More than 30 fifth-graders at John Wetten Elementary auditioned for a chance to sing in the Oregon Music Educators Association Elementary All-State Choir. Four were selected for this special opportunity.

PHOTO COURTESY: LESLIE ROBINETTE - Hudson Winfrey, Leesa Jo, Isabella Kuther, and Carver Kolln rehearse for their All-State Choir performance in January.In January, Hudson Winfrey, Leesa Jo, Isabella Kuther, and Carver Kolln will travel to Eugene to rehearse with 120 fifth-grade singers from across the state.

“The choir will perform a variety of challenging choral works under the leadership of a nationally recognized conductor,” said music teacher Kelly Jacobs. “We are proud to have these students representing the John Wetten music program.”

Clackamas tech ed gets top state funding for 2016

During the 2015 Oregon Legislative session, funding was approved for Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs that lead to high-wage, high-demand jobs.

The Clackamas Education Service District was recently awarded the highest grant amount for a regional consortium. The service district coordinates the efforts of the consortium that is made up of school districts, teachers and community partners. The consortium was awarded $498,524 to support ongoing CTE efforts.

Oregon’s Secondary Career Pathways program awards funds based on the number of students who earned three or more high school credits in the program. Additional funds are awarded if those students who earned three or more credits were from underserved populations (e.g. English language learners, students with disabilities, students of color or students from a low socioeconomic status).

Clackamas Career & Technical Education Consortium schools offer in-depth CTE programs to students with the support of school districts, teachers, administrators, Clackamas Community College, business partners and communities. Funding is to be used to continue to strengthen the CTE programs that earned these funds.

Free workshops help job seekers

Those who hope to find a job in the new year can get help with the search through a series of free January workshops presented by WorkSource Clackamas. The courses will be provided in Gladstone, Canby, Oregon City, Sandy, Milwaukie and Wilsonville.

Eight different workshops are offered, including Job Search Success; Resume Ready; Resume Lab & Application Review; Acing the Interview; Interview Coaching; Social Media & Job Searching; Skills for Work & Life; and Progress & Motivation Support.

To register, create an iMatchSkills account at and bring identification when visiting the WorkSource Center, 506 High St., Oregon City, to complete the full enrollment process. For more information, call 971-673-6400, ext. 22473.

GHS launches Mandarin program

This winter, the Gladstone School District expanded the Confucius Classroom program to include Mandarin language classes at Gladstone High School.

PHOTO COURTESY: LESLIE ROBINETTE - Gladstone High School language teacher Hao Li leads a Mandarin class.The program introduces students to Chinese culture and Mandarin language with the goal of building relationships between China and the United States. It is funded through a partnership with China’s Hanban agency and Portland State University.

“Mandarin is spoken by more people than any other language,” said Superintendent Bob Stewart. “Offering this class at the high school opens doors for students to gain a significant career advantage.”

All students at John Wetten Elementary receive language lessons in Mandarin, learning, songs, games, crafts, and customs in the process. Forty-nine high school students are taking the new first year Mandarin I course, which will continue next year with the addition of Mandarin II. Besides language, students are learning about Chinese geography, arts, and cultural differences.

Teachers in the program are Hao and Xianling Li, a young married couple from China’s Shandong Province. Both are certified to teach in Oregon. Previously they taught Chinese in Thailand and South Korea.

“My students are very happy to have the option of Mandarin,” said Hao Li. “They want to learn more about Chinese culture and are interested to discover how different China is from the United States. They are especially excited about learning to write Chinese characters.”

Boatload of learning

A recent grant from the North Clackamas Education Foundation, with matching support from the Clackamas Rotary, launched the Wind and Oar pilot project at Rowe Middle School in January. About 35 seventh- and eighth-grade students and three teachers will meet three times a week to build a 10-foot wooden boat.

PHOTO COURTESY: NCEF - About 35 Rowe Middle School students will meet three times a week to build a 10-foot wooden boat. This program will be integrated into students’ mathematics class. Through practical hands-on experience, students will enhance their skills in algebra, geometry and fractions as well as build communication, teamwork and responsibility while learning measurements and how to use carpentry tools. The project will help ensure eighth-grade students are algebra ready, one of the North Clackamas School District’s key performance indicators.

When the boat is completed, it will be auctioned off by Rowe to support the program for the next year. Students are selected for the enhanced math program based upon their test scores and academic performance. The students will be subsequently assessed for grades in their math classes, test scores and attendance after participating in the boat building class for comparison.

Getting money for college

There are only three months left to apply for the Oregon Promise, a program that provides grants for new high school graduates and GED recipients who will begin community college classes this fall. The application deadline is March 1, so apply soon.

An introductory video for students can be found at More information can be found at

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