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Great Public Schools Criteria for Oregon

Great Public Schools Criteria refers to the seven elements needed for closing the achievement gaps and raising achievement for all students. The seven elements are: (1) readiness to learn, (2) high expectations, (3) quality conditions, (4) qualified staff, (5) accountability, (6) parental involvement, and (7) funding.

Read more below about the Great Public Schools Criteria in Oregon.

Readiness to Learn

Quality Public Pre-School Program.
Early Childhood Foundations, the state's voluntary early learning guidelines for what children should know and be able to do, are aligned with the Oregon K-12 Standards. The level of use and implementation at this time is voluntary and in draft format. The same is true for the subsequent observational assessments, which are aligned to the Foundations. (ODE)

Early Childhood Assessment. The Oregon Department of Education  (ODE) is working with the University of Oregon and Portland State University to develop an assessment of young children ages birth to school age that will link to the Oregon Statewide Assessment System. This work is occurring in conjunction with the development of the Oregon Early Childhood Foundations. For teachers and parents, the Foundations are guidelines for encouraging the development of young children. The assessment is an observational instrument to be used by EI/ECSE programs, Head Start Oregon Pre-Kindergarten, and child care that will allow ODE to aggregate data for reporting purposes. The observation will occur within routines common in programs, such as during snack, playtime, and circle time. Multiple indicators will be observed during each routine.
Oregon Department of Education

Kindergarten Regulations. Oregon full-day kindergarten programs vary in length; 5 full-days per week, 4.5 full-days per week, 4 full-days per week, 3 full-days per week, when district has a 4-day week, half-days September through December; full-days January to June 9.

Full-day Kindergarten. A definition of the minimum number of hours for full-day kindergarten is not specified in Oregon state statutes. Districts are not required to offer full-day kindergarten and children are not required to attend. Oregon provides less funding for full-day kindergarten than for grades 1-6.
(Education Commission of the States [ECS] Kindergarten Database, 2007)

Quality Conditions

Smaller Schools.
The Oregon Small Schools Initiative is a $25 million, multi-year, statewide program to increase student achievement and graduation rates in Oregon high schools. It will help communities develop both restructured and new high schools that offer a rigorous, personalized education to all students, and which will serve as models for the rest of the state. A particular focus is on traditionally underserved students – those from low-income homes and students of color. Through the Oregon Small Schools Initiative, E3 seeks to create high-achieving and equitable small high schools. These schools will ensure equally high outcomes for all students so that success or failure can no longer be predicted by race, gender, home language, or economic status. The Small Schools movement is growing in Oregon, but with mixed results.
Oregon Small Schools Initiative


School Safety. Oregon's comprehensive state anti-bullying policy includes the following components:

Basis: OR. REV. STAT. § 339.351, 339.356, 339.359, 339.362, 339.364


O.R.S. § 326.310
Senate Bill 1329 (1999 Regular Session)

Administrative Code:OAR § 581-022-1060

Oregon does not reward nor sanction districts on the basis of performance.

Oregon does not reward but it sanctions schools on the basis of performance. State sanctions of schools include written warning, offer of technical assistance, a requirement that the school create and implement a plan for improvement, and withholding of funds.

Parental Involvement

The title of Oregon's model program is, "The Schools Uniting Neighborhoods Initiative" (SUN) and is currently in 46 schools in six districts across Portland/Multnomah County. SUN's m ission is to improve the lives of children, their families and the community through partnering with local school communities to extend the school day and develop schools as "community centers" in their neighborhoods.

SUN envisions schools as community centers dedicated to student achievement and enrichment for the whole neighborhood, providing a safe, positive environment and offering valuable social services to meet the needs of the community. Services are delivered through a combination of Regional Service Centers, countywide contracts with culturally specific service providers, and city and/or county staffed efforts. This school-based approach brings a core set of services to high-need schools.

SUN schools serve a wide age group - from preschool to seniors - with the majority of those served falling between the ages of 5 and 14 (the students). Overall, the SUN initiative has a highly diverse ethnic composition as illustrated in figure 1 of the linked document. Three of the SUN schools have a very high (50 percent +) minority student enrollment, while the other five have between 15 and 25 percent. Further, the majority of the schools are located in economically poor communities, as the percentages of free or reduced lunch ranged from 1/5 to nearly 3/4 of the student population.

SUN programs run based on these goals; Student Success, Family Involvement, Neighborhood Involvement, Systems of Collaboration, and School Resource Use. There have been significant successes in collaboration and parental involvement. (ODE)
Annie E. Casey Foundation Report  (52pp) (2003)

The Oregon Education Association (OEA) provides a listing of Parent Training Workshops dealing with a wide range of topics relating mostly to special education needs.
Parent Training Workshops

Community & Parents for Public Schools (CPPS) was officially launched in January of 1999, as a chapter of Parents for Public Schools. It is part of the only organization nationally that actively recruits parents to public schools, and advocates for parents taking a role in decision-making, school improvement, and accountability. The mission CPPS is to create better schools through community and parent involvement. CPPS works to mobilize parents and community members who reflect the diverse culture of schools, to bring about systemic change in school districts.
Community & Parents for Public Schools

In an effort to close achievement gaps in PTA members from King School, a part of the Jefferson cluster, are gathering pledges from parents and community members who are willing to commit 10 or more hours volunteering in school. Their hope is to increase parent and community involvement in every school in the Jefferson cluster, and to provide a model for other schools in the district that want to increase student learning.

Based on a national non-profit program called Project Appleseed, the King PTA will be urging parents to pledge to spend at least 15 minutes each school night reading to younger children or being involved with homework or other school related activities for older students.

The Parent Involvement Toolbox includes Web-based parent involvement software, copyright to the Parent Involvement Pledge for mass distribution including a Spanish version of the pledge, a master copy of a volunteer activity log, personal assistance from the staff in the National Project Appleseed office, and more.
National Project Appleseed

NEA Grant to Close Achievement Gaps

The Oregon Education Association plans to use its NEA Grant to Close Achievement Gaps to conduct a Center for Teacher Quality survey of teacher working conditions, and use the survey results to help local associations improve their contract language. They also plan to train the OEA diversity cadre on NEA's C.A.R.E.: Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gaps.