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School Notes: School nurse funding; PCC is a Bee Campus; $ 50K for REACH; Bonamici talks sex assault

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Task force gathers info on school nurse funding

State officials are following up on a bill passed in 2015 to seek alternative sources for funding school nurses.

A governor-appointed task force met for the first time in early March and asked the Oregon Department of Education to gather information on how schools currently are funding school nurses.

The task force will meet again April 1 to discuss the results of the statewide district survey.

Senate Bill 698 was aimed at figuring out ways school nursing services could be funded through noneducation dollars, such as students’ health insurance. As reported in the June 9 Portland Tribune, school nurses in Oregon have caseloads three to five times higher than what is recommended by the state.

PCC named a Bee Campus

Portland Community College is home to worker bees of several species, from students to pollinators.

That’s according to an announcement last week from Bee Campus USA, which recognized and codified PCC’s efforts for creating good habitats for pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, birds and bats, among thousands of other species.

“There are already many students, faculty and staff working on pollinator health and sustainability issues,” said PCC President Sylvia Kelley in a news release. “The members of our newly formed Bee Campus USA Committee will provide good leadership to these pollinator conservation efforts.”

PCC officials say chemicals are only used as a last resort, and staff use pollinator-friendly products and plants.

The college is looking to replace grassy areas with perennial flower beds. Additionally, the Organic Gardening class at the Rock Creek Campus uses the learning garden extensively and has installed native bee hives.

REACH program earns $50K

Portland-based Oregon Campus Compact received a $50,000 grant last week from NobleHour, an online volunteer organizing platform.

The NobleCause grant recognized the local nonprofit’s Racial Equity Across College and High School (REACH) program in a $1 million nationwide release of funds to 100 nonprofits.

REACH focuses on improving outcomes for students of color and first-generation college students in two ways. First, the program provides money to 24 colleges, universities and nonprofits to bring college and high school students together to volunteer. Second, REACH trains and offers ongoing support to provide students with an equity lens to address individual, institutional and systemic inequities in the education landscape.

Bonamici talks sex assault in Portland

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Beaverton, spoke with participants of the Oregon Sexual Assault Task Force’s Campus Advocate Training about her work on campus sexual assault and student privacy last Thursday, March 24, at Portland Community College’s Southeast Center. The Campus Advocate Training is a weeklong program for people who provide support or advocacy services to student survivors at more than 20 Oregon colleges and universities.

Bonamici is a co-sponsor of the bipartisan Campus Accountability and Safety Act.

This bill aims to protect students by establishing new resources and support services for student survivors, ensuring campus personnel are adequately trained, and requiring uniform discipline processes for all students, according to Bonamici’s office.