School notes: Child Abuse Prevention Month; crisis-response training
In honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, CASA of Clackamas County and Oregon City Woman's Club are issuing a call to action for Clackamas County residents to stand against child abuse and take action to support children who have been abused or neglected.
At any given time, there are over 350 children in foster care in Clackamas County. These children come into the child welfare system through no fault of their own.
Immediately after a 1:30 p.m. bench dedication Thursday, April 13, CASA of Clackamas County and the Oregon City Woman's club will plant blue pinwheels in the flowerbeds to bring awareness to the need to prevent child abuse, at Oregon City Public Library, 606 John Adams St..
"All children deserve safe, happy childhoods, where they feel secure and loved," said Jerri Adams, president of the Oregon City Woman's Club. "Every child needs the support of caring, consistent adults with the training to help them heal and thrive, and we are delighted to partner with CASA of Clackamas County to raise awareness about how CASAs help transform foster children's lives."
Throughout April, CASA of Clackamas County is calling on people to help the program serve more of the county's most vulnerable children. Community members can join the organization's Heroes Society and provide a CASA for a local foster child. It costs $5 a day to provide a voice in court for a Clackamas County foster child. To donate online, go to givedirect.org/donate/?cid=4562 or call 503-723-0521.
OCHS students place in stock-market challenge
For the third year in a row, Oregon City High School students have participated in the Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge. The event is an exciting hands-on competition that introduces students to the fast-paced world of stock trading. Teams of four to five students work together to buy and sell stocks with an initial fictitious $500,000.
Every 90 seconds represents a complete trading day, and over the course of two hours, students make trades. Teams can monitor stock tips and news releases that are shared during the event. The team with the highest portfolio value at the end of the tournament wins.
"We've participated all three years that the Stock Market Challenge has been up and running," said Eric DeWitz, OCHS economics teacher. "We return each year because students report that using real-world examples makes it extremely worthwhile and fun."
This year OCHS had 92 students and 20 teams at the challenge to compete against other schools in the area. The Bull Markers team from Oregon City took second place overall and won a stock market challenge trophy.
Before attending the challenge, business consultants Steve Gray from Key Bank and Harley Spring from Standard Insurance conducted two introductory lessons at OCHS to prepare students for the Stock Market Challenge. In the lessons and at the tournament, students learn the basics of the stock market: buying and selling strategies, assessing risk, reading tables and analyzing graphs and, of course, making tough decisions.
Crisis-response training prepares local districts
During the last week of February, Oregon City, Gladstone and North Clackamas school district crisis response team members came together for continued training on how to respond to crises that could affect students, staff and community.
The training event marked the seventh year that the three districts have worked together to collaborate and learn how to refine support systems. The teams shared feedback from previous crisis events, regarding what worked and what could be improved. Much of the discussion this year focused on how to create succession plans for events that span days, weeks or, in some cases, months.
"When crisis events occur in our community they affect the school," said Tom Lovell, Oregon City High School principal. "After dealing with various levels of crisis, I can't express enough how helpful these supports are to our students and staff in times of need."
In many cases, one community tragedy affects students and staff across district lines. In these instances, officials say already having established relationships between districts is invaluable and saves crucial setup time so that crisis response staff can immediately start to support students and staff.
"I first got invited to the Crisis Response Team 12 years ago when I was a school counselor. Most often in a crisis, the healing begins in the response," said Lisa Normand, McLoughlin Elementary School principal. "The collaboration and support from neighboring districts is essential in this kind of work. Sometimes we are too close to the situation and are grateful to have caring support from our neighbors to help us begin the healing process."
Learning what events cause students and staff sadness is often the beginning to opening up various forms of caring and support systems. With each school in the area working with limited resources, pooling together makes sense and provides a level of help that otherwise might not be possible.
Tragedies that happen in the community and affect the school community launch the crisis response teams into action. Often teams meet after school hours and on weekends to learn details about a crisis and prepare in advance, so when the school doors open they are ready to support students and staff.
For more information about crisis response, visit the Crisis Management Institute at cmionline.com or the Samhsa.gov mental health services website.
Climatologist to give STEM talk at CCC
Climatologist Faron Anslow will present his research at 5 p.m. April 17, in the Clackamas Community College Community Center, 19600 Molalla Ave., Oregon City. The event is free and open to the public.
Anslow's interest in the sciences began in a high school chemistry class. He spent a year at CCC before earning his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Oregon State University. Anslow went on to earn a master's degree in geography and climate science from the University of Calgary and a doctorate in geology and atmospheric science from Oregon State University.
Anslow currently is the lead for climate analysis and monitoring at the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium where he focuses on the assimilation of historical climate records from British Columbia and the Yukon into a climate dataset.
Career fair at Riverside
Dozens of professionals gave up time during their working day on Thursday to participate in a career fair at Riverside Elementary School in Oak Grove.
Participants included American Medical Response paramedic Barry Morgan, Portland firefighter Aaron House and Raymond Rendleman, Clackamas Review news editor. Rendleman loaned his camera to students who were interested in photography, while the other students who asked about journalism were assigned news stories about the other career-fair participants.
The fair was organized by Matt McDermott, fourth/fifth-grade teacher at Riverside.
"Our students came back from Career Day raving about how it had affected their perception of the possibilities for their future," McDermott said. "Several students reported that they came away more interested in careers that they had never heard much about. Others were further encouraged to pursue careers in which they already thought they were interested."