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Desouza directs planning of W.S. school

Warm Springs Planning Principal Glenna DeSouzaHired as the planning principal for the Warm Springs K-8 school now under construction, Glenna DeSouza will work with a planning team of elementary and middle school teachers to develop the school’s instructional program.

“There are different instructional techniques, and we are exploring personal mastery and blended learning,” she said.

Personal mastery is based on state standards, with students understanding what they need to do to meet each standard. Blended learning is project based (with standards incorporated) and students rotate between working with teachers and technology.

“You can use many cultural elements with project-based learning,” DeSouza noted.

Her experience includes earning a Bachelor of Science in Education from Western Oregon University, master’s in special education from Portland State University, and continuing administrative license from George Fox College.

“My focus for my master’s was handicap learner, severe handicap learner and severe emotional disturbance,” she said.

While she has not worked on a reservation before, DeSouza has worked with minority students in schools with high English language learner populations while teaching in the Keizer-Salem School District.

She also worked as a special education administrator under former 509-J Superintendent Kay Baker, when Baker was superintendent of the Salem-Keizer district.

For the past seven years, DeSouza has been the principal of the K-6 Foster Elementary in Sweet Home. Foster School is in a high poverty area, where 83-85 percent of the students received free and reduced lunches.

She was attracted to the Warm Springs job, she said, because, “I thought this would be a good challenge and a stepping stone for me. I’m very excited about working as a team to develop this wonderful new school.”

This year, Dawn Smith will continue to be the principal of the current Warm Springs Elementary, then, after the new school is completed, DeSouza will be the principal.

As for the staff, the Warm Springs Elementary staff will continue, and for the added grades (six, seven and eight) DeSouza has sent out letters to all 509-J staff inviting those interested to apply.

DeSouza will be living in one of the district’s teacher houses in Warm Springs, and will also have an office in the tribal education building, next to Warm Springs Elementary, where parents and community members can visit her.

Her husband, Steve GrosJacques, will remain in Salem, where he teaches fourth grade at Liberty Elementary School. “I like to drive and we’ll take turns driving back and forth on the weekends. I’m used to commuting and we’ve done this before,” she said.

They have five children, who are all out of school now, and DeSouza also has a sister in La Pine, and other relatives in Bend. Asked about her interests, she said they always attended their kids’ sporting events, are big U of O Ducks fans, and enjoy traveling.

As the new school is constructed, the planning team will be meeting twice a month, and parents and community members will be invited once a month to give their input on planning.

Ideas for names for the new school are being sought, and forms, which are due back Sept. 23, were sent home with Jefferson County Middle School students.

A student competition is also being held to choose the new school’s mascot and school colors, and designs are due Oct. 1.

“I will be going to the National Indian Education Association conference at the end of October to gather information to help with the development of the school,” DeSouza said, adding, “I want to incorporate the culture of Warm Springs.”

For more information, DeSouza can be contacted at HYPERLINK "mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



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