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Strategic Plan Update

By Homepage, News

SOESD is pleased to provide this Strategic Plan Mid-year Report that highlights our work in the various strategic drivers:

  • Equity
  • District and Community Partnerships
  • Collaboration and Information Sharing
  • Programs and Services
  • Educator Workforce Development
  • Data Tracking

Highlights of the strategic plan implementation that have already been accomplished include:

  • Engaged in a thoughtful organizational redesign of Special Education Services as part of the new Student Services department
  • Expanded the Student Behavioral Health and Wellness program
  • Expanded services to help districts with crisis management, including Cybersecurity and a new Flight Response Team
  • Expanded the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program
  • Provided newly designed New Teacher Training model and expanded Mentoring with a tiered support model offering a continuum of services for as little and as much support as desired
  • Added new Teachers and Educational Assistants to expand the STEPS Plus Program, increasing access and services for students
  • Expanded Data systems support by preparing the launch of:
    • Student Connect information platform regarding students served and services provided
    • Online LSP Portal with regularly updated financial allocation, service selection, and balance reports
    • Seventh Edition of the Oregon Project for preschool children who are blind or visually impaired (The OR Project)

Plan Development

The strategic plan development began in September 2022 by conducting a survey of ESDs across Oregon regarding the processes and facilitators used for strategic and equity planning. After compiling a list from ESDs, OAESD, COSA, and other sources of potential strategic planning facilitators, a consultant was selected through an interview process.

A comprehensive plan was then developed for seeking input from constituents:

  • SOESD board, administrative team, and employees
  • Component districts’ superintendents, business, curriculum, human resources, information technology, special education directors, and school improvement administrators
  • Families of students attending SOESD Special Education classrooms
  • Families of students attending SOESD Migrant Education and Indian Education programs
  • Focus surveys sent by component districts to their staff and families.

Prior to launching surveys and a variety of facilitated in-person and online feedback sessions, SOESD’s cabinet met with the cabinets of component districts to gather feedback that informed the planning. Based on initial input from these meetings, focus surveys were developed and administered by component districts to their staff and families regarding three core areas: Career Technical Education (CTE), Southern Oregon Regional Educator Network (SOREN), and Special Education. Formal surveys, meetings, and facilitated input sessions were conducted based on questions that emerged around the themes of equity, customer and employee experiences, programs and services, and workforce development.

Launching the Strategic Plan

With the strategic drivers in place SOESD immediately began working on a number of projects and programs over last summer and during the first half of this past year.

“This school year we will focus on implementing strategic priorities, with improved and re-aligned services, while continuing to strengthen our successful programs and initiatives,“ remarked SOESD Superintendent Scott Beveridge when launching the plan with staff at the fall SOESD agency-wide in-service.  “I am excited to work alongside our staff, school districts and other partners to serve and support the children, students, families, and educators across our region.”

Click the button below for the complete update in the SOESD Strategic Plan Mid-year Report.

Click here to view the SOESD Strategic Plan Mid-Year Report

For Teachers By Teachers Promising Practices Symposium

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

Friday October 9th, 2020 at 08:00 AM to 2:50 PM

OESD’s For Teachers By Teachers Promising Practices Symposium promises to be a day of learning and sharing for educators from throughout Southern Oregon. Attendees will have the opportunity to virtually attend three two-hour sessions (and earn up to six PDUs) on hot topics in the areas of science, math and educational technology. Six sessions will be presented by peers, recognized as local experts and leaders. The remaining three sessions will be led by vendors. All nine presenters were part of the recent EDTech Summit and were identified via attendee survey as conference MVPs.

Session titles and times are below. Registrants will select the one to three sessions they wish to attend via a conference app on the day of the symposium. Information on how to use the conference app will be sent to registrants during the week before the event.

Session Offerings for the 8 am to 9:50 am timeslot include:

  1. Teaching Research and Writing and Managing Papers/Projects During the Pandemic
  2. Promoting Equity and Engagement in the Middle and High School Classroom
  3. How3Canvas

Session Offerings for the 10 am to 11:50 am timeslot include:

  1. Integrating AR/VR into STEM and CTE Programs
  2. NGSS in a Virtual Realm
  3. Power Up Your Google Game

Session Offerings for the 1 pm to 2:50 pm timeslot include:

  1. How Neuroscience Helped Design a Math Program That Meets the Diverse Needs of Students in the Wake of COVID-19
  2. Seesaw for Hybrid and Distance Learning Classes
  3. Gamified Comprehensive Distance Learning

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.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Oregon Statewide School Closure Extension to 4/28/20

By COVID-19, Homepage

March 17, 2020

Dear SOESD Communities and Staff,

On 3/17/20, Governor Brown announced an extension of Oregon’s statewide school closure to a total of six weeks, until 4/28/20, and also issued further guidance for Oregon’s public schools. This follows the initial two-week closure of Oregon’s schools.

The governor also ordered school districts and ESDs to provide a variety of services during the closure period, such as learning supports and supplemental services to students and families, including meals and child care for health care workers. Please contact your resident district for information regarding meals distribution sites. SOESD is supporting Oregon and our local districts to implement the order intended to slow the rate of COVID-19 transmission, reduce strain on our medical system, and prevent loss of life.

The safety and well-being of staff, children, families, and the community continue to be my highest priority as we plan for COVID-19 and implement the governor’s directives.


Scott Beveridge,
Southern Oregon ESD Superintendent

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

School Closure Notice

By COVID-19, Homepage

March 13, 2020

Dear SOESD Communities and Staff,

On the evening of 3/12/20, Governor Brown directed all schools in Oregon to close from 3/16/20 – 3/31/20, with plans to reopen schools on 4/1/20.

You may read the press release here:

Please know we are continuing to implement the direction of the governor along with guidance from health officials, and have your health and safety as top priority. SOESD and districts across the state will spend time during this closure on Governor Brown’s additional directives for schools to “develop plans for returning to school that accommodate ongoing impacts of coronavirus” and “for operating schools under updated measures”. Please contact your resident district for some services such as free meals that will continue during the closure.

Please note that Governor Brown stresses “sending Oregon children home will not stop the spread of the coronavirus”, as we’ve known from guidance we’ve been following from health authorities previously. Also, school closure comes with an added concern for increased exposure to the elderly, and the governor is sharing caution that during the closure, children “not be in the care of older adults or those with underlying health issues that are most at-risk from COVID-19”.

We anticipate per the press release that there will be continued guidance during the closure and “timelines will be reevaluated in late March in consultation with school administrators”.

Safety and well-being remain my very highest concern. Please continue to exercise safe practices as preventative measures during the closure such as washing hands; covering coughs and sneezes; avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; and practicing appropriate social distance.

I wish you all the best of health.


Scott Beveridge,
Southern Oregon ESD Superintendent

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Update

By COVID-19, Homepage

March 12, 2020

Dear SOESD Communities and Staff,

SOESD continues to prioritize student, staff, and community health and safety as we coordinate with health officials regarding COVID-19. We, like you, are all concerned about COVID-19 in southern Oregon and worldwide.

With the number of confirmed cases in Oregon increasing, Governor Brown has announced new guidance regarding group gatherings and social distancing. Following the governor’s announcement, today the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) provided guidance based on her direction. The governor, Oregon health authorities, and ODE are continuing to recommend that schools stay open. However, new guidance is to cancel or limit all non-essential gatherings and group activities. 

In accordance with this guidance and in order to minimize potential opportunities for the virus to spread, SOESD has decided to proactively begin suspending events that bring large groups of students, adults, and community members together. We will be continuing some meetings and events in electronic format.

The safety, health, and well-being of our staff and students continue to be our highest priority. In addition to implementing the new guidance, our administrative team has coordinated distribution of cleaning supplies, prioritization for cleaning high-touch surfaces, and establishment of protocols for staff and students, including asking those with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, and shortness of breath) to stay home.

Employees, students, families, and everyone in our community can continue to best support efforts by:

  • Staying home when sick with fever, cough, and shortness of breath, only returning to school or work when free of COVID-19 symptoms for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines. If you are concerned about symptoms, please consult with a doctor. 
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throwing the tissue in the trash.
  • Washing hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household cleaners or wipes.
  • Taking care of your health overall. Staying current on your vaccinations, including flu vaccine, eating well and exercising all help your body stay resilient.
  • A facemask should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. It is not recommended that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding during this difficult time. We will continue to rely on the guidance from the CDC, Oregon Health Authority, the Department of Education, the Office of the Governor, and County Public Health, to minimize both the spread of COVID-19 and disruption to schools and students. If COVID-19 is identified at SOESD or a district we serve, the local health department will collaborate with the district to determine whether closure is warranted or helpful in reducing the spread of the illness.

Please know that this message and decisions are being made in collaboration with the State of Oregon and districts across the state and in our region. We all collectively share the utmost concern for the health and safety of our students, employees, and communities.


Scott Beveridge,
Southern Oregon ESD Superintendent


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


May 2019: Update and FAQs regarding Jackson County PDHH Resource Classrooms

By Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Homepage, News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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