Public education campaign gives peek at day in Oregon schools
Umatilla sixth-grader Elias Gomez appears in the video “No Ordinary Day” next to a cow skull a teacher brought in for an art project. (Photo capture from Blue Chalk Media video “No Ordinary Day”)
A national public schools campaign features two Oregon schools in a new video highlighting the extraordinary, but often unnoticed, nature of U.S. education.
“No Ordinary Day,” part of a refreshed Stand Up 4 Public Schools campaign, features staff and students from Bonny Slope Elementary in Beaverton and the Umatilla School District and a school in New York and one in New Jersey.
The National School Boards Association’s campaign endeavors to put a face on public schools and remind people of the challenges schools face. It is intended to show the public the important work going on in schools and to give communities a means to support their schools. The campaign website already features the efforts of the Tillamook School District to serve its Latino students.
NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel unveiled the video Saturday in Denver at the NSBA annual convention. The video features students and educators talking about what goes on in their schools and sharing their dreams and joys (including a little jig by Bonny Slope kindergarten teacher Melinda Tanner).
“Public education leaders are eager to share their stories to help tell the full story of public schools,”
Gentzel said by email.
Bonny Slope Principal Janet Maza, who appears in the video in front of a wall of book covers spelling out “READ,” spoke of the importance of engaging the community.
“Volunteering is key in providing role models, opportunities for enrichment and academic support,” Maza said in an email. “Just like the school board members for our district (Beaverton), our parent and community volunteers recognize that every opportunity to support our school by volunteering is an opportunity to make a difference in the world.”
Umatilla School District Superintendent Heidi Sipe joked that her school was chosen because it has the cutest, most amazing kids and best teachers, but she admitted that might be a subjective opinion.
“The concept of ‘no ordinary day’ is familiar to educators as we get to experience the many variables present in school each day,” she said in an email. “It often seems that the general public pictures school today through the lens of their own K-12 experiences. Some of those experiences may still be present, but as a whole, school is an ever-changing place where the one constant is learning.”