509J Student Art Exhibit at OSU

It is a beautiful sight to see art work from students k-12 in one big exhibit! Thank you to the LaSells Stewart Center staff for helping us showcase student art work.

The 509J District-Wide Student Art Exhibit opened at the Guistina Gallery, in OSU’s LaSells Stewart Center on January 28 and runs through February 8. This exhibit was made possible by the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation and was funded in part by a grant from the Benton County Cultural Coaltion, with funds provided through the Oregon Cultural Trust.

Art education in our schools matters. For some students, art is the place where they make connections to deeper learning, where they find a true place of expression, and where they see their talents come to life. The arts are a critical pathway to learning. There is plenty of data that shows us that students respond to a learning environment that includes a strong arts component.

Thank you to our arts specialists in Corvallis public schools and the artist-in-residence instructors. Special thanks to The Arts Center, for the art education opportunities provided at Garfield and Lincoln Elementary Schools and College Hill High School.  Art educators are the people who work at the intersection of learning and creating, who provide students with the 21st century skills of critical thinking, problem solving, and innovating solutions.  And a final thank you to the students of the Corvallis public schools. Thanks for sharing more than 400 pieces of art with the community in this annual exhibit!

2013 Innovation Grants announced

The annual Innovation Grants are an opportunity for all educators in the Corvallis public schools to apply to the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation for funds up to $1,000 for pilot programs, equipment, or supplies for classroom or school programs.

Applicants are asked to demonstrate the importance of the project and how the requested funding will have a positive impact on student learning. Priority is given to projects that will impact the greatest number of students and that can be shared with other teaching professionals.  The Corvallis Public Schools Foundation approved funding of 23 Innovation Grants for a total of $14,919. Congratulations to this year’s recipients!

The CPSF Innovation Grants grants are supported by proceeds from the annual Spring for Kids Run and CPSF endowed funds including the Barbara E. Fry Fund, the Doris L. Myers Fund, and the Zel Brook Art Project Fund.

Back to school, with thanks to our business community!

The Corvallis business community steps up in so many ways to support students in our public schools! We would like to give a big thank you to businesses that donate to specific campaigns run by the CPSF, to local businesses that participate in the Scrip gift card program, local businesses offering ‘dine out’ fundraisers and sharing a percentage of sales, and also to businesses that provide for employees to participate during the work day as school volunteers for literacy and mentoring programs.

We are grateful to the supporters of the Foundation’s Spring 2013 campaign to fund high school summer programs. Business donors include: Hewlett Packard, CH2M Hill, Citizens Bank, Corvallis Radiology, First Tech Credit Union, Stover, Neyhart & Co., OSU Federal, Your Community Credit Union, Samaritan Health Services, Korvis Automation, Sprick Roofing, and Coelo Company of Design.  Foundation donors included the Mario and Alma Pastega Family Foundation and the Simple Actions Family Foundation. We are grateful for this investment in high school students.

Thanks to restaurant businesses that participate enthusastically in the popular “dine out” fundraising nights.  Last year, more than 13 local restaurants provided this fundraising opportunity to multiple schools and programs.  We also appreciate the business participants in the Scrip program, which generates hundreds of dollars for schools and supports many enhanced learning opportunities for students.

Umpqua Bank, a top 100 employer in Oregon, provides paid time off for Corvallis staff to volunteer in the classroom. Last year, multiple staff volunteered each week at Mt. View Elementary school, serving as reading mentors. The Corvallis branch also held a book drive to collect funds and new books for Mt. View, resulting in $600 in literacy materials for Mt. View students.

One of the most consistent business supporters of Corvallis public schools is Carol Lee Woodstock, owner of Woodstock’s Pizza.  Every day is a “dine out” day at Woodstocks. Customers simply ask their cashier to note which school or non-profit they support on the back of their sales receipt and Carol Lee and staff tally those receipts one time annually. 5% of their annual sales are donated to schools and non-profit organizations through this program. Woodstocks also is the founding sponsor of the annual Spring for Kids Run, a benefit for the programs of the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation.

We thank our local businesses and encourage our parents and families to give these businesses your support and your business!

2013 Golden Apple Awards announced

This marks the 18th year of the Mario and Alma Pastega Golden Apple Awards, presented by the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation. The awards recognize outstanding achievements by teachers and staff and are made possible by an endowed fund created by Mario Pastega. This year’s recipients are: Gerhard Behrens, a 2/3 grade teacher from Adams Elementary School, Aaron McKee, a physical education/health teacher from Linus Pauling Middle School, Greg Hyde, a science teacher from Corvallis High School, and Denna Melton, a special ed educational assistant from Lincoln Elementary.  Each recipient was presented with a golden apple and monetary award. Portraits are provided by The Ball Studio and displayed in the Corvallis School District Board room.  Congratulations to this year’s Golden Apple recipients!

Scholarships awarded to 2013 graduates

The Schools Foundation administers scholarships for graduating seniors from both high schools and announced $4,250 in college scholarships at each school’s Honors Assembly in June. Congratulations to this year’s recipients!

Brenna Murphy, CVHS, Susan Small-Hall Scholarship
Jasmine Vidana, CHS, Apron Strings Scholarship
Jazmin Schneider, CHS, Clinton F. Stoddard Memorial Scholarship
Jazmin Schneider, CHS, Olaf Hedstrom Memorial Scholarship
Matherin Langley, CHS, Don Todorovich Memorial Scholarship
Areli Arredondo, CHS, Somos El Futuro Scholarship
Nick Gremmels, CVHS Clinton F. Stoddard Memorial Scholarship

Math Academy II coming this summer

Building on the success of the 2012 summer Math Academy, Corvallis High School will again offer the program to students who need extra assistance to make up math credits. With funding from the Schools Foundation Innovation Grants, CHS students will have the opportunity to earn math credits this summer, rather than having to wait until the fall to work on their math skills and make up lost credits. Last year’s program had 32 student participants earning a total of 18 math credits. A certified teaching position was funded by the Innovation Grant, saving the Corvallis Public Schools the equivalent of .17 FTE, a payroll equivalent of nearly $10,000. See the story in the Corvallis Gazette Times.

Improving graduation rates in Corvallis

Principals at Corvallis High School and Crescent Valley High School have identified the need for additional interventions for high school students that are not on track to graduate.  The Corvallis Public Schools Foundation has launched a fundraising campaign this spring to raise $40,000 by May 15, to enhance summer learning opportunities for these students. To support this campaign, simply designate your donation to the “Spring Campaign.”

gradsNew programs will include a math class for incoming 9th graders, literacy instruction for high school students who are not on track with their reading and writing skills, and additional funding for the summer credit recovery program, so students can make up course work in classes where they have struggled or been unable to complete the class.  With these donations, high school students will be better prepared for classes in the fall of 2013 and will be on the academic path to success and to high school graduation.

Spring for Kids Run means $$ for classroom grants

321 runners and walkers completed the 10th annual Spring for Kids Run on March 16, raising over $11,000 for Corvallis public schools. The event supports the Mini Grants for Educational Excellence, a program of the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation.

The winning times for the 10k were Steve Allen of Corvallis, with a time of 36:05.1 in the men’s division and Emily Dimick of Dallas, with a time of 43:11.6 in the women’s division. The winning times for the 5k were Crescent Valley running coach Tyler Bushnell with a time of 17:49 in the men’s division and April Turple, a language arts teacher at Crescent Valley, with a time of 21:34.7. The 2k Family Fun Run was a non-competitive event and all student participants received an awards ribbon at the finish line.

The Corvallis Public Schools Foundation Spring for Kids Run has become a Corvallis tradition, serving as the unofficial kick off for spring running. According to Executive Director Brenda VanDevelder, “Last year, we added the 10k event and created three new courses. This year we added the Healthy Moves Expo. Our goal is to keep growing this event and generating even more dollars for the Mini-Grants program. We appreciate the involvement of so many volunteers and local businesses and organizations.”

The Healthy Moves Expo featured a dozen exhibits from local wellness and healthy activity organizations. Highlights included karate demonstrations by students of Aurora Martial Arts, a fire safety demonstration trailer hosted by the Corvallis Fire Department and a mini-soccer area managed by Corvallis Sports Park. A crowd favorite was the display by Underwater Audio, a local innovator, showcasing their technology to waterproof iPods and swimbud headphones. Setting the tone for fun, the Adams Elementary School Marimba Ensemble performed throughout the event in the finish area. View complete results for the event.

Untethered teachers

Providing funding for technology in the classroom is one way that the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation is supporting student learning.  This fall the Foundation provided resources to make the AppleTV “kit” available to each of the iPad carts included in the District’s pilot project rollout.  The AppleTV creates a wireless connection for the teacher’s iPad, allowing the teacher to circulate around the classroom, interacting with students.  It also mirrors any content on the teacher’s iPad to the screen at the front of the room. Learn more about the benefits of the AppleTV in the classroom in this article from Wired Educator.

2012 Golden Apple winners

Congratulations to this year’s outstanding educators! Recipients were recognized for their passion, committment, and “above and beyond” efforts as education professionals.  Winners are Terry McNamara, Cheldelin Middle School, Kristen Erickson, Jefferson Elementary, Carol Griffith, College Hill High School, and Stephanie Swenson, Linus Pauling Middle School.  Read more about the awards in the Corvallis Gazette Times article here.