Oregon Charter School News Weekly

A bi-weekly newsletter of Charter School happenings
around Oregon and the Nation.
​​​Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan is pleased to invite all Oregon elementary and middle school-​aged students to participate in the 2023-2024 Oregon Blue Book essay contest.
About the Contest

The Oregon Blue Book is a unique and special book because it captures snapshots in time of our state . Oregonians can go back to editions from decades ago and gain an understanding of our state during that era. Since early 2020, Oregonians have been faced with the COVID 19 pandemic. Students have been impacted in many ways, and we’d like to hear about those experiences. These essays will be a part of our mission to tell the story of Oregon during this snapshot of our state’s history.

Essay Topic: Oregon students share their pandemic experience

Students can approach the essay in the way that best describes their experience. Here are some essay prompts that might be helpful:

  • How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect your everyday life?
  • How did the COVID19 pandemic change the way you attend school and other activities?
  • What are some things you learned during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • In what ways did the pandemic impact you and your friends?

​Students may submit a written or a video essay. Students who choose to submit a written essay will also provide a drawing/illustration they created to go with their essay.

Contest winners’ written essays/drawings and names of video essay winners will be included in the 2023-2024 Oregon Blue Book published version. Video essay winners will be prominently featured on the digital version of the Oregon Blue Book. All winners will be invited to the State Capitol for the official Oregon Blue Book release party and celebration in early 2023.

The deadline for submissions is Thursday, October 20, 2022.

Learn more
More Schools, Community Organizations Sought for Summer Food Service Program
The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is seeking more schools, community organizations and tribes to participate in the Summer Food Service Program  (SFSP) this summer to ensure children 18 and younger, who benefit from meal programs during the school year, continue to have that same access to nutritious meals when schools are closed, or students are unable to attend school in person.

“Access to summer meals is an important way to ensure that children continue to receive the nutrition they need, to learn and grow, when school is not in session,” ODE Summer Meals Outreach Coordinator Cathy Brock said. "It is important to expand the program and close the hunger gap in all areas of the state, and ODE’s Child Nutrition Program is reaching out to ensure that children continue to receive meals throughout the summer."

For information about how to apply for the Summer Food Service Program, please contact ode.communitynutrition@ode.oregon.govThe deadline to submit an application to become a Summer Food Service Sponsor is May 13, 2022. 

ODE has state grant funds available up to $20,000 per sponsor to expand or start up summer meal programs.  For more information on grant funds, please email Kaitlin Skreen or call (503) 947-5901.

Learn more
School Opportunities and Resources

Recorded Webinars on Harnessing Digital Skills and Recruiting Teachers
Last week, the National Alliance presented webinars for school leaders and operators to maximize their effectiveness in the classroom.
Harnessing the Power of Technology and Digital Skills to Drive Success - As part of the Charter School Leaders of Color Convening, Mashea Ashton, CEO/founder of Digital Pioneers Academy, shares how her school leverages technology-rich experiences to create digital pioneers. In addition, Google education leadership shares how they provide access to high-quality computer science and digital skills training for educators.
Why Teachers Ignore Your School - Schools across the country are struggling to find teachers. Addressing teacher recruitment and the subsequent high turnover rate is critical to stemming teacher shortages and increasing school effectiveness. This recorded webinar with leading experts from Selected can help you to discover what's missing in your recruitment process and shortcut the hiring process—all while building a pipeline of qualified, diverse educators aligned to your school's vision and mission.

How to Talk about the War in Ukraine
As with all difficult topics, schools should be aware of the emotional impact international events have on students and staff. To equip schools to talk about the war in Ukraine, here are a few resources for educators:
National Charter School Resource Center Funding Opportunity Database
The database includes one-time and ongoing grants, fellowships, prizes, and scholarships. Sponsors include the U.S. Federal Government and philanthropic organizations. The page is updated frequently as charter school funding opportunities are announced. Click here to view the database and search for funding opportunities.

Upcoming Events

Programs, Policy, and Research

Register Now: 2022 National Charter Schools Conference in Washington, DC
Registration launched last week for the 2022 National Charter Schools Conference in Washington, D.C., June 19-22. The National Alliance is committed to hosting a safe and rewarding event to make up for the time we’ve lost together, but space is limited. Join them where the movement meets. Click here to learn more.

Proposed Changes to CSP Grants Application
The U.S. Department of Education has released a notice of proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for upcoming Charter School Programs (CSP) grants. The proposed rule will impact the State Entities, Charter Management Organizations, and Grants to Charter School Developers grant programs. These proposed rules are substantial and would negatively impact the charter school community in a significant way.
Public comment on the proposed new rule will be accepted through Wednesday, April 13, so there is a short window to make your feedback heard. See this memo for a summary of the proposed regulations.

Data Dashboard Answers FAQs About Charter Schools in School Year 2019-20

The Charter School Data Dashboard contains the most comprehensive data about charter schools from the 2019-20 school year. Want to learn how to navigate the dashboard or learn about some of the most frequently asked questions? Our researchers created a quick tutorial to answer your questions.

Congressional Black Caucus Institute Calls for $500 Million for Charter Schools Program
We were pleased to see the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s non-partisan and policy-based 21st Century Council 2022 Annual Report calls for $500 million in funding for the CSP in fiscal year 2023 to support the growth of public charter schools, which would directly affect Black communities and families.
In the 2019-20 school year, Black students made up 30% of all charter school students—and research continues to show that charter schools are helping Black students accelerate academically. Charter schools also employ more teachers of color and are more likely to be led by a person of color. 


Charter Schools in the News

Here are a few local headlines from the past few weeks:

New Ontario principal set to listen as students cope with pandemic impacts, Malheur Enterprise

Oregon Charter Academy to offer information sessions, Lebanon Express

Here are a few national headlines from the past few weeks:

‘I Still Just Worry’: 3 Teachers on Covid’s Long Shadow Over American Schools, The New York Times

The Big Three: Trio of Heralded Reformers Take Top Posts at Nation’s Largest School Districts, to Great Expectations … and Headaches, The 74

Jalen Rose talks to Real Sports’ Mary Carillo on his tuition-free Detroit charter school: “How can I try to be a part of the solution?”, Awful Announcing

Digital Pioneers Academy Prioritizes Digital Equity, Compsci, Government Technology

A Case of Charter School Sabotage, The Wall Street Journal

Congress rejected Biden’s bid to double Title I. Now he’s asking again, Chalkbeat

Biden proposes 15.6% increase for education spending in FY23, Education Dive

Biden rule could force charter schools to close, former education official warns, Washington Examiner
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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