Oregon Charter School News Weekly

A weekly newsletter of Charter School happenings around Oregon and the Nation.

2020 Legislative Session Updates

The 2020 "short legislative session" will kick-off on Monday, February 2nd. It's a session that will last only 35 days and will be a fast paced effort to pass legislation big and small. 

This year we don't anticipate much legislation in the K - 12 education area, because of the massive amount of work done in 2019. We will see an effort to pass a redux of the 2019 Carbon Tax package, it's unclear whether the supporters of this legislation will have enough votes to get it through this time. What we do know: this is going to make this short legislative session VERY action-packed. 

We'll be moving our weekly e-newsletter to send on Fridays during the month of February so that you can get up to date information on what's happening in Salem. 

Stay tuned for news on the happenings in the Capitol!
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools recently released its annual ranking of state charter school laws, Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Public Charter School Laws, Eleventh Edition in conjunction with National School Choice Week. The rankings are based on 21 critical benchmarks such as accountability, authorization, flexibility, performance-based contracts, and funding equity.

“Charter schools are not a one-size-fits all value proposition and state laws governing their creation have a huge impact on their quality and ability to innovate,” said National Alliance for Public Charter Schools President and CEO Nina Rees. “This report is a tool that blue and red state policymakers and advocates can use to bolster their state’s charter school laws and improve the quality of the sector by requiring best practices and guaranteeing charter school freedoms to innovate.”

Out of 45, Oregon ranked 33 with the score remaining the same as the previous year. Among the recommendations, National Alliance recognizes the following concerns: authorizing options, accountability, and funding. Click below to read more about Oregon and other states. 
Click here to download

Educator Resources

Programs, Policy, and Research
  • In February and throughout the year, we celebrate and honor Black history. How does your charter school commemorate Black history in your curriculum and school environment? Teaching Tolerance provides resources on teaching Black history "beyond trauma and helping students recognize the brilliance, strength and love this history represents." Read this Chalkbeat article about Denver students who visited the national African American history museum last fall and are challenging their school district to include more black history in its U.S. history curriculum. “Growing up, my grandma always reminded me that closed mouths don’t get fed. We want to learn more about other African Americans who have made a change or stood up for what they believe in.” said freshman Dahni Austin. 
  • Across the nation, schools and communities celebrated National School Choice Week. A new poll conducted by the American Federation of Children shows that a majority of voters are less likely to support candidates who want to eliminate federal charter school funding. “I think these candidates are making a pretty grave mistake when they’re trying to win over voters,” said Tommy Schultz, the organization’s vice president of communications and marketing. “It’s abundantly clear that families want more educational options.” Click here to read more about the poll results and here to learn more about National School Choice Week. 
  • Sesame Workshop — the nonprofit, educational organization behind “Sesame Street” — has launched a new, locally produced Arabic TV program for children affected by the Syrian Civil War. This program will "explore emotions experienced by all kids but particularly relevant to those dealing with trauma and will offer coping skills for feelings like anger, fear, frustration, nervousness and loneliness." Read more about the show in this PBS NewsHour article and save the date for the show's premiere on February 2. 
Events and Workshops

EVENT SPOTLIGHT: Attend a FREE workshop - “Teaching Portland’s Black History through Primary Sources and Art” on February 8 at the Portland Art Museum in partnership with The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science, a charter school in Portland. Click here for more information. 

School Opportunities
  • Teachers Roadtrip Application
    This summer Roadtrip Nation is sending a group of classroom teachers out on the road in their green RV for three weeks FOR FREE! Travel the country and sit down with educators who will encourage and inspire you—the kinds of innovative teachers who are using their unique voices and perspectives to make the classroom a better place for all. Click here for more information and to apply. Application deadline is February 2. 
  • Global School Play Day - February 5
    Celebrate Global School Play Day at your charter school! This grassroots effort was created by educators in support of unstructured playtime for students around the world. Check out NAEYC's "Five elements essential to meaningful play" and sign up your school or classroom today
  • World Read Aloud Day - February 5
    Take the Reading Matters Pledge for World Read Aloud Day! SMART Reading issued a challenge to get 10,000 Oregonians to participate in World Read Aloud Day. Spread the word about the campaign and the critical importance of reading with children! Click here to learn more and take the pledge.
  • 3 Day Mindfulness Challenge: February 5-7
    Mindful Schools is hosting a FREE 3 day Mindfulness Challenge. Sign up and get three days of guided exercises and classroom activities sent to your inbox. Learn more by visiting
  • Exemplary Therapist Awards
    Each year at the TIES Conference, Oregon therapists are recognized for their outstanding achievements in the provision of education-based therapy services. Click here for award descriptions and directions to nominate a colleague from your charter school. Deadline is March 20, 2020. 

Student Resources and Opportunities 
  • Scholarships: Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC)
    Applying through OSAC permits students to complete a single application form to be eligible for a variety of scholarships. Error-free applications received by 5 p.m. February 15 will be entered into a drawing for one of several $1,000 Early Bird scholarships. Click here for more information and to apply. 
  • National Endowment of the Arts: Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge
    The National Endowment for the Arts and the American Theatre Wing opened applications for the 2020 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge for high school students who have a passion for writing songs that could be part of a musical theater production. Musical theater encompasses a wide range of musical styles including hip-hop, rock, R&B, country, jazz, and more. The 2020 application portal is open until March 6, 2020. For more information, visit
  • SafeOregon - Student, Parent, and School Resources
    Make sure your school is signed up for SafeOregon and be part of the statewide school safety tip line. It's free for Oregon public and private schools!  SafeOregon gives kids, parents, schools and their communities a way to report safety threats or potential acts of violence. Click here for more info and resources. 
    Kids to Parks Day is May 16, 2020! National Park Trust (NPT) invites students across the country to participate in the 10th annual Kids to Parks Day, a nationwide grassroots movement to celebrate America’s parks and public lands. In honor of this day, NPT is once again hosting the Kids to Parks Day National School Contest to help educators engage their students with their local parks. This national contest is open to all Title I schools in the United States (grades pre-K through 12). Classes can receive funding for a Kids to Parks Day field trip at a local park or public land/waterway in their community. All entries are due by February 14th, 2020. Click here to learn more. 
Oregon Charter Schools in the News
Here are a few headlines from the past week:
Is your school a member of ORC3S yet? 
We are a coalition of community-based, public charter schools representing all corners of our state. Although, we are all unique in our pedagogy and practice, what unites us is our commitment to educational innovation and to high-quality schools for all students. Our mission is to provide a voice and sustainable support and guidance for the members of our coalition.
Join us now!
Oregon Coalition of Community Charter Schools
13809 SE Division St Ste A
Portland, OR 97236

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Oregon Coalition of Community Charter Schools · 13809 SE Division St Ste A · Portland, OR 97236-2843 · USA

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