School News

Updated 08/07/19 - Take a look at SW News for most recent updates on projects and activities for the SWNI Schools Committee. 
On-going - website updates to be done late summer 2019.

Upcoming opportunities to work with the SWNI Schools Committee on Reach Outs and planning for Fall 2018.

August 1 - Math Tutoring at noon at Capitol Hill Library

August 7 - Schools Reach Out - with Partner West Portland Park at National Night Out (NNO) - 6 p.m. Puzzles, Legos and more! (Math support included.)

August 10 - More Math Tutoring at noon at Capitol Hill Library

August 12 - Schools Reach Out - with St. Luke Lutheran Church at Drum Circle event at Gabriel Park at 12:30 p.m. - See SW News - Donations for Portland Parks & Rec.

August 15 - Planning and Coffee Conversation at MJCC Cafe at 10:30 a.m. - then, a tentative (still to be confirmed) excursion to Stephens Creek Crossing for a Reach Out with students at 1 p.m.

August 17 - Math Tutoring at noon at Capitol Hill Library

Next regular SWNI Schools Committee Meeting - Sept. 20 at Mult Art Center at 7 p.m.


Please note: The Schools Committee has an extension through September for the committee 2018-2019 Action Plan.
2017-2018 Action Plan Approved at July 26, 2017 SWNI Board Meeting
The SWNI Schools Committee Action Plan was approved at the July 26 Board meeting. and again in November. Efforts are being made to get out to schools and to provide online alternatives for input to be collected and committee members are meeting with Neighborhood Associations to provide information about activities and projects that are in process and being considered. 

Maripat Hensel is New Schools Committee Chair

It is my pleasure to announce that Maripat Hensel, of Arnold Creek NA, is the new Schools Committee chair, effective immediately on her appointment at the June 22 SWNI Board meeting.

Will Fuller, Outgoing Chair.

2015-16 School Year in Review

Our big event was Tech Connect in November, which went well, and the follow-up 2016 Tech Connections project for families which will be going through the fall.  We have also worked on increasing committee membership (up to 10 neighborhoods),  as well as representing SWNI in a variety of activities and issues involving our students in Portland Public Schools.

Here are some highlights:

Configuration Changes

  • Westside Enrollment and Boundary changes, such as
    -- Bridlemile split feeder pattern between Wilson and Lincoln
    --Maplewood students will go to Jackson instead of Robert Gray
    --Smith to reopen in 2019?
    --Odyssey program moves from Hayhurst to East Sylvan building, with same principal.
  • Initial capital bond work on Roosevelt, Franklin, Grant remodels is going well after a rocky start:.
  • Second bond has questions and soft support.
    November ballot or 2017 or later?
    Which schools?  Lincoln, Madison yes, but Benson?
    Lead abatement to be added?

Student Achievement Changes

  • Discipline referrals are reduced about half in 2 years, but racial disparities are about the same.
  • The new Common Core curriculum is in place and getting positive reviews.
  • New Smarter Balanced testing is still long and complex, but measures more meaningful skills than OAKS did.  Properly administered, these tests provide a summary of each student’s achievement for the year, and strategic information for district planning

Management Issues

These arose largely after our last meeting, and we try to stay away from District-level issues, but they are affecting all schools including ours here in the SWNI area.

  • Lead in water, some lead paint and other contamination
  • Risk assessment by TKW paints what Tribune called “damning portrait of operations and management.”
  • School Board conflicts among members
  • Board vs Superintendent issues
  • High administration turnover
  • Recent calls for Superintendent’s resignation.

In sum: ... there’ll be a lot for next year’s committee to tackle.