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Strategic Framework and Business Plan

Adopted by the OSTA Board January 9, 2016

When it comes to advancing Oregon’s science education, school and community educators from across the state believe they are an important investment.  And that investment must grow.

The Oregon Science Teacher’s new Strategic Framework and Financial Plan guides the organization’s growth in the 21st century education environment.  First, OSTA will advance its professional growth opportunities and networks by investing in the use of technology.  This will help connect and engage educators from all corners of the state including remote, rural, urban, and city areas.  Second, OSTA members will not just focus on teaching; leadership will be stepped up to build stronger foundations for school and community science education.  Third, strategic partnerships will be formed where limited resources can be optimized and through joined efforts, new resources will be generated.  And fourth, efforts will concentrate on building the capacity of the 58 year old organization to include staff support, content management, and contemporary nonprofit governance.

The OSTA Board voted to adopt the Strategic Framework and Business Plan at the board meeting on January 9, 2016.  This work was made possible by a grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust and led by former OSTA President Susan McWilliams.

OSTA President Dr. Susan Holveck, the science specialist for the Beaverton School District, says, “At our heart, we are still an organization of teachers for teachers, but we are growing that network across the state to be more robust and relevant to what teachers need. Our new strategic framework represents OSTA’s pathway to a more connected future for Oregon’s science teachers.” Past-President Bradford Hill, 2013 Presidential Awardee and Southridge High School teacher agrees, “Our strategic framework positions OSTA to grow its network and cultivate partnerships to improve science education in our state.” President-Elect, Jomae Sica, 2015 Presidential Award state finalist and Forest Grove High School teacher, is “excited to see that OSTA will be at the forefront of advocating for educators, providing professional development support and bringing teachers and partners together to collaborate as we transform our learning environments in alignment with the 2014 Oregon Science Standards.”

Immediate actions will focus on supporting Oregon’s adoption of full day kindergarten by offering PreK-5th grade educators science curriculum, training, and resources.  Adoption of Oregon’s 2014 Science Standards and national STEM standards positions OSTA to actively lead educator’s professional growth.  At a time when Oregon school districts have limited resources for professional development, OSTA is eager to step up its role to fill this need.  


Unfortunately, Oregon currently ranks 49th for graduation and fewer hours are spent today in science education across the state than ever before.  OSTA, the state’s 58 year- old professional growth organization is owning the future for science education by engaging a wider cross-section of science educators working in PreK- 20 private and public schools and community organizations to network across the state and share resources, partner in ways that advances and develops new resources, and cultivate innovative teaching practices that contribute to turning up Oregon’s student success. 


Building on a generous grant from Meyer Memorial Trust, OSTA leadership and stakeholders invested over a year in carefully examining its mission and vision up against today and tomorrow’s science education demands.

As a result, OSTA envisions a robust science educator community that is a seedbed for excellence and a foundation for top talent and leadership.

Four strategies will support Oregon’s science educator’s 21st century professional growth:

  • PROFESSIONAL GROWTH - Expand the use of technology and local gathering to engage educators from classrooms and non-classroom settings in a continuum of professional growth trainings, workshops, and discovery sessions.  “Science Forward” will provide educators with leadership skills to advance science and related studies in their communities and networks. 
  • OrSEN – Launching Oregon’s Science Educator Network provides new levels of engaging educators, administrators, and stakeholders in the policy work needed to support prioritizing science education. 
  • NETWORKING – OSTA will broaden its reach across the state by:
    • Engaging a broader scope of members to the organization including PreK-20 private and public school educators AND educators working in community settings such as youth development organizations, museums, and community centers. 
    • Strategically generate virtual and place-based networks that provide opportunities for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educator’s cross-function their professional growth.
    • Strategically partner with public and private agencies, organizations and businesses who share investments in strengthening science education and the policy work to support efforts. 
  • CAPACITY BUILDING – OSTA will advance the three strategies by investing in building the organization’s capacity to grow and sustain its efforts.  Three actions support capacity building:
    • Management of the organization will be expanded by staffing coordination, communication, and fund raising.
    • Financial sustainability will be expanded through generating multiple funding streams including fees for services, grant supports, and partnering with organizations who seek to multiply their limited resources. 
    • Advancing OSTA’s governance model to align with a staff supported organization and multiple activities occurring.


With Oregon’s adoption of full day kindergarten, STEM and 2014 Oregon Science Standards in place, and growing interface between school and community education, OSTA is prioritizing PreK-5th grade educators and being an active contributor to STEM efforts across the state. 

OSTA will engage a wider range of educators by advancing its use of virtual professional growth opportunities and networks while also staffing regional events. 


Growth and leadership go hand in hand in science education. How do we make growth our ally? How do we deploy our profession to make science education a vehicle for positive progress? And, how do we make it fun, fulfilling, and energizing?

1. Science changes faster than iPod models
Science is everywhere, critical to society, and a part of each person's everyday life.
2. Science is an ultimate equalizer
A pathway to human rights and better quality of life where a better economy and greater number of people creating technologies exist.
3. Science is an extreme sport for the brain
Turning curiosity into knowledge gives us power and possibility of invention, and finding solutions to problems.
4. Oregonians can take on tomorrow's challenges
Investing in rigorous and focused science education is critical to be successful in the global community.
5. Better than average SAT is not good enough
Less than half of Oregon's 2015 graduates hit 1550 out of 2400 SAT score — a little above national average, but average is not well-prepared for college and the workforce.
6. New science education advocacy perspective
OSTA is positioned to be a force for advancing science education through advocacy, professional growth, and networking.
7. When innovation strikes, strike faster
Learning networks are being built to keep anything and everything science accessible, affordable, and timely.
8. Professional growth on the run
Your professional science educator growth can be even more rewarding with digital networking that connects people, innovation, and resouces.
9. Science is broader than the classroom
Science is more than what is in the classroom thanks to a network of community-based resources who have their fingers on the pulse of learning.
10. Your ideas fits in with OSTA
Combining innovation and networking with OSTA improves possibilities of moving ahead an idea to reality.
11. Together, OSTA members create chemistry...
...that makes a healthier, more educated population, and stronger workforce.
12. Bigger benefits for early childhood
Full day kindergarten and learning science is not an option — it's a must! Starting early is an investment in student success.

OSTA's Sustainable Growth is possible through a 
generous partnership with the Meyer Memorial Trust


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Portland, Oregon

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