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Our Northwest Matters blog discusses ideas and innovations in education from a Northwest perspective. Opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.

Jacqueline Raphael and Mike Siebersma September 27, 2017
For districts, what's the sweet spot for balancing school improvement decision making? This reflection process will help refine your approach.
Shannon Davidson August 29, 2017
Starting college can be stressful for all students but in particular for those who have experienced trauma. How can educators help?
Nettie Legters August 14, 2017
Once you make gains in school improvement, how do you sustain them and keep going?
Sarah Tollefson August 12, 2017
At a minimum, afterschool programs should create a safe space for youth and give them something to do.
Jason Younker June 15, 2017
Guest Blogger Jason Younker writes on the challenges colleges face in identifying their American Indian and Alaska Native students and the solution that U of O developed to better serve the community.
Mandy Smoker Broaddus June 9, 2017
Guest Blogger Mandy Smoker Broaddus writes on how Montana is creating language-immersion elementary classrooms as one strategy to restore and revitalize Native languages.
Caitlin Scott May 31, 2017
With ESSA placing states and districts in the driver’s seat when it comes to school improvement, what lessons can be learned from the School Improvement Grant (SIG) program?
Meghan Perry May 23, 2017
Incorporating youth voice into academic settings requires educators and other adults to be mindful and think critically about when they need to step up (and step out) to best support youth.
Jessica Knight April 4, 2017
Empowering Volunteers and Increasing Impact: Lessons from SMART’s Refreshed Volunteer Training Program
Jacqueline Raphael February 27, 2017
When students are struggling in reading and writing, a promising approach is to emphasize the connections through strategies like sentence starters and mentor texts. Our author gives insights.
Marybeth Flachbart February 17, 2017
Students with dyslexia are intelligent but struggle to "crack the code" of written language. What can educators do to best support them in the classroom?
Havala Hanson February 9, 2017
When schools build an understanding of the unique challenges facing different language-minority student groups, they are better equipped to serve them. How can schools get started?
Education Northwest January 31, 2017
Our conversation with Dana Kelly and Carson Howell from the Idaho State Board of Education on Idaho’s approach and success in creating dual-credit programs.
Brandi Holten and Ashley Pierson January 31, 2017
Earning college credit while still in high school can benefit students in many ways. What can states, districts and schools do to help their dual-credit programs become successful?
Michelle Hodara January 24, 2017
Financial aid helps expand college access but not all eligible students apply. This post explores the barriers students face in applying for aid and provides FAFSA-completion strategies for educators.
Aurora Moore and Basha Krasnoff January 17, 2017
Once schools are using data to identify the students at risk of falling through the cracks, what’s the next step? Graduation coaches who help kids cross the graduation stage is one potential solution.
Matthew Eide December 14, 2016
New federal law requires state and local education agencies to engage in "timely and meaningful" consultation with area tribes while preparing and submitting plans for federal programs. But what does “meaningful” consultation look like?
Steve Fleischman November 29, 2016
After fly fishing on Oregon's McKenzie River, Steve Fleischman connects his experience to the Every Student Succeeds Act and the practical choices educators make when determining how rigorous evidence should be when planning their school improvement efforts.
Denise Juneau November 16, 2016
Montana has the best graduation rate in the state's history. State Superintendent Denise Juneau writes about the initiative that brought together educators, communities, educators, nonprofit organizations and businesses to help make that happen.
Jasmin Zapata, Andres Ambris, Coral Ambriz October 31, 2016
How well do students feel they get along with their teachers? Three students from Portland YouthBuilders share experiences on the role that teacher-student relationships have played in their high school education.
Vicki Nishioka October 28, 2016
What skills can teachers learn to relate better to their students across cultures? Researcher Vicki Nishioka offers strategies to build teacher-student relationships and close the racial discipline gap.
Brandi Holten and Sarah Frazelle October 20, 2016
What educational barriers do youth face when they enter and exit the juvenile justice system, and how can schools and detention facilities help incarcerated youth keep their education on track?
David Stevens and Theresa Deussen October 6, 2016
Based on their experiences working with districts in Washington state, researchers David Stevens and Theresa Deussen offer three recommendations for districts on using data to help ensure equitable educational experiences and outcomes for students.
Elizabeth Gandhi and Jacob Williams September 27, 2016
Getting content-area teachers and English language learner (ELL) specialists to work together is vital not just to success for all students but also in meeting college and career ready standards.
Mike Siebersma September 19, 2016
Mike Siebersma writes about the urgency around boosting Oregon's high school graduation rate and a few of ways Education Northwest is helping form the solution.
Education Northwest September 7, 2016
With raising Oregon high school graduation rate a top priority, we asked Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Salam Noor a few questions on the direction that the state is taking to make progress in this area.
Colt Gill August 3, 2016
Oregon’s Education Innovation Officer writes about the necessity to improve the state’s graduation rate and a few of the promising practices that could help Oregon reach its goal.
Todd Bloomquist July 19, 2016
With experience working to improve data use in two southern Oregon school districts, Guest Blogger Todd Bloomquist shares the questions that informed the process and takeaways for districts looking to improve the ways they use data to support student success.
Jason Neiffer June 29, 2016
Jason Neiffer of the Montana Digital Academy writes about new research from REL Northwest that confirms what he's long believed to be a key element for student success in online credit recovery programs.
Caitlin Scott May 18, 2016
Caitlin Scott writes on a new REL Northwest study that uncovers challenges faced by rural schools with School Improvement Grants and shows the promise of technical assistance when it comes to implementing evidence-based strategies.