OSSA Program Goals/Overview

Professional Development

The Oregon Small Schools Association is dedicated to the concept of making high quality professional development available to its members. This would include leadership development opportunities as well as staff training. Activities in this regard will include either overseeing or serving as a partner in the following activities:

  • Oregon Educators Summer Institute
  • Eastern Oregon Summer Institute
  • Small Schools Summit/OSSA Spring Leadership Institute
  • Eastern Oregon Leadership Institute
  • Helping encourage and providing small school-oriented sessions for the annual OSBA Convention

Legislation

The Oregon Small Schools Association cooperates with COSA and OSBA in support of legislative activities effecting Oregon’s public schools. OSSA also maintains a lobbying presence on behalf of issues of critical importance to small schools through the employment of a professional lobbyist and the presence of an active Legislation & Policy Committee. The Legislation & Policy Committee is composed of one representative from each region plus the chair. Regional representatives serve as alternates on the Legislative & Policy Committee. The current chair is Peter Tarzian.

While OSSA has a broad legislative platform, it has also identified its most important priorities which include:

  • Preservation of small school funding provisions including:
  • Small school factor
  • Transportation enhancement
  • Small high school grant

Recognition

The Oregon Small Schools Association seeks to recognize individuals who work on behalf of small schools and to recognize individual staff members in small schools who are deserving of special attention. Programs in this area would include:

  • Teacher Of The Year

Communication

The Oregon Small Schools Association seeks to communicate with its members through timely E-Mail messages and a quarterly publication entitled “Small Talk.” One of the primary purposes of “Small Talk” is to keep members abreast of the work of the OSSA Board.

The OSSA Office in Pendleton is designed to be responsive to members who call or write about a variety of issues and questions.

Advocacy

The Oregon Small Schools Association is designed to serve as an advocate for the benefits of rural education and small schools. OSSA also works to advance the interests of staff members, administrators, and board members who serve the needs of students in isolated areas and to help assure program equity. In this regard, one of the activities of OSSA is to “put a face on rural education.” OSSA believes that the individuals who live and work in rural areas are often viewed as statistics rather than as real people. As a result, one of the missions of OAESD is to make sure that their stories are shared throughout Oregon.