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Bus Project Begins at Rogue Valley Trades Training Center

By News

by Chris Howard and Emily Coleman SOESD

“That is a huge bus!” says Shawn Wonnacott, Trades Career Coach at the Rogue Valley Trades Training Center (Equus Workforce Solutions), as he and Tabitha Carlson watch as the bus driver maneuvers his way down 5th St, around the block, and into the back alley.  “I sure hope it will fit in our yard.”

The 40-foot bus is one of many donated school buses in Jackson and Josephine Counties that will undergo a complete transformation into a home-on-wheels for a local family in need.  Ashland School District 5 Transportation Director Stacey Cheshire has been instrumental in providing the buses to project partners.

The Bus Project was developed through the collaboration of community partners and industry to ignite student interest in the construction trades by providing hands-on opportunities that build awareness, encourage exploration, and engage through real-world experiences that dovetail with regional pathways in high-wage, high demand fields.

Shawn first decided to get involved with the Bus Project after attending a job fair at South Medford High School.  After attending multiple meetings, it was easy for him to see the opportunity and benefits.  Located in Grants Pass, The Rogue Valley Training Center receives a lot of local support from multiple partners including Project Youth Plus, who sends many students his way.  Shawn will be reaching out to local industry businesses in Grants Pass with hopes to get donations of materials.

The program at the Rogue Valley Training Center offers many modalities of the construction trades and prepares students for the exams and certifications.  “Everybody wants to be and Electrician,” says Shawn, “That is the most competitive trade and requires the most skillset.  We do prepare our students to go in that direction, but they have to score platinum across the board on their NCRC.  That is the minimum requirement to get into the Union.”

When the next cohort of students start on the 29th of November, they will have the task of gutting the interior of the bus in preparation for the remodel.  This will require, construction, fabrication, plumbing, electrical and HVAC skills all taught at the training center.  Utilizing a pre-designed layout, the students will have the opportunity to “Earn while you learn,” while providing a much-needed service for homeless families.  According to Shawn Wonnacott, this project is going to take 4 to 5, eight-week sessions to complete.  “We are super excited!” says Shawn.

Students can enter the program at age 17 but cannot step foot on a Jobsite until they are 18 due to Oregon labor laws however, this program allows for students of all ages to explore the different modalities and learn the skillsets to advance in their chosen trade.

More exciting news and information about this and other IGNITE projects are coming soon!  Please follow us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/soesd.ignite, or visit our website at: https://www.soesd.k12.or.us/ignite/, to stay up to date on this and other IGNITE projects.

KCC Construction Apprenticeship Program Moves Forward

By Career and Technical Education, News

by Chris Howard SOESD IGNITE Coordinator

Klamath Community College is moving forward on a new Construction Apprenticeship program.  A groundbreaking ceremony was held on November 10th for the construction of a new Apprenticeship Center at the KCC campus.  Multiple Community partners and Leaders were involved in the ceremony.

The SOESD is supporting the program through the IGNITE Grant to match funds for the purchase of tools and equipment.  Recently, A 12-foot Cargo trailer was purchased by KCC that will haul tools and equipment from jobsite to jobsite.  KCC is in the process of purchasing the tools and equipment that will allow students to operate in the field as an actual construction crew, creating a “real-life” mobile classroom.

“This is a unique opportunity” says Jessie Dubose of SOESD.  “What sets this program apart from other Pre-Apprenticeship programs is each enrolled student will begin to apprentice in high school and once graduated, they will have earned credits toward the program.”  Additionally, enrolled students earn apprenticeship hours towards their journeyman license with on-the-job training while attending classes at KCC.  This is the first ever BOLI (Bureau of Labor and Industries) approved apprenticeship program in Oregon where secondary students have access to apprenticeship opportunities!

More exciting news and information about this and other IGNITE projects are coming soon!  Please follow us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/soesd.ignite, or visit our website at: https://www.soesd.k12.or.us/ignite/, to stay up to date on this and other IGNITE projects.

Oregon Regional Teacher of the Year Nominations are Now Open

By News, School Improvement Services, School-Wide Improvement

The Oregon Department of Education, in partnership with the Oregon Lottery, is pleased to announce the continuation of Oregon Regional Teacher of the Year to honor exemplary educators in every region of the state!

  • Nominations are open statewide through January 31, 2022
  • Teachers will submit their applications by March 27, 2022
  • Oregon Education Service Districts will select a winner from their region
  • Regional Teachers of the Year will be honored across the state in May 2022!
  • One of the Regional Teachers of the Year will be named the 2023 Oregon Teacher of the Year in September 2022!

Regional Teachers of the Year will receive a cash prize of $500 and will be celebrated across the state.  The 2022 Oregon Teacher of the Year will receive a $5,000 cash prize (with a matching $5,000 going to their school!) and serve as a spokesperson and representative for all Oregon teachers.

Anyone can nominate a teacher! All Oregonians are encouraged to nominate their favorite teacher today at: oregonteacheroftheyear.org

SOESD provides SSA/SIA support to its 13 component districts

By News

In 2020-2021, SOESD provided SSA/SIA support to its 13 component districts and eligible charter schools. SOESD’s specialized support team provided the assistance and expertise needed for eligible charter schools & districts to meet ODE SIA funding requirements. Support and complementary professional learning opportunities identified by districts and charter schools were also provided directly to educators and education staff.

Click here to read more about the program’s successful launch. To enroll in new courses, visit PDNetworks here.

webPD online professional learning courses

By News, Uncategorized

In 2020-2021, SOESD launched webPD online professional learning courses in response to feedback from its component districts. Courses were taught in five terms throughout the year via Canvas over a five week period each term. Eligible course completers earned five Professional Development Units (PDUs) per course completed.

Click here to read more about the program’s successful launch. To enroll in new courses, visit PD Networks here.

21-22 Oregon STEM Ecosystem VISTA Job Opening

By News

Southern Oregon Education Service District is a community of practice recognized by the STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative. In partnership with the Afterschool Alliance and the STEM Funders Network, the Southern Oregon Education Service District is embarking on exciting work to expand the amount of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education opportunities offered in diverse learning spaces. These types of opportunities are made more accessible to youth through expanding local partnerships, coordinating community-led STEM activities, and more. This position is based in Medford, Oregon.

Find out more.

Back to School

Return to School in Fall

By News

We would like to share with our families and the community that SOESD expects to offer full time, in-person learning through SOESD programs this fall, while we support students in districts we serve where schools will similarly be reopening for full time, in-person learning . These expectations are informed by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) announcement of the Resiliency Framework for the 2021-2022 school year. ODE is scheduled to release an update to the Resiliency Framework in partnership with public health authorities for COVID-19 safety measures on or before July 22. This will further inform and help finalize plans that we’ll share for serving students during the 2021-22 school year. For further information, please see the Ready Schools Safe Learners Resiliency Framework for the 2021-2022 school year.

La Casa Del Arbol

By City, Does this site offer extended care hours?, Family Child Care / Home-Based Preschool, Grants Pass, Hybrid, Josephine County, Location, No, Program can offer verbal and written communication in the following languages, Program is DHS listed, Program Model, Program offers classroom instruction in, Provider Type, Spanish and English, Spanish and English, Spanish and English, Transportation Available, What other languages can your program offer verbal and written communication in?, Yes, Yes, Yes

Address: 2692 Williams Hwy, Grants Pass, OR  97527

Contact Name: Oralia Elias

Phone: 541-292-3289

Email: yfigueroa497@gmail.com

Provider Type: Family Child Care / Home-based Preschool

Program Mode: Hybrid (Onsite and Virtual)

Program can offer verbal and written communication in the following languages: Spanish and English

Program offers classroom instruction in: Spanish and English

Transportation is available: No

Preschool Promise Operating Hours:

  • Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 2:00 pm

Does this site offer extended care hours? Yes, but availability may be limited

Program is currently listed with the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) aka “DHS Listed” and able to accept Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) subsidies? Yes

Preschool Promise Program Year:

  • September 8, 2021 – June 9, 2022

Description: The Mission of La Casa del Árbol [The Treehouse] is to offer high quality education, and areas of interest have been prepared to provide a safe and comfortable environment with creative and reflective capacity, rich with training and educational experiences, helping in the formation of moral, ethical, and cultural values that help children to develop all of their abilities and talents, keeping in mind the skills and abilities of each child within a framework of rules that promote individual respect and love for oneself, for others, and for the environment. Promoting committed family participation, which contributes to the success of the child, the family and the community.

The Vision of La Casa del Árbol [The Treehouse] is for all children to receive high-quality education in an environment of equity and inclusion, recognizing that each child is singular, and therefore it is necessary to make individualized adaptations to create strategies to support their development, that is, including making adaptations to cover the needs of each one of the children, where there is no prejudice based on their race, language, or beliefs, avoiding stereotypes, valuing these first years of life, promoting inclusion and diversity.

The Philosophy of La Casa del Árbol is to promote the curiosity of every child in a multicultural environment where dignity is provided for their culture, language, beliefs and customs, and in this way the child gets the best performance for his or her development and reinforces his or her own identity. Families are encouraged to collaborate and make suggestions, knowing that their viewpoints will be respected and valued when it comes time to make decisions related to children’s development, therefore I will make sure to show them empathy and sensitivity. A weekly study plan is prepared, designed with activities to support each child, keeping in mind their abilities and their own interests, with a goal being development in all areas, the observations and evaluations of each child being necessary, as they are the guide for covering all their needs. Play is an important tool for developing self-control and promoting language, cognition, and social competency. Knowing that the important thing is that we teach them to recognize their emotions and provide them strategies to be able to regulate themselves, which is necessary for conscious coexistence, which is to say, helping them to develop respect for the dignity of other people and also respect for their own rights and responsibilities as well as those of others, establishing equal relations and avoiding all types of violence, allowing them to prepare their own rules and thus learn to have good relations and work in collaboration with those around them, and in this way inclusion and respect for diversity arises in a natural manner. In La Casa del Árbol [The Treehouse], we follow a mixture of philosophies, primarily Waldorf, the child is encouraged to love, respect and care for our planet so they can make this connection with the environment.

My educational purpose is to be able to have a positive impact on the life of a child, families, and society, and this is why I make sure not to forget my role and the responsibility I have to deliver high-quality education, and therefore I have to pay attention to the methods that I use in teaching, what I teach and the way I do it, including that the way of evaluation must be in a conscious manner. I have learned that when children have time and materials, they express themselves in their way, freely and at their own pace.

Experience or specialized trainings: I have attended RCC Community College since the year 2012, in which I completed basic education for childcare, and I continue to attend college to this day, regularly taking advanced classes, classes focused on child development, I attend conferences every year and trainings to continue learning more about child development, in this way I prepare myself to provide high-quality care, implementing best practices in childcare and thus being able to comply with the standards indicated by the State. Through the years, I have had the opportunity to provide my services to children of different ages, but in the past year I have only had children of preschool age, meanwhile I continue to be focused on acquiring more knowledge and continuing to progress in quality. I have participated in the Spark program and have received 3 stars. I continue to work to get a 4-star grade and ORO has given me a step 8 qualification.


  • CE151 Guiding Children in Group Settings
  • ECE252 Family Child Care Environment
  • ECE199 Family Child Care
  • ECE152 Fostering Creativity
  • ECE246 Child, Family and Community
  • ECE240 Play-Based Learning
  • ECE248 Children with Disabilities and
  • ECE243 Promoting Child Health and
  • ECE285 The Early Childhood Professional
  • CE265 Children at Risk
  • CE275 Anti-bias Education
  • ECE163 Preschool and Primary Development


Challenging behaviors in the home looking at behaviors from a different perspective during crisis.
Understanding the ABC’s of Behavior a closer look at addressing challenging behavior.
Back to school tips and tools.
Navigating Difficult Things: Awareness of suicide from a family perspective.
Just Breathe… How to stay calm in difficult times.
Emergency Preparation for Childcare Programs – Part 1
Emergency Preparation for Childcare Programs – Part 2
Mind and Hearts Together: Inseparable Tools for Learning.
Emphasizing the Arts in your STEAM Practice
Introduction to Health and Safety in the Childcare Environment.
Recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect.
Introduction to the environment Rating Scales (ERS).
Lead Analysis.
DHS child care provider Orientation.
Safe Sleep.
First Aid.
Prevention Is Better Than Curing.
What if everybody understood child development? Featuring Rae Pica.
Analyzing inclusión of children with different learning capabilities.
Understanding trauma in child development.
Planning your curriculum 2.1
The freedom of outdoor play.

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to provide my services to children of different ages, and in this last year, to children of preschool age, I have participated in the SPARK program and have received 3 stars, right now I am working to reach 4 stars. ORO has given me a step 8 qualification. I take 3 classes a year at the community college.

Program utilizes social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum or approach (example: Conscious Discipline, Second Step, etc.): Yes

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