Inside24J: September 7, 2011

Inside24J September 7, 2011 

Welcome to Inside24J

Dear Readers,

I want to welcome you to the new school year and introduce you to the official employee newsletter of Salem-Keizer Public Schools, Oregon School District 24J.

Inside24J is our district’s employee newsletter. The goal of Inside24J is to share stories, inform employees, and connect the wide variety of talented people we work with. In each issue of the newsletter, you can expect to find news, information, employee recognition, and a chance for you to participate. So whether you are new to Inside24J or a longtime reader, I welcome you and hope that you enjoy learning about the people and stories of Salem-Keizer Public Schools.

Please send me an email if you have any feedback or potential stories for our newsletter.


Aaron Harada
Editor, Inside24J

Straub and Kalapuya draw a crowd for their ribbon cutting ceremonies

More than 1,000 people attended the ribbon cutting and open house events at Straub Middle School and Kalapuya Elementary School on September 2, 2011. Students, parents, and community members filled the new West Salem schools and went on student-led tours of the new facilities.

The new schools were funded by the $242 million construction bond approved by voters in 2008 and were built to relieve overcrowding in area schools. In addition, 11 schools in Salem-Keizer recently reopened following extensive renovations during the summer.

View a project list in PDF format »

If you'd like to see more of Straub and Kalapuya, watch these video tours.


Community back to school celebration downtown tonight

First Wednesday Back to School Celebration September 7, 2011

Join us in downtown Salem for First Wednesday's Back-To-School Pep Rally. The rally is tonight, September 7, and begins at 5 p.m.

The community pep rally is organized by Go Downtown, in partnership with Salem-Keizer Education Foundation. It will feature seven Salem-Keizer high school with bands, cheerleaders, student body presidents, and more! Food will be available for purchase as well.

Superintendent Sandy Husk, and Executive Director of the Salem-Keizer Education Foundation, Krina Lemons, will host an evening of celebration designed to let our communities' children know they are supported and celebrated as they enter the new school year.

Roberts High School Drum Corps will kick off the event at 5:30 p.m., followed by bands from the six traditional high schools. All performances will be held at the corner of Court and Commercial streets, Northeast.

Reading for All will host a book walk and free book giveaway from 5-5:30 at the same location.

5:00 - 5:30 p.m. Book walk with free book giveaway
5:30 p.m. Roberts
6:00 p.m. North
6:15 p.m. South
6:30 p.m. McKay
6:45 p.m. Sprague
7:00 p.m. McNary
7:15 p.m. West

State tests reflect steady growth in math and reading

On Monday August 29, the Oregon Department of Education released the 2010-11 state assessment results. Across the district, schools showed steady growth in math and reading.

All high schools posted positive gains in all subject areas, however, the grade of accountability moved from 10th grade to 11th grade in 2010-11, so reported results reflect two years of required testing.


Math test results

Although the state math test was revised to include additional standards and the score needed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress increased, our students performed well and made significant gains on their state tests. Elementary and middle schools were at or above the state average for math.

“This is due to our focus on professional development and schools using formative assessments and data to help students grow and succeed,” said Salam Noor, assistant superintendent.


Reading Test Results

Reading results have continued to indicate steady growth over the past four years. Bush, Lee, and Washington Elementary Schools had significant increases in reading performance at grades three and five with results improving by 11 to 24 percent.

“Staff are coordinating across subject areas and grade levels to align our curriculum,” said Noor. “Schools’ professional learning communities and the instructional coach professional development model are also key to the success our students and schools are experiencing.”


Science Test Results

Eighteen of our elementary schools and four middle schools improved their science scores, but the district average for elementary and middle schools dropped one percent from the previous year.

“Science scores are down,” said Noor. “This means we need to continue our focus on science standards at all levels and professional development to help science teachers align their work to the state standards.”


Writing Test Results

Forest Ridge, Grant, and Kennedy Elementary Schools saw significant gains in writing. Several other schools had smaller gains, but many of our schools had a drop in their writing scores.

“Writing applies to all course work at all grade levels and it is important that every educator knows how they are supporting our writing model,” said Noor. “We need to renew our focus on writing across all curriculum areas by providing all teachers with professional development for the process of teaching writing and for using our six-trait writing scoring guide.”

Overall, the majority of schools improved their reading and math scores. Writing and science showed a need for growth.

ID badge memo and injury reporting form notice

All security badge issues are handled by the Security Department which is located in the Lancaster Professional Center at 2450 Lancaster Dr NE, 97305. All badge requests will require an appointment. Be sure to bring a completed ID Badge Request Form (SEC-F004) to your appointment.

As a reminder, district employees should have their badges visible.

Threat Assessment, custody, and other similar issues or questions should also be directed to the security office at 503-375-7858.

Worker Injury Reporting Forms

All work-related injuries must be reported to Risk Management, regardless of whether or not medical attention is needed. You can find the reporting packet, along with instructions online.

Call Risk Management at 503-399-3070 for questions or additional assistance.

Caption This!

Mary Paulson drives a bus caption this

Be afraid, be very afraid – Paulson is driving!
Jim Green, School Board Director
Look out Mustang Sally, here comes School Bus Mary!
Nancy Brostrom, Administrative Secretary @ Executive Administration
Come ride with me, if you dare!
Dave Harvey, Food Service Director @ Food & Nutrition Services
The driver on the bus goes beep, beep, beep. . . .
Samantha Weems, Test and Records Management Tech @ Student Records
This is obviously the before picture.
Genie Reviea, Office Manager @ Miller Elementary

Next time on Caption This!

Whiteaker Staff caption this

Submit a caption

What is the Going the Distance Award?

The Going the Distance Award is a way for all of us to recognize staff who go above and beyond the call of duty to provide a great education for students in our district. This is a peer recognition service promoted through Inside24J, a production of Community Relations and Communications. 

These awards are a simple "thank you" for doing an amazing job. It's an opportunity to give someone recognition for their continued commitment helping every child achieve their very best.

Who can submit a nomination?

Any employee of Salem-Keizer can submit a nomination for any staff member in Salem-Keizer.

How can I submit a nomination?

To nominate a staff member for going the distance, please send a paragraph explaining why you'd like to recognize this person to


Nominate a co-worker



Golden Broom Award

Jim Dawson Golden Broom Award Winner

Jim Dawson, Custodian 2 @ Roberts High School & Central Services

Jim Dawson, custodian at Roberts High School and Central Services Campus, was presented with the Custodial Department's Golden Broom Award for the month of July. Dawson was nominated by staff for his friendly attitude and commitment to going above and beyond the call of duty.