Multnomah Education Service District

We Support All Students to Achieve Excellence

News & Events

  • 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.

    Helensview Valentine's Day Decorations Helensview students enjoying Valentine's Day Helensview students enjoying Valentine's Day  Helensview Valentine's Day Menu Preparing the feast

















    MESD Assistant Superintendent Sascha Perrins Tours Ocean Dunes and Camp Florence
    From: Marcia Latta

    Assistant Superintendent Sascha Perrins Tours Ocean Dunes and Camp Florence
    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.

    Assistant Superintendent Sascha Perrins Tours Ocean Dunes and Camp Florence

    “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’.”

     Flyer, full text below Building Bridges to Tomorrow’s Workforce
    You are Invited ...
    Employer Engagement event to promote collaboration with local businesses and schools to support the belief that "anyone can work". Business and student panel to share their successful work experience relationship and employment in the community.
    February 7, 2018
    Multnomah Education Service District
    11611 NE Ainsworth Circle
    Portland, Oregon 97220
    RSVP: Jodi Johnson @


    Riverside High School students learn about manufacturing careers
    From: Marcia Latta

    Riverside Students participating in LBCC Women, Metals and Manufacturing event
    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.

    Riverside students participate in LBCC Women, Metals and Manufacturing event
    The annual LBCC Women, Metals and Manufacturing event, sponsored by the Albany Chamber Pipeline to Jobs project, helps girls learn about non-traditional careers.

    Riverside students participate in LBCC Women, Metals and Manufacturing event

    “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.”

    Riverside students participate in LBCC Women, Metals and Manufacturing event
    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.

    Riverside students participate in LBCC Women, Metals and Manufacturing event

    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.

    Riverside students participate in LBCC Women, Metals and Manufacturing event
    “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.”

    Riverside students participate in LBCC Women, Metals and Manufacturing event

    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.”

    Riverside students participate in LBCC Women, Metals and Manufacturing event

    MESD Celebrates Board Appreciation Month

    Photo: MESD Board Members holding certificates of appreciation

    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!

    Photo: Food provided by Helensview Photo: Food provided by Helensview







    Literacy Symposium Flyer (text below)

    Seats available for an upcoming event in the Instructional Leadership Academy @ Multnomah ESD

    There is no cost to attend the events in this series - but registration is required as we provide refreshments. 

    -- Learn more on attached flyer. Please note specific grade levels for each session. 

    Event: Tuesday, February 6, 2018  Literacy Symposium for School Teams: Administrators and Instructional Specialists

    *** Session One for Grades 6-12   8:30 - 11:30 am
    Changing the Narrative: Literacy, Literature, and the Pursuit of Equity
    Participants will: 
    - understand the power of literature to address educational inequity and social and emotional learning
    - get practical advice on establishing a culture that supports collective learning and improvement
    - discuss how to investigate literacy problems and respond with systematic change

    *** Session Two for Grades K-5    12:30 - 3:30 pm

    The Multi-Tiered System of Support Journey for ELs: Belief, Skill, and Will
    Participants will: 
    - understand how to incorporate multicultural, multi-perspective, multi-sourced leveled materials that meet the needs of students
    - understand how ELs are serviced in a multi-tiered system of support framework
    - understand the alignment between content standards and the English Language Proficiency standards

    Presenter: Amelia Van Name Larson       This event is co-sponsored by the American Reading Company. (not a sales presentation) 

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Featured News

  • Staff News and Newsletters

    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  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. 

    Public Notice of a Supplemental Budget Hearing

    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

    MESD Milestones of Achievement Celebration

    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.


    Board Candidate Reception at MESD on April 18, 2017

    On Tuesday, April 18th at 5:00 p.m. there will be a reception in the auditorium at the Ainsworth building for the MESD Board Candidates that have filed to run for the four Board positions up for election on May 16th.  This is a casual opportunity for you to meet the candidates and ask them questions prior to the Board Regular Session meeting at 6:00 p.m.
    For more information about the candidates, please see the Voters' Pamphlet for the May 2017 Special District Election, HERE.   

    2017 OEA Choice Trust School Employee Wellness Conference

    OEAC17 April 6, 2017
    Seven MESD employees attended the OEA Choice Trust School Employee Wellness conference in Bend March 26-28.  This is the largest contingent we've had! Because we registered as a team, MESD was entered into a raffle to win $200 to spend on employee wellness in our organization.  We won! More importantly, participants made great connections and got good ideas that we can put to use in our Employee Wellness Program. For more information, send an email to
    (Pictured left to right: MESD conference participants Elana Emlen, Suzanne Briggs, Cindi Brokaw, Sean Woodard, Leanne Mixa Bettin)

    Approved Budget 17-18  

    Public Notice of upcoming MESD Budget Committee Meetings

    March 27, 2017
    The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 6:00 pm. For more information, please review the Public Notice, HERE.  

    Strategic Plan Video Update
    March 15, 2017

    Rigor and Relevance for Deeper Learning

    March 7, 2017
    Literacy superstar Carol Jago visited MESD today to speak to a group of 45 grade 6-12 instructional coaches and teachers as part of our Secondary Literacy Coaches' Network.

    Carol is associate director of the California Reading and Literature Project at UCLA and author of many professional books on teaching and learning in the literacy classroom.

    This free presentation for educators is made possible through our partnership with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
    Carol Jago 2 Carol Jago 3  Carol Jago  

    Happy Classified Employee Appreciation Week!

    March 6, 2017

    Strategic Plan Video Update

    February 21, 2017

    "Literacy and Pursuit of Equity" event at MESD

    Event Date: Thursday, March 23, 2017  •   8:00 am – 2:30 pm

    Multnomah ESD • 11611 NE Ainsworth Circle • Portland, Oregon

    Presenter: Amelia Van Name Larson, Vice President of Innovations and School Supports at American Reading Company
    Amelia Van Name Larson Students’ literacy experiences help shape what they imagine to be possible. Gender, race, perspectives, and volume matter. Indeed, representation matters, because what they see and read shape what they imagine to be possible for people who look like them, live where they live, or come from where they came from. There is strong evidence for building classroom libraries to include books where ALL students will find mirrors (which reflect themselves), windows (which show them a larger world), or sliding glass doors (which encourage social action).
    $29 registration fee (includes lunch)
    Registration is required: Register Here

    Women, Metals & Manufacturing

    January 25, 2017
    Submitted by Marcia Latta

    Riverside High School students joined students from five mid-valley high schools at the the second annual Women, Metals and Manufacturing Day at Linn Benton Community College on January 20, 2017.

    The event is sponsored by the Albany Chamber of Commerce Pipeline to Jobs initiative, LBCC and local manufacturers to encourage women to explore training opportunities for careers in manufacturing and skilled trades.

    Students attended two of five hands-on workshops in training programs offered by LBCC, including Computer-Aided Design and Drafting (CADD), Machine Tool Technology, Welding and Fabrication, Mechatronics Industrial Maintenance and Non-Destructive Testing. 
    Carissa and Charlie  Carissa
    (Pictured at left: Students Carissa and Charley in the Mechatronics workshop; pictured at right, Student Carissa)

    OEA Choice Trust funding continued for MESD's Employee Wellness program!

    January 18, 2017
    MESD has been awarded a third year of continued funding ($20,040) from the OEA Choice Trust for our employee wellness program in 2017.  Some of the activities that will be supported include: MESD’s basketball team in the Portland league; a wellness program Exercise Room Exercise room orientation video; Yoga and other exercise classes; continuation of Walker Tracker and other fitness challenges; the Newsletter; workshops; site potlucks; the Ainsworth garden; reduced price massage at University of Western States; and more!  

    Elana Emlen and Suzanne Briggs are the Employee Wellness Co-Coordinators and can be reached at  The Employee Wellness Committee will be researching and implementing more ways to make the program useful to all MESD employees, no matter where they work.  The Committee meets on the first Thursday of each month 3:15-4:15, in person and by phone participation. (Pictured: OEA Choice Trust funding has helped pay for new exercise spaces at MESD, like this one!)

    Math educators participate in workshop presented by Robert Kaplinsky

    January 5, 2017
    Educators gathered on January 5th to learn from Math Coach Robert Kaplinsky as part of the MESD’s Mathematic and Coaching Leadership Network (MCLN). The morning's topic was “Rethinking the Choices We Make in Mathematics Instruction” and the afternoon's topic Robert Kaplinsky was “Exploring Problem Based Learning,” Robert is recognized as a leader in the mathematics community.  

    In responding to questions on an online feedback form, participants had the following to say:

     “Thank you, Robert, for being relevant and practical while presenting transformational teaching philosophies and strategies.”
     "Excellent presenter. I would attend a presentation by him again. Lots of 'the why' and also many immediate, practical things I can attack as soon as I get back to the office."
    For upcoming Training Events, click here!

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    Bars to Bridges project celebrates youth

    By Jaime Dunkle

    Image of Bars to Bridges Youth Bowling

    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. 

    Helensview School awarded CTE grant to support student participation in Phoenix Industries

    Helensview CTE Students

    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.

    Helensview CTE Students

    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.”

    Helensview CTE Students

    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.

    Helensview CTE Students



    Oregon Reading Association State Literacy Conference. Friday, February 2, 2018 Seminar with author Jeff Zwiers

    Early bird registration is offered for the Oregon Reading Association State Literacy Conference Feb. 2-3, 2018 in Portland. 

    $195 Oregon Reading Association Member
    $230 Non-Member
    On Day 1 of the conference, learn how to enhance students' oral language and constructive conversation skills from author Jeff Zwiers. He will share strategies to improve students' speaking and paired conversations that are focused on text-based understandings and critical thinking. This presentation is for K-12 educators.
    On Day 2, choose 4 of 16 small group sessions offering classroom-ready strategies in four strands: K-5, 6-12, Struggling Readers, and STEAM. The sessions are presented by Oregon literacy leaders: classroom teachers, instructional coaches, and university faculty. 

    Other Benefits: PDU certificate; one graduate credit from PSU; purchase classroom resources (Treehouse Books); review curriculum resources from exhibitors (Stenhouse, Booksource, McGraw Hill, HMH, Heinemann, Perma-Bound, American Reading Co., and Reading Horizons)  
    Paying by check or P.O.? Use PDF registration form. (or RTF registration form)
    Registration questions? Contact Diana Sohn

    Conference questions? Contact Beth Elliot

    Conference Flyer PDFConference Flyer RTF

    Riverside students learn about career options during Manufacturing Day at Linn Benton Community College

    From: Marcia Latta

    Riverside High School students participated in Manufacturing Day at Linn Benton Community College on Oct. 6. The event, sponsored by the Albany Chamber of Commerce Pipeline to Jobs project, helps students learn about high-demand manufacturing careers and community college training programs. Students joined other high school students in the community to tour local companies, speak to employers and learn about skills to help them get hired and advance in a career.

    Riverside Students at Manufacturing Day

    Seven students who are in the Young Women’s Transition Program toured Albany-based Wood Castle Furniture in the morning and then spent the day at the college touring five college programs.

    Riverside Students at Manufacturing Day

    Wood Castle has developed a manufacturing process to make fine furniture as efficiently as possible. During the factory tour, students observed each step in the process. Chief Operating Officer Scott Pierson hosted the tour and emphasized that manufacturing careers provide good wages to workers who work hard and continue to learn throughout their careers.

    Riverside Students at Manufacturing Day

    Teacher Greg McGowan accompanied the students. “I think the message from the Wood Castle was a good reminder that students can take control of their future by learning skills and developing a good work ethic,” he said.

    Riverside Students at Manufacturing Day

    After the tours, students returned to LBCC to learn more about LBCC programs that train students for local jobs. Students toured program areas for Machine Tool, Mechatronics, CADD, Welding and Non-Destructive Testing programs.

    Riverside Students at Manufacturing Day

    Principal Joy Koenig said one of the goals at Riverside High School is to expose students to career options that they can pursue when they leave. “We understand that the transition to independent living – and to adulthood – can be stressful, and even scary,” she said. “But the opportunities are also exciting. We want to help students learn skills and earn college credits when they are with us, so they can be prepared for success in the future.” 

    School Improvement Hosts Literacy Expert

    Participants discuss at Carol Jago event
    Portrait of Carol Jago   MESD's School Improvement Program hosted literacy
      expert Carol Jago on October 5th to work with English
      teachers in grades 6-12 for a day-long workshop called 
      "Instructional Moves That Matter: Helping Students
      Become Competent, Habitual and Confident Readers". 
    Participants discuss at Carol Jago event
    35 educators from Centennial, Gresham-Barlow, PPS and Reynolds School Districts learned strategies to engage the most reluctant readers and writers. In one activity, participants created an original "Golden Shovel" poem using a line from "Genius Child" by Langston Hughes, then discussed how they could effectively increase the reading and writing of poetry in their classrooms. 

    Participants discuss at Carol Jago event
    This no-cost to participants event was co-sponsored by publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

    Legislators Meet with the MESD Board

    Representative Smith Warner and Senator Frederick at the board meeting
    Thank you Representative Smith-Warner and Senator Frederick for speaking at the Multnomah ESD board meeting about building relationships with legislator.

    Happenings Around Helensview

    Helensview Women's Group shares cookies.
    Helensview Women's Group walked around and shared cookies with inspirational quotes with our neighbors! 

    Helensview P.E. Class at the driving range
    Students from Helensview's health and PE class had a great Friday at the driving range.

    Helensview Bike Program
    The Helensview bike program has continued to grow and is now a part of our health and P.E. classes.

    Helensview Culinary Program makes lunch
      The culinary program makes Friday lunch at Helensview. Delicious!

    Helensview Health Class
    Students in Helensview's health class learn about their brains.

    Helensview Summer Internships
    Honoring all of the hard work from the summer including summer school,
    internships and STARS Mentoring. 

    Migrant Ed Students Catch Up on Summer Reading with Animal Companions

    From Columbia River Pet Partners:

    Photo: Columbia River Pet Partners Team Member with her animal companion, a dog

    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!

    Photo: David Ransier with pet, Lady

    Photo: Barbara Harmon and dog, Scamp Photo: Debby Lazarone and pet, Chicory

    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.

    Photo: Ace the therapy Llama Photo: Students interacting with Ace the therapy Llama
    Photo: Students interacting with Ace the therapy Llama Photo: Students interacting with Ace the therapy Llama
    Photo: Students interacting with Ace the therapy Llama Photo: Students interacting with Ace the therapy Llama

    Thanks, Columbia River Pet Partners!

    Burlingame Creek's Garden Harvest

    Photo: 2 bins containing a variety of colorful vegetables harvested from Burlingame Creek School


    Final Game of the Season for the Educators

    Come out to the ballpark! The MESD softball team, the Educators, will play the last game of their premier season this Thursday, July 27th at 6:30 pm at Delta Park's Budweiser Field. Come join the fun! (10737 N Union Court,
    MESD Educators Softball Team
     MESD Educators
    Back row left to right:  Krystal Breece, Joni Tolon,
    Teresa Lay, Patrick McArthur, Tim Parker, Erika Meyer 
    Front Row left to right: Suzanne Briggs, Chris Brown,
    Heidi Schmidt, Melissa Davis, Danny Moreno, James Barnett 
    Team Members Not Pictured: Elana Emlen, Matt Emlen,
    Brian Altman, Ricky Lankford, Sean Woodard, Trevor Alf, Vicky Genge