Please review the following list of frequently asked questions. If you have a question that hasn’t been addressed here and you believe the community would value additional insight, please contact us with your question so we can help improve the quality of insight provided by this page. We appreciate your support and contributions!
- Grade School
- Multi-Age Instruction
- High School / Middle School
- Advanced Placement
- Special Education
- How to Volunteer
- Life After Corbett
- District-Wide Policies and Processes
- CCS/District Configuration
- School Board
- Website How-To & Essentials
The front doors to the grade school will be unlocked during the school day. The doors at the east end of the building will also be unlocked due to continuous traffic through those doors by students and staff. All other doors will be locked.
Visitors are directed to check in at the office immediately after entering the building. If they need to deliver something to or talk to their student then the office staff will deliver items to the classroom, escort the visitor to the classroom and then back to the office, or retrieve the student and escort them to the office. If the visitor is staying on campus due to volunteering or special visits to the classroom they will sign in on the visitor clipboard and wear a visitor’s badge at all times. Staff will question anyone in the building that is not staff and is not wearing a visitor’s badge. Visitors will sign out upon leaving the building and return the visitors badge. Badges are numbered and will be changed when a badge is missing.
The ONLY authorized people to pickup grade school students are either listed on the registration form signed by the legal guardian or are authorized to pick up the student by either a phone call or note from the legal guardian. If none of the previous measures have been taken, students will not be released without contact with the legal guardian. Students MAY NOT leave with a friend or ride another bus home without arrangements by their legal guardian. The office phone will not be available for last minute arrangements by the students. Students are directed to make arrangements with parents prior to the school day.
Each student is encouraged to eat breakfast before arriving to school. Classes have a snack at either 9:15 or 9:30 and lunch at either 12:35 or 1:00. Students have a choice to pack their snack and/or lunch from home or purchase from the cafeteria.
Snack is 15 minutes and lunch is 25 minutes. The primary students go to a 15 minute recess either before or after their snack with five minutes for transition between the two. All students go to recess either before or after lunch for 20 minutes with a five minute transition. Every student’s family can choose to have them participate in a recess at the end of the day or pick their student up early. The recess or early pick up choice for the primary students is at 3:00 pm and 3:05 pm for the intermediate students. If a student stays for the last recess it will conclude at 3:30 pm for the primary students and 3:35 for the intermediate. At these times students will either be picked up by families or escorted to the buses. Pick up times can ONLY be at 3:00/3:05 or 3:30/3:35 and not DURING the last recess without special arrangements for occasional appointments or family special needs. These arrangements need to be made through the classroom teacher or the office personnel.
Each student has PE twice a week for 30 minutes for a total of 60 minutes per week. The day and time varies depending on when a teacher is assigned the gym. Primary students receive music twice a week for 30 minutes for a total of 60 minutes per week. Again, the day and time varies depending on when a teacher is assigned to take their class to the music teacher. Intermediate students attend music every day for 35 minutes for a total of two hours and 20 minutes per week. They attend at either 9:55, 10:30 or 11:05 depending on when they are assigned to attend either the Funky Monkey general music class or band.
Legal guardians and their authorized parties on the student’s registration form may check in at the office, receive a visitors pass and meet their child at recess or the cafeteria. Legal guardians may notify the office if someone other than authorized parties on the registration form have permission to visit students for lunch or recess by a note or phone call to the classroom teacher or office personnel.
Letters with the new school year information and classroom teacher assignments will be mailed through the US Postal Service by one week prior to the first day of school. Assignments are revealed during this time frame due to the fact that families register their students all summer and balanced class lists are not set until this time. It would be unfortunate to reveal a class assignment that would need to be changed due to an influx of new students and the need to change assignments to balance class numbers.
Progress reports go home three times a year. They are distributed the second Monday after the end of a grading period as indicated on the school district calendar.
Progress Reports from grade school teachers are narrative. Teachers collect information about a student’s progress and report individual progress and whole classroom curriculum experiences by verbal explanation in a progress report frame. The format of the progress report frame is consistent throughout the intermediate or primary classrooms. Guidelines and examples are reviewed periodically by the staff.
Teachers may have individual preferences, but email is the best way to communicate with your child’s teacher. Other avenues are a phone message or a written note.
Teachers monitor the attendance of the students and will be watching for unexpected absences. The teacher can be contacted directly through an email, phone message, or a written note if prearranged. The office can be contacted and the office personnel will deliver the message to the classroom teacher.
Students are not allowed to share food due to allergy concerns and the State of Oregon regulations about food not sent by a child’s family needs to be made in a licensed kitchen.
School menu selection is coordinated by Food Service Manager Erica Pace in cooperation with our culinary arts teacher Jenny Radulesk. Food quality and nutrition are important aspects of menu planning. Nutrition federal guidelines associated with the free and reduced lunch program play an important part in the menu planning process. Further questions about menu planning and food nutrition should be addressed to Erica Pace at email@example.com.
Vegetarian options are available for snack and lunch. If your student has specific allergies please let your child’s teacher as well as Erica Pace know as soon as possible. Erica Pace’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Other teacher emails are available on the web site.
Students are encouraged to dress for the weather since most days they will be outside for at least one recess. Shirts with spaghetti straps, mid-rif shirts, extra low-rider pants or graphic tees referring to inappropriate content are not allowed. Any other clothing that may be a distraction is disallowed at the discretion of school personnel.
Your child’s teacher is the first contact that you should make regarding any behavior concerns. You may contact the grade school principal, DeeDee Hanes, at email@example.com for further concerns.
Individual classrooms teachers determine their need for classroom support by volunteers. Please contact them directly for opportunities. There are school wide opportunities that will be posted on the website as Volunteer Job Postings for the Grade School. Please check the postings frequently or contact DeeDee Hanes at firstname.lastname@example.org for any further school wide volunteering opportunities. All volunteers are required to fill out a criminal history background check prior to volunteering.
There is a trained health assistant on campus during school hours. A certified nurse is on campus each Monday. The health assistant will assess your child and either determine they are well enough to return to class or contact the legal guardian for further action. Corbett School District contracts health services through the Multnomah Educational Service District. The published general guidelines (PDF) may be useful when it comes to the your child and health related questions (including medications at school).
for complete immunization information.
Recess: should my child bring/leave rain boots at school? When do you go outside versus stay inside?
The default recess location will always be outside. Students will be taken to either a gymnasium or the covered shed during weather that is too wet, windy or cold. Please send the appropriate clothing for your child to be outside on any given day. It is up to the family if they would like to leave an extra coat and pair of rain boots at school. It is recommended to leave an extra pair of indoor gymnasium shoes at school for PE.
Each student will have an opportunity to perform a minimum of one musical group performance for a large public audience each school year. Depending on their grade level, more than one opportunity may occur.
The Parent Teacher Association meets on a monthly basis The meetings consist mostly of parents, as teachers are busy getting school ready for your child for the next school day. There is a school representative at each meeting to relay information to teachers at regularly scheduled staff meetings so the parents and teachers can partner their efforts. The PTA consists of Charter and Non-Charter parents and teachers. The PTA supports projects that benefit the education of students building wide. An example of funding support is the three year mural of the Columbia River Gorge that adorns the grade school hallway.
Beginning in 2015, the State of Oregon mandated and funded full time kindergarten. All students that are five years old by the first full school day in the academic calendar can be enrolled in kindergarten. All kindergarten classrooms are full-day and free to families.
Corbett School District launched a preschool program for three and four year olds by September 1st for the 2011-2012 school year. This is a fee for service program and is open to any family that chooses this option. Please contact DeeDee Hanes for further information at email@example.com .
We began having multi-age classrooms in the grade school first in the 2000-2001 school-year. Some may remember classes earlier than the 2000-2001 school year that combined more than one grade, but those classrooms operated under a different educational philosophy. In the 2001-2002 school year we expanded the model to include middle school classrooms in response to teacher requests. The high school has had multi-age classrooms for most classes since well before that time as it is organized around topics and not the age/grade of the student.
Multi-age classrooms are a planned response to meeting the individual needs of students. In any age configuration, there are always differences in the achievement levels of students. When classrooms are intentionally structured to present learning around topics with the understanding that student skills vary across a wide range of levels, the focus becomes on making the material accessible to all students regardless of their individual skill sets. In other words, multi-age classrooms not only allow for differentiation, they demand it. The focus becomes the learner and his progress and not a static set of knowledge points that may be too challenging for some and not at all for others.
Multi-age classrooms are learning communities centered on topics, themes, and areas of knowledge. Within those topics, themes and areas, there is ample room for differentiated learning – or learning that reflects individual progress in a setting with students at varying points of development. Rather than dictating a very narrow set of skills and bits of knowledge that ‘everyone’ is required to be able to do and know, multi-age opens the door to higher-level learning and thinking. Students are still expected to make progress every year, but they focus on their own strengths, weaknesses and goals rather than those of their fellow classmates.
A multi-age classroom allows for students to help others and receive the help they need. Modeling by older students reinforces behavior goals for younger ones. For students who have struggled academically as compared with ‘grade-level peers’, they have the opportunity to be the leaders at some point when they are grouped with younger students. And the students who are ready to learn at greater speeds and depths are not held back by ‘grade-level’ standards.
Students in multi-age classrooms are not graded in the sense of being ranked but rather their individual progress is monitored to provide feedback for future growth. In this model, students must demonstrate progress along a continuum and feedback is used to inform future instruction and to address individual strengths and weaknesses.
Progress reports at the grade school and middle school are individualized narratives that inform parents and students about what they have accomplished and where they need to improve. Reading these reports and asking your student’s teacher for any clarification is the first step. Attending student conferences can also help you better understand your student’s academic progress. All students participate in the Oregon Assessment (or state-wide testing) starting in 3rd grade. Although this is not necessarily an accurate reflection of a student’s whole academic profile, it does provide one perspective on student growth.
One of the greatest benefits is the development of student/teacher relationships. Since students spend two years or more with the same adult, they are more comfortable with the expectations and routines. The teachers, in turn, are better prepared to know what their students need. In addition, there are increased opportunities for new peer relationships, changing roles, and development into mentors. According to many studies, multi-age classrooms provide the best setting for social development resulting in fewer disciplinary issues and improved peer relationships. Students continue to achieve academically at the same rate or better than those in traditional classrooms.
Perhaps the greatest challenge for multi-age education is the notion that it is not familiar to most of us. We did not attend schools with classrooms arranged like this for the most part, and change is hard. Changing the way we think about what schools should be like is a very difficult endeavor. Now that we have over ten years of experience and excellent results with this model, the teachers and staff are enthusiastically committed to the multi-age classroom.
High School / Middle School
Corbett’s 24 credit diploma meets the current requirements established by the state. In order to graduate, students must complete a minimum of 4 credits of English, 3 credits of social studies, 3 credits of math, 3 credits of science, 1 credit of fine or performing arts, 1 credit of foreign language, 1 credit of health, and 8 other elective credits. In addition, students must meet the state’s “essential skills” requirements. For the class of 2012, this means that students must score a 236 on the Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (OAKS) reading test. Alternatively, students can meet this requirement by scoring 440 on the reading portion of the SAT test, a 44 on the reading portion of the PSAT test, or by obtaining passing scores on specific work samples. More information on the Oregon Diploma and the Essential Skills requirements – including other alternatives for meeting the current graduation requirements – can be viewed at:
A student can graduate with honors on their diploma by earning the 28 credit college ready diploma with the following ratio of coursework:
Eleven credits or more of Math, Science, and Socials studies with no less than three in any single discipline.
Three credits in Spanish.
Three AP Courses.
Corbett Charter School policy varies from Corbett School. See the Corbett Charter School handbook for details.
For a student to be eligible they must be on course to graduate. This includes passing at least 5 out of 7 courses in the previous trimester and earning 6 credits in the previous three trimesters. Eligibility for co-curricular activities can also be revoked because of student behavior that violates school rules.
Credit by proficiency may be awarded when a person demonstrates they have mastered material at one level. For instance, if a student passed Algebra 2 and did not have Algebra 1 on their transcript they could earn 1 credit of Algebra with a grade of “P” by proficiency.
There are two types of incompletes: recoverable incompletes and unrecoverable incompletes. Recoverable incompletes occur when a student’s scores above a 55%. If a student has a recoverable incomplete their incomplete will come with an incomplete plan describing what the student needs to do to recover their grade. Recoverable incompletes are typically recovered to grades of “C”. Unrecoverable incompletes are earned when a student scores less than a 55%. To recover an unrecoverable incomplete the student must re-take the course.
The cost for a student to participate in athletics is $150 per sport for Corbett School Students and $200 per student for CCS students. Students who are on reduced lunch pay half of these amounts while students who are on free lunch have all the fees waived.
When students need to leave campus early for an appointment they should bring a note to the middle school/high school office. Before leaving campus students always need to check out at the office. When they return to campus students always need to check back in at the office.
Middle school campus is closed at lunch for all students. The high school campus is closed at lunch unless a parent grants permission for their student to leave campus. We believe it is a safer for all students, high school students included, to remain on campus at lunch. However, we do allow parents to grant permission for their student to leave campus. The permission must be granted in writing. Paperwork that allows students to leave campus at lunch is available at registration and from the high school/middle school office.
To volunteer anywhere on campus you need to go through a screening process. You can complete the screening paperwork at any of the offices on campus. The screening process can take from one to four weeks. After you pass through the screening process you are able to serve in a volunteer position at the request of district staff.
If your child is absent or tardy to school you must provide a note explaining the circumstance of their absence or tardiness. There are a limited number of reasons that an absence or tardy can be excused. For instance illness, emergency, or family vacations are excusable while sleeping in, or helping watch a younger sibling is not excusable. No matter if an absence is excused or not there is a strong correlation between the number of absences a student has and their performance in school. The more time a student spends engaged in the learning process the more they learn.
If a student is absent or tardy they must check in at the office with an explanation of their absence or tardiness.
Transcripts can be requested from the high school office. Generally transcripts can be provided in a day or two. Generally there is no charge for a transcript unless transcript requests become excessive.
The most tangible benefit of the ASB fee is that students are allowed to enter all atheltic contests for free. ASB fees also supports scholarship opportunities for students both as they graduate and while they are in school. ASB helps pay for some student activities and events.
Yearbooks can be paid for in the high school office. Quantities are limited so students should pay attention to the numerous announcements made each year alerting them to the purchasing deadline.
Elective courses are any courses that are not required. For instance the minimum requirement for Social Studies credits to graduate is three courses. If a students takes more than three social studies course then the fourth, or fifth course is an elective. So, essentially all courses are electives.
Math Courses Include: Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus AB,
AP Calculus BC, and AP Statistics.
Science Courses Include: AP Environmental Science, AP Biology, AP Physics, Chemistry
AP Chemistry, and Robotics.
Social Studies Courses Include: AP Human Geography, AP World History, AP Government, AP US History, AP Psychology, and AP Art History.
English Courses Include: 9th grade English, 10th Grade English, AP English Literature, and
AP English Language
Fine Arts Courses Include: Band, Choir, Art, and Culinary Arts
Foreign Language: Spanish
Other Courses Offered Include: Cross Age Tutoring, Developmental Psychology, PE, Study Hall, Teachers Aide, and AP Computer Science.
The policies of Corbett Charter School vary from this description. See the CCS Handbook.
School begins at 7:55am and ends at 3:36 pm Monday through Thursday at the middle school and high school. The first day of school this year is August 29, 2011. School is in session 4 days a week Monday through Thursday every week except when there is a holiday. In the event of a Monday holiday, school days will be Tuesday through Friday. Veteran’s Day on November 11th is also a school holiday – this year it falls on a Friday and will not affect our school week. The Thanksgiving holiday is the only three day week we have – school will be in session Monday through Wednesday that week. At the end of the year, there is one 5-day week: May 21 – May 25th. Lunch at the middle school is 11:20 – 12:00 and high school lunch is from 11:50 – 12:30. The last day of school is a half-day on Friday June 1, 2012. Students wil be released at 12 noon.
Verification of enrollment forms are available in the MS/HS office. Please give the office staff at least 24 hours to prepare the form. With the reduction in staffing due to budget cuts, the MS/HS secretary is not available during all school hours or on Fridays, please make your request in advance so that you will have the form when you need it.
Ideally, all plans should be made before the start of the school day. However, occasionally unforeseen events arise and it may be necessary to contact your student during the school day. If you must contact your student during the school day, please contact the building office as early as possible so that there is time to relay the message to the student. You may also contact the student’s teacher directly by email if they have a homeroom teacher – again do this as early as possible as it is not possible to closely monitor email receipt during instructional hours. Students are required to leave their phones off during class time but may use them at lunch and before or after school. If you can get a message directly to your student this way during their lunchtime, that would be ideal.
Student Handbooks are available in the MS/HS office located in the MS building.
If there is a change to your address or phone number, it is extremely important to notify the office. You may contact the office in person from 7:30am until 2:30pm or send a message to us using the form on the Connect page.
If you would like to receive MS/HS announcements via email (or any other electronic method), please subscribe to the Middle School or High School news categories using the links on the Connect page.
School Lunches can be paid for in two ways. Your student can pay for lunch with cash or a check when they eat lunch. Or you can pay for their lunches in advance by utilizing the on-line fee system. For assistance with registering for the online fee system please contact the grade school office and ask for Dorothy Hayden or send an email using our contact form.
Please contact your student’s teacher or one of the assistant principals as soon as possible. Bullying is not tolerated, but often the problem persists because the adults are unaware of the problem. For concerns at the middle school, please contact your student’s teacher directly and/or the administrators of your school using our email form.
We do not have counselors on staff at Corbett School District. The staff take their role as advocate for all students very seriously and will work closely with students and their families to resolve minor behavioral issues and academic concerns. If you feel your student needs more help, we have referral information available.
In most places Advanced Placement courses are reserved for just a few students. Schools routinely screen who is admitted to AP courses. Corbett does not adhere to this type of elitism! Instead, every student has the opportunity to take AP courses. It is our belief that every student should be able to take the best course offered. Why would you only allow a few students to take the most respected course work?
Students who take AP courses have a leg up on getting admitted to college and doing better in college than students who don’t take AP courses. Students can earn college credit by earning certain scores on AP exams. This saves students and their families hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. If a student is not going to go to college, taking an AP course is not a barrier to anything! Also, if a person is never going to take another course after they finish high school, wouldn’t you want the last course they ever take to be the best course you could possibly find?
The Challenge Index is a method for the statistical ranking of top public high schools in the United States by Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews. This ranking is determined by the extent of availability of the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Programs in the school’s curriculum and the number of graduating students. The index is also the basis for the Newsweek school rankings.
Corbett Schools and Corbett Charter School (CCS) have fared extremely well on The Challenge Index over the past few years due to the the thorough nature of the district’s AP for All program, which provides equal opportunity to academic excellence for all students. To better understand how the AP program at Corbett School District works and why it matters, please read this independent summary of Corbett’s AP program (PDF download), which also describes the benefits of AP and why the Challenge Index matters. You can learn more about the index on the Washington Post‘s website.
Students at Corbett are required to take 6 AP courses. During their freshman year they take Environmental Science and Human Geography. During their sophomore year they take World History. And, during their junior and senior years they take English literature, English language, and US Government.
Although Corbett students are only required to take 6 AP courses, the average Corbett student takes between 11 and 12 AP courses during their high school career. The average Corbett graduate is well into the 99th percentile amongst all graduates in the country with regard to AP participation.
A student is less likely to earn an incomplete in an AP course than a non-AP course at Corbett! AP courses better prepare students for college and other programs. Students can earn college credit by earning certain scores on AP exams. Students are more likely to be admitted to college, earn better grades in college, and graduate from college if they take AP courses.
A student is more likely to earn an incomplete in a Non-AP class than an AP class at Corbett. In other words Corbett students do better in AP courses than they do in non-AP courses. Students in AP courses are given supports in the form of study halls to help them stay on top of their studies.
Further, AP courses are weighted courses. In regular courses a grade of “A” is a 4.0, “B” is 3.0 etc. But in an AP course a grade of “A”is a 5.0, “B” is a 4.0, etc. So, taking an AP course can help a student’s GPA.
First, a student cannot earn college credit without taking an AP test. Second, like training for a marathon you need to practice all aspects of the race before you run the actual marathon. Taking AP tests is fantastic practice for the types of tests students will face in college. About 90% of Corbett students move directly into a college environment after high school. We need to prepare them for what they will see in that environment.
An AP exam costs around $79 dollars. If a students is on free and reduced lunch the exam costs less. Each year the district collects donations for AP exams. Parents of high school students are contacted for donations, as are businesses, and other associations that support Corbett School. During the 2010-11school year the district spent less than $22 per student on AP testing. Corbett High students earned more than $350,000 in college tuition during the same year.
Corbett teachers are available to their students after school and before school by arrangement. Students are encouraged to take full advantage of these valuable one-on-one learning opportunities. In addition, virtually every Corbett student in enrolled in at least one study hall during the school day, and sometimes two. Those who take full advantage of those in-school work opportunities often find that their at-home work load is significantly reduced.
AP courses are no different than non-AP courses when determining athletic eligibility. To maintain eligibility, a student must pass at least 5 courses during the trimester which precedes the athletic season in question and earn at least 6 credits during the previous year.
Corbett’s high school academic program is built around the AP curriculum. Although there are a limited number of non-AP options in each discipline (first year chemistry, for example), all Corbett students are required to enroll in a minimum of 6 AP courses over their high school career. In certain cases, a student can earn a non-AP credit in an AP course if extra-ordinary circumstances exist. This decision is made by the teacher and high school administration in consultation with the student’s parents or guardians.
Nearly all colleges and universities award credit for Advanced Placement exam scores. Each institution or family of institutions (the Oregon University System, for example) publishes a schedule of credits for particular scores on a course-by-course basis. Searching for ‘Advanced Placement’ on the web site of almost any college or university will guide you to their policy on awarding credit. Private schools generally have more rigorous requirements, but nearly all school award credit. Students entering Oregon’s public universities can earn in excess of a full year of credit through Advanced Placement exam scores.
Oregon Administrative Regulations (OAR’s) were developed under the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act 2004 of the Federal Government. Complete OAR’s can be read at the following link:
The IEP Team reviews each student’s performance annually to determine progress and plan for the upcoming year. In addition, a reevaluation of the student’s program must be conducted every three years. However, a reevaluation may be conducted sooner if necessary.
In essence, special education is individualized, intensive, and purposeful instruction specially designed to address distinct problems when a disability interrupts learning.
In the context of this FAQ, the three terms are interchangeable. They each refer to a specific emotional, mental, physiological, psychological, or social condition that affects a child’s development and learning.
IDEA is an acronym that refers to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This law provides the federal mandate for special education services in each state. It outlines the system of funding employed for special education and related services. The law also establishes a framework for “due process” procedures in special education. In 2004, IDEA was reauthorized and modified to align more closely with the goals of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act; the resultant legislation is entitled the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA).
Children ages 3 through 21 who require special education and related services because of a disability are eligible. A child with a disability is defined as having at least one of the following exceptionalities: autism, mental retardation, hearing impairment, speech or language impairments, visual impairments, emotional disturbance, orthopedic impairments, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments and specific learning disabilities.
A student exhibiting symptoms of severe academic, social, emotional, or environmental stress is initially screened by a school-based intervention team called the Student Assistance Team (SAT). This necessary step precedes a referral to the evaluation process for special education eligibility. the classroom teacher will have already addressed their concerns with the student’s parents. This intervention team is typically comprised of the student’s teacher, a school administrator and a teaching peer. After attempting to determine the possible etiology of the student’s difficulties, the team will recommend interventions to assist the student in the general education classroom.
If the difficulties persist through a trial period while the student’s performance is monitored, the Student Assistance team may refer the student to the special education department for a more thorough assessment.
Parents are a part of the evaluation planning team and are included in every step of the process beginning with the evaluation planning meeting. The school personnel must make reasonable efforts to obtain a parent’s consent for evaluation. If the parent fails to respond to the request for consent, the school may evaluate the student. If the parent refuses consent, the school or education agency may pursue an evaluation through the mediation and due process procedures specified in IDEA.
In any event, the school performs a complete educational case study of the student. This multi-faceted approach ensures that the student is correctly diagnosed and properly treated. The case study includes the following steps:
1. The Initial Referral to the Special Education Team
2. Diagnostic Planning and Assessment of the Student
3. Classroom Observation of the Student
4. Discussion/Analysis of Assessment and Observation by the Special Education Team
5. Parent Interviews
6. Psychoeducational, Language, Psychological and/or Social Evaluations
7. Diagnosis of the Student’s Difficulty/Disability/Impairment
8. Recommendations Concerning the Student’s Placement
9. Creation of an Individualized Education Program (through an IEP meeting)
10. Implementation of the IEP
IEP stands for Individualized Education Plan. The IEP is a legally binding contract of services provided by a school district for children classified with a disability. There are seven legally mandatory components:
1. A statement of the student’s present levels of educational performance.
2. A statement of annual goals, including short-term objectives.
3. A statement of special education, related services and supplementary aids and services provided for the student.
4. A statement indicating modifications in the administration of state or district-wide assessments of achievement (or a statement indicating that the student will not participate in such assessments).
5. A statement documenting the projected date for the commencement of services and the frequency, location and duration of those services.
6. A statement explaining the criteria used to assess a student’s progress towards his/her annual goals and the means to be used in informing the parent/guardian of this progress.
7. If necessary, a statement explaining the extent to which the student will not participate with non-disabled students in the general education classroom and/or other activities.
8. For each student reachng the age of 16 during the current IEP or older, a statement of transition needs and/or services.
Essentially, the IEP is a blueprint that outlines a student’s progress, strengths and weaknesses. Although a student’s IEP must be kept confidential, general education teachers who have contact with a special education student must have access to it.
The IEP Team must include the following members:
1. The parent(s)/guardian(s) of the student.
2. If the student participates in a general education classroom, at least one general education teacher of the student. If the student has no general education teacher, a general education teacher who is knowledgeable about the district’s programs shall participate.
3. At least one special education teacher/provider of the student.
4. A qualified representative of the local education agency.
5. An individual qualified to interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results.
6. At the discretion of the student or parent, other individuals with special expertise regarding the student’s program. The school must be notified in advance if the parent or student will request the presence of such an expert.
7. If age 14 or older, the student must be invited. If appropriate, students younger than age 14 may attend.
Free, appropriate, public education or FAPE is the standard outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. By law, FAPE refers to special education and related services that:
- Have been provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge.
- Meet the standards of the state education agency.
- Include an appropriate preschool, elementary, or secondary school education in the State involved.
- Are provided in conformity with the student’s IEP.
The term “related services” means transportation, and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education. It includes the early identification and assessment of disabling conditions in children. Related Services include:
- speech-language pathology and audiology services
- psychological services
- physical and occupational therapy
- recreation (including therapeutic recreation)
- social work services
- counseling services (including rehabilitation counseling)
- orientation and mobility services
- medical services (diagnostic and evaluation purposes only)
The term “supplementary aids and services” means, aids, services, and other supports that are provided in the general education classroom or other education-related settings to enable children with disabilities to be educated with non-disabled children to the maximum extent appropriate in accordance with the law.
The term “transition services” means a coordinated set of activities for a student with a disability that:
- Is designed within an outcome-oriented process, which promotes movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation.
- Is based upon the individual student’s needs, taking into account the student’s preferences and interests.
- Includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.
The term “least restrictive environment” refers to the placement of students with exceptionalities in the most advantageous educational placement suitable for their needs. This standard is mandated by IDEA. The continuum of educational placements ranges from the least to the most restrictive:
- General Education Classroom Placement. This is the least restrictive placement for all students. It is rare that students with special needs will be placed in this environment without some type of special education support.
- General Education Classroom Placement with Special Education Consultation. In this placement, the student remains in the general education setting. A consultant teacher provides support on an as-needed basis.
- General Education Classroom Placement with Specialist Assistance or In-Class Support. In this placement, the student also remains in the general education classroom for the entire day. However, the student receives regularly scheduled support and/or assistance from a professional while in the classroom. This may include: academic in-class support, sign language interpretation, etc.
- General Education Classroom Placement with Related and/or Supplementary Services. In this placement, the student remains in the classroom for the majority of the day. At scheduled times, supportive services outlined in the IEP are provided. These may include: speech therapy, physical therapy, adaptive physical education, occupational therapy, individual or groups counseling, etc.
- General Education Classroom Placement with Resource Room Replacement/Support. In this placement, the student spends the majority of the day in the general education setting. They are pulled out of the classroom at scheduled times for remediation and/or support in specific subjects.
- Special Classroom Placement with Mainstreaming. In this placement, the student spends the majority of the day in a special class that is typically grouped by age-level and exceptionality. However, the student is mainstreamed into a general education classroom for part of the school day. This mainstreaming typically occurs in special subjects, including: art, music, physical education, etc.
- Full-Day Special Class in a District School. In this placement, the student remains with a special class for the entire day. These classes provide a highly structured and closely monitored setting.
- Special School Outside of the School District. This setting is beneficial for students whose needs cannot be addressed in a district school. These schools typically provide programs specifically geared towards certain exceptionalities.
- Homebound Instruction. This educational placement is rarely used on a permanent basis. It is typically employed when a student is in transition between placements or is restricted to his or her home due to illness or injury. This placement requires that a teacher visit the home or make arrangements to conduct instruction at an agreed upon venue.
- Residential School. Residential placements are reserved for students that require highly therapeutic environments. The nature and duration of these services require that the student reside within the school community.
- Hospital or Institution. This is the most restrictive educational environment. Nevertheless, for some students, it is a necessity in order to ensure their safety and adequate care.
A 504 plan is a legally binding education plan created under the authority of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It is designed to create modifications and accommodations for students with special needs who are attending their school’s general education program. For this reason, the 504 plan should not be confused with an IEP.
Put simply, the student must meet the qualifications set forth in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The student must exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:
- a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities.
- have a record of such a physical or mental impairment.
- be perceived as having such a physical or mental impairment.
It is important to note that although a student may not qualify for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), he/she may still qualify for a 504 Plan.
The term “major life activities” includes, but is not necessarily limited to:
- caring for oneself
- the performance of manual tasks
The steps are somewhat similar. However, Section 504 grants far greater leeway than IDEA. Generally, in order to design and implement a 504 Plan, the following steps must be taken:
- The student is referred by a teacher, parent/guardian, or school-based intervention team. It is also possible for the student to initiate a self-referral.
- A 504 Plan meeting is scheduled and held.
- If applicable, a 504 Plan is developed for the student.
- The team sets a review date for the plan.
The following persons make up the 504 Plan Team:
- 504 Officer (typically, the principal of the student’s school or an assigned district-level administrator)
- The student (when appropriate)
- Student’s parent/guardian
- Student’s teacher(s)
- Local Education Agency administrator(s)
- Support staff (i.e. school nurse, paraprofessionals, speech therapist, etc.)
The term “early intervention services” means services that are designed to meet the developmental needs of an infant or toddler with a disability in any one or more of the following areas:
- physical development
- cognitive development
- communication development
- social or emotional development
- adaptive development
These services must be provided under public supervision and at no cost. To the maximum extent appropriate, these services must be provided in natural environments, including the home, and community settings in which children without disabilities participate. The services must be provided by a qualified professional in the given field, and must conform with a student’s individualized family service plan (IFSP). Early Intervention Services include:
- family training, counseling, and home visits
- special instruction
- speech-language pathology and audiology services
- occupational therapy
- physical therapy
- psychological services
- service coordination services
- medical services only for diagnostic or evaluation purposes
- early identification, screening, and assessment services
- health services necessary to enable the infant or toddler to benefit from the other early intervention services
- social work services
- vision services
- assistive technology devices and assistive technology services
- transportation and related costs that are necessary to enable an infant or toddler and the infant’s or toddler’s family to receive such services
An Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) provides a blueprint for the early intervention process of children with disabilities and their families. Through the IFSP process, family members and service providers work together to create, implement, and assess services designed to foster the child’s and family’s development. According to IDEA, an IFSP must include:
- A statement of the child’s present levels of physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social or emotional development, and adaptive development.
- A statement of the family’s resources, priorities, and concerns relating to enhancing the development of the child with a disability.
- A statement of goals to be achieved for the child and the family, including the evaluative criteria used to determine progress.
- A statement of specific early intervention services that the child and/or family will receive, including the frequency, intensity, and duration of such activities.
- A statement explaining the natural environments in which services will be provided, including justification of the extent, if any, to which the services will not be provided in a natural environment.
- A statement documenting the projected date for the commencement of services.
- The name of the service provider responsible for implementing the plan and coordinating with other agencies.
- A statement outlining steps to support the child’s transition to preschool and/or other appropriate services.
- If applicable, a statement explaining the extent to which parents will provide payment for services.
An IFSP differs from an IEP in many ways. First and foremost, the IEP is an individualized education program, while the IFSP is and individualized family service plan. Put simply, the IFSP is based around the family, rather than the school. It includes goals for the family as well as the child. Furthermore, whereas an IEP indicates the least restrictive environment for a student’s educational placement, an IFSP emphasizes natural environments such as the home and local community settings.
Parents, educators and administrators are equal members of the IEP Team. Parents have the right to participate in meetings concerning their child’s:
- Identification (the decision to evaluate the student)
- Evaluation (the nature and scope of assessment procedures)
- Classification (the determination of whether the child is eligible for special education and/or related services)
- Development and review of the IEP
- Educational placement
It is important for parents to maintain regular contact with the educational professionals that work with their child. Also, in preparation for an annual review or reevaluation, parents should prepare by reviewing past IEPs and student records. As the parent is typically the only team member that sees the child at home, their input is most important in assessing student progress and achievement.
An IEP meeting may be held without a parent, if the parent is unable or unwilling attend. Nevertheless, it is the responsibility of the school district to invite the parent(s) and document its attempts to set a time when all persons can attend. When possible, alternative methods for parents to participate, such as by phone, must be initiated. In the absence of a parent/guardian, the remainder of the IEP Team will evaluate and make decisions concerning placement, related services and educational program. The parent is an important part of the team and their participation is important.
Is a school district required to provide an interpreter/translator for parents when the IEP Team meets?
Yes. When necessary, an interpreter or translator must be provided by the school at no cost to the parent.
The written notice of the meeting must state the purpose, time, location and those who will attend. The notice must confirm that the parent may invite to the meeting other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel. The determination of whether the individual has such knowledge or special expertise is determined by the party which invited the individual. In addition, beginning at age 14, or younger if appropriate, the notice for a student with a disability must indicate that the purpose of the meeting will be the development of a statement of the transition service needs, and that the school will invite the student to attend.
“Due Process” is a legal principle outlined in the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution:
“[No person shall] be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
In reference to special education, the deprivation of liberty takes one of two forms:
- a parent may disagree with the school’s procedures or decisions regarding a child’s identification, evaluation, program or educational placement.
- a school may disagree with a parent’s refusal to grant consent for a child’s evaluation or classification.
Before continuing with a formal due process hearing, parents must be offered the opportunity to resolve the dispute through a mediation process. Mediation is a completely voluntary process for all parties involved. If the parents decline to participate in mediation or are not satisfied with the results, they retain the right to a due process hearing. If either the school or parent is dissatisfied with the decision in the hearing, that party may appeal the judgment to the state education agency. If the state education agency does not overturn the original decision, all parties retain the right to take civil action through the courts.
Autism is a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a child’s educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance. Under some circumstances, it is possible for a child to be diagnosed with autism after age three.
Deaf-blindness is defined as concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness.
An auditory impairment is an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance but that is not included under the definition of deafness in this section.
Deafness is an auditory impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
An emotional disturbance is a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance:
- An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.
- An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.
- Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
- A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
- A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
This term includes schizophrenia. The term, however, does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance.
The term cognitively impaired corresponds to “mentally retarded” and means a disability that is characterized by significantly below average general cognitive functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior; manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects a student’s educational performance and is characterized by one of the following:
Mild cognitive impairment corresponds to “educable” and means a level of cognitive development and adaptive behavior in home, school and community settings that are mildly below age expectations with respect to all of the following:
- The quality and rate of learning;
- The use of symbols for the interpretation of information and the solution of problems; and
- Performance on an individually administered test of intelligence that falls within a range of two to three standard deviations below the mean.
Moderate cognitive impairment corresponds to “trainable” and means a level of cognitive development and adaptive behavior that is moderately below age expectations with respect to the following:
- The ability to use symbols in the solution of problems of low complexity;
- The ability to function socially without direct and close supervision in home, school and community settings; and
- Performance on an individually administered test of intelligence that falls three standard deviations or more below the mean.
Severe cognitive impairment corresponds to “eligible for day training” and means a level of functioning severely below age expectations whereby in a consistent basis the student is incapable of giving evidence of understanding and responding in a positive manner to simple directions expressed in the child’s primary mode of communication and cannot in some manner express basic wants and needs.
Multiple disabilities or multiple handicaps refers to concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation-blindness, mental retardation-orthopedic impairment, etc.), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blindness.
An orthopedic impairment is a disability that severely and adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly (e.g., clubfoot, absence of some member, etc.), impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).
The term other health impairment refers to a limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that:
- Is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, and sickle cell anemia; and
- Adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
A specific learning disability is a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.
The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
The term social maladjustment refers to the consistent inability to conform to the standards for behavior established by a school. Such behavior is seriously disruptive to the education of the student and/or other students and is not due to emotional disturbance.
A communication impairment or communication handicap is a disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
The term preschool handicapped refers to an identified disabling condition and/or a measurable developmental impairment which occurs in children between the ages of three and five years and requires special education and related services.
The term traumatic brain injury corresponds to “neurologically impaired” and refers to an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.
The term visual impairment refers to an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.
Always contact your child’s classroom teacher with any initial concerns. DeeDee Hanes, the District Special Education Director, can be contacted at 503-261-4245, or through our contact form.
Usually, special concerts and events are advertised through direct communication from teachers to parents. Typically, these events are also advertised in the newsletter. Finally this year, these events will be posted on the new, easily accessible calendar on this website, which will allow interested parties to keep up to date about special concerts and events at school.
There is a full array of team sports available at CSD. At the high school, fall sports include football, soccer (girls and boys), and volleyball. Winter sports include girls and boys basketball and wrestling. In the spring, we offer baseball, softball, and track. At the middle school, we also have football, volleyball and soccer in the fall, wrestling and basketball in the winter, and track in the spring – baseball and softball are available through Corbett Youth Sports.
At the middle school, students participate in PE every week. PE classes are also available at the high school. In the grade school, physical activity is extremely important. Grade school PE is provided weekly by the classroom teacher –most often twice weekly for 45 minutes (in addition to three recess periods each day). The Corbett Youth Sports organization provides sports opportunities throughout the school year for grade school students and some sports for middle school students. In addition to this, there are times frequently throughout the year when there are open gym / weight room times. The best person to contact for more information about sports and fitness is our athletic director and high school PE teacher JP Soulagnet, accessible via our contact form.
Music classes are available to all students in the Corbett School District. Mrs. Swanson teaches a variety of music classes including choir for the grade school and middle school students. Mr. Killgore teaches band for students from upper elementary through high school. Our high school band has been in the top 5 at state competitions for the last decade. There is also a high school choir taught by Mr. Killgore.
Mr. Young, our high school art teacher, provides a broad spectrum of art education for our high school students and also teaches a section of art for middle school students. Students work in a variety of media – oils, water colors, pastels, sculpture, print design and more. Both AP studio art and AP art history are available at the high school. Corbett School District does not have a drama class. This being said, the community group – Corbett Children’s Theater – provides multiple opportunities for youth in the Corbett area to participate in high quality stage productions.
The clubs offered this year at Corbett High School so far include:
Yearbook / Mrs. Denney / Mondays at Lunch in Mrs. Denney’s room
Key Club / Mrs. Denney / Thursdays at lunch in Mrs. Swanson’s room
Chess / Mr. Swanson / Tuesdays after school in Mr. Swanson’s room
Leadership / Mr. Pearson / Wednesdays at lunch in Mr. Pearson’s room
Hiking / Mrs. Swanson / TBA – the plan is a hike a month
To start a club, a student (or group of students) must find a faculty member or community member who will sponsor the club. They should be prepared to present their idea to the administration. Their presentation should include the purpose of the club, membership requirements, and anticipated activities and meeting schedule. One primary consideration when forming a club is that club activities can not impact a student’s class time.
How to Volunteer
The first place to go to find volunteer opportunities is to your student’s teacher. If you would like to volunteer directly with students, you must fill out a background check form available at the building offices. The grade school has many opportunities for volunteerism. In addition to classroom teachers, check with the office staff and the PTA. At the middle school, direct help in the classroom is not frequently needed, but parent help on field trips and special events such as the Medieval Fest are crucial! Check with your student’s teacher or Mrs. Luna for further assistance in finding volunteer opportunities as the middle school. At the high school, CHAMPS is the parent group who organizes the Senior All Night Party after graduation – if you are a parent of a senior this is an excellent way to be involved. If you are interested in sponsoring a club, helping with an existing club or helping a specific program such as music or art, please contact the teacher in charge of those programs (Mr. Killgore for band/choir, Mr. Young for art or Mr. Pearson for leadership, for example). For further assistance with identifying volunteer opportunities at the high school, please contact your respective school using the contact form.
Life After Corbett
Every college or university has their own requirements for acceptance. Generally speaking colleges and universities look at a student’s quality of coursework, performance on standardized tests like the SAT, ACT, and Advance Placement Tests, the student’s GPA, and a student’s involvement in other activities in school like athletics, and out of school like volunteerism.
The philosophy at Corbett is to make sure we guide students and their families into making choices that will leave doors to opportunities open rather than shutting those doors. By providing a rigorous academic experience in the form of our Advanced Placement (AP) program the quality of a student’s coursework is ensured. Experiencing quality education like that offered in our AP program translates into higher scores on standardized tests and higher student GPAs. Coupling this academic focus with the District’s extra curricular offerings leaves doors for all students open into colleges and universities.
Further, providing this type of experience does not close doors for students who do not intend to go onto college or a university. However, it does provide a safety net of experiences in case a student changes their mind about attending college either while they are in high school or after high school.
Corbett School District (CSD) graduates are well prepared to compete in the highly competitive university admission process. The average CSD graduate takes between 11 and 12 AP courses in their career; this places the average graduate well into the 99th percentile amongst all graduates in the country with regard to AP participation. A list of some of the universities and colleges recent graduates have attended includes: Stanford, Duke, MHCC, OSU, U of O, Portland State, University of Portland, George Fox University, Linfield, Western Oregon University, Eastern Oregon University, Boise State, University of Washington, Western Washington University, USC, Columbia, Harvard, Vasser, Brown, Dartmouth, University of Pennsylvania, Willamette University, and many others. When students apply themselves at CSD there are no universities for which they are unprepared to seek admission. Each year students leave CSD with full ride offers from universities across the country.
In recent years the vast majority of graduates have gone on to some sort of post secondary schooling. However, some recent graduates have sought placement in the military or in apprenticeship programs. Military placement has been particularly easy for Corbett graduates. Not only have Corbett graduates found it easy to gain entrance to the military but once admitted their extensive transcripting of rigorous AP courses has given them the choice of picking which area of emphasis for which they will train..
CSD graduates are doing all kinds of great things! CSD graduates are serving in the military, peace corps or other similar organizations, working in industry as engineers or architects, working in the health industry as nurses, technicians, and doctors. Students are working towards careers in politics, in the clergy, or as lawyers. The list of great things CSD graduates are doing is exhaustive and remarkable.
The primary, and most important way, CSD helps students apply for opportunities after high school is to provide them with a K-12 education that keeps doors open for the students. We provide them with the gift of opportunity. By meeting each student where they are at and building their skills from that point using our continuous progress model, students maximize their individual learning potential. The rich array of advanced courses offered to CSD students prepares them for opportunities after high school and it makes them eligible to apply for those opportunities.
CSD provides further support in offering weekly college/career counseling on most Fridays. Juniors and Seniors are able to practice for tests such as the SAT, fill out application materials for programs and universities, and work on procuring financial aide. For more information on this program contact Phil Pearson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Several years ago CSD brought in the brick layers union, pipe fitters union, electrical workers union, Honda, Toyota, the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, MHCC, OSU, U of O, and many other universities. We asked these organizations what they wanted in a graduate. With a resounding voice they told us they wanted students who could read, write, perform math, and think critically. Honda and Toyota described to us that they really did not look at a student’s experience with automobiles, rather they looked at their ability to read and write because to be a technician for Honda you will need to go to Honda’s technical school. Conversely, if you want to work for Toyota you will need to go to Toyota’s technical school, which is different than Honda’s school –and the critical requirement will be a person’s ability to read and write.
The trades were even more blunt about their requirements . They told us that if two people apply to be a brick layer and all other things are equal, the student with the most math on their transcript wins every time. Representatives from the military informed us that the strength of a student’s academic preparation not only determines if they will be admitted to the military, but more importantly it opens up different career pathways in the military.
Given the unified voice of so many different groups, CSD has endeavored to provide every student with the most rigorous educational experience appropriate for each student. By providing rich, comprehensive, academically demanding experiences students leave Corbett with options. Options to go to college, join the military, work in a trade industry, or do just about anything else they can imagine.
District-Wide Policies and Processes
If you have questions about special education services, please contact Corbett Grade School Principal, Dee Dee Hanes, using our email form.
Issues and grievances should be handled at the lowest level possible. Typically this involves communication with teachers first, building level principals next, the superintendent third, and in rare circumstances the school board.
Teachers hear from “satisfied” parents and community members often and usually in person. This type of feedback is gratifying from a teacher’s perspective. However, “satisfied customers” do not usually describe their appreciation on paper, or make a special trip to voice them at school board meetings. If you want to share something you appreciate about CSD with the administration and the school board please email your comments to administrators or come to a board meeting and read them out loud during the audience comments portion of each board meeting.
Usually, special concerts and events are advertised through direct communication from teachers to parents. Typically, these events are also advertised in the newsletter. Finally this year, these events will be posted on the new, easily accessible calendar on this website, which will allow interested parties to keep up to date about special concerts and events at school.
Yes, the school is open for community use. Contact Debbie Schnieder in the MS/HS office to schedule use of the school facility. email@example.com
The district launched a summer enrichment program in 2011 for K-12 students. The district does not currently offer any community education programs for post-high school students.
Many connectivity options are available for you to choose from on the district website, including email, Twitter feeds, text message (SMS) delivery to your phone and RSS feeds for integration into your favorite browser or news reader. You can also contact one of the school offices to learn how to stay connected. Quarterly print newsletters will be mailed to the Corbett School District Postal Patrons, while electronic newsletters will be delivered monthly. View our connectivity page to learn more about how to stay in touch with Corbett School District.
Students are expected to be Productive, Safe and Kind/Respectful. Physical aggression or bullying are not tolerated. Coaching of behavior occurs most often at the classroom level with a partnership and communication with the parents. Administrative personnel enter the situation for support to the classroom teacher for reoccurring misbehavior or for no tolerance behavior of physical aggression or bullying.
We understand the urgent interest that everyone has with regard to teacher assignments. We also remember the days when we learned such things on the first day of school! We encourage parents to assure their children that the new year (and perhaps the new school) will be a wonderful experience regardless of who the teacher is and to counsel patience.
Parents will receive notice regarding classroom assignments in late August each year. At the elementary level, this will be at a back-t0-school event the week before school starts. Why so late? Class lists are highly dynamic, especially in charter schools, and CCS doesn’t want to publish false information, causing confusion and stress for students when it has to be changed at a later date. It is not just a matter of who the teacher is, but there is also excitement and anxiety about classmates, best friends, etc., so a single change can affect a number of students.
So we will allow the anticipation to build some, and everyone will be informed at the same time.
The short answer is: no.
The explanation is somewhat longer. Corbett Charter School educates students in broad, multiage classrooms. Students are assigned so as to maintain a balance in terms of the ages and genders in each classroom relative to the others. Each of our primary classrooms has more older students as role models for fewer younger students. The classrooms are intended to be heterogeneous, which is to say that we don’t group students according to ability. This requires that we attend to age and gender but allow everything else to be as random as possible. Even teachers are not part of the assignment process, so there is no ‘selecting’ students. It is as random as we can make it.
Allowing parent input into classroom assignments tends to cluster similarly able students all in the same place…the opposite of what we are hoping for. It tends to gather together students who already know each other, limiting the social possibilities and impacting the classroom dynamic.
Our practice is intentional, and it is grounded in best results for students.
CCS / District Configuration
The current agreement expires at the end of the 2013-14 school year.
In the spring of 2011, the Charter agreement was extended for three more years because the superintendent believed, and the Board concurred, that this was in the best educational interests of Corbett School students. By renewing the Charter agreement the district expects to receive around an additional $190,000 annually from the CCS. The district has no reserves to draw from, and has cut every program past the meat and to the bone. IF the district did not collect the additional $190,000, programs, teachers, or days would have had to be lopped off the school year. Between 5 and 6 of our most junior teachers would have had to be laid off pushing class size well into the 40’s. Or the district could have cut around five weeks of school. Pushing class size into the 40’s or cutting off five weeks of school was not in the best educational interest of students.
First and foremost Corbett School Distrct, like all school districts, must comply with state and federal laws. The Oregon Department of Education establishes rules and standards that direct large aspects of every district’s direction. The Superintendent is the instructional leader and makes recommendations to the Board that are in the best educational interest of students, while keeping the district in compliance with the rules and standards established by the Oregon Department of Education. Those recommendations are based upon the Superintendent’s experience as an educator, the advice of other district personnel, and advice from professional organizations such as the Oregon School Board Association and the Confederation of School Administrators. Further, those recommendations are guided by the feedback received from a multitude of students, families, and interested citizens.
The Board is tasked with working with the Superintendent to establish policies that will be in the best educational interest of Corbett students.
The best way a person can make sure their thoughts are heard is to make sure you take advantage of opportunities to learn about the district, the schools, and the programs. A critical strategy is to take advantage of information provided directly by district and school personnel. Opportunities to gain and share information include district information nights, the newsletter, building level conferences and open houses, school board meetings, and direct communication with staff.
The primary source of funding for Corbett School District, like all school districts in Oregon, is based on a complicated funding formula. Dollars are assigned to districts based on a per ADMw basis. ADMw is short for Average Daily Membership Weighted. Basically each student is worth 1 ADM, however some students and some situations add additional weight to the student count. For example Special Education students garner the district an additional ADM, students in poverty are worth an extra .25 ADM. At the end the calculating process Corbett gets about a 14% boost to the actual number of students it has. In other words, Corbett’s ADMw is about 14% higher than the actual ADM (number of students) we have.
Finally, our ADMw is multiplied by a dollar per ADMw number. This year it is about $6000 per ADMw, or around 5.3 million. The next biggest source of funding for Corbett School is Corbett Charter School which will give Corbett School about $700,000 this year. The district will also collect some money from the federal government, as well as from fees it collects for programs like pre-school.
Local property taxes are a component of the State’s funding formula. This year local property taxes will compose about 1.4 million dollars of the money allocated to Corbett School District. However, local property tax dollars have absolutely no bearing on how much money the school receives from the state. If Corbett residents payed zero dollars in property tax the total amount of money allocated to CSD would not drop by a penny! Conversely, if property tax collection doubled CSD would also not receive one penny more from the state. In short, if Corbett residents pay more in property tax the state gives Corbett school less money, if Corbett residents pay less in property tax the state gives Corbett more money.
The only way Corbett residents can add to the district’s day to day funding is to support an operating levy. Districts that pass operating levies get all of the money allocated via the funding formula plus the dollars associated with the operating levy. Corbett residents have not passed an operating levy.
The grade school bond will be paid off in December of 2012. Corbett residents can expect their property taxes to drop by around $1.50 per thousand dollars of assessed value. (This will be different for every property.)
CCS is funded via the same funding formula as all schools. CCS is funded based on the ADM (average daily membership) number of students that they have. The District collects the money from the state on behalf of the school, and then forwards the money generated by CCS students to CCS. This year CCS will earn about 2.7 million dollars via the funding formula. The school will use about 2 million dollars of the 2.7 million to pay for CCS teachers and supplies for CCS classrooms. The school will pay the district apx. $700,000 for rent and other services like office support, and recess supervision.
No. Corbett Charter School (CCS) brings in about 2.7 million dollars via the state funding formula. The district collects the 2.7 million dollars on behalf of CCS and then forwards the money onto CCS. If CCS students were not in Corbett the state would not give the district those dollars. CCS will use about 2 million dollars of the 2.7 million to pay for CCS teachers and supplies for CCS classrooms. CCS will pay the district about $700,000 for rent and other services like office support, custodial service, copier usage, and recess supervision.
The district has not “run out of money” in recent memory. However, the district is at the mercy of state funding. With very short notice the money promised to school districts by the state via the funding formula can be dramatically reduced. When this happens districts must react or they will “run out of money”. Last year in order to avoid “running out of money” the district cut 12% of the staff and reduced expenditure across the board.
There are many people and entities monitoring district spending. The primary person responsible for monitoring district spending is Randy Trani, the superintendent and chief financial officer. He works closely with other district staff including Robin Lindeen-Blakely, Dee Dee Hanes, Phil Pearson, and Lori Luna to keep track of spending. Additionally, the district has contracted with the MESD and CGESD to handle our business services. Kristy Fogle, an employee of CRGESD, provides considerable oversight and assistance with our business services.
The school board also monitors district spending. Each month a detailed financial report is included as a central piece of the school board’s monthly business meeting. Each year the district is audited by an independent auditing firm. The district has a long record of “clean” audits. The district also voluntarily enlists the services of the TSCC, an organization in Multnomah County that monitors spending practices of public entities. Finally, each year the district submits financial reports and audits to the state for further review.
Each year the district goes through a budgeting process. Randy Trani is the district’s chief financial officer and in that position he proposes a budget with allocation of projected revenues to be expended in various “buckets”. “Buckets” are spending categories recognized by auditors. Examples of spending categories include “instruction” and “support services”. The budget committee authorizes spending levels in the different categories. The board, based upon recommendations from the superintendent, monitors and adjusts spending in each “bucket” throughout the year as revenues and expenditure reports are honed. Ultimately, the superintendent, determines how monies are spent within each “bucket”.
No. The District has not spent more money than it has. The District has a long track record of spending within its resources while continually improving student achievement.
Corbett is funded using the same funding formula as all districts. The funding formula attempts to address the reality that some populations are more costly to educate than other populations. However the funding formula is not perfect and it produces some considerable inequities. Corbett is the lowest funded district in Multnomah County and one of the lowest funded in the state.
Some districts supplement their revenues by passing operating levies. Corbett residents have not passed an operating levy.
The district has implemented many cost cutting strategies. The primary cost cutting strategy the district has used has been to reduce staffing levels across all areas of the operation. The teaching staff, administrative staff, custodial staff, maintenance staff, classified staff, and coach’s stipends have all been cut dramatically over the last 10 years. The district has also revamped the phone system, stuck with a seven period day, implemented the best practice of multi-age instruction, adopted a health care package that has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars, among other strategies.
Board meetings are the third Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM. This year they will be held in the MPB. During the months of December and March board meetings will be on the second Wednesday of each month.
The Board meeting schedule can be found on the facility use calendar on line.
If you have questions or concerns your first step should be to make contact with school personnel as close to your issue of concern as possible. This typically means contacting a teacher first. If questions or concerns persist, building level principals should be contacted next, followed by the superintendent and then the board.
School Board meetings are the district’s monthly business meeting and are not intended to be a question and answer session. People are sometimes disappointed that when they speak during audience comments their questions are not answered directly. If you have a question you want answered it is best to contact school personnel first. You can also contact board members with questions.
Board meetings are meetings of a publicly elected board of seven individuals and the chief financial officer/instructional leader of the district. Board meetings are business meetings where the board is considering policy and hearing reports as to the state of the district. Board meetings are open to the public.
The answer is “not necessarily” to both questions. First, a policy to read every letter addressed to the board and post it in full in the minutes would be oppressive from a time stand point and expose the district to possible litigation. Reams of correspondence is addressed to the Board, the Board Chair, or the Superintendent/Board each year from advertisers. A policy that required all correspondence to be read would include these types of communication. Further, there is nothing to prevent anyone from saying anything in a letter to the Board. Frankly, some communication the Board receives from individuals is factually inaccurate, libelous, and sometimes just plain rude and mean.
Contact Robin-Lindeen Blakely in the district office to be placed on an email list to receive copies of the Board agenda.
Board packets can be copied at the district office at a cost of five cents per page.
Website How-To and Q&A
Taking advantage of the powerful publishing capabilities of WordPress, the website is designed to enable various groups within the district (schools, teachers, administrators, etc.) to speak to a wide array of stockholder communities in a more granular manner, while still offering high-level access to all information from the district. As such, the website offers news from schools and administrators that encompasses initiatives, accomplishments, challenges and more related to school-wide or district-wide topics and issues. As an added layer of more granular information, the district is also providing access to teacher notes, which are a new category of message directly from teachers to their student families. Teacher notes publish into their own stream outside of the general news stream from schools and administrators. Teacher notes encompass updates from teachers on the daily or weekly activities and accomplishments of specific classes. It is important to understand that teacher notes are not required by the district, so some teachers may elect to not use the feature, or simply use it less.
Since the inception of Corbett Charter School, naming conventions for schools within Corbett School District #39 have been inconsistent. This website seeks to remedy this inconsistency by introducing a revised naming convention to better differentiate the district’s resident schools and charter schools. The term resident schools refers to the schools that primarily serve those families that reside in the Corbett School District residential boundary, as defined by the State of Oregon. The following new terms are used throughout the website:
- Corbett School District: this refers to all schools in Corbett School District #39, including both resident and charter schools (as defined by law, Corbett Charter School is a district school).
- The District: this also refers to all schools in Corbett School District #39, including both resident and charter schools.
- Corbett Schools: this refers to the K-12 district resident school program comprising the majority of students attending school in Corbett School District #39.
- Corbett Charter School (CCS): this refers to the K-12 district charter school program sponsored by Corbett School District #39. To help differentiate resident public schools and charter public schools, we use the abbreviated CCS to refer to Corbett Charter School as this abbreviation is easier to differentiate visually when placed in the same sentence/paragraph/page as the title, Corbett Schools.
Teachers and administrators district-wide are working diligently to transition to this new naming convention, no longer referring to resident schools as district schools or Corbett Charter School as the charter, or charter school. Our goal is to help better enable all schools within the district to clearly and cleanly define their news, programs and initiatives without adding unnecessary confusion.
Corbett School District and Corbett Charter School (CCS) do not mandate a specific minimum requirement for teachers to publish information to website teacher notes. Each teacher has the opportunity to utilize the teacher notes facility, though adoption will vary based on individual teacher needs and working style.
The monthly newsletter (and print quarterly newsletter) will be announced on the website in the Newsletter news category. Simply subscribe to receive updates from this category via email or text messages, or follow this category via Twitter or RSS. To subscribe, open the ‘District E-Newsletter and Quarterly Mailer’ section above, under the ‘Subscribe to News’ heading. The monthly announcement of the newsletter’s availability will also automatically post to the district’s Facebook page.
There is a simple link to an FAQ submission form on the FAQ page. You may also directly access the FAQ submission form here:
Submit a Question
Please use the following form to submit a question to district administrators for potential inclusion in the online FAQs. Corbett School District endeavors to respond to all questions, however we cannot guarantee a response time or specific resolution.
The district endeavors to read and answer every reasonable FAQ submission. This being said, district administrators cannot guarantee a direct response via a published question and answer on the website, but administrators will work diligently to respond to all reasonable requests for additional detail and information.
All district calendars are accessible through the calendar page, accessible via the top page navigation under the ‘About’ tab. You may also elect to subscribe to particular calendars by selecting the appropriate subscription link on the calendar page, thereby enabling you to import district calendar events (as .ics files) into your own desktop or mobile device calendar.
From the calendar page, simply click on the name of an event and choose the ‘Add to calendar’ link provided in the dialogue box that appears.
No, all Twitter posts are published to the public, though you do need a Twitter account to follow posts on Twitter or via a Twitter app for a mobile device.
No. Twitter is used by the district solely to publish posts from teachers, but teachers do not directly interact with their respective Twitter accounts and will not see any direct messages posted to these accounts. Twitter is a distribution vehicle only.
On the Connect page, simply locate the particular news or teacher notes category from which you would like to receive updates, then send the appropriate text message request to 40404 to subscribe. The text message request code is listed in the SMS section for a particular news or teacher note category; usually formatted as follow <Twitter account name>.
To stop receiving text messages from a particular category of news or notes, simple send a message to 40404, substituting the word ‘remove’ for the word ‘follow’ before the Twitter account name.
On the Connect page, simply locate the particular news or teacher notes category from which you would like to receive updates, then click on the ‘Email’ link for said category. Provide your email address in the resulting Feedburner email subscription form and you will receive a confirmation email asking for you to validate the request. Once validated you are subscribed to receive updates via email for that category of news or teacher notes only. You will only receive one email message per category, per day, delivered sometime between the hours of 5 and 7 p.m.
The district email service, powered by Google Feedburner, provides an ‘unsubscribe’ link in the footer of every email message sent to subscribers. Each news feed you subscribe to is separate, so a single request to unsubscribe from an email subscription will only affect that specific feed. As such, Feedburner doesn’t provide a single page whereby you can manage your Feedburner email subscriptions as a whole.
The CSD website is always the most current source of information, though the latency in publishing from the site to other mediums (Twitter, text message, Facebook) isn’t terribly large.
To enable automated publishing to Twitter, the CSD website utilizes a Web service that scours the site’s RSS feeds for new posts (news and teacher notes) approximately once every 30 minutes. The process is relatively straightforward: once a post is published on the CSD website, it is almost instantly available in its associated RSS feed; from this point, the scouring Web service will eventually pick up the new post and publish it to its associated Twitter feed –as the service runs on a constant 30 minute clock, some posts may appear to publish to Twitter sooner than others; as the site’s text message (SMS) delivery service is powered by Twitter, updates sent via text message will also be dependent on the 30 minute service that scours the website for updates.
As a related side note, all email subscriptions are triggered to send updates (once per category of news/notes) in the evening, at some point between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
By default, Corbett School District has configured all email news and teacher notes subscriptions to send messages from a feed once per day within a set window. The actual delivery time varies, within the window of 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. If a specific category of news or teacher notes contains more than one new update/post, you will still only receive one email message for said category, though the message will contain summaries of each new post.
Each news and teacher notes email subscription will only send one message per day. As such, if there are several news and notes announcements published to a particular category (e.g., ‘Corbett Grade School News’) during a day, you will only receive one email message per day for said category which you subscribe. For example, if a category of news that you subscribe to features five different news announcements, you will still only receive one email message, which will contain summaries of the five announcements.
Facebook is a valuable information distribution channel and Corbett School District is committed to ensuring that the district has an active presence on Facebook. This being said, the district does not have sufficient paid administrative staff to effectively monitor and respond to questions on Facebook in a timely or meaningful manner. As such, the district will endeavor to monitor Facebook to ensure that community stakeholders have ready access to factual, accurate and timely information from the district. Conversely, the district cannot guarantee any specific level of responsiveness or service on Facebook.
From the Connect page, select the news or teacher notes category from which you would like to subscribe to (e.g., ‘All Corbett Schools News’); click on the link labeled, ‘RSS & News Readers’ for said feed and you will be taken to a page where you will have ready access to single-click buttons for adding your news or notes to your personalized portal home page. You may also elect to integrate the RSS feed directly into your own website in whatever fashion you wish.
RSS is a family of Internet information feed formats used to publish frequently updated content, —such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format. An RSS document (which is often called a ‘feed’) includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and author information. RSS feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. RSS feeds benefit readers by providing ready, updated access to new information in a manner that doesn’t require the reader to visit the source’s website. RSS feeds can be integrated into a variety of Web tools, including directly into the toolbars of most Web browsers, as well as into a ticker at the top of your Google Gmail inbox.
We do have a Google+ page, however we will be evaluating this service for applicability over time. Please feel free to add us to your circle.
Following the district’s communications audit of spring, 2011, administrators determined that to meet the communications initiatives defined by the district’s communications committee, as well as meet the security and liability requirements dictated to the district, a new website featuring a redesigned information architecture would better meet the needs of the district’s various stakeholder communities. The audit clearly dictated a high desire for more accurate and timely information from more sources within the district, and more ways to get this information delivered into the hands of community stakeholders. The new website leverages the inherent power of the WordPress publishing platform to meet the needs and wants outlined in the results of the communications audit.
Launched in August, 2011, the new Corbett School District website has been designed with an information architecture that prioritizes the distribution of –and access to– news and notes from the district, its schools and its teachers. This prioritization enabled district administrators to organize pages and posts (news and teacher notes) in a manner that better enables a wider array of district staff to contribute to the valuable library of information already created by district teachers and administrators.
The new website germinated as part of the district’s 2011 communications initiative. Working with a website team comprised of district staff and community members, the new site began development and testing following the communications audit of spring 2011, as a direct result of said audit. The website is hosted on a third-party Web server contracted directly by the district, with the domain name server (DNS) hosted by the Multnomah Education Service District (MESD). The hosting service (in its current configuration) costs the district less than $100 each year. All hardware and operating system upgrades for the Web server are managed by the district’s third party host. All software upgrades related to the district are managed by the district.
Regarding the costs of specific software and technology used to build and/or operate the website, all Web services are either free to the district or have been donated during its development. For example, the website features a wide variety of information distribution services that are hosted by third party services, which enables high reliability and support without incurring any costs. As a specific example, all news and notes are published and distributed via Feeburner, a service provided free of charge by Google. These feeds also publish to Twitter, a free service that directly powers the site’s ability to distribute news and notes to anyone via text message (SMS). The site’s publishing platform and content management system (CMS) is WordPress, an open source platform available free to the district and maintained by district staff.
Regarding the cost of design and development resources, the architecture and visual design of the website was donated to the district by community stakeholders and other third parties committed to the success of Corbett School District. All development and design services were provided to the district free of charge.
Corbett School District chose to take a new direction with its new website. As such, the new site has been re-designed from the ground up. Besides the school district’s crest, the only element shared between the new and previous site are both sites’ use of WordPress, the free, open source publishing platform and content management system.
Regarding visual design (WordPress design packages are usually available as customized ‘themes’ –available for free, or for a fee), the previous district website featured a customized version of the pleasing WordPress University theme designed by Chris J. Molitor for Theme Forest. Corbett School District elected not to utilize this theme for its new website. Instead, the district chose to work with StudioPress to leverage their WordPress development platform, which enabled the district to rapidly deploy a publishing-centric design to meet the goals outlined in the 2011 communications audit. As such, the two websites do not share any customized code or style sheet elements.
Submit a Question
Please use the following form to submit a question to district administrators for potential inclusion in the online FAQs. Corbett School District endeavors to respond to all questions, however we cannot guarantee a response time or specific resolution.