Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the purpose of the REN?
The Regional Educator Network (REN) was implemented to help create more equity across Oregon’s school districts by providing more educator support processes across the board. The REN affords every school district more opportunities for their educators leading to better outcomes for their students.
In the past, Oregon has offered competitive grants to fund programs for school districts, such as mentoring and professional learning opportunities. However, this often left smaller, rural school districts at a disadvantage, creating a lack of equity within the state. In response to that, Oregon did away with the competitive grant model, and instead, created Regional Educator Network. Through the REN, using an equity lens, decisions are made focusing on opportunities and outcomes that reflect the needs of the whole region, rather than just one district.
This process will prevent districts from working in isolation from one another, and instead promotes collaboration, creativity, and innovation within today’s education system. The goal is that this work will be centered around improving systems that support educators within five key parts of the educator advancement continuum:
- Educator recruitment pathways
- Educator preparation
- Support for new educators
- Professional growth and development
- Career advancement
How were the Coordinating Body Members selected?
Coordinating Body members were nominated by superintendents, principals and teachers. Nominees were asked to submit an application to the REN Coordinator. Applications were evaluated to ensure adherence to SB-182(2017) and create a Coordinating Body that is linguistically, culturally, racially and geographically diverse, at least 51% school based teachers, includes members representing state agencies, school districts, education service districts, early learning providers, education-focused nonprofit organizations, education-focused philanthropy organizations, professional education associations, community-based education organizations that represent families and students, post-secondary institutions of education and federally recognized tribes.
It was determined that each member district should have a teacher representative on the Coordinating Body, to ensure perspective from all locations in the region. District and school leadership was selected to provide perspective from all levels of school district leadership (superintendent’s office, human resources, teaching and learning, and building principals from multiple levels). In addition to the requirements outlined in SB-182, considerations were made based upon district size, geographic location, and ESD for the “At-Large” seats.
What is the REN Coordinating Body?
Each Regional Educator Network (REN) has a coordinating body or council consisting of educators, community partners, and other stakeholders. This council and its members will help create a regional REN plan, make decisions about funding uses, oversee regional implementation, and document outcomes. The mission behind the creation of the REN Coordinating Body is to represent as many perspectives, demographics, and districts as possible within the region so that we can better serve educator needs that have a positive outcome with student performance. This will be executed in a way that utilizes an equity lens to ensure that all districts, regardless of size, location, or other factors have access to resources that help increase students’ success.
In order to ensure that a variety of perspectives are included in the decision making process, the REN Coordinating Council is required to include:
- ESD Representative
- Early Learning Professional
- School Board Member
- Educator Prep Program
- Education Focused Non-Profit
- Education Focused Philanthropic
- Professional Education Association Member
- Community Based Education Organization
- Post-Secondary Institution
- Tribal Representative
- State Agency Representative
- 51% Majority Classroom Teachers
Within those requirements the coordinating council will include representation from a variety of districts and locations, as well as demographics that are representative of the student body within the region.
How does the network function?
Our committees support decision-making, data collection, communication and relationship-building. Each committee has specific and essential responsibilities toward creating a cohesive and effective improvement network.
The committees include:
- Data, Research and Measurement Committee
Focused on identifying and tracking the data points that will allow us to measure our progress.
- Design Commitee
Focused on identifying processes, best practices, and decision-making resources to support and expand the school teams working on change ideas.
- Network Health and Development Commitee
Focused on communicating the work of MCREN and building new relationships with educators and administrators in our area.
The committees share their learning and make recommendations to the Coordinating Body regarding possible improvements and growth toward the aims of MCREN.
Interested in joining one of our committees? Email email@example.com!
How are we funded?
Utilizing Educator Advancement Funds which are resources that were identified by the Oregon Legislature and voted into law through Senate Bill 182(2017), a public/ non-profit partnership created the Educator Advancement Council and 10 Regional Educator Networks (REN) . The funds are distributed through the Educator Advancement Council (EAC) and based upon a formula that takes into account the size, diversity and attrition rates of the member districts. This funding is separate from education funding provided by the Oregon Department of Education and all resources are distributed based upon the plan that was created by the REN Coordinating Body. The REN also collaborates with non-profit organizations and philanthropic groups to provide additional funding and resources to support our goals.
Jargon and Definitions
Improvement Science Jargon
- Change Idea
Educators at a school have an idea for solving a problem or improving something. These ideas come from research and educator’ experience. Together, we’ll work with you to test and measure this idea – learn more on the Change Idea page.
- Pilot Initiative
A new series of Rapid Improvement Cycles launched at a site with little or no prior work in the area.
- Plan, Do, Study, Act / PDSA
School team members test out a change idea like a scientific experiment, with a prediction and a plan for collecting data over time. Also known as a Rapid Improvement Cycle.
- Site Lead
An educator based in a district who is leading a team’s work.
How can I help?
You can help by signing up for our newsletter, volunteering to run a change idea, or joining a committee – check out our Join Us page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get engaged!