Teaching and Learning Newsletter

November, 2019

Giving Thanks

This is the time of year when we pause from our busy lives and gather to give thanks, and here in the Teaching and Learning Department we are thankful for the many ways that 509j staff support making Corvallis Schools great places to work, teach, and learn. Corvallis staff consistently show a commitment to students, colleagues, and community by engaging in focused and ongoing learning that builds skills, capacity, and demonstrates growth.


We have had a very busy first quarter and are grateful for all of the professional learning that staff have participated in to support of our District Board Goals.


If you have not yet been involved, here is a peek at what Corvallis staff have been up to so far this year.

Student Achievement - Goal 1

  • Elementary and Secondary Math teachers have had the opportunity to visit each other's classrooms through Instructional Rounds.

  • Middle and High School Data Teams have had the opportunity to analyze attendance, behavior, and grade data to create action plans for student success.

  • Elementary teachers have been able to deepen their implementation of Collaborative Literacy through Lesson Study focused on the curriculum Being A Writer.

  • RTI/MTSS/Special Educators at the elementary level were able to attend the International Dyslexia Conference held in Portland, Oregon this year with an emphasis on implementation of strategies and systems integration

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Equitable Systems - Goal 2


  • Administrators and a member of the District Equity Leadership Team Advisory (DELTA) group attended the National Summit on Courageous Conversations. This conference provides district and school leaders with tools to engage, sustain, and deepen conversations about race with staff, families, and students. We were very excited to have Angel Harris, CSD parent, DELTA member, and president of the Corvallis/Albany branch of the NAACP present at the conference with Marcianne Rivero-Koetje in the area of Family and Community Engagement.

  • Over 75 staff attended Beyond Diversity in October. Beyond Diversity is the foundational training that all staff should experience to learn how to engage in Courageous Conversations About Race with our students, our colleagues, and our families. Another opportunity to attend Beyond Diversity is available to staff January 9 and 10. Please sign up through Frontline.

  • District office and high school staff are meeting monthly with Equal Opportunity Schools in order to develop plans for increasing participation of students of color in Advanced Placement courses.

  • Collaborative Action Research for Equity (CARE) teams have formed at each building to support building deeper understandings and improve culturally responsive teaching practices. In the months ahead, CARE members will conduct empathy interviews with students and parents of color.

  • Over 75 staff attended SpELL Training which is an acronym for our students in Special Education who are dually identified as Emerging Bilinguals. Participants (who included SpEd case managers, RTI specialists, and Language Specialists) gained critical perspectives about the impact of race and institutionalized barriers on our students who are dually identified.

  • Guided Language Acquisition Design (GLAD) is a six-day training intended to support educators in sheltering instruction for emergent multilingual students. Teaching and Learning will provide opportunities for additional training in GLAD as well as train 2 or 3 GLAD Trainers in Training. More info to come.

  • Corvallis High School staff had their first session in a series of trainings on Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP). SIOP is another model for how to provide meaningful instruction to all students and especially emerging bilingual students.

  • All facilities staff participated in training focused on equity and trauma-informed care led by Marcianne Rivero-Koetje.

The Power of Relationships in Schools

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Real World Learning - Goal 3

  • New teachers to the district participated in New Teacher Academy in August and most of them continue to meet together and with new teacher mentors to support great teaching practices.

  • High school science teachers had the opportunity to identify phenomena and case studies to ignite student interest in science.

  • Bailey Payne, our Sustainability Specialist, is working with Sustainability Leaders to form student Green Teams at each school. Green Teams are leading sustainability projects in their buildings and completing requirements to receive Oregon Green School Certification.

  • A few teacher leaders and Teaching and Learning staff developed bilingual STEM kits for 1st and 3rd-grade students, that will roll out this winter.

  • A new cohort of teachers, K-8, began the year-long cohort Apple Professional Learning (APL) to ensure the 1:1 devices in their classrooms are used as a tool to maximize student learning and redefine what we are able to do with the technology access we have.

Real-World Problem Solving: Finding Solutions Through Projects

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Health and Wellness - Goal 4


  • High school staff visited Willamette High School to learn from their Sources of Strength program implementation.

  • 85 staff and community partners participated in Collaborative Problem Solving training this month. CPS is a strengths-based approach to behavior that is built on the belief that, for most kids, the majority of their challenges result from a lack of crucial thinking skills when it comes to things like problem-solving, frustration tolerance and flexibility. This training will be offered again in the spring. Check Frontline to sign up.

  • Building and district leaders, counselors, and administrative staff have attended Gender Inclusive Training with Dr. Rafe McCullough. The next training will be in January and you can sign up on Frontline.

  • K-12 Counselors attended the Oregon School Counselor Association Conference in Portland. This year’s theme was Inviting Hope

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Long Range Facility Planning - Goal 5


  • The district’s Core Values for Educational Design as well as the Bond Program continue to support ongoing design work for Garfield, Lincoln, Hoover, Crescent Valley, and Cheldelin. Click on the link for Bond Program to see updates on design and construction.

  • Students and staff have participated in bathroom design conversations to support the design and construction of gender-neutral bathrooms in our schools.

  • The design process has begun for JAWS - Jefferson, Adams, Wilson schools with construction set to begin in spring 2021.

“Let us find a way to belong to this time and place together. Our future, and the well-being of all our children, rests with the kind of relationships we build today” – Chief Joseph
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We Are Grateful for All You Do!

Melissa Harder, Assistant Superintendent

Amy Lesan, Elementary Schools Coordinator

Nikki McFarland, Secondary Schools Coordinator

Sabrina Alexander, Special Education Coordinator

Rynda Gregory, High School Success Coordinator

Marcianne Rivero-Koetje, ELL and Equity Coordinator