School News

Update - May 22, 2020


Up through a tree

2020 Grads

The SWNI Schools Committee members send our heartfelt congratulations to each and every graduating senior from the Class of 2020.   

We are proud of your journey and we especially admire how you have met the challenges of online education during the last three months. We are saddened for you with the loss of so many significant interactions with teachers as well as each other during the school closure.  Our hopes and best wishes are with you and your families. We recognize your hard work and dedication. 

We look forward to hearing about you as you begin to pursue your dreams in the next stage of your lives.  Many, many "thank you's" are directed to the teachers and staff at Wilson and Lincoln High Schools as well as our many nearby private schools.

You all are marvelous!!  Our hats are off to you as you 'flip your 2020 tassles' to the other side of your caps. 

****Check our FB page for more information as it becomes available through June 8.****

Exciting Events For Wilson High School Seniors 

● May 28th 1-4 pm - Drive Thru Pick-up Event.

This event is for ALL seniors! Includes Jostens order pickup, cords and awards, Trojan Tributes, Chromebook and textbook return, food donation, photos, special Wilson surprise gifts. Learn more (here).
-1:00 – 1:30 Last names beginning with A-C
-1:30 – 2:00 Last names beginning with D-Ho
-2:00 – 2:30 Last names beginning with Hp-Mi
-2:30 – 3:00 Last names beginning with Mo-Sh
-3:00 – 3:30 Last names beginning with Si-Z
-3:30 – 4:00 For those without a car, you can walk up or ride your bike during this time frame only (this is to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe). If you have transportation issues for this May 28th event, please email Ms. Caldwell at

●June 4th - Virtual Prom coordinated by PPS. Details to come.

●June 8th - Drive-thru Commencement . Exact time TBD. This is your opportunity to walk across the stage in your cap and gown and receive your diploma. Watch for more details to come soon.

school house

We will meet virtually on May 21, 2020. Here's the draft Agenda and notes from prior 2020 meetings with those agendas. Special thanks for your patience this past year. We have been in transition and we are preparing to embark on an action plan for the 2020-2021 school year. 

We continue to listen and work through the options on how to support parents and families while schools are out of session and into the Fall. If you have any tips send them to


Here's the Spring 2020 Survey for SWNI Schools:

Please complete this survey for our 2020-2021 planning. We've extended the date to pull in more comments from the community. For a paper copy, email or request a copy from SWNI Staff members once the office reopens. At this time, the exact date is unknown.

We encourage you to take a look at the monthly issues of SW News for updates on projects and activities for the SWNI Schools Committee. Website updates will be done periodically. We apologize for links that no longer connect. For information, please contact us at
Information about prior Schools Committee work has been retained here to provide a glimpse into the work that has been done in recent years. The Committee provides regular monthly reportr for the SWNI Board. These reports may be found in the SWNI Board meeting materials.
September 2017 
Lessons Learned About Inclusion and Equity from Tech
Equity Project – 2015-2017

- Realize that valuable work and the process takes time – years and decades, not weeks or months
- Go to where the audience you want to reach lives attends school or activities or works. Personally invite people to attend.
- Partner with other organizations.
- Stay flexible and open.
- Build on prior successes. (Update tasks so that problems may be worked out as early as possible.)
- Be curious – Figure out what is needed and how steps may be taken be taken short term and long term. 
- If one person attends it is worth the meeting time.
- Include the children – figure out what they can do while you are working and realize the meeting will be disrupted a few times.
- Stay consistent. Go back again and again.
- Communicate in as many ways as possible.
- Create task lists (manageable number of actions) and try to pair the right person with each task
- Get info into as many people’s hands as possible via a person distribution (or phone contact.)
- Remember many people are volunteers and they bring skills that can be used – figure out how best to use the skills the team or group brings. (Also if several people can buddy up and cover each other off – utilize this kind of structure.) 
- Look for ways and things that are already being done that you may participate in and add support.
- Keep each project as simple as possible. Define terms for everyone.
- Use Google translate or services via the library or schools or better yet – bring someone along who will volunteer to be the translator.
- The best plans can be altered with bad weather or illnesses. Have a backup plan or two.

For Questions? – Maripat Hensel –


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.


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. 

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.