Call for Presenters: The 8th Annual Family Focus Forum

The Oregon City School District's 8th Annual Family Focus Forum call for presentations is now open!

The Family Focus Forum is Oregon City’s premier family workshop event for families with students of all ages, and we’re looking for high quality presenters and resource vendors like you to volunteer time and expertise!

If you’d like to give a presentation and/or staff a resource table at this exciting event please submit your information via our online form.

Topics from previous years have included positive discipline, sibling rivalry, managing stress, helping with homework, dealing with ADHD, nutrition, safety and more!

The Family Focus Forum will be held on Saturday, January 31, 2015, and will include both 60 minute and 90 minute workshops. The theme is "Caution: Change Ahead!" and the focus is on providing parents with information and tools that can help them navigate through their many roles and transitions - creating positive home, work and school environments where parents and kids flourish.

Sign up to present today!

UpFront Newsletter Fall 2014

Download the UpFront Newsletter (PDF) that includes:

  • Message from the Superintendent: Back to School With a Growth Mindset
  • Danner Leads Ogden, Panko Helms Special Services
  • Oregon City Community Education Classes and Activities
  • New Language Arts Books Arrive
  • Down on the Farm at Candy Lane
  • New Food Pantry at Oregon City High School
  • Planting the SEEDS of Science and Math for Young Students
  • Ogden Shows 'em How It's Done: Closing the Achievement Gap
  • OCHS Freshman Wants Kindness to Rule
  • School Directory and Calendar

UpFront Newsletter (PDF)

View Community Education classes online, with online registration!

New Food Pantry at Oregon City High School

Oregon City High School staff was noticing that some students were stuffing their pockets with rolls, fruit and other food, especially on Fridays, so they would have something to eat over the weekend.

That really disturbed Ted Thonstad, the school district’s recently retired Director of Operations. “I got to thinking, we should do something about that, because no kid in America should go hungry.”

Thonstad wasted no time. He contacted Tom Lovell, the High School Principal, and Mary Ellen Winterhalter, the district’s “homeless liaison,” and together they spent last spring creating “The Pioneer Pantry” at Oregon City High School. Tom found space at the high school for the groceries while Thonstad gathered up a board of directors and began soliciting donations from local service clubs, businesses, and individuals.

We are going to provide food for weekends and school breaks for food-insecure kids at the high school,” Thonstad told the school board. About 750 students at OCHS receive free or reduced price lunches, and 74 are classified as homeless, he said. Many elementary and middle schools already have “backpack” programs that send food home with hungry students on Fridays.

Thonstad and Lovell met with a representative of the Oregon Food Bank to request Partner Agency status. Thonstad purchased some shelving, Lovell located a refrigerator, and Winterhalter provided an initial supply of backpacks.

Suz Maus, Community Education Coordinator, arranged a meeting with the owner of Grocery Outlet, and with the support of their customers, “The Pioneer Pantry” will begin the school year with food on its shelves.

Donations from fundraising efforts have generated 50% of the amount needed to fill backpacks for the weekends in the coming school year, Thonstad said. He hopes some clubs at the high school will agree to do food drives to help stock the pantry and that The Pioneer Pantry will be able to purchase food from the Oregon Food Bank.

The pantry, which is being funded totally by grants and donations, hopes to one day be open to the other high schools in Oregon City. “That is an admirable retirement,” school board chair Chris Storey says.

If anyone would like to support the OCHS’s Pioneer Food Bank, cash is the most critical need. You can send a check made out to the Pioneer Pantry to the high school at 19761 S. Beavercreek Rd., Oregon City OR 97045.

Candy Lane Elementary Serves Produce from Their School Garden in the Cafeteria

Recently, Candy Lane Elementary began serving produce grown at their school farm in the cafeteria. They are the first school in the district to source produce for the cafeteria from their school garden. Students will have access to tomatoes, lettuce and other greens from the garden served on the salad bar once a week.

Candy Lane Elementary partners with the Oregon nonprofit, Schoolyard Farms, to cultivate and maintain a one-acre school farm located on a portion of the schoolyard. The school farm organically grows over 40 types of fruits and vegetables and serves as an outdoor classroom for the 300+ students who visit the farm each week.

“Children involved in a school farm or garden are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables and develop healthy eating habits,” said Courtney Leeds, executive director and cofounder of Schoolyard Farms.

The first day produce was available, there was a high level of excitement from both students, staff and the Schoolyard Farm team.

Oregon City School Board to Decide on Future Location for Transportation

September 3, 2014 – Handling the transportation for the schools of Oregon City School District is no small task. The current transportation facility, a former rural school at Maple Lane Court, is the hub for over 65 school buses and various maintenance vehicles. Beyond vehicle storage, the property also has a two-bay repair shop, fueling station and is home to the district's maintenance and transportation departments.

For ten years, staff have parked their personal vehicles in an adjacent lot leased by the district. However, in the near future the parking area will no longer be available for lease. In addition to the parking issue, the district is also faced with an inefficient and aging building that was never equipped to handle the current transportation department needs or meet current industry safety standards.

An expansive report completed in 2011 confirmed the district's significant need for an updated and upgraded facility. Over the past several years the Oregon City School Board has been discussing the issue and weighing options to move forward. At recent work sessions the board has reviewed three specific options:

• Option 1: Remodel the existing transportation facility on the current property. Move and build new maintenance facility elsewhere. (Estimated cost $8M.)
• Option 2: Build a new transportation facility on the current property. Move and build new maintenance facility elsewhere. (Estimated cost $9M.)
• Option 3: Build a new transportation and maintenance facility using bare land owned by the school district on High School Avenue, sell existing location. (Estimated cost $10M.)

Oregon City School District is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

Early Childhood Education and Child Care

In The News

"High School students in the Oregon City School District continued to outperform statewide averages for math, science and reading"
Oregon City 2013 test scores: Schools outperform state averages. The Oregonian

"The nonprofit group Earth Crusaders and the Oregon City School District teamed up under an Oregon City Metro Enhancement Grant to improve their town." Earth Crusaders, school district beautify OC. Clackamas Review

"An independent national study compares school districts across Oregon and the nation for efficient cost management and effectiveness in student achievement."  Oregon City School District Gets Top Rating for Effective, Efficient schools

"They point to places such as Oregon City, where nearly every student demonstrates an ability to write cogently and correctly" The Writing Imperative. The Oregonian

"Once again, Oregon City and Forest Grove high schools posted much higher passing rates on the math exam than schools with far fewer minority and low-income students"  Test scores show Oregon high schoolers lost ground in writing, math and science. The Oregonian


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