Here we go!

August 14, 2020

You all, we’ve got this.

This is going to be an unprecedented year of learning for students and staff. We often wish for and seek the opportunities to consider student’s needs and design our learning spaces to meet those needs. Historically, it has been challenging to reframe and shift our collective patterns in education to incorporate new strategies or practices. Leaders, you can do this. You have done this! You have been leaders in the state and this country in redesigning education for our students who experience disabilities. You have led the work in creating inclusive classrooms.

This pandemic has brought significant turmoil for education, our staff, and families around the globe and yet is an opportunity to innovate and recommit to our beliefs. How often do we truly have the opportunity to build and create every structure in our learning communities? I know that we will emerge from this year having learned so much about our students, strategies, and ourselves. I am so thankful to be learning with you.

Our district theme this year is Leading Forward. We are leading through some pivotal moments. We are leading through a pandemic and through a country and community that is highlighting the systems that need to be disrupted to ensure equity and access for all. This is the time for change. This is the time for courage and chance for us to individually, collectively, and systemically commit to disrupting systems of racism and oppression. We must read, think, hear multiple perspectives and act for our students, community and world.

This summer has already included so much incredible collaboration and commitment to our students. Thank you! You have been sharing about how we can think outside of the box to support our students through the WLWV Online Program, through Comprehensive Distance Learning and Hybrid Instruction. We have some new resources and new tools to support you in this work and we will keep thinking and learning about how to support our practices. We have some new resources that we will share at kick-off, new curriculum tools to support instruction during distance learning and shifts in our Zoom practice (synchronous connections with students!). As we connected with each group of phenomenal professionals, we heard consistently a desire for collaboration, connection and streamlined supports. We are working towards these!

You may have seen or heard about the updated guidance from ODE Ready Schools, Safe Learners. There are components of the guidance that we are considering very seriously. We want you to know that first and foremost, student and staff safety are our primary priorities. It is with such sincere gratitude that we want to thank all of you who have taken time from your summer to grapple with these incredibly complex issues and share your professionalism with us as we think about maintaining the safety of our community while finding new ways to support rigorous learning opportunities. We want you to hear that we will continue to partner with you as we consider the individual needs of our students, guidance from ODE, and the incredibly important safety of all.

Please remember that self-care is an ethical imperative. During these times of uncertainty, I hope that we all can take time to consider a proactive commitment to our health and well-being. This is an incredibly important step in establishing our own professional resiliency. Please consider how you can take care of yourself, model it for your colleagues, students and families, and if you are comfortable, talk about it. We must share and support each other in this taxing work. We are stronger together!

We will continue to focus on Improving Instructional Practices, Creating Inclusive Cultures and Increasing Student Voice. This is foundational to our beliefs, values and mission. We know that this may look a bit different than it has in the past, but we are an innovative district. You are an innovative professional and leader. I am so proud to be thinking along side each of you. Let’s hold each other to our commitments, to our students, and to our community.

With respect and appreciation,


Save the Date!

Our landscape changed. The grammar of education changed. But our values did not. Let's process this together at Kick-Off! This is a pivotal moment to recommit to our focus areas, to enhance and hone our relationships, planning and teaching with our colleagues and to build classrooms that meet the needs of our learners. Let’s take the time at our kick-off to find our through-line.

  • How do we reframe how we promote a growth mindset for our students when we are not together in the classroom?
  • How do we adjust how we partner with and support our families to meet the needs of the whole child in distance learning?
  • What does it look like to support strong learning and peer partnerships when students are not together in the classroom?

This is where we innovate and build and create professional learning communities, because we can and will do this.

We will be meeting over ZOOM on WEDNESDAY August 26th from 8:00-12:00.

We have New Colleagues!

We are so excited to welcome our new colleagues to our team. At our Kick-Off we can learn more about these incredible new professionals. Look out for them and welcome them to our incredible team!

  • Emily LeBlanc - Learning Specialist at Boeckman Creek Primary School
  • Rachel Knabe - Learning Specialist at Sunset Primary School
  • Dan Burns - Learning Specialist at Rosemont Ridge Middle School
  • Tess Jenkins- Nurse
  • Izzy Villegomez - Speech Language Pathologist at Trillium Creek Primary School and Inza Wood Middle School
  • Keri Steed - School Psychologist Intern
  • Julia Carr- Counselor at Boeckman Creek Primary School
  • Malcom Simonoff- Counselor at West Linn High School
  • Caitey Anderson - Instructional Coordinator

Welcome to the West Linn-Wilsonville Team!

New PD Calendar

We have a new PD calendar. We hope that this helps streamline our professional development offerings and creates an easy system for you to register for professional learning!

Check it out on the Student Services Website:

Big picture

Your Trio Team

Our District Office team looks a bit different this year. We have jumped in and are finding our groove each step of the way. It has been a beautiful and quick partnership! We are affectionately calling ourselves the "Student Services Trio." Here is a bit more about our roles. Please remember, we are practicing flexibility and leaning into the unexpected. We will adjust and be adaptive to your needs! Reach out to us anytime!

Dr. Jennifer Spencer-Iiams | Assistant Superintendent of Student Services

Jennifer is partnering with the Teaching and Learning department, providing overall leadership for the department and collaborating on moving our work and vision forward. She will be primarily focusing her role on the Student Services components including: school counseling, health services, and safe learning communities. She will be supporting threat assessments and crisis response. Jennifer will also be the special education liaison for high school and transition programs.

Lauren Brigsby | Director of Special Education

Lauren will be collaborating with the primary and middle school teams as the special education liaison. She will be supporting the Instructional Coordinators, SLPs, early childhood and school age evaluation team. Contact Lauren as a thought partner, including for issues related to program planning, instruction, concerns and with any legal questions your team might have.

Stephanie Clawson | Assistant Director of Special Education

Stephanie is going to partner with some of the dynamic work that is happening in Teaching and Learning around Multi-Tiered Systems of Support across primary and mid-level. She will continue to collaborate on the development of Circles of Support, instructional tools & resources, as well as plan professional development opportunities for some of our big areas of focusing, including for UDL, co-teaching, parents and our educators. She will also be working with our motor team, private and charter schools.

This work and our structures may look a bit different depending upon our educational context. Regardless, Stephanie and Lauren will be collaborating in the work and we are both available to support your teams at anytime!

What are YOU Reading and Listening to?

We are all learning everyday. Let's share with each other what we are reading and thinking about. We want to know what you are reading or thinking about! Here are some of the books and podcasts that I am reading right now.

Let's Connect!

Reach out with ideas, resources, to check-in or have a thought parnter!