Thank you North Bend School Board
Tonight is the last planned meeting with this current board of directors. On behalf of the North Bend School District and community I’d like to thank Kurt Brecheisen for his twelve years of service, Julianna Seldon for her eight years of service, and Sami Pierson for her four years of service. As a new superintendent, I have appreciated getting to know each of these dedicated community servants. The role of school board member is a huge responsibility and requires a lot of work, for little pay...the occasional thank you and pride in student outcomes and graduation are some of the ways the district gives back. However, make no mistake, these board members have impacted student outcomes and have dedicated countless hours to ensure we maintain high expectations and continue to work towards improving outcomes across the entire system. Please join me in celebrating these three outstanding board members and thank them for their years of service. Each of them will be provided an engraved pen, but like many COVID impacted industries - their gifts are backordered.
LGBTQ Pride Month
LGBTQ Pride Month is commemorated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York City. In June of 1969, supporters of the Stonewall Inn staged an uprising to resist the police harassment and persecution to which LGBTQ Americans were commonly subjected. This uprising marked the beginning of a movement to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices against LGBTQ Americans.
In our schools and classrooms, LGBTQ Pride Month is an excellent time to talk with students about LGBTQ people and their struggles to achieve equity and justice in all aspects of their lives. It is an opportunity to learn about important LGBTQ people, but like other themed months, it is important not to isolate LGBTQ culture or history into one month during the year.
Last spring, prior to the pandemic, North Bend students identifying as LGBTQ met with leaders from the Oregon Department of Education in the development of the LGBTQ2SIA+ Student Success Plan to provide feedback and guidance to ensure every student feels like they are included and belong in our Oregon schools. There were 5 key takeaways from the student engagement:
Supportive educators are crucial for students to feel safe and included.
Curriculum, coursework, and afterschool activities are engaging when they are relevant to students’ interest and lived experience.
Access to gender-neutral restrooms (also known as all-user or private restrooms) is important for students to feel physically safe and included.
Students generally know how to report instances of bullying or harassment, but few trust that adults will respond with action if reports are made.
More mental health supports are needed.
As we celebrate Pride Month this is a great reminder to our students, staff, and community that our schools need to be places where students feel safe and belong. The rainbow has become a symbol of pride for individuals identifying as LGBTQ, but also for individuals who show support. The North Bend School District supports students who want to show support for LGBTQ Pride Month by wearing clothing, carrying flags, and other demonstrations of LGBTQ Pride. LGBTQ students have a right to a safe, supportive, and inclusive education free from violence, harassment, and discrimination.
Last week the North Bend jazz and concert bands held an outdoor concert at the high school. Due to the limited space available and the possibility of rain, the event wasn’t widely advertised, but it was broadcast live on the Internet and a copy is available. Tonight I shared a portion of the concert as we waited to get started tonight. Again, thank you for the creativity and flexibility of our music program during these past twelve months, especially our music director Amber Yester, Sarah Massey, and Ken Graber. They have done the best maintaining high standards of excellence amidst ongoing challenges...they are pandemic champions!
North Bend School District Launches New Website and Mobile App
We are excited to get our new website up and running. The URL hasn’t changed and we are still at https://www.nbend.k12.or.us/ The website is ADA compliant and is being updated on a regular basis and we get everything transferred from our old site. We are also excited to offer a mobile application. This is a powerful new tool for our families, students, staff, and community members to stay up-to-date with our district. The app allows our school community access to real-time sports scores, the daily cafeteria menu, news from administrators, student stories, and even emergency notifications.
Here are three key benefits of our new app:
Know what’s going on at school. Find real-time updates from the website’s live feed about stories happening inside the classroom, on the football field, or in the art studio.
Connect with teachers and administrators. Learn about parent-teacher conferences, access staff contact information, and quickly find out about district news.
Stay up-to-date with school information. Receive updates about events occuring on campus, the daily cafeteria menu, required forms, and even emergency notifications.
You can download the app for android and iPhone at:
Download for Android: https://bit.ly/3sKzvRa
Download for iPhone: https://apple.co/3shsgA9
We also have a short video that I’d like to share with you.
“It’s everything NBSD, in your pocket.”
A special thank you to Joe Frischman and Brad Bixler for leading the charge in developing this opportunity for our district!
Oregon International Port of Coos Bay Scholarships
On Tuesday, the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay awarded two scholarships to two North Bend High School graduating seniors pursuing educational advancement at an Oregon trade school, community college or university.
Congratulations to Jacob Mitchel and Natalie Cheal, both graduating from North Bend High School. Jacob and Natalie will both be furthering their educational pursuits at Oregon schools with plans to return to the area after receiving their respective degrees.
These scholarships reflect the Port’s dedication to facilitating the growth and development of Oregon’s South Coast regional economy by supporting the workforce of tomorrow. Eligible applicants are graduating seniors living within the Port District, with special consideration given to students seeking educational advancement in trades or skills related to the maritime, rail or trade and logistics industries.
In awarding the scholarships, the Port takes into consideration student’s academic achievement, involvement in extracurricular activities and alignment with the Port’s mission to promote sustainable economic development in southwestern Oregon and the state. Congratulations Jacob and Natalie!
Student-Created Video: Teacher’s Experience with COVID Vaccine
Erica Street, a science teacher at the high school and Advisor for National Honor Society and Z Club recently shared a student-led and created video that grew out of a North Bend High School service project. Jared Bower-Solomon realized that one of the barriers to getting students all back to school as normal in the fall was confusion about the coronavirus vaccine. He started a committee to try to remedy that. Stephen Jacquot soon joined him as co-chair of the committee, and together with several more seniors, they conducted interviews and put together this informational video, with hopes that it could be shared with the community so that teachers' experiences as some of the first in Oregon to receive the vaccine could help allay a lot of fears. Here is the video they put together.