“We have a motto: Make a difference where you live. We need each other to continue building a vibrant future.”

– Analicia Nicholson, Douglas ESD superintendent

This past spring families were invited to Douglas ESD’s Early Learning and Parenting Resource Center (ELPRC) in Roseburg to participate in activities and learn about resources.   

Get to Know Douglas ESD

Many moving parts help children learn and thrive. Douglas Education Service District is one of the moving pieces. The agency partners with school districts and organizations. The goal is to increase opportunities for all children.

Douglas ESD isn’t a school district, but employees work closely with students and school staff. The agency exists because schools exist. For more than 60 years, this partnership has helped children.

“We have a motto: Make a difference where you live. We need each other to continue building a vibrant future,” said Douglas ESD Superintendent Analicia Nicholson.

This support begins by connecting with families of young children. Douglas ESD provides early learning education, special needs services and preschool opportunities. Skilled professionals provide these services at no cost to the community. Services are available for children as young as newborns. Similar services are in Jackson County.

“We help prepare children for school,” said Nicholson. “This is an important investment with lasting effects.”

Connections continue in school settings. Douglas ESD also works with K-12 students and educators in Douglas County schools. Speech, nursing and youth mentorship are a few of the many services available. The services provided meet specific needs for a school. The agency walks alongside districts to support the incredible job they’re doing.

Other employees provide services to districts that aren’t as visible. Examples include human resources support, business services, and IT support.

 Douglas ESD provides internet access to all school districts in Douglas County which supports approximately 60 sites.  

“Many of the services such as nursing, IT, and communications are provided by Douglas ESD and are vital to the success of our students.” said South Umpqua School District Superintendent Kate McLaughlin. “Nurses support students with acute conditions like diabetes, as well as everyday ailments. IT support makes sure that our students are able to access curriculum and instruction, whether remote or in-person. And the communications team helps keep students, families, and community members connected to our schools and important events.”

The agency strives to respond to what districts need. As a result, preschool enrollment has increased. Assisting with recruiting and mentoring teachers is a priority. Also, Douglas ESD is expanding behavioral health support.

“Douglas ESD provides a multitude of services throughout the county. While all are important for the Yoncalla School District to maintain its level of excellence in supporting our students and community, the nursing services and special education services are some of the best in the state,” said Yoncalla School District Superintendent Brian Berry. “These services are provided at no cost to families and support educational instruction along with helping students and their families get access to health insurance, coordinate care by communicating between the family and health care providers and educating families on pertinent health care issues.”

Douglas ESD’s Safe Routes to School program teaches bike safety skills to students.

The support that Douglas ESD offers doesn’t end at twelfth grade. Programs connected with the agency help support businesses with family-friendly practices. Plus, the agency works with partners to create plans that benefit the community. Beyond Douglas County, Douglas ESD serves an even larger region through statewide contracts.

Douglas ESD is overseen by a seven-member Board of Directors. These dedicated volunteers set policies and goals to guide the agency’s activities.

The agency continues to find new ways to support the region. There are nearly 50 programs and services at Douglas ESD that champion children. This article kicks off a series that will feature programs and people who help students succeed.