• Issue Date: April 2014

    Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC): What does it mean for instruction?

    The Common Core State Standards in literacy are asking students to read complex fiction and informational text; to write frequently in all content areas - after reading various sources; to work collaboratively with different students; and to present information in writing or in a speech. All of this will be assessed with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium using on-line computer adaptive testing. Much of this is what our students already do in class, but with the Common Core, we are asking some of our students to do this at a higher level.

    At the middle and high schools, the English teachers are focusing on teaching these standards: literature, language, foundations of reading, speaking and listening. Therefore, the rest of the school day has to offer students opportunities to practice reading and writing informational text. This includes professional journals, maps, charts, on-line resources, graphs, etc. The Smarter Balanced Test - which will replace OAKS in 2014-15, states 50% of the elementary test will be informational text. For middle school students, 55% of the test will be informational; and in high school, 70% of Smarter Balanced will be informational text. Therefore, the content area teachers have their own Common Core Literacy Standards in grades 6-12, which focus on supporting students in reading informational text.

    So what are some key strategies that teachers can use to get the most out of the time they have with students?

    Close reading of a text. To read a text closely means to read it multiple times for a variety of purposes. This strategy is not to be applied to all readings! But it is appropriate for those texts - or parts of a text - that are challenging or important to understanding a concept, idea or story. Generally, the first read is for general understanding; then students read again to focus on essential vocabulary; another reading may focus on the main idea and supporting details; or to get an essential idea or concept. The teacher's role is to guide students, and to let the students struggle with the text to figure out the meaning.

    Writing from multiple sources. Another big shift is that students will read a variety of resources; listen to audio clips; analyze graphs and charts; watch videos, etc., and pull out details that will support a claim they are making. Each content area has its own unique way of writing and organizing their thoughts, and teachers are being asked to explicitly teach the language historians, scientists, technicians, etc. While this is not much different from what we have asked our students to do previously, we are now asking all teachers to take responsibility to explicitly teach the students the language of their content area in reading, writing and discussion.

    The Common Core State Standards have been adopted by 48 states, and so there are teachers across the nation working on the same issues Hood River teachers are working on:

    How do I as a content area teacher teach the language of my content area? How is this different from teaching what I've always taught? And if it is different, what do I do next?

    For more information:


    SAI Teacher Opportunity

    Summer Ag Institute won the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture's 2014 Excellence in Education Award. All involved in SAI are very proud to receive this honor, especially in 2014 as they also celebrate their 25th Anniversary of the Summer Agriculture Institute.

    A project of the Oregon Agricultural Education Foundation, the Summer Ag Institute (SAI) is a three-credit, week-long, graduate-level class through Oregon State University that educates K-12 teachers with little or no background in agriculture.

    The goal of SAI is to help educators use agriculture as a context for teaching standard subjects like science, math, social studies, and English. Current, factual, and scientific information about agriculture is presented, and participants are provided with educational materials to help them incorporate what they've learned into their classrooms.

    Through SAI, teachers are given first-hand experiences in the agriculture industry. The action-packed week includes field trips to farms and ranches, tours of processing plants, and lectures and hands-on labs taught by university professors. The highlight of the week is an overnight stay on a working farm where the teacher has an opportunity to meet a real farm family.

    There are two sessions of SAI each summer: one held in Corvallis in June, and a second held in La Grande in July. Enrollment cost for a graduate-level, three-credit session is $600.

    Since its first summer in 1989, SAI has enrolled hundreds of Oregon teachers and has been recognized by the Oregon Department of Agriculture with the "Excellence in Education" award.

    For more information, please contact Summer Ag Institute Session #1 Coordinator Debbie Crocker - Corvallis - dcrocker@99webstreet.com or Summer Ag Institute #2 Coordinator Jana Lee Dick - La Grande - jana.dick@oregonstate.edu.

    Additional information and applications are available on the Farm Bureau website.

    Check out the activities and what teachers have to say about their SAI experience on YouTube. If the links listed below are not immediately active, please cut and paste into your browser.




    Q. How can kids learn where food comes from?

    A. Teach the teachers (at the Summer Ag Institute)

    Ireland UW-Parkside Professional Development
    Opportunity with Kerry Ninneman in
    Ireland Summer 2014

    25 June - 2 July Curriculum Writing and Instruction - 3 graduate credits

    Course Description: This course explores NEA's Indicator 2 for adult learners who are actively engaged in their own learning by exploring and manipulating information, synthesizing and explaining ideas, generating and testing hypothesis and arriving at new understandings. This is a survey class with the intention to facilitate a wide variety of cultural and historic aspects while visiting a country outside of the United States. Students participate in experiential field trips, develop higher level thinking skills questions for use in their classrooms, and synthesize information into the final curriculum writing project for their content area using Common Core Standards and 21st Century Skills. Instructional content includes: experiential field trips modeled curriculum and instruction in Backward Design, student centered learning activities, and instructor selected texts. This course is tied to Standards 7-10 of the WI Standards for Teacher Development and Licensure and Common Core Teaching Standards 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 8, 9, 10.

    5 - 12 July 21st Century Skills Application - 3 graduate credits

    Course Description: Utilize technology, innovation and creativity to gather, analyze and synthesize information for application in authentic problem solving via ethical collaborative work environments. Incorporate 21st Century Skills into student-centered learning activities with project based, problem based, or design based lessons. Develop independent students in: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving; Communication and Collaboration; Creativity and Innovation; Informational Literacy; Career and Life Skills. This course is tied to Standards 2, 7, 8, 9,10 of the WI Standards for Teacher Development and Licensure and Common Core Teaching Standards 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8.

    Differences from past years:
    You will be billed from UW-Parkside and you may use your credit card to pay for the classes. $240/credit = $720 for 3 graduate credits
    $375/credit for Audit Students

    Travel costs separate. Contact Kerry Ninneman, adjunct faculty instructor, for more information. Ninneman@uwp.edu or kninneman2@yahoo.com. 303-393-8688 MST Denver, CO.

    Migrant and EXCEL Summer School 2014 Employment Opportunities

    Migrant and EXCEL programs will be hiring staff for Summer School 2014. Job descriptions and applications will be posted on the district website under the employment tab very soon. All applications will be processed electronically through the TalentEd link provided on the district website. Please follow application directions carefully. Only those fields with a red * are required. Contact the personnel office if you have any problems with the online application process. If you successfully submit an application, the system will send you a confirmation email.

    Summer school will be located at Mid Valley for all grades, PreK-12th and will run June 30-July 22 from 7:30 AM- 3:00 PM for all staff. Staff must be available for ALL days of summer school and two required in-service days, June 26th and 27th.

    The summer school program is grant funded and is available only to students who meet grant requirements. Programs are focusing on early childhood education and will potentially need:

    • 2 preschool (entering Kinder) teachers
    • 10 Kinder-5th grade teachers
    • 4 Middle school teachers
    • 1 High school credit recovery English or Math teacher
    • 1 Special Education or Reading Specialist
    • 1 PE teacher
    • 10 student assistants (current high school or college students)

    As always, number and type of positions is dependent on state funding, student enrollment and parent input.

    Please check the district website frequently as the applications will only be open for 2 weeks. We hope to have all hiring completed by the end of April so staff can make summer plans accordingly. If you are interested or have questions, please contact Kim Yasui at kim.yasui@hoodriver.k12.or.us or 541-387-5704.


    Teacher Loan Forgiveness Programs

    Two types of loan forgiveness programs for teachers:

    1. Teacher Loan Forgiveness for Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans.

    2. Teacher cancellation for Federal Perkins Loans.

    Click here to download the PDF file

    Mid-Columbia Juried Art Show at the Dalles Art Center

    Congratulations to the following HRVHS students who won awards at the Mid-Columbia Juried Art Show at the Dalles Art Center on March 1st.

    1st Place Pencil Portrait - Kaylee Asai
    3rd Place Pencil Portrait - Edwardo Garcia
    1st Place 3-D - Abby Walker
    1st Place other Mediums - Alyssa Rangel
    3rd Place other Mediums - Beatriz Najera
    Honorable Mention - Emily Boudreau, Hannah Blaine, Emelia Gendreau

    Oregon College of Art and Craft 2014 Juried High School Art Show

    Congratulations to the following HRVHS students for being juried into the Oregon College of Art and Craft 2014 Juried High School Art Show! 

    Elisabeth Webb
    Maria Cisneros
    Emelia Gendreau
    Eduardo Garcia
    Alonso Magana
    Megumi Hosaka (two entries) Sarah Iobst
    Denali Emmons


    Scholastic Art Award Winners

    Congratulations to the following HRVHS students who have won awards in the regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition. Gold Key winners will go on to compete for national medals with potential scholarship awards. Students were honored at the Fine Arts Assembly on February 28th. Winning art can be viewed on the Fine Arts page under Academics on the HRVHS website.

    Honorable Mentions for Photo/Digital Media

    Yureli Cuevas
    Connor Dunn
    Marilyn Barrera
    Jessica Hardy
    Sarah Iobst
    Maria Izazaga
    Alonso Magana
    Lydia Mcelderry
    Chelsea Smith

    Honorable Mention: Ceramics

    Jade Schumacher

    Portfolio Silver Key (Awarded to seniors submitting a portfolio of work with written commentary):

    Eduardo Garcia for portfolio "Old School"

    Silver Keys: Photo/Digital Media

    Jaileen Castillo Granados
    Keenan Collins
    Yureli Cuevas
    Brandi Fletcher
    Jennifer Furrow
    Amy Griffin

    Silver Key: Ceramics

    Megumi Hosaka

    Gold Keys: Digital Media

    Gisela Ayala Echeverria for "Abstract Body"
    Tove Hansen for "World Traveler"