Multnomah Education Service District

Pooling Professional Expertise for Education

News & Events May 2016

Hospital Program Wins Grand Prize
for Innovation in Student Services

May 20, 2016
Multnomah ESD's "Lighting the Way" program earned the Grand Prize at the 2016 Innovation Awards  presented by Oregon Association for ESDs. The award recognizes a program or service that changes the conversation from what we must do to what we can do differently and effectively to improve the lives of students.   
The "Lighting the Way" model provides immediate academic support to students receiving care in acute psychiatric hospital units and prepares districts to support students who have been discharged and are re-entering school.   The model provides this support through teacher liaisons that Award facilitate communication between medical and school district teams. When children enter hospital care, MESD teachers assess their immediate and long-term learning needs and communicate with the student’s home district.  Teachers notify districts that a student is receiving care and may request or make a recommendation for an IEP or 504 plan. When the child is discharged, MESD teachers provide districts with information that allow them to prepare appropriate supports for student re-entry.  As part of the model, MESD developed HIPPA and FRPA compliant hospital discharge forms.  These forms are completed by medical teams and contain information the districts need to prepare and provide appropriate supports to students re-entering the school setting.  MESD teachers also provide academic updates to district staff to ensure a smooth hand-off from hospital instruction to home district instruction.  MESD has served over 300 students as part of the Lighting the Way model. 

(Pictured: Mary Botkin, Board member, Staff members Nalani Wineman,  Lisa O'Toole, Sheila Schacher, and Scott Perry, Superintendent) 

Artwork by incarcerated youth MESD staff display incarcerated youth artwork in 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade
May 18, 2016
Artwork created by youth in detention was displayed as part of the annual 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade. Through a partnership with Johnson Creek Watershed Council and Lents Neighbors and MESD, students in detention at Donald E. Long created works of art.  MESD staff member Debra Giannini spearheaded the effort again this year to bring awareness to the program and to give youth the opportunity to showcase their art in a community event.

A Note from MESD Interim Superintendent Scott Perry
on National School Nurse Appreciation Day

May 11, 2016
Dear  MESD community,
Each day in school buildings across the metro area, registered nurses promote wellness and ensure that the health needs of students are safely met in our schools.   Increasingly, children today face more complex and life-threatening health problems that require care in school.
The care nurses provide includes providing case management to students with diabetes, serious allergies, asthma, ADHD and other chronic health conditions, training, health education, responding to illness and injuries, tracking student immunization records.  Highly skilled clinical nurses also provide one-on-one care for medically fragile students who would not be able to attend school or be in community with their peers without a highly skilled nurse
Over the past couple of months I have had the opportunity to see some of our remarkable nurses in action as they care for students and support them in school.  During recent school visits I have observed nurses supporting school wellness activities, participating in school committees focused on on emergency planning and preparedness, and providing care protocols to allow a family to provide homemade meals for their feeding-tube dependent child. The care, compassion, and skill that our nurses devote to children is so appreciated.

May 11 is National School Nurse Day and our nurses deserve our gratitude for their service to our children, their future, and our community.  

I invite the community to join me in extending our appreciation to our nurses for their dedication to our community’s future. No other occupation is as influential to the health of our young people. We are fortunate that the districts and schools in our community have professional nurses dedicated to benefitting students, not just on this National School Nurse Day, but throughout the year.

Scott Perry
Superintendent, Multnomah ESD 

Summer Meal Announcement
from the Oregon Department of Education
May 9, 2016
This summer, meals at no charge are available to all children and teens
1 – 18 years old.
To find the nearest summer meal site, text “FOOD” to 877877, or
call 1-866-348-6479, or visit
Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon works with the Oregon Department of Education to promote awareness of and expand access to this important program statewide. Learn more about the Summer Food Service Program and resources provided by Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon.

Looking for Medicaid Administrative Claiming (MAC)? here
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Looking for AAA Random Day Survey System? here

Featured News


    TSCC Public Budget Hearing
    May 6, 2016
    Please review the notice of the May 17th, 2016 Tax Supervising and Conservation Commission's Public Hearing on MESD's Approved Budget for 2016-17, HERE!

    Join the MESD New Beginnings Team for
    the 14th annual NAMI Walk on Sunday, May 15th


    May 4, 2016

    The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, providing advocacy, education, support and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives. If you would like to participate in this year's NAMI Walk, you’ll find more information, and a signup form, right here!:  


    A message from MESD Interim Superintendent Scott Perry
    May 3, 2016:

    Dear MESD Teachers,

    Today, Tuesday May 3rd is National Teacher Appreciation Day and I wanted to take a moment to express my heartfelt appreciation for the important work that each of you do every day for our students. 

    It takes a special type of person to teach, and even more so when teaching students who are highly impacted by traumas, medical conditions, and cognitive delays as is the case with so many of our students.  It requires patience, empathy, a genuine interest in meeting the child where they are and helping them achieve their potential, and a nurturing spirit. 

    In my recent school and program site visits I have witnessed these qualities in every teacher I have had the privilege of watching in action.  Each day you provide the  emotional, social, and academic support students need to be successful in school and in life and I so appreciate you.  

    You greatly deserve the appreciation that this day brings.  Thank you so much for your energy, dedication, expertise, and commitment to the children we serve.


    Approved Budget April 21, 2016
    Please review MESD's Approved

      Geof Garner Congratulations to Geof Garner: Winner of Mt. Hood Community College's 2016 Advocate of the Year Award!
    April 7, 2016
    Geof Garner, MESD Alternative Pathways Program Manager, was named Mt. Hood Community College's Advocate of the Year at a ceremony held at MHCC on Wednesday, April 6. Congratulations, Geof!

    Internal Communication Audit Report
    March 17, 2016
    Multnomah ESD embarked on a communication audit process in November 2015.  The purpose of the audit was to gather information from employees, board members, and administrators to inform MESDs communication goals, strategies and plan.  Phase 1 of the audit process focused on internal communication customs, practices, and procedures. The audit process included an electronic survey and 5 focus groups with over 30 representatives of classified staff, certificated staff, administrators, and board members. It also included a thorough review of materials and communications compiled and distributed by MESD programs, services, and departments.  The data from the survey in aggregate form is available in this report, along with the analysis of the auditors, and their recommendations. Many thanks to everyone that participated in the survey and focus groups.  The agency will now proceed into a review and reflection phase of this Phase 1 Internal Communications Audit report.  Details about next steps and participation in those steps will be published when available.  Phase 2 External Communications will begin in the fall of 2016.  Details about the phase will be published when available.
    Samuel Breyer Multnomah ESD Board selects
    Sam Breyer as Superintendent
    March 15, 2015
    The Multnomah ESD Board announced today that Samuel Breyer would be offered the position of Superintendent at MESD.  Superintendent search committee chair Stephen Marc Beaudoin shared these comments about the process and Mr. Breyer:

         "It's a great day to be a student or parent in Multnomah County, because Sam Breyer is our new MESD Superintendent.  Mr. Breyer was the choice of our board because of his strong track record of delivering results for students; his empathic and highly collaborative leadership style; his deep and personal commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion; and his abundant skill in building relationships and coalitions in service to bringing big things to life for our students and our schools. Sam is exciting in an understated way - and we're excited to welcome him aboard to help lead MESD into this next phase of our journey forward.  Every person that's worked with him had something positive and warm to say about him: students, parents, teachers, staff, colleagues, and community partners. And while MESD's positive impact may not always be seen by the public, I guarantee it is felt by the students we serve, their families, and the community as a whole. As our new Superintendent, Mr. Breyer will ensure that MESD's essential and excellent work in school health services, instructional services, special education, and technology continues to evolve and expand, as we work to meet the needs of our districts and students in the 21st century and beyond.  I want to especially recognize and thank our dedicated and thoughtful 15 member Superintendent search committee, our component district Superintendents, and the entirety of the MESD board for their commitment to a rigorous and open search process. And to Mr. Bautista, our other finalist for the position, we say thank you for your commitment to students, and for your thoughtful engagement in our process."

    Mr. Breyer is the Superintendent of the Centennial School District and has served in that role for the past four years.  He began his career in education as a teacher at East Gresham Elementary where he taught for seven years.  His administrative experience includes serving as a Teacher on Special Assignment for one year, a Principal for Butler Creek Elementary for four years, and an Assistant Director of Curriculum and Student Learning. Mr. Breyer earned his Bachelors of Science in Economics and Masters of Arts in Teaching in Early Childhood/Elementary from Willamette University.  He earned his administrator’s certificate in Education Leadership from Lewis & Clark College.

    Mr. Breyer said: 

          "I’m honored to have this opportunity, and grateful for the Board’s confidence in me.  It is clear that Multnomah ESD is ready to move forward into an exceptional future of service and collaboration.   I look forward to serving the 8 component school districts, more than 400 MESD employees, and over 100,000 students in our region.  MESD will be a leader and partner in our community as we improve educational outcomes for all students."

    The search for the next MESD Superintendent was notably robust, transparent and a model of stakeholder engagement.  David Douglas Superintendent Don Grotting represented the component district Superintendents on the search committee and shared:

           "A great selection process constructed by the Multnomah Education Service District Board of Directors has resulted in the selection of a great superintendent, Sam Breyer to revitalize and lead our ESD to new heights. As a component school district superintendent, I am truly excited regarding the selection of Mr. Breyer to lead the Multnomah ESD to do great things for the children and families of Multnomah County.

             I would like to express my gratitude and congratulations to the Multnomah Education Service Board of Directors for their transparent, inclusive, and rigorous superintendent search and selection process.  The Board ensured all stakeholders were provided an opportunity to participate and give constructive feedback during all phases of this fair and structured process. 

             The process yielded great local and national interest, and the final selection was difficult due to the quality of our finalists.  Component School District Superintendents look forward to working and partnering with Sam Breyer to do great things for the children and families throughout Multnomah County."

    The MESD Board also thanked Interim Superintendent Scott Perry for his service and commitment during this time of transition.  Perry will continue as Interim Superintendent until Breyer can begin his position as MESD Superintendent.  Breyer is expected to start as MESD Superintendent July 1st.


     Martina Bell Migrant Education's Martina Bell
    invited to State work group
    March 14, 2016
    Martina Bell, instructor and recruiter for MESD's Migrant Education Program, has been invited to participate in a work group with a focus on improving efforts in migrant education recruitment across the state of Oregon. Congratulations, Martina!Please see MEP's March Newsletter for more information, here!

    MESD offers deepest condolences to the Rose family
    March 11, 2016
    This morning we were informed that Jeneva Rose, wife of Jim Rose, passed away yesterday evening.  As many of you know Mrs. Rose battled brain cancer for the past 13 years and recently began receiving hospice care.

    Mrs. Rose was a high school guidance counselor and was beloved by the students and staff at Sherwood High School. She and Jim made their home in Sherwood with their two young daughters, Jenessa and Jazlyn.

    Our hearts and prayers are with Jim and the Rose family during this difficult time.

    We will share details about a Celebration of Life when those are available. 

    Any MESD staff that wish to leave a card for the Rose family may leave them with Jim's assistant, Heather Severns.  In lieu of flowers the family asks for donations to the Mainsail Brain Tumor Foundation. Jim also shared a request that everyone give their loved ones an extra hug tonight.

    MESD School Nurse Lindsey Caudle brings the joy of the ukulele to Sitton Elementary

    MESD School Nurse Lindsey Caudle has been at Sitton Elementary for the past three years. When Lindsey started at Sitton, the school had no art or music programs. While there is an art teacher now, there is still no music. So, Lindsey decided to introduce students to the ukulele. 
    Caudle explained: "Ukulele has become extremely popular worldwide in recent years and is also catching on in schools. Canada includes ukulele in almost all their elementary school curriculum. 

    I have been playing ukulele for the past 6 years and am now part of the Portland Ukulele Choir, directed by Richard Colombo. It is such a great way to enjoy music and other people, that I wanted to be able to share it with some of the students at Sitton. I started out last year with some plastic ukuleles that I purchased, and spent time with some of the 4th & 5th graders during their recess time. 

    This year, the Portland Ukulele Choir (PUC) wanted to help bring the love of ukulele to children, and Sitton was fortunate enough to be the first recipient of the choir's generosity.... Doing a class with SUN school this session was the beginning. The video (below) was Tuesday at our last class. My hope is for music to be incorporated into the curriculum during the school day, but recess and after school will work for now!"

    Ann Occhi and Laurel Mertz
    SHS Celebrates Benson Wellness Center Opening
    February 17, 2016 - MESD SHS has been engaged in a two year project with PPS at Benson Polytechnic High School to create an integrated model of health services that serves all students with a focus on wellness. In this model the school nurse is central and integrated to the model, not separate. Laurel Mertz (pictured with Supervisor Ann Occhi) has been an enthusiastic member of the team since the beginning. Her dedication and passion for school health reflects well on school health services and is an asset to both the school and district. The grand opening was a celebratory manifestation of a vision complimented with a poignant reflection from former Governor Barbara Roberts who was and remains a passionate advocate for increased access to school health services for students in Oregon. Please read
    this article in The Lund Report to learn more about the center.

    Penny Plavala
    Penny Plavala honored with Lifetime Literacy Award
    February 12, 2016 - Congratulations to MESD Literacy Specialist, Penny Plavala, winner of the 2016 Lifetime Literacy Award from the Oregon Literacy Association! Congratulations to Oregon Reading Association member Penny Plavala! She has just received a well-deserved prestigious award at Winter Institute, the Lifetime Literacy Award! 

    Margo Lalich
    Margo Lalich appointed to
    School Nurse Task Force
    February 12, 2016 - Congratulations to Margo Lalich, Director of MESD School Health Services, on her appointment to Governor Brown's Task Force on School Nursing! Governor Kate Brown announced the appointment of MESD SHS Director Margo Lalich to the School Nurse Task Force. The task force will examine other health care funding sources including billing of students' health insurance for the purpose of using moneys from health care funding sources. It will also recommend sustainable funding sources for school health services, to fund school health screenings and school nursing services.

    Superintendent Search Committee Finalized
    February 1, 2016 - The Board announced today that the committee for the Superintendent Search has been finalized. Superintendent Committee Search Chair, and Board Vice-Chair Stephen Beaudoin, stated "the committee is comprised of individuals who bring diverse experiences and perspective to the committee which will enhance the search process." Committee members include:
    Stephen Marc Beaudoin, Chair – Vice Chair, Multnomah ESD board of directors
    *George Murdock, consultant
    Jeremy Berliss, principal, Wheatley School of Multnomah ESD
    Mary Botkin, board member, Multnomah ESD
    Karen Finch, Multnomah ESD, AFSCME president
    Bernie Giusto, board member, Multnomah ESD
    Don Grotting, Superintendent, David Douglas School District
    Dawn Joella-Jackson, principal, Helensview School of Multnomah ESD
    Darion Demartez Jones, communications, Meyer Memorial Trust
    Margo Lalich, director of school health services, Multnomah ESD
    Lillian Moffitt, writer and education advocate
    Rita Moore, policy analyst, Oregon Health Authority, and education advocate
    *Scott Perry, acting interim Superintendent, Multnomah ESD
    Jim Rose, chief operating officer, Multnomah ESD
    Amanda Schroeder, president, American Federation of Government Employees Local 2157
    Aaron Smith, communications manager, Basic Rights Oregon
    Emily Wittman, Multnomah ESD, MESDEA president
    *signifies ex-officio, non-voting members of the committee
    The application period for the superintendent position is open until February 15th. Additional details about the application and search process can be found at the Superintendent Search page, here!

    Mary Johnson, RN
    MESD School Nurse
    Mary Johnson featured in Lincoln High School's The Cardinal Times. Read the story here!

    MESD Accountability Report, 2014-2015Accountability Report

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