The BEST possible schools for ALL children in Southwest Portland through

STRONG community involvement

Collaboration - Lego Build a Neighborhood for Tech Equity Enrichment
Collaboration - Build a Lego Neighborhood at WPP NA  NNO August 1


Back to School - 2017-2018 School Year  

Meeting Sept. 21, 7 p.m. Rm#4 Multnomah Art Center (MAC)

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



See our anticipated agenda below.

- Hellos & Welcomes

- May 18th Minutes

-- Old Business:

Schools updates - Maripat met with Kevin Crochett at Jackson. 

Spring surveys: Summary of NA responses.

News - New PPS Superintendent.

Tech Equity 2017 - NNO - August 1st. What's next? Begin compiling photos and information for final grant report. 

-- New Business: TBD

Community Announcements: 

Sustainability in Schools: Upcoming Info Session for Parents and Teachers

Come to the Eco-School Network’s upcoming “Dessert Meetup” info session to learn about sustainability initiatives in our schools.

The Eco-School Network is a program that trains and supports parents doing volunteer sustainability projects in elementary schools. Join us for our upcoming Dessert Meetup to learn how you can start or support sustainable projects at your child's school.

Date: September 28th 
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: The Dessert Meetup will be held in the home of an Eco-School parent in Southwest Portland. Please contact us for more information. 

Next activity: Tentatively scheduled for Thursday, October 19th. 

Next regular committee meeting: November 16th.


Other information for Committee Use:

Draft 2017-2018 Action Plan

SWNI Schools Open House Poster

 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: