The BEST possible schools

     for ALL children in Southwest Portland

     through STRONG community involvement

Special additional SWNI Schools Meeting - April 20th, 7 p.m. Rm#4

Note: Meetings are automatically cancelled when PPS is not in session.

See our anticipated agenda below.

- Hellos & Welcomes- Show a brief TEDx Education video

Rita Pierson:

- Meeting Minutes from March 16th

Old Business

- NA Spring Updates for Schools Committee

- Visiting Schools - Additional meetings: Stephenson, Capitol Hill, others (Reminder: Collect and compile info from NA Reps who visited schools.)

- Revisiting Markham Elementary $94 for pens request: Our funds are earmarked for Tech Equity use: Enrichment from 2017 grant and prior funds for this project. To provide funds for other projects in SW Schools we will need undesignated funds. Discussion and Consideration - examples: Wilson Drama, Markham Elementary comic book art pens

- Bond Measure - Status & kick-off. Safety primary message. What else are we hearing?PPS Bond FAQ:

- Renters by NA in SWNI Coalition - spreadsheet from ONI to be provided and reviewed. Determine what this tells us. Anything new>

New Business

- Build the 3-5 components of the ‘success story’ we want to tell neighbors at the June 5th SWNI Open House - draft to be provided

- Report on Tech Equity: Enrichment Opportunities, “Next steps”, meeting dates

- Action Plan for 2017-2018 - Examine Chart to simplify info created Fall 2016, vote at May meeting - copy to be provided

- Requested 2 additional meetings for SWNI planning for 2017-2018: Speakers or stream info for review and discussion

- Request for cites and resources to be added to Schools website as helpful links.

- Other background info: Federal Education Budget: Trump budget would slash $9 billion-13 percent of the U.S. Department of Education’s funding-while investing $1.4 billion of new money in school choice, including private school vouchers, sending a clear signal that the Trump administration prioritizes ideologically driven voucher schemes over great public schools.

- Info, requests and announcements:

Attending PPS School Board meeting(s) - shall we develop a schedule and have members take turns attending a few meetings,

Safe Routes to School support: signs and posters for upcoming meetings, including April 25th at Jackson MS.

Next meeting: May 18th, Priority: 2017-2018 Action Plan for SWNI Board.


Pre-Meeting Prep (for NA Reps):

- Review the Neighborhood Association Update for Schools Survey we discussed in March and will finalize and send out in the next 2 weeks - Our goal: Get this out in time for May 2017 NA meetings - Google Form to be used for distribution. Watch for an updated version to be sent to Committee members prior to the April 20th meeting.

Info about the PPS 2017-2018 Budget: Assumptions made about State funding. Next State revenue update is in May. Reduce positions across the district. See links to info below.


Other information for Committee Use:

 Questions for Principals


Links mentioned in Schools Article in March SW News:

2016 Tech Equity: Final Report

Chart for SWNI Board Meeting - January 2017

ONI Small Grant: 2017 Tech Equity: Enrichment Opportunities

Common Core Presentation - January 2017 SWNI Schools Meeting - large file to be uploaded soon. USA Academic Performance vs. 30+ Industrialized Countries per the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development) established in 1961. 

New Schools Committee Chair - Transition message from Summer 2016

I said some time ago that, after 10 years as chair, it was time for new leadership.  Therefore, I am pleased to announce that on June 22 the SWNI Board  confirmed the appointment of Maripat Hensel as the new chair of the Schools Committee.  This takes effect immediately.

Maripat is an excellent choice.  She has been actively involved in the committee, most recently as the lead coordinator of our successful TechConnect event in November and working on the follow-up activities for involving entire families in the use of technology for students.  Therefore, she is well-prepared to take the lead on future activities.

I will continue to help out on the tech project as needed.

It has been an honor to serve as the Schools Committee chair for the only coalition that has such a committee.  We care about our kids.

Will Fuller, Outgoing Chair, SWNI Schools Committee

School Boundaries *** FINAL WESTSIDE CHANGES ***

The board retained most aspects of the Superintendent’s recommendations for relieving overcrowding at Capitol Hill, Chapman, Hayhurst and Maplewood elementary schools and Lincoln High School, including:

  • Assigning Chapman Kindergarten students to classrooms at the PPS Ramona campus, 1545 NW 13th St. as a temporary solution and sending portions of the Chapman attendance area to surrounding elementary schools.
  • Moving Odyssey K-8 from Hayhurst to East Sylvan.
  • Retaining the Spanish Immersion program at Ainsworth.
  • Reassigning a portion of the Capitol Hill Elementary catchment to Stephenson Elementary.

Changes initiated in the final board resolution include:

  • Splitting the Bridlemile attendance area at middle school, with the majority assigned to Gray/Wilson, and small portions attending West Sylvan/Lincoln (rather than splitting Bridlemile when students enter high school).
  • Retaining Lincoln as the high school assignment for current West Sylvan 6th and 7th graders, though this guarantee will not extend to younger siblings. (The Superintendent granted current 8th graders continued access to Lincoln.)
  • Assigning current Bridlemile 5th graders to West Sylvan this fall, with the right to transfer to Gray, given that these boundary changes do not take effect until 2017. These students are assigned to Wilson for high school.
  • Maplewood Elementary is assigned to Jackson Middle School, as proposed by DBRAC, instead of to Gray, as proposed by the Superintendent.

Potential future changes recommended by the Superintendent and the Board include:

  • Prepare to reopen Smith School as a K-5 with a projected launch of Fall 2019.
  • Consider a possible new K-5 or middle school site to be incorporated in the Lincoln High School Master Plan.
  • Work with the City of Portland to allocate enough square footage in the old Post Office redevelopment plan to be the location of possible new K-5 or Middle School.
  • Consider, through the educational options review process changes to the MLC campus, including shifting it from a K-12 to a K-8 focus option that prioritizes access for neighborhood children and moving MLC's K-12 program to a new site (possibly as part of the Post Office redevelopment) and repurposing the Couch Elementary building now occupied by MLC.

Learn more, follow the process on the Growing Great Schools I & II web pages. 


TechConnect and Techquity


The Stephens Creek Crossing listening circle had a variety of interests, so we are conducting a few more to narrow down the priorities.  SUN programs are major partners in this project.  There have already been some coding classes by the SUN coordinator there, and by the librarians at Capitol Hill Library, inspired by the listening circle.


HERE IS OUR TechConnect VIDEO by Wilson student Chris Polanco
Southwest Portland community organizations and schools come together at Jackson Middle School to explore the expanding role of technology in the classroom.



Mayor Hales and a Jackson student at TechConnect

photo by Kevin Crotchett

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive.  Participant interacted vigorously, enjoyed the keynote speech by Darren Hudgins, consumed quantities of refreshments and generally had fun.  We have made many contacts at the event, including connections to Stephens Creek Crossing residents and many of the exhibitors.
Now we are getting more formal feedback to guide our next follow-up activities, including an update on the principal interviews we conducted in the Spring, where we found variability in resources, but a rapidly-changing picture.  We will have a smaller tech-equity event at Capitol Hill Library in January or February for the families in that area, and further activities are coming.
There is a wealth of documentation to digest, including a video by a Wilson student which will be released shortly.  Our Neighborhood Small Grant report will have more information.  Meanwhile, visit for pictures and other updates. Activities will continue beyond the grant deadline of January 30.

Video:   Why Have TechConnect?

Click here for "Why have a SW Schools Tech Equity Project?"



SWNI Schools Committee meets third Thursday of every OTHER month: September, November, January, March, May.

Next Meeting  Thursday, November 17, 2016 - 7:00 PM at Multnomah Arts Center Room 4

For minutes of past meetings, click here

Join the Schools Committee

If you are able to attend our monthly meetings and report at your neighborhood meeting, please contact the Schools Committee chair (see More Information below) or your neighborhood board to be nominated as a Schools Committee representative for your neighborhood. It's an easy commitment of a few hours each month and an enjoyable way to learn about schools and your neighborhood!


Click here for Current Action Plan -- updated 6/24/2016



Oregon Education Plans

Click on the links:

Portland Plan

Schools Committee Role and Issues

Take a look at this slide show about the committee's role and the need for neighborhoods to be involved in the schools serving them.

Click here for a review of issues that the Schools Committee currently follows.


Volunteer In Our Schools

Click here for PPS volunteer page

Call 503-764-5501 for latest changes.



Neighborhood School Survey

The Schools Committee is interested in what you think is important about schools.

Please print out and return this Neighborhood Schools Survey to SWNI.

Sharing Our Family Stories - Final Report


For More Information: