The Chief Education Office was created to build a seamless system of public education from birth to college and career so that each Oregon student has access to high quality education and boundless opportunities for the future.
On Thursday, I had the opportunity to visit the Kids in Transition to School (KITS) Program at Prairie Mountain School in Eugene. The program is an evidence-based school readiness program developed at the Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC), and utilizes a unique, two-generational approach to help young children develop key skills and support families as children transition into kindergarten.
Coincidently, on the day of my visit, Senator Merkley announced a five-year grant, providing $2 million over the first two years from the Social Innovation Fund, a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, to scale up the KITS Program into additional sites. I want to offer my congratulations and deepest appreciation to United Way Lane County (UWLC), OLSC, the Bethel School District and a host of local partners who have invested in the creation of an exemplary program to smooth the transition from early learning into kindergarten. This is one of the most critical transitions for our students and we know that when children are prepared and on track early, they are far more likely to be successful at all future levels of education.
Funds awarded through the grant will mobilize public and private support to scale up and evaluate the Kids In Transition to School (KITS) Program. Specifically, this grant will fund: training for local school districts to implement the program, implementation of the program across Lane County – serving thousands of additional children and their parents over the life of the grant and beyond, and evaluation of fidelity to the program and student and family outcomes.
Over the last five years, UWLC and partners have worked together to scale up the program from two elementary schools in two school districts to 11 schools in six of Lane County’s 16 school districts.
Congratulations to the United Way of Lane County and partners on being recipients of this extraordinary award!
Oregon Private College Week Brings Prospective Students to Campuses
Governor Kate Brown proclaimed this week, August 3 – 7, as Oregon Private College Week. Prospective students and their families made more than 5,000 visits to 11 participating colleges and universities. Participants met with admissions staff, learned about academic programs and financial aid, and toured each campus. Organized by the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities and co-sponsored by the Oregon College Savings Plan, the Matched College Savings Program, and SALT, the event, now in its second year, attracted more participants than last year.
As part of the week’s festivities, Oregon GEAR UP offered a week long camp for students at Lewis and Clark College where students had the opportunity to stay on campus. Students and staff alike were also able to congratulate Oregon GEAR UP Director Stephanie Carnahan who was just honored in July at the national GEAR UP conference as the 2015 Professional of the Year for her commitment to college access and the GEAR UP program.
State Longitudinal Database
Reaches Critical Milestone
The building of secure statewide longitudinal databases is part of the Chief Education Office’s charge and is a critical component in the creation of a seamless system from early childhood education through college and workforce.
Last week, the project reached a major milestone with the submission of comprehensive plans and proposals required for funding requests to the legislature. If approved, the SLDS team will work to develop, test, and deploy the longitudinal data system by the fourth quarter of 2017. This September our office will release a Request for Proposals to solicit professional services initiating the data programming effort for the SLDS.