegiate team competition and degree programs offered at major universities.

Presenter: Darby Lasley

Darby works with STAR Autism Support to provide workshops and hands-on consultation to classrooms throughout the country and in the state of Oregon with classrooms who have been trained to serve as model training sites (Oregon Regional Program Autism Training Sites/OrPATS). Darby brings classroom experience as an elementary life skills teacher who helped create the first elementary ORPATS training site in Lane County. For four years Darby served as a Program Supervisor overseeing the elementary life skills program and the regional autism program for Lane Education Service District. Darby also served as a senior instructor for Portland State University providing workshops and hands-on training to classrooms around the state of Oregon. Darby holds a master’s degree in special education, a bachelor’s degree in early childhood development, and a current Oregon Administrator License and Oregon Teaching License with endorsements in autism, special education, and early childhood education.

Oregon Connections 1.0 will introduce participants to the Oregon Connections Platform by providing an overview of the website, supporting participants in establishing a profile, walking through the process of requesting a presentation and how to sign up for various kinds of industry sessions. Tools to support teachers in integrating the role of industry partners in classroom instruction will also be shared. Participants will work directly on the Oregon Connections site and will be supported in planning a calendar for use during the coming school year. Representatives from Nepris, developer of Oregon Connections, will also be available to provide support.

Instructor: Lacey Ferguson

Lacey Ferguson is a past elementary and science teacher working now as an independent consultant. She has been the program coordinator for Oregon Connections implementation for the Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub for 5 years. Oregon Connections connects education with business/industry partners through virtual field trips and presentations as well as connecting students to career experts as mentors.

Project Zero’s Thinking Routines promote students’ thinking by taking what students have read or learned about and have them synthesize their thoughts to make their thinking visible. Haven’t heard of them yet? Come to this session and learn all about them. Discover when and how using technology tools, such as GSuite, Padlet, Pear Deck and Flipgrid can amplify the use of these routines. Empower your learners to new levels as you learn to combine thinking routines and technology tools.

Instructor: Debbie Tannenbaum

Debbie Tannenbaum is an Elementary School Technology Specialist in Fairfax County, VA. An educator with over twenty years of experience, Mrs. Tannenbaum is completing her second year in this role, where she supports both staff and students to integrate technology tools into instruction through both co teaching sessions and weekly technology classes. Mrs. Tannenbaum is also an avid blogger and shares her thoughts and reflections on her website: Techy Notes. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram at @TannenbaumTech.

Twig Science has led the way as a NGSS based science curriculum. We were the only company to have zero edits or corrections during the adoption process. We have based our entire program on the CA instructional Segments of NGSS. Covid-19 has changed the way teachers interact with curriculum, possibly forever. Twig Science immediately saw a new need and spent this time harrowing to convert every asset of our program to be taught virtually. We were committed to creating a solution that would still completely immerse students in phenomena based 3-dimensional learning. This STEAM workshop will take teachers through a real Twig Lesson taught by our virtual “Twig Coaches”, who are real elementary teachers that “teach” the teacher portions on the student interactive platform. Participants will work towards the Anchor Phenomenon of: How can we reduce the damage caused by earthquakes?, in our 4th grade Earthquake Engineering module. Participants will step into the role of an Earthquake Engineer and experience a real hands on lesson. They will be tasked with following one “Criteria” to build the tallest structure they can with only using tape and newspaper. The constraints will be that they will only have 10 minutes, the structure cannot lean against anything and that the structure must stand for at least 3 minutes after the building time is over. Participants will work in virtual break out groups to engineer their structures. Concluding that real engineers have criteria and constraints as well. Participants will then see students completing this challenge. Participants will see a Twig Science Lab (Virtual Hands-On). TSDL also promotes Universal Access strategies for all learners; including EL, SPED, Challenge, and Cultural Connections. I am also the Equity Ambassador for Twig Science and will showcase how we support diverse learners. The takeaway is that participants will leave knowing that NGSS can still be done effectively through distance learning. Administrators will also appreciate that there is no teacher prep with TSDL. We will give away 5 subscriptions Twig Science Reporter just for attending the workshop.

Instructor: Contessa Akintunji

Contessa Akintunji worked closely with the state of California in it’s adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards as an NGSS Early Implementer. Her previous roles include leading teams as a K-8 Science Instructional Coach of underserved communities. She received her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of the Pacific. She is currently a NGSS STEM Consultant and Trainer for Twig Education.

As our world is ever-changing, we need to be prepared for anything these days! This fall we will walk into a very different world of teaching with some of us in the classroom, some fully distance learning, and some of us somewhere in between. In this session we will dive into the world of Seesaw: The Learning Journal to find out how this versatile and robust app can help us with any type of teaching and learning that we face this year. Participants will discover ways to connect with families and students at home in an easy and straight forward manner. Participants will also learn how to utilize the creation and communication tools to keep learning going whether their students are distance learning or in the classroom with them. If we have time, we will also explore some app smashing with apps like Apple Clips, iMovie, Book Creator and more! Participants will walk away with a simple and easy workflow app to use in the classroom, as well as, a valuable way to share student work with parents at home.

Instructor: Heather Marrs

Heather Marrs is an Instructional Coach at Eagle Rock Elementary in Eagle Point, Oregon. She is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Seesaw Ambassador, Book Creator Ambassador and FlipGrid Ambassador. Heather is passionate about integrating technology in education to amplify student voice, increase communication, and engage students. She has been a presenter at ISTE 2019, NCCE 2016-19, the Southern Oregon EdTech Summit 2015-18, and IntegratED 2017-18. Heather is the founder and main moderator of the Oregon EdChat which can be found at #OrEdChat on Twitter. She enjoys being a connected educator and providing professional development both locally and regionally. Outside of teaching, she is a wife and mother of two amazing kiddos.

Not sure where or how to get started with graphic design? Then this is the session for you. Learn how to use Canva to break down those barriers that are keeping you and your students from showcasing your creative side with this super easy to use online platform. In this session you will learn the basics of using Canva, some useful tips and tricks, how you can use it to level up your website, email, presentations and more. As well as how it can be used in the classroom with students. Depending on the needs of the session attendees we will choose a “make and take” to kick off our creative bravery. Some options for our “make and take” could be an email signature, Google header for forms or websites, buttons for Canvas, and more. With over 60k in templates available the possibilities are limitless. Now let’s go Create!

Instructor: Vickery LeVonda

LeVonda teaches 7th and 8th grade students digital fabrication, robotics, and computer skills at McLoughlin Middle School in Medford, Oregon. She has been a classroom teacher for 6 years and brings over 20 years of real-world experience to the classroom. She’s a returning member of the Educational Service Districts EdTech Integration team that sponsors the EdTech Summit each year in Southern Oregon. She received a grant to begin a SkillsUSA chapter at McLoughlin during the 2017-18 school year. She has taken students to the SkillsUSA state conference to compete in team engineering, cake decorating, pin design, t-shirt design, extemporaneous speech, urban search and rescue robotics and mobile robotics during the past 3 years where students have earned 16 gold, 11 silver, and 10 bronze medals. As well as taking her gold medalists to national competition in Kentucky over the past two years where in 2018-19 they earned 3rd and 10th place at competition. She’s a lifelong learner and passionate about graphic design, digital fabrication, technology and loves playing video games. She takes on her Geek Girl attitude with pride and hopes to get other girls passionate about computer science and other male predominant roles in the CTE industry.

This session introduces the topic of student online safety and privacy and offers best practices for managing the risks to students. We will explore specific tools and methods for assessing the privacy and security of products commonly used in the classroom. Participants will explore Common Sense Education lessons and resources on this topic.

Instructor: Michelle Green

On and off the job, Michelle is a Champion of Digital Learners and Leaders. She serves as the technology supervisor for Eagle Point School District. Being a collaboration junkie, Michelle seeks out PLNs to expand her knowledge. This results in her being a leader for the OR EdTech Cadre, a Google Certified Innovator, a Common Sense Ambassador, and a Certified Educational Technology Leader through CoSN. Michelle’s career started in the classroom and progressed to serving at the state level, but she’s happy to be in the valley and supporting learners close to home.


Morgan will share how South Valley Academy in Rogue River has created a blended model of teaching and learning. SVA is a blended model of brick and mortar, and off campus learning. A flexible schedule combined with proficiency based approach allows for students to have a true personalized approach to learning. Morgan will work with educators to help them consider this approach for their own classroom or school.

Speaker: Morgan Cottle

Morgan has over 30 years experience with public schools in Southern Oregon. He spent 28 years at the elementary classroom followed by district and region leadership in technology integration. Currently he is the principal of South Valley Academy, a new grades 3-12 public school in Rogue River. SVA is a blended model, brick-and-mortar and off campus school focusing on personalized learning. Students are on flexible schedules and proficiency based.

The unprecedented school closures, due to COVID-19, have highlighted the challenges educators face to provide effective educational services for students with significant learning needs. These students are most vulnerable to regression and susceptible to longer periods of recoupment when school is not in session. Availability of remote learning opportunities for our most at-risk students can reduce the likelihood of significant regression. Synchronous remote learning, or real-time teaching from a trained educator, meets key provisions in federal legislation (IDEA). Further, synchronous remote learning is a critical component for students to progress beyond maintenance of previously learned skills, toward the advancement of new skills. This presentation provides a comprehensive look at synchronous remote learning strategies found to be successful for students with significant learning needs, including students who struggle with communication, attending, and behavioral expectations. Participants will learn about strategies and tools to use during virtual instruction in order to teach language, academics, play, and social skills for pre-K through post-secondary students. Examples of assessments, lesson plans, and progress monitoring systems for ensuring FAPE will be shared. We also focus on ways to support families in continuing their children’s education from home and explore free visual supports and resources to help navigate home routines.School/Student relationships during COVID-19

Presenter: Laylah Bulman

Laylah Bulman is a senior program officer for the Samueli Foundation, focusing on the North America Scholastic Esports Federation. She launched the Florida Scholastic Esports League, an affiliate of NASEF, to expand opportunities in STEM careers within esports. She began her career in Mexico City with the US Embassy, working on science and environmental policy and then moved into K12, working as a teacher and administrator, focusing on the effective implementation and sustainability of creative education technologies for classroom innovation. She was later the the enterprise director for LEGO Education and a LEAD STEM Fellow, responsible for LEGO Education’s STEM + CS efforts across Florida and the global STEM Learning Ecosystems. She speaks nationally on computer science, innovation, and early childhood learning. She is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow in Public and International Affairs and a graduate of The University of Virginia.

Presenter 2: Gerald Solomon

Gerald Solomon serves as the executive director for the Samueli Foundation, overseeing Samueli Philanthropy. A particular focus of the Samueli Foundation’s work in the education arena is to stimulate interest in preK-12 students in STEM coursework, research, and careers through integration of technology and innovative teaching methods. Today, much of this work is being carried out through deep involvement locally with the Orange County STEM Initiative and nationally and globally through the STEM Funders Network and the STEM Ecosystems Initiative. Mr. Solomon is the founder of the North America Scholastic Esports Federation, which leverages massive interest in esports to teach youth life and career skills.

Teaching computer science to differing ability levels, ages, and interest is challenging for any teacher, especially those with little to no background in the subject. During our presentation, we’ll talk about how educators can engage all types of students in learning real, text-based code by using game-based learning that encourages students to problem solve, collaborate, and get creative. We will go over how to track student progress, deliver lessons, and how best to prepare for an in-person or virtual classroom environment.

Instructor: Liz Coluni

CodeCombat and Ozaria are adventure-based games that engage all types of students in learning text-based code. With scaffolded levels, in-game support, and capstone projects, students learn and create in Python and JavaScript. We provide teachers with a dashboard for tracking student progress as well as fully developed curriculum to ensure all teachers, with or without a background in computer science, are confident in teaching the subject.

This workshop will model an inquiry-based STEM project that can be the basis of several expansion topics. The base activity, designing and making a stick loom and weaving natural materials, employs technology, engineering, and math skills in an engaging way that is accessible to learners of all backgrounds. Participants will select natural materials and will investigate them, seeking patterns, which will launch a brief investigation into variation and patterns in plants. They will then sort and categorize their materials, and will design and construct a stick loom. Using their materials, participants will weave a natural mat. Each mat will be unique, according to the materials selected and the individual maker’s design. Material selection affords an opportunity for learners to begin intentionally thinking like a scientist, as they collect and categorize diverse natural materials, then sort and group them according to pattern. This part of the investigation can be expanded to go deeper into a variety of life science topics, depending on the age of the learners. The loom construction and the weaving design activity are an opportunity to discuss the engineering design cycle, and to iterate on and improve variations on the model. Learners may choose to make their loom according to a traditional loom design, or may iterate and devise a loom design suited to their needs. The weaving process itself is an opportunity for expansion into many variant math topics, including coding. The history of weaving from ancient origins to its role in the development of modern computers offers an opportunity to discuss the purpose of technology and its role in improving our lives, whether we are examining ancient or modern cultures. The weaving process is an introduction to coding, as weaving is an accessible example of binary code. A short reflection session offers participants the opportunity to discuss their design process and to reflect on any trouble shooting they employed, as well as new discoveries and connections they made and new areas they are curious about.

Instructor: Ash Friend

Ash Friend has been involved in informal education design and implementation for the last ten years. Ash’s background blends a degree in Creative Writing and literature as well as degrees and experience in lab science, allowing for organic cross curricular connections between STEM topics and humanities. Besides designing and implementing curriculum for ScienceWorks and SOU Youth Programs, Ash has designed and implemented programs for SOU Academy as well as assorted art centers, libraries, and schools. Currently, Ash is the K-12 Education manager at ScienceWorks, as well as a writer and illustrator.

Instructor: Leah Ruby

Leah Ruby is a dedicated museum professional with life long experience in the field of free-choice learning. Armed with a degree in fine arts and art history, she moved to San Francisco to build museum exhibits for the Cal Academy rogue fabrication shop, Academy Studios. She soon realized that while great exhibits “wow” people, fantastic educators and programs are what keep patrons coming back. To learn more, she studied Museum Education at John F. Kennedy University in the prestigious Museum Studies program, all the while consulting for museums and non-profits for their education and exhibit needs. Currently, she serves as the Museum Programs Manager at ScienceWorks.

Rationale for the Presentation Online education has been in existence for students K-12 for over a decade, and the continued growth that has occurred has brought a diverse population of students with special needs to this engaging and individualized environment. Practices relating to instruction vary from school to school as different delivery models create distinctive challenges in the administration of services. IEPs in online schools mirror those in traditional brick and mortar environments relating to SDI, yet this setting creates unique demands relating to instructional delivery. Choices schools make can affect compliancy, provider decisions, and complex administrative functions. Usefulness to Practitioners This presentation is hosted by experienced online Special Education leaders from two Oregon statewide online schools. We will discuss our experience with best practices relating to Specially Designed Instruction (SDI), pitfalls to avoid, and lessons learned. The responsibilities of teachers, parents and students are shifting in the online word, and are posing interesting points of discussion for educators and administrators. Relevance to Learners, Families and/or educators of Diverse Groups As more and more school districts and states venture into the realm of online learning the challenges and uniqueness in delivery of special education services needs to addressed for this growing population of students. Online education is a viable option for students with special needs who have not found success in the traditional learning environments. Insuring these students have appropriate services has created new challenges for schools. The unique challenges of accountability, compliancy and meeting state standards for learning are just a few of the demands that need to be addressed. Participant Outcome Participants in the session will learn how online schools manage specially designed instruction. 1. Participants will be able to describe the challenges and successes of specially designed instruction online 2. Participants will be able to identify at least three strategies to engage students. 3. Participants will be able to identify similarities and differences in administration of specially designed instruction in traditional brick and mortar schools and online schools. Evidence of the Effectiveness from Practice Research or Policy There is very little research completed to date regarding virtual education for students with special needs. The Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities, in their publication Equity Matters: Digital and Online Learning for students with Disabilities (2016), discusses the changing roles in online education. Invited In: Measuring UDL in Online Learning by Sean J. Smith, Ph.D. focuses on inclusion and effectiveness for online tools. In Virtual schools are booming. Who’s paying attention Darren Samuelsohn addresses some of the concerns of serving students online and how different models may have very different results.

Instructor: Jill Adams

Jill Adams, Learning Specialist and Modifications Coordinator at Oregon Charter Academy, teaches specially designed instruction at the secondary level in the areas of transition, reading, and written language. Jill has taught online for five years after teaching life skills and resource special education in the Hillsboro and Bend La Pine School Districts at the elementary and middle school levels. She holds a degree in English from Portland State University, and received her Masters of Arts in Teaching Special Education from Pacific University. She is a Google for Education Certified Educator Level 2. She resides in Central Oregon.

Instructor: Natalie Conway

Natalie Conway M.Ed. started her career teaching in 2005 in Massachusetts. She moved to Oregon in 2013. Natalie has worked as a special education teacher, general education teacher and mentor teacher. She holds an M.Ed. in special education and will earn her Reading Endorsement in the winter of 2020. In addition to being a public school educator, Natalie is an instructor for The Innovative Northwest Teacher, bringing high quality and relevant PD to teachers in the Pacific Northwest. She also is an instructional coach for SYS Education LLC, where she trains teachers in how to create authentic and engaging online content for students K-12.

The Southern Oregon Fire Ecology Education (SOFEE) project has developed K-12 lessons to support teachers with explaining the role of fire in southern Oregon. This presentation will demonstrate the digital resources available to teachers. It will focus on the fire stories from the Fireworks curriculum.


Instructor: Tara Laidlaw

During our distance learning time it was quite a challenge to keep students engaged in mathematical thinking while, at the same time, keeping equity among all my students. Two tools that I used to help combat this challenge was rough draft thinking and critiquing of other students’ work. In this breakout session I will have the participants play the part of the student to see how each method can be used during an online class session as well as what can be sent home in a packet in order to encourage the same high level of mathematical thinking.

Instructor: Debbie Knapp

I have taught math classes for 32 years. The majority of my time has been at the high school level though I have taught classes from 5th grade through Community College level.

Agenda and Learning Objectives:

Instructor: Vanessa Clark

The Oregon Open Learning Team represents specialists from across the Office of Teaching Learning and Assessment at ODE who joined forces at the outset of Distance Learning for All to support the Oregon education community during emergency school closure and into the 2020-21 school year.

Poverty Immersion & Coaching Institute

By News, School Improvement Services, School-Wide Improvement

Poverty Immersion Institute

Communications Across Barriers
August 17th-18th

The Poverty Immersion Institute is a hands-on, two-day poverty institute for educators, health, justice and social service professionals, and community members who want to better understand poverty and gain tools for making a difference. We are revising the institute to allow for social distance of smaller groups at four sites to participate. Dr. Beegle will be broadcast to all sites to provide the training. She will rotate between each site so that all will have three sessions tele-presented, and one in-person session.

Seats may be reserved, or appointed by districts. Registrants will be put on the wait list if their district seats are differently assigned.


  • Grants Pass High School
  • SOESD Medford Office
  • Mountain Middle School
  • Klamath Falls

Breakfast and lunch will be provided, and SOESD will support the technology needed.

Register here

Poverty Coaching Institute

Communications Across Barriers
Coming this Fall

Location TBD

The Poverty Coaching Institute prepares participants to serve as poverty coaches for their organizations. A Communication Across Barriers poverty coach is trained to conduct workshops for breaking poverty barriers and improving communication and relationships for in-house staff. Coaches serve as on-site experts for educating colleagues, providing leadership for breaking poverty barriers, and developing system-wide approaches for improving outcomes for families who live in the war zone of poverty. Poverty coaches will also be trained to conduct Poverty Competency Assessments and assist their organization in developing and implementing customized action plans with measurable results.

Please note: To participate in this workshop, registrants must first attend the two-day Poverty Immersion Institute. (August 17th & 18th course available in PD Networks.)

Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Registration Coming Soon

Southern Oregon Virtual Student Voice Event

By News, School Improvement Services, School-Wide Improvement

MAY 29th at 2 PM

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

Zoom with us here

OR Use:

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

Circles for Educators

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

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

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

Event Dates:

Southern Oregon Educator Administrators

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

Southern Oregon Educators

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

Southern Oregon Building Administrators

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

Southern Oregon District Office Administrators

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

Southern Oregon School Paraprofessionals and Support Staff

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


 SOESD Announces Regional Teacher of the Year

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

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

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

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

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

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

Distance Learning for All

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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