Articles

Teachers make regular home visits to help students

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Photo: ANNA REED / Statesman Journal

A growing movement of Salem and Keizer educators is making Parent Teacher Home Visits more common practice, with local organizations doubling the program’s funding and providing incentives for staff to foster deeper relationships with their students’ families.

The benefits of the visits extend beyond eliminating barriers and ensuring families are involved in their children’s education. Students become more likely to attend school and score higher on standardized tests.

Read the full story here.

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District, students tackle mental health, suicide prevention

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Salem and Keizer community members have become far too familiar with the crushing news of student death by suicide.

Several teen suicides have been reported since 2016 alone, with some coming in waves of what experts call “clusters” — one after the other in a short period of time.

Salem-Keizer Public Schools officials are taking multiple steps in the new year to prioritize the health and safety of the district’s nearly 42,000 students.

Meanwhile, Salem-Keizer students are seeing a disconnect between how district officials are handling mental health awareness and suicide prevention, and what teens really need. So, they’re organizing to make sure students have a seat at the table.

Read the stories at StatesmanJournal.com.

Increasing mental health services top priority in Salem-Keizer schools

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Photo by ANNA REED / Statesman Journal

Salem and Keizer community members have become far too familiar with the crushing news of student death by suicide.

Several teen suicides have been reported since 2016 alone, with some coming in waves of what experts call “clusters” — one after the other in a short period of time.

Salem-Keizer Public Schools officials are taking multiple steps in the new year to prioritize the health and safety of the district’s nearly 42,000 students.

Read the full story here.

Ethics commission dismisses Jefferson school complaints

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Five complaints against the Jefferson School Board over the hiring of the district’s new superintendent have been dismissed by the Oregon Government Ethics Commission after determining the board did not violate executive session rules.

However, the commission did not examine separate questions regarding open meetings law violations outlined in an investigation by the Statesman Journal earlier this year.

Read the full follow story here.

Oregonians: Tips to start saving for college

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Anyone can start saving for their future and their children’s. Anyone.

Regardless of a students’ age, where they live, or their socio-economic, citizenship or veteran statuses, Oregon agencies have dozens of ways to save money for college or trade school.

And they want the process to be as simple as possible.

Read more here.

Survivor of Nazi twin experiments brings her story to Salem

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At 14, Jona Laks waited with her two sisters to be sorted between forced labor and the gas chambers of Auschwitz.

It was 1944 and Laks remembers herself as skinny, pale and underdeveloped. She’d been incarcerated with her family in the Łódź ghetto of Poland. It’d been two years since her parents had been taken to a Nazi extermination camp.

Laks and her twin, Miriam, would endure a year of the notorious Joseph Mengele human experiments before moving to other camps in Germany. For decades since, she’s carried with her the memories of one of the worst atrocities in human history — the systematic murder of millions of Jewish people.

Read Laks’ story here.

Reform coming to Chemawa Indian School in Salem

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After almost two years of stonewalling by Chemawa Indian School officials and the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Reps. Kurt Schrader and Suzanne Bonamici say reform appears to be coming after visiting the Salem school this past week.

The Oregon Democrats were “pleasantly surprised” by apparent progress and expect more clarity about conflicting federal agencies’ roles, removal of a gag order on school staff and a better system for hiring teachers, among other things, in the near future.

The representatives have been pushing for change since before 2017, when an investigative series by Oregon Public Broadcasting highlighted allegations of fraud, mismanagement, lack of transparency and abuse at the Native American boarding school.

Read the full story here.

Students demand action from school board: How will you protect us?

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A group of students and graduates want the Salem-Keizer School Board to do more to protect and help immigrant students in Salem-Keizer Public Schools.

“You guys get mad when we decide to march, to sit-in, to speak up for ourselves and others, but when we die, you guys become silent,” one graduate told the board.

“And when approached about the topic, all you seem to say is ‘that’s sad’ and ‘I’m sorry,’ as if your ‘sorry’ really does or means something.”

Read the full story here.

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