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Teaching Research Institute News and Events - 2013

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Sybille Guy

Dec. 13, 2013

Sybille Guy

Sybille received her Master's in Organizational Psychology from California State University at Los Angeles and subsequently her PhD in Psychology with an emphasis on measurement, statistics, and methodology from UCLA. She has spent over a decade as a market researcher, working for both large and small market research companies. In addition to her quantitative research background, she has experience with qualitative analysis and hybrid studies.

Sybille joins us from Washington State University at Vancouver. Prior to WSU, Sybille served as Vice President of Research and Analytics at Equation Research and Director of Media and Public Relations Research at Harris Interactive. Her expertise in survey design and statistics brings a well-rounded perspective to her position at TRI as Lead Evaluation Specialist working on projects through COI, CEPE and ERGO.

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First QRIS Designations Awarded

Nov. 22, 2013

QRIS award recipient honored by Governor Kitzhaber

Oregon's Quality Rating and Improvement System's first batch of early childhood programs to receive their star rating were honored by the Early Learning Council during their November meeting. Council Chair, Pam Curtis read a letter from Governor Kitzhaber during the recognition that thanked and congratulated these first quality rated programs. Programs in attendance posed for pictures as they received their designation materials from Pam Curtis and Jada Rupley, Oregon's Early Learning Systems Director.

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COI Presentations at the 2013 OAEYC Conference

Oct. 28, 2013

Center on Inclusion logo

Are You Ready? Preparing for Oregon's QRIS.
This presentation by Tom Udell and Dana bleakney introduced Oregon's Quality Improvement and Rating System (QRIS) which will soon go statewide. Participants left with an understanding of their roles in supporting center and family-based child care programs to become a part of the QRIS.

Little Blue and Little Yellow: Applying Adult Learning Strategies
Candi Scott and Melissa Gritz presented a workshop exploring the importance of applying adult learning strategies in training and interactions with others. Participants applied concrete, effective strategies of connecting with fellow professionals in order to ensure optimal learning and application of learning.

Including Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Programs
Mandy Stanley and Cori Browness hosted an interactive workshop on how to include and support young children with disabilities in early childhood care and education programs, including family child care. The session included concepts that make inclusion work, the benefits and challenges of inclusion, and tips for developing and maintaining an inclusive program.

QRIS Standard for Curriculum…Aligning Your Curriculum with QRIS Standards presented by Tom Udell and Cori Brownell.
During this workshop, participants learned about the requirements and how to clearly align their current (non-preapproved) curriculum to QRIS standards.

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Free Parenting Classes at TRI-CDC

Oct. 11, 2013

young boy looking through a magnifying glass

Ingrid Amerson and Doris Maruame from the TRI Child Development Center are conducting a Parenting Now Class Wednesday evenings in Todd Hall from 5:30 - 8:00. Families and their children share a meal followed by child care for the children and class for the families. This class is sponsored by Mid Valley Parenting, Oregon Parenting Education Collaborative and TRI-Child Development Center.

Parenting Now! is the positive parenting system that is easy to implement, with proven parenting solutions. This class provides the opportunity to share with other families the challenges and joys of parenting.

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Open Hands, Open Access

Sept. 16, 2013

In order to address the challenge of creating high-quality, open-access intervener training materials, the National Center on Deaf-Blindness has been deeply engaged over the past 6 months with parents of children who are deaf-blind and professionals with expertise in deaf-blindness to create an initial series of eight learning modules called “Open Hands, Open Access.” View introductory video on YouTube.

Introducing Open Hands, Open Access video

The modules are being developed using a participatory process that involves 24 parent leaders, teachers, interveners, state deaf-blind project staff, and a university faculty member. Participatory methods like this for creating relevant learning materials for communities are not only respected by educational leaders around the world, they are a means of incorporating the wisdom, experiences, and passions of those who have been “walking the path” (Taylor, 2005).

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WOU Awarded $1,000,000 to Prepare Early Childhood Professionals

August 15, 2013

The U.S. Office of Special Education Programs awarded $1,000,000 to the Teaching Research Institute (TRI) and the College of Education at Western Oregon University to provide support for early childhood educators to obtain bachelor’s degrees. Promoting Inclusion in Early Childhood Education (PIECE) will assist 45 childhood educators in obtaining a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education with a special endorsement in early intervention/early childhood special education (EI/ECSE).

Wou.news has the whole story here.

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Autism Research Study

June 24, 2013

Children with autism suffer severe developmental delays and behavioral problems. Often they have abnormal responses to touch such that they avoid touch on some areas of the body, yet do not seem to notice injury on others.

For the past decade, Teaching Research Institute (TRI) has been involved in research, training parents to give their children a daily fifteen minute massage. In 2009, a small controlled study of children with autism was completed through TRI with children ranging in age from 2 - 6 years old and with varying levels of severity. The children's behaviors were measured before and after the 20 week treatment period using standardized testing.

What Parents Say - This is the first time someone taught us something that we could do to help our child get better. We had never tried anything alternative but we are glad that we did. We would definitely recomment this to other parents.

Study results showed overall decreases in abnormal touch responses and increases in social behavior. Children became calmer, more comfortable, better able to learn, and had better behavior.

Download brochure for more information on the study

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Who's Minding the Kids?

May 9, 2013

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released its new edition of Who's Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2011 (April 2013). This year's report shows that in 2011, the average cost of child care for families with an employed mother was $143 a week. Poor working families with children under age 15 paid the largest percentage of their monthly income on child care, with families living below the poverty level spending on average 30% of their income on child care per month, compared with 8% for other families.

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TIMS Presents at the Capacity Building Institute

Post School Outcomes: What Can we Learn from Trend Data was presented by TRI's Pattie Johnson and Charlotte Y. Alverson (National Post-School Outcomes) at the Seventh Annual Capacity Building Institute, Charlotte, North Carolina, May 6-9, 2013.

first slide of TIMS PowerPoint presentation

The presentation focused on (1) looking at the interview data to see if the responses represent the state population of special education students who left secondary services the previous year; (2) the trends for the change in outcome data over the three years; (4) the differences by subgroups to help explore what was contributing to the outcomes; and (5) the preparation necessary to identify and share the results with appropriate audiences within the state.

Download PowerPoint.

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COI Webinar on Early Childhood Inclusion

First slide from webinar presentation

Gary Glasenapp and Melissa Gritz from the Center on Inclusion gave an online presentation for program administrators, EI/ECSE staff, Head Start Disability staff, inclusion specialists, community child care and education staff and parents. Topics covered in the April 10th webinar included research supporting early childhood inclusion, the benefits of inclusion, a conceptual framework for serving children with disabilities in community based early childhood settings, merging DAP and ECSE practices to support children with disabilities and concepts that make inclusion work.

View presentation. on Adobe Connect.

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Education Evaluation Center Video

video thumbnail

Education Evaluation Center Director, Dr. Ken Kosko, presents on the impact of learning disorders and the work of the EEC.

TRI Awarded $10,500,000 for National Center on Deaf-Blindness

Oct. 11, 2013

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has awarded the Teaching Research Institute at Western Oregon University a five-year, $10,500,000 grant to operate the National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB). The center will serve as a national hub for professional development, resources, and information to serve children who are deaf-blind, their families, educators and other professionals that serve them.

Jay Gense

D. Jay Gense, NCDB director, notes that the new national center will “positively impact the lives of children and students (ages 0-21) who are deaf-blind, as well as their families, across the nation. Deaf-Blindness is the lowest of all low incidence disabilities in the United States. Serving the needs of children who are deaf-blind is highly specialized, and we are proud to receive this funding from the U.S. Department of Education to provide needed national resources.”

Read the full story on WOU.News.

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Open Hands, Open Access

Sept. 16, 2013

In order to address the challenge of creating high-quality, open-access intervener training materials, the National Center on Deaf-Blindness has been deeply engaged over the past 6 months with parents of children who are deaf-blind and professionals with expertise in deaf-blindness to create an initial series of eight learning modules called “Open Hands, Open Access.” View introductory video on YouTube.

Introducing Open Hands, Open Access video

The modules are being developed using a participatory process that involves 24 parent leaders, teachers, interveners, state deaf-blind project staff, and a university faculty member. Participatory methods like this for creating relevant learning materials for communities are not only respected by educational leaders around the world, they are a means of incorporating the wisdom, experiences, and passions of those who have been “walking the path” (Taylor, 2005).

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Welcome Back Cathy

August 16, 2013

Cathy Thomas

Cathy Thomas joins the Center on Inclusion at TRI. Cathy comes to TRI Monmouth from the Center on Brain Injury Research and Training (CBIRT) in Eugene. She has expertise in technical assistance and database management. Cathy is joining our Center on Inclusion (COI) as a Database Specialist and Assistant Specialist. Cathy is a Huge fan of University of Oregon Woman’s Basketball.

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TRI Welcomes New Employees

July 26, 2013

Amber Ryerson

Amber Ryerson is joining the Center on Inclusion as an Early Childhood Technical Assistance Specialist working with the Central Coordination of the Oregon Child Care Resource & Referral system. Amber's prior experience includes serving as the Director of Education at the Peninsula Children's Center (Portland) and as a teacher in the Las Vegas school system. She has an MA in Administration from the University of Phoenix, as well as an MA in Curriculum & Instruction and a BS in Early Childhood Education from the University of Las Vegas.

Eric Enright

Eric Enright

Eric Enright is joining the Center on Inclusion as a Web & Graphic Design Specialist working with the Central Coordination of the Oregon Child Care Resource & Referral system. He is a recent (2013) graduate of WOU's Visual Communications Design program. His skills include HTML, Java Script/Jquery, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign (to name but a few). Eric is a Specialist in the Army National Guard and enjoys whitewater kayaking.

red line The National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness logo

July 1, 2013

The National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness recently unveiled its new website to the State Deaf-Blind Projects. Over the summer they worked with the states to identify strategies for application and use. The new site is a significant enhancement to the current site, moving to a web-based presence that supports nationwide engagement and dialogue.

On July 8, NCDB hosted a webinar to officially release the first four Intervener Learning modules ("Open Hands, Open Access"). This effort has been nothing short of monumental in making modular content available for the field, created through a harnessing of scores of partners and collaborators both in and outside the field of deaf-blindness.

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Latino Early Educator Summit

May 2, 2013

Robyn Lopez Melton

Robyn Lopez Melton from the Center on Inclusion at TRI delivered the keynote address at the Latino Early Educator Summit. The event was held at Lane Community College during the Week of the Young Child on April 20, 2013.
Sponsored by Lane Family Connections, this summit provided Spanish speaking child care and early learning professionals with a full day of quality professional development in Spanish. The keynote address presented an overview of federal and state Early Childhood Initiatives and an introduction to Oregon's Quality Rating and Improvement System.

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Early Childhood/Early Intervention Symposium

April 5, 2013

Symposium key note speaker, Dr. George Morgan presenting

64 participants from the field of early childhood education attended the first Early Childhood/Early Intervention Symposium presented by the Center on Inclusion. Sessions included the state of early childhood education, embedded instruction, massage intervention for children with autism and Down Syndrome, mastery motivation, The Oregon Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) and much more.

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Students Involved with Their Environment (SITE)

April 16, 2013

Center for Educator Preparation and Effectiveness

Middle and high-school students in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington are participating in environmental education service learning projects in their communities this year with help from funding (up to $5,000) from Project SITE. The project is funded through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is managed by The Teaching Research Institute

Each of the SITE projects must meet standards for effective environmental education and service learning. In addition, each project has incorporated plans for sharing their learning and results with their local communities and with fellow sub-grant recipients. "It's gratifying to see how engaged these students and their teachers are in planning and implementing projects that help their local communities while they learn through their environmental stewardship," said Project SITE Coordinator, Dr. Bonnie Morihara.

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Improving Child Care in Oregon

Jan. 20, 2013

TRI-COI logo

The Center on Inclusion (COI) has worked for the past two years to lay the groundwork for implementing a process to improve child care. Over the past several years, Oregon has made supporting the quality of child care a priority through its public-private partnerships.

To expand this initiative, Oregon was recently awarded an Early Learning Challenge - Race to the Top Grant. One of the many things this grant will support is the continued development of a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). The QRIS will be a means of assessing, improving, and communicating the level of quality of an Early Learning and Development Program. Under the leadership of COI, these tiered standards of quality have undergone extensive review, feedback and revision by a diverse and experienced group of care and education experts from around the state. The next step, targeted to begin in January 2013, is the field test of the new quality standards

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NCDB Work Highlighted

Jan 10, 2013

The National Consortium on Deaf Blindness (NCDB), the Kansas Deaf Blind Project, and the Kansas Schools for the Deaf and Blind were recognized in the Family Center on Technology and Disability Newsletter for their innovative use of technology as a means of providing distance mentoring to those who work with low-incidence populations.

The article describes the technology tools they use and the challenges they've both overcome and still need to address as they refine their distance mentoring model. View article.

QRIS Highlighted at OregonAEYC Conference

Nov. 4, 2013

Jada Rupley at presentation

Jada Rupley, Oregon's Early Learning Systems director, announced the names of the first 13 programs receiving star ratings for the Oregon Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) at the OregonAEYC Fall Conference in Portland on Oct. 11. The QRIS, which is a part of the Early Learning Challenge - Race to the Top grant is a means of assessing, improving, and communicating the level of quality of early childhood care and education providers in Oregon.

The QRIS staff from the TRI Center on Inclusion was recognized for their work in developing and field testing the process by Dawn Woods, a Quality Improvement manager at the Office of Child Care at the Oregon Department of Education.

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National Center on Deaf-Blindness Featured on OPB radio's Think Out Loud

Oct. 21, 2013

Lyn Ayer, Director of the Oregon Deafblind Project

Lyn Ayer, Director of the Oregon Deafblind Project answers questions about the services and support provided by her project and by the National Center on Deaf-Blindness during an interview with OPB on Oct. 15th.
Listen to the interview.

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COI Updates

Oregon Early Childhood Inclusion Collaborative

Sept 16, 2013

One year of funding has been received from the Oregon Department of Education for a statewide effort bringing together lead agencies in the early childhood system to enhance and expand inclusive opportunities for Oregon's young children with and without disabilities. OECIC will develop policies and state wide operations to increase inclusive opportunities and to create a system of high quality, cross-sector professional development for early childhood personnel to support inclusion.

Center on Inclusion to Present at DEC

Two TRI presentation proposals have been accepted by the Council of Exceptional Children's Division of Early Childhood (DEC) for inclusion in the October 2013 national conference.

"National Standards for Infants and Toddlers who are Low Birth Weight" will be presented by Dr. Patti Blasco (Center on Educator Preparation and Effectiveness) and "Good, Better, Best: Professional Development Resources that Support Young Learners" will be presented by Dr. Blasco and Tom Udell (Coordinator, Center on Inclusion).

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Sensory Nerve Research Study

Sept. 5, 2013

Very little is known about the sensory nerves of young children with autism. While it is known that they have problems with touch on many parts of the body and in the mouth, sensory nerve function has not been fully evaluated.

In this study, we will seek to learn more about the sensory nerves in autism. A very small biopsy from the surface skin inside the cheek will be taken from 20 young children between the ages of three and six. We will compare the results from ten children with autism with those of ten children without autism, developmental delay, neurological problems, or sensory difficulties on the face or in the mouth. See more information on the study.

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Central Coordination of Oregon’s Child Care Resource and Referral Network

Sept. 5, 2013

CCCCRRN website

The Center on Inclusion at the Teaching Research Institute is excited to have joined Oregon’s Child Care Resource and Referral Network (OCCRRN)! TRI began assuming central coordination for the statewide system beginning in July and will continue to transition operations through September 30th, at which point it will be fully operational. The OCCRRN is a statewide network of 13 community based child care resource and referral agencies that work to improve the quality, accessibility, and affordability of child care for all Oregon families. The network agencies:

  • Provide training, technical assistance, and support to member agencies.
  • Initiate projects to build quality child care.
  • Inform policy makers, businesses and the public on child care related issues.
  • Advocate for child care professionals and for families with children.
  • Connect parents with child care resource and referral agencies throughout the state.

The OCCRRN and local agencies are funded through the Office of Child Care at the Oregon Department of Education to support families with a statewide child care system that promotes safe, quality, affordable and accessible child care.

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TRI Welcomes New Employees

July 1, 2013

Candi Scott

Candi Scott

Candi Scott joins TRI as an Early Childhood Technical Assistance Specialist with COI's Central Coordination of Oregon's Child Care Resource & Referral system. She has served as an instructor and head teacher at Oregon State University's Child Development Center, as a Head Start teacher, and as a teacher in the Corvallis, Lebanon, and Hermiston school districts. Candi has an MS in Counseling and a BA in Elementary Education from Oregon State University.

May 27, 2013

Dana Bleakney-Huebsch

Dana Bleakney-Huebsch joins us from the Nike Child Development Center where she worked with infants and their families. Prior to that, Dana co-managed a day program for adults with developmental disabilities. Dana has taught child development courses at California State University, San Bernardino. She received her Masters in Child Development from California State University, San Bernardino.

Amanda Stanley

Amanda Stanley was an Early Intervention/Early Childhood Specialist at Willamette Education Service District where she provided technical assistance on teaching strategies and assisted with community outreach. She also coordinated the Salem-Keizer Teen Parent Program. Amanda received her MA in Education from WOU with certifications in early intervention/early childhood special education. Additionally, she has taught early childhood courses at Chemeketa Community College and Linn-Benton Community College.

May 13, 2013

Kjerstin Stanavige

Kjerstin Stanavige is the newest member of the TRI Center on Inclusion team. As an administrative assistant, Kjerstin will be working primarily on the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) program, which raises the quality and consistency of child care and early learning programs across the state. Kjerstin graduated in 2011 with a B.S. in English and comes to TRI with expertise in writing, editing, document design, and social media.

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TRI Welcomes New Employees

May 13, 2013

Aaron West

Aaron East has joined the Grants Management Office as a Grants Financial Specialist. He comes to us with many years of experience in budget management and early childhood education. Aaron is a WOU alum having received his BS in Law Enforcement with a minor in Business Administration in 1987. In addition to training and administration, Aaron has 20 years of military and criminal justice experience.

April 11, 2013

Pat Aldrich

Pat Aldrich is joining both the COI and ERGO Centers as a Statistician/Data Manager. Most recently, Pat was the Project Director for the Application of Spatial Statistics to Latent Fingerprint Identifications in the WOU Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division. He brings a wealth of statistical and research analysis skills to TRI. Pat will be primarily focused on the early childhood Quality Rating & Improvement System (QRIS) being implemented throughout Oregon.

Pat received his Master of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Hawaii-Manoa (2006) and his Bachelor of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from the University of California, Davis (1997).

Dr. Mary Ellen Dello Stritto

Dr. Mary Ellen Dello Stritto is an Assistant Research Professor whose responsibilities include program evaluation, statistical analysis, and serving as the Director of Abby's House, Center for Women and Families. Mary Ellen has a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Claremont Graduate University and has extensive experience in statistics and research methodology. She also spent 16 years as a professor of psychology and gender studies.

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CDC Children Help in Annual Food Drive

March 2, 2013

CDC children help with annual food drive

Once again, the TRI-CDC classrooms worked to gather food for the Governor's Annual Food Drive. All throughout February the children brought in a whopping 199 pounds of food for families in Polk County. During the month, teachers focused on how the food would help hungry families in their community.

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Week of the Young Child Parade

April 16, 2013

children parade through WOU campus

Children, families, TRI-Child Development Center teachers and staff from Teaching Research celebrated the Week of the Young Child on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 with a musical hat parade.

The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families.

News from 2014 | News from 2012 | News from 2011

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