Oak Creek Youth Learn Construction Isn't Just for Men
From: Sarah Evans, Inside OYA Newsletter: April 16, 2018
Rain and temperatures in the upper 30s hardly fazed the 14 girls and young women gathered on a recent March morning in Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility’s center courtyard.
They fastened their yellow or pink raincoats, pulled on work gloves and safety goggles, and tightened their tool belts for another session of sawing, hammering, and moving boards. For two hours, the area buzzed like a regular community construction site as the youth worked together on their latest project: creating garden bed frames.
Leading the charge was Katie Hughes, executive director of Girls Build, a Portland nonprofit with a mission of inspiring curiosity and confidence in girls through the world of building.
Typically, they do this by hosting summer camps and after-school programs for girls in the Portland area. But for 12 weeks this spring, they have parked their giant work trailer in the Oak Creek courtyard to teach the youth there about construction-related trades — and potential careers.
“We want to open up some doors to living wage careers so when they get out, they have opportunities and feel like they can go on to do great things,” Hughes says. “Plus, when you’re living in your own space and you don’t have to pay someone to fix things because you can do it on your own, that makes you more independent financially.”
And there’s another purpose: showing the young women that construction isn’t just for men.
Hughes, herself an experienced construction tradeswoman, has brought in an array of female instructors and professionals as role models. Some were previously incarcerated but have since built successful careers in the trades.
“It means a lot when the first electrician or plumber the youth get to know is a female who’s been doing it for years, and who’s confident and excited about it,” Hughes says. “The young women can ask them tough questions about what it’s really like on a job site.”
Above: Tatyana M. sawed boards that would become garden bed frames.
Girls Build offered its program to the youth at Oak Creek and the neighboring Young Women's Transition Program (YWTP) at the invitation of Fabian Casarez, living unit manager for YWTP, and Marcia Latta with Multnomah Education Service District, who is the college and career coordinator at the two facilities' schools. Latta heard about Girls Build on the radio and thought its mission aligned well with the vocational training Oak Creek and YWTP staff and teachers were already pursuing.
“The girls get to do something that’s hands-on, where they learn from people in the trades, and maybe discover they have an interest in pursuing this as a career,” Latta says. “The trades are good work opportunities that pay living wages, but sometimes making the leap into how you actually enter the field is difficult. The youth are getting to see how it works, and they’re getting instruction and mentorship from other women.”
Above: Katie Hughes (in red jacket), executive director of Girls Build, helped youth screw boards together.
Girls Build’s partnership with Oak Creek is being paid for through a three-year, $1.1 million U.S. Department of Education Juvenile Justice Reentry CTE Education grant. The grant funds the Opening Doors program, led by Portland Community College, which provides career and technical education and wraparound services to youth at Oak Creek, plus internships with trade organizations and other related opportunities.
For the Girls Build program, the youth started by building their own toolboxes out of wood. From there, they explored everything from electrical wiring to wall framing to concrete pouring.
Above: The youth started the 12-week program by building their own tool boxes.
On the cold morning in March, they were making garden beds where they eventually would plant a mix of flowers and edibles. Some had previous exposure to construction in the past via family members, but many had never picked up tools before the program.
Several said they liked the way construction projects ended with something tangible, and that they enjoyed working together as a team. “I love how it’s really down and dirty,” said Cheyenne P., 15. “And I like the satisfaction of finishing a product.”
Others cited the Girls Build mentors as a big part of why they enjoyed the program.
“The way I grew up, women cooked and cleaned the house. It wasn’t very inspiring,” said Myranda S., an 18-year-old currently at YWTP. “It’s nice to see women get out there and know what they’re doing in the trades.”
Tatyana M., also 18 and at YWTP, agreed. “I never really thought about a construction career because I mainly saw guys doing it. They [Girls Build] came here and showed us what’s possible — that we are girls and we can do this. They are inspiring.”
“We want to open up some doors to living wage careers so when they get out, they have opportunities and feel like they can go on to do great things.”
— Katie Hughes, executive director of Girls Build
Above: Myranda S. sawed a board with assistance from Roger Snell, Oak Creek's Vocation Education Services for Older Youth (VESOY) coordinator.
p:ear Gallery and Alliance @ Benson Artists, Students, and Teachers Collaborate for First Thursday Opening
From: Geof Garner
The MESD’s TRiO Alternative Pathways Program introduced Alliance @ Benson High School teachers and student-artists and p:ear Gallery artists and teachers to collaborate on a joint art project earlier this year.
On Thursday, March 1, the students of Alliance at Benson High School and p:ear Gallery presented their works of art to the public at the monthly First Thursday art opening at p:ear Art Gallery, (homeless youth arts nonprofit). Students from the p:ear Gallery also took part in this showcase of young artists’ works.
Above: Garrett (student artist from Alliance at Benson) and Josue Ramirez, Migrant Education, MESD
“The resonance of homeless youth and ‘at risk’ high school students collaborating to tell their parallel stories of empowerment through the arts is not lost on Joanna Vausberg, the dynamic high school art teacher who is spearheading the Alliance initiatives in project-based learning. “Even the most at-risk youth have a spark in them, and you have to find that spark,” she says. Vausberg herself finished high school at age 21 after having an art teacher find that spark in her, and she sees this clearly reflected in students at Alliance, like Ethan Shoemaker. Ethan had mostly given up on graduation but who found his spark by sharing with Vausberg his fascination with graffiti art and the documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. “Maybe that’s what you should be doing — making your own documentary about graffiti!” Joanna suggested, and with the guidance of Outside the Frame, Ethan is now well on his way to creating a film about Portland graffiti culture, a project that is keeping him engaged and working towards high school graduation.”
Through connections established with the MESD’s TRiO Program and the p:ear Gallery, Ethan will be creating a mural downtown in Portland that has already been approved by the Regional Arts and Culture Council. This collaboration will continue next year with new Alliance students participating with p:ear students.
Above: Korinna Wolfe, PPS, Senior Director, Multiple Pathways to Graduation
with art teacher Joanna Vausberg (middle) and Vice Principal of Alliance at Benson, Allison Adams.
"Our students were able to showcase their art and performance at the p:ear art gallery for 1st Thursday. [They] worked hard all year creating the art, and were able to get hands on gallery experience in hanging it as well. In addition, Ethan Shoemaker, worked with Outside the Frame to film a documentary on the process for credit. KGW joined us to film the whole project. It was a great success, and an awesome opportunity to showcase the skills and creativity of our students."
- Allison Adams, Vice Principal Alliance High School
Three Lakes Student Earns Certificate for Office Skills
From: Marcia Latta
Jenna M., a Vocational and Educational Services for Older Youth (VESOY) student at Three Lakes High School, has earned a work skills certificate in computer applications and office systems.
Last year, she completed a four-course certificate program through Portland Community College that qualifies her for employment in office support careers. The courses included basic computer skills, keyboarding, beginning Microsoft Word and beginning Microsoft Excel. Jenna will apply those skills as a teacher’s assistant for a computer course during spring term.
“Jenna has worked hard to complete this office skills program, and we are delighted that she will be compensated for her efforts in a paid position,” said Principal Joy Koenig. “She is a great role model for the other students.”
The office certificate program is funded by the federal Opening Doors grant. Other certificate programs at the school include tractor safety, forklift, industrial cleaning, barista, food handlers, culinary arts, wildland firefighting, flagger, C-TECH and first aid/CPR training.
Three Lakes and Riverside high schools continue to develop college and career readiness programs for students, including college courses from PCC and LBCC to meet general education requirements or provide training in CTE fields.
MESD Budget Document HERE
Public Notice of upcoming MESD Budget Committee Meeting
April 4, 2018
The meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.
Additional MESD Budget Committee meetings, if needed, are scheduled to be held on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, and Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at the same location. All meetings are open to the public. For more information, please review the Public Notice, HERE.
Knott Creek celebrates 2nd Trimester Awards
From: Laura Conroy
Knott Creek students, parents, and staff celebrated their 2nd Trimester Awards on Tuesday, March 12th. The event kicked off with music and dance led by music educator Ms. Jeigh (pictured above).
Students received personalized awards for progress including skill development, citizenship, creativity, big thinking, problem solving, behavior, level changes, sportsmanship, kindness, mentoring other students, self-regulation, working with multiple staff and most improved. Principal Kari Sanders and Teacher Jonathan Scott also presented principal awards.
The event concluded with a slideshow and refreshments for all. Congrats Knott Creek students!
Applicants sought for vacancy on Multnomah
Education Service District Board of Directors
May 22, 2017
The Multnomah ESD Board of Directors is seeking applicants to fill a vacancy (At Large Position #6) on the Board. Applicants must be residents within the Multnomah ESD boundaries which are approximately those of Multnomah County. To confirm residency in the MESD boundary area, contact the Multnomah County Elections Office, (503) 988-3720. Multnomah ESD is a regional education agency providing special education, school health services, alternative and outdoor education, technology and other support services to the eight public school districts in Multnomah County.
Applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on June 30, 2017. For more information contact the MESD Board Secretary, 503-257-1504; email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can download application materials here (Notice) and here (application). Interview will be conducted at a Special Session meeting of the Board on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.
May 3, 2017
A public hearing on a proposed supplemental budget for the Multnomah Education Service District for the current fiscal year will be held at 11611 NE Ainsworth Circle, Portland, OR 97220 in the Board Room on the 16th day of May, 2017 at 6:30pm. The purpose of the hearing is to discuss the supplemental budget with interested persons. A copy of the supplemental budget document may be inspected or obtained in the Business Office at 11611 NE Ainsworth Circle, Portland, OR 97220 between the hours of 8:00am and 4:30pm.
You can view the Public Notice HERE.
April 20th, 2017
Join us for the 2017 Milestones Celebration on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 3:45pm in the MESD Auditorium! Click HERE for more information.
Event Date: Thursday, March 23, 2017 • 8:00 am – 2:30 pm
Multnomah ESD • 11611 NE Ainsworth Circle • Portland, Oregon
In responding to questions on an online feedback form, participants had the following to say:
MESD Awarded Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting
From: Government Finance Officers Association
MESD's Business Services Department has achieved the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting or its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). The CAFR was judged to have met the high standards of the program, including demonstrating a spirit of full disclosure to communicate its financial story, and to motivate users to read the CAFR.
The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting was awarded by Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA), and represents a significant accomplishment for MESD.
Government Finance Officers Association is a major professional association servicing the needs of nearly 19,000 appointed and elected local, stale, and provincial-level government officials and other finance practitioners.
We've Screened for Dyslexia... Now What?
This Fall, every Kindergartener enrolled in a public school in Oregon will be screened for dyslexia.
Isn't that amazing?
Yes, it is! But if you're the administrator or educator who will be fielding questions, I'm guessing you're feeling a little anxiety about the dyslexia screener and what your action plan will be once it is administered.
I've got answers for you!
We've Screened for Dyslexia... NOW WHAT?
A Virtual Workshop Especially for Administrators
Date: Thursday, May 31
Time: 9:00-10:30 am
Click Here to Register
We've Screened for Dyslexia... NOW WHAT?
A Workshop Especially for K/1 Educators
Date: Tuesday, July 24th
Time: 8:30 am - 3:30 pm
Location: Lake Oswego
(includes a toolkit with everything you need
toimplement instruction aligned with results
from the screening)
Click Here to Register
Three Lakes and Riverside High School Students Expand Career Options with Forklift Training
From: Marcia Latta
Riverside and Three Lakes High School students are putting their new forklift to good use. So far, 15 students have completed the on-site certification program, which will qualify them to work in high-demand, medium-skilled jobs as material movers for factories or warehouses.
The forklift was purchased for Oak Creek Correctional Facility students by Oregon Youth Authority last year to provide another career training option for students. “We are excited about being able to offer this certification as an additional skill to put in our student's bag of ‘job readiness’,” said Principal Joy Koenig.
MESD teachers Greg McGowan and OYA Employee Roger Snell have earned certification to teach the basics of forklift safety and material moving operations. They follow a standardized forklift safety training program that emphasizes safe use and proper operations. The program includes an interactive PowerPoint presentation, followed up by a test. All of the information is based on federal and state regulations. The final process is a hands-on practical exam and proficiency test that includes a course with pylons and pallets to simulate some of the physical obstacles one may face in a warehouse.
The certification takes each student several weeks. “It is comprehensive,” said Snell. “We make sure they know what they are doing,” he said.
Forklift training is a popular program in both schools. “Driving a forklift is really cool, and I didn’t know I could do it,” said one student. “It’s not easy, but it is fun.”
This training is one of the many new training programs at Three Lakes and Riverside. “With tangible skills like driving a tractor, welding, and using a forklift, obtaining a degree – not to mention the ability to think critically, synthesize and analyze research, and even leave with some college – our students leave with the ability to do better. They have more opportunities than they had before,” said Koenig.
One of MESD's other OYA schools, Ocean Dunes in Florence, also offers forklift training for their students. Both OYA employee Marc Barnum and MESD's Kelly Kawahara are certified in forklift training.
Helensview Women’s Group and Culinary hosted their Valentine’s Day celebration in style, including a tempting menu of chocolate covered strawberries and tostadas de tinga.
MESD Assistant Superintendent Sascha Perrins Tours Ocean Dunes and Camp Florence
From: Marcia Latta
Ocean Dunes High School students and staff members had the opportunity to welcome Interim Assistant Superintendent Sascha Perrins during a visit on Friday, January 19th.
Principal Joy Koenig said she was proud to show him arounds MESD’s most remote school site, located at Camp Florence in Florence, Ore. “Ocean Dunes may be a small school, but they have a big heart for students, and they are doing great work meeting the variety of student needs at the school.”
The school tour included the new greenhouse, under construction after high winds blew the old one down; the new kiln for art and creative expression; the new classroom Promethean Board with new Ocean Dunes branding; and a discussion of future plans for VESOY (vocational education, school of older youth) and the high school program.
“I was happy to see staff and students working so creatively on their academic projects at the Ocean Dunes facility,” said Perrins. “The GED program, greenhouse construction and wonderful kitchen were all innovative examples of how our students can grow and learn with our committed staff!”
Perrins was able to meet a few students, MESD staff teacher Carol Besset, and educational and VESOY assistant Kelly Kawahara. He also spoke to site partners from OYA, including VESOY employee Marc Barnum, camp director Richard Ross and assistant camp director Jeffrey Pickell.
“We are always happy to show off the work we are doing on behalf of students,” said Koenig. “And we are delighted that Sascha was able to come see our school in action. We believe students and staff are living up to our school motto: ‘The Tide: A Force For Good’.”
Riverside High School students learn about manufacturing careers
From: Marcia Latta
Students in the Young Women’s Transitional Program at Riverside High School joined students from six other school districts in Linn and Benton counties to participate in hands-on activities at Linn Benton Community College.
The annual LBCC Women, Metals and Manufacturing event, sponsored by the Albany Chamber Pipeline to Jobs project, helps girls learn about non-traditional careers.
“We want students to explore new opportunities,” said Principal Joy Koenig. “If we can expose them to a variety of educational programs and career options, we believe they will be more likely to find a successful path when they leave.”
This event highlighted training programs and jobs in welding, mechatronics, non-destructive testing, CADD and machine tool. It also featured a panel of women who shared about their careers in Albany-based manufacturing companies, including Viper NW, ATI and Entek.
The panelists recounted how they started in entry-level positions after earning a high school diploma – or a GED in some cases – and advanced up to leadership positions. Riverside students were especially impressed with Entek Director of Extruder Sales Linda Campbell, who told the group she was the only female in the world in a position like hers. She shared that she worked her way up in the company and took advantage of opportunities to learn.
“I encourage you to seek to understand manufacturing before you make a decision,” she told the group. “Learn your options and keep an open mind.”
Campbell offered her card to any interested student who had additional questions. She said she would be happy to give tours to students, and Riverside students said they would love the opportunity. “She said she is making good money, and she is the only woman in the world doing what she is doing,” said Sierra. “We should talk to her more.”
The agency recognized and honored board members at the January regular meeting with certificates of appreciation, special catering by Helensview School's catering program and a reading of the Governor's Proclamation read by Superintendent Sam Breyer. Thank you board members for your service!
By Jaime Dunkle
The Bars to Bridges Project celebrated Bars to Bridges youth and their loved ones at King Pins for a fun night of bowling and pizza on Dec. 7. The Bars to Bridges Project supports the African American/Black Student Success Plan via the assistance of Transition Specialists. Our Transition Specialists work directly with African American, Black and Multi-race students who have been at the Donald E. Long Detention Home and are now transitioning into other placements or their neighborhood schools. Bars to Bridges, as an extension of House Bill 2016, also supports students at other facilities and in the community.
"My Transition Specialist is more relatable. He's from the South like me," said one student, who benefits from the Bars to Bridges project, at the holiday event.
Bars to Bridges staff did a wonderful job making sure students and their guests felt welcome with a steady flow of pizza pies and lane games. Everyone had a chance to bowl, even a couple of Donald E. Long teachers who came out to show support. The atmosphere was full of smiles, laughter and holiday cheer.
"It's no judgment. They don't look at you like you're a bad kid," the same student said.
Bars to Bridges youth were surprised with gift bags of backpacks, winter clothing, and shoes at our recent holiday event, thanks to REI, Columbia Sportswear and Dr. Martens. We appreciate the support!
Visit the Bars to Bridges Flickr page for more photo highlights of the holiday celebration. Find out more about Bars to Bridges and how it serves youth.
Two hundred and fifty students at Helensview School will have increased access and opportunities in Career Technical Education thanks to a $336,286 ODE CTE Revitalization grant. Using grant funds, the school will upgrade existing facilities to allow the school to support student participation in Phoenix Industries, its suite of career technical programs. The funding will allow the school to work towards establishing a pre-trade apprenticeship in carpentry offerings, establish a production kitchen to support the culinary business program, and provide additional dual credit opportunities through Mt. Hood Community College.
Students Angelica Perez-Garcia and Zoria Hudson welcomed the news with excitement. “Being at Helensview and involved in Phoenix Industries and the culinary program has allowed me to see myself and my future differently,” and, “I’m excited about all the new things this money will allow us to do in those programs,” said Perez-Garcia. “Participating in the CTE woodworking and manufacturing program has taught me math and confidence in speaking in front of a group, and the CTE funding to add an internship will help me learn about careers that I haven’t considered before,” echoed Hudson.
Principal Dawn Joella-Jackson added, “At Helensview we serve students who have been referred by their districts when they were not successful there. These students have so many skills and gifts. The growth of our CTE programs will allow them to find new ways to shine.”
CTE teachers Jermain Whitaker and Joe Williams explained about the impact the revitalization funds will have in their classrooms. “The math integration into the pretrade apprenticeship in carpentry allows students to visualize career and post-secondary opportunities after high-school,” explained teacher Jermaine Whitaker who leads the Woodworking and Manufacturing program. Teacher Joe Williams who leads the culinary business program added, “The program supports student learning in math, forecasting, marketing, and project planning. Students will receive dual-credit for their coursework through a partnership with Mt. Hood Community College.”
Phoenix Industries is a suite of hands-on career technical education programs. The programs include Phoenix Bike which uses bicycle repair and rejuvenation to support physics instruction and leads to internships with the community cycling center; Phoenix Ink a design and screen printing program, Phoenix Feast a culinary business program; Phoenix Beats, a composition, arrangement, and recording studio program; and Phoenix Build, a custom design and build construction and manufacturing program.
Helensview school is a middle and high school that offers multiples pathways to graduation for students grades 6-12. Its mission is to provide culturally competent educational and support services that empower students to engage in their own learning and encourage students to transition to post-secondary school, training or career opportunities. The school offers integrated community-based units built around common standards, actively incorporates student voice in themes and directions of the classes and offers hands-on programming through Phoenix Industries.
Thank you Representative Smith-Warner and Senator Frederick for speaking at the Multnomah ESD board meeting about building relationships with legislator.
Helensview Women's Group walked around and shared cookies with inspirational quotes with our neighbors!
Students from Helensview's health and PE class had a great Friday at the driving range.
The Helensview bike program has continued to grow and is now a part of our health and P.E. classes.
The culinary program makes Friday lunch at Helensview. Delicious!
Students in Helensview's health class learn about their brains.
Honoring all of the hard work from the summer including summer school,internships and STARS Mentoring.
Teams from Columbia River Pet Partners (CRPP) Pawsative Reading Pals visited the Migrant Education Summer Program at Hollydale Elementary in July. Participants were offered the chance to read with a supportive adult and a furry companion, and each student received a free book!
Top: David Ransier and Lady
Left: Barbara Harmon and Scamp, Right: Debby Lazarone and Chicory
Peter Christensen and canine companion Muka spoke to the older students about therapy dogs. Sherri Tallmon also brought along Ace, a registered therapy llama, to interact with some of the younger classes.
Thanks, Columbia River Pet Partners!
Burlingame Creek's Garden Harvest