August 5, 2022

Think abouts…

From our Math TOSA, Linda Adams: Should U.S. K–12 math curriculum change—and if so, how? Should schools emphasize “deeper understanding” or drilling and memorization? Should they shift their emphasis toward data science and away from calculus? What are the tradeoffs and risks of these different approaches, and which path will best prepare students to thrive as citizens and as workers in our ever-changing economy? In this forum, University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt and his colleague Jeffrey Severts advance one perspective, while Boaz Barak, computer science professor at Harvard, and Adrian Mims of The Calculus Project offer another.


To Do:

Send letters to parents by next Friday, August 12: We continue to participate in the Return to School after Concussion Study ( in partnership with the CDC, High Desert ESD and the University of Oregon. Here is a brief description of the project and the flowchart of activities associated with the work. This is a volunteer opportunity for families. Please send this information letter (English and Spanish) out to your families by next Friday, August 12. Jody Slocumb is the lead on the project and will be presenting this info to Athletic Trainers at their meeting next week to overview the project. Connect with Jody if you have questions.


Homework for August 10: Before our conference with the Center for Educational Leadership (CEL) next Wednesday, August 10, be sure to watch the video below and read the short article to prepare.  You might begin to think about the following questions: 

  • What is the role of student story in schools? 
  • In what ways are stories, and opportunities to tell and listen to stories, important sources of data.  For whom? 

·         9 Storytellers on Why Black Stories Matter — a video by Great Big Stories (8 min)

·         Street Level Data by Shane Safir


Restorative Practices Training opportunities: If you are new to our district and/or have not yet been trained in Restorative Practice, your Culture of Care Team is here to help! We are happy to announce our Restorative Practices professional development offerings for the new school year! Registration is open and links are included HERE. Space is limited so sign up soon! Please contact Amber McGill if you have any questions ([email protected]).


From Eric Powell, Student Services: We have scheduled a monthly work session for Assistant Principals and Deans focused on student management. You will want to keep this Restorative Practices and Student Management Resource Guide easily accessible as we continue to think about how we support ALL students in our schools.


From the Teaching and Learning Team:  Encourage your teachers to join us for the Innovative Teaching and Learning Conference on August 24th and 25th at Pacific Crest Middle School.  Check out the Innovative Flyer to find out about the keynote speakers and the amazing educators who will be sharing their practice with us.  All administrators are required to attend both keynote sessions AND the leadership session with Bettina Love on August 25.

  • STEM Camp available at Miller Elementary for school-aged children
  • One OSU Fall Credit will be available
  • Sign up to attend via Performance Matters
  • Lunch will be provided


From Dean RE: Day 189 and 190: This year we have a few ways that teachers can meet their required district directed professional development (aka Day 189.) Teachers may attend the Innovative Teaching and Learning Conference.  August 24th has several sections that focus on equitable grading.  On August 30th, the first day of the contract, teachers may attend a morning training on equitable grading at their home site (details to come at the level retreat) and a Canvas training session in the afternoon.

Teachers may choose to attend both the conference and the training on the 30th.  This would satisfy the district directed PD and the teacher directed PD (aka Day 190.) This is the best option from a consistent messaging perspective. 

We understand that this is messy this year to have options for teachers having these options. We began the process of securing keynotes and sessions for the ITLC prior to the decision to hold the training on the 30th

One other thing that may make the Canvas training difficult for teachers is if schools do not have master schedules set and synergy is not set up. New teachers may not have access to their Canvas shells if the hiring process has not been fully completed.  Please communicate this potential wrinkle if it is likely. 


From Rachel Mavis: If you are not familiar with our Office Staff webpage, please review and bookmark. This is a great Go To for information we send out to your office staff. We have a page a position with the latest and greatest communication. There is a link on the Staff Portal – BLS Office Staff. We are in the process of updating each page with training information that has been posted in Performance Matters.

All of our NEW staff trainings and our Back-To -School Meetings are scheduled in Performance Matters for August. They are structured so that the Monday staff start their contract year, we have a Synergy Navigation class scheduled at 8:00 am.  The days following that same week are the Synergy classes required for their job duties.

Training is required before they are granted access to the job specific areas in Synergy. Accuracy of state reporting, and essential student information is depended on the data input your staff is tasked with.


From Rachel Mavis regarding New Registrars: This year, we have a lot of new staff such as 7 NEW Registrars. Trainings require many hrs. For example, new registrars need at least 5 hrs of basics to start. It is imperative that your new staff attend the sessions we have scheduled. Our district has grown quite a bit, and with the demands of August, we will not be able to come out to sites to train one on one.

Back to School Workshops/Meetings are also scheduled. These are VERY important for your office staff to come together and learn about new features and new processes. These meetings are integral to each group as they share ideas, learn from each other and make connections with others in the district.  Your office staff have unique positions in your buildings. By meeting others in the district who share common job duties, helps your staff throughout the year. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to Deby Bryson, [email protected]  or Rachel Mavis


From Lora Nordquist: We are excited to share updated start and end times for the 2022-23 school year. Thanks to our team’s great recruitment efforts and our transportation department’s work, we were able to hire more than 20 new bus drivers. This enables us to transition back to two start times, one for middle and high schools and one for elementary schools.  Start and end times for 2022-23:

  • Elementary:  7:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.  
  • Middle school: 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. 
  • Three Rivers School: 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 
  • High school: 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. (Drop at 8:15-8:30)
  • High School Choice Schools  9:00-3:20  (Drop at 8:50)
  • HS Staff work day is 8:00-4:00           

Schools will continue to release 90 minutes early on Wednesdays for professional development.  SIW professional development time will run 2:30-4:00.

The expectation is that on-staff coaches participate in the full 90 minutes of SIW time and begin practices after 4:00. If they have walk on assistants who are able to begin practices prior to 4:00, that is approved.

This news will be shared as part of back to school messaging. 


Schedules for teachers shared between schools: because the middle and high school start and end times now align, building leaders across levels will need to collaborate to reconfigure the schedules for teachers who work at both levels. This most commonly impacts our music teachers. Remember to follow these guidelines to ensure schedules meet the contract language: 20 min for travel each day, duty free lunch each day, prep time equivalent to a teaching period each day. Contact Ryan, Juan, Katie or Sarah Barclay with questions.

From Lora: As you plan for back-to-school activities, please remember that in 2022 Yom Kippur begins the evening of October 4th and lasts until the evening of October 5th. Please do NOT schedule any family events/activities on these dates.


From HR: Plan to set aside one hour during inservice week for AED, glucagon, epi-pen, high heat and seizure trainings.  Building admin are to coordinate with their nurses when the one hour training will occur. This is a slide deck with a voice over, ready for you to share with staff.


From Scott B: This past school year, the school board of directors adopted updated language to BLS Policy GBJ-BP Weapons in Schools, making it unlawful to have firearms on school property, even for concealed carry licensed individuals.

Oregon law requires the district to post signs notifying the public of the district’s policy enforcing the law.

The superintendent’s office has directed that signs be put up on our property and next to our visitor management systems notifying individuals of the policy and law.

Representatives from the district custodial office will be coming by your schools over the next couple of weeks to post these signs in your schools.

Please direct any questions you have regarding the posting of these signs to the safety department.


Volunteers and visitors are now allowed in our schools! They are required to follow all of policies and procedures including checking into the raptor system before entering the building.



Here is a LINK to a summary of our work in August and the first week of school.

First Week of School, September 7, 8 and 9:

ABC Rotation calendars for 22-23: We are beginning our ABC rotation for the 22-23 school year during the first week of school. Here is the English version and the Spanish version. 

Wednesday, Sept 7: Ninth grade only day with Link Crew Leaders

Thursday, Sept 8:  A Day Grades 9-12 attend

Friday, Sept 9:  B Day

and so on….

If you plan to adjust your daily schedule on Thursday or Friday of this first week – or any other day, remember to think through and plan how that will impact the schedules of the teachers you share with other schools!  Please proactively communicate with the admin of the other school AND with the teacher who is impacted.

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