PPS students

Admin Connection

The Administrator's Connection contains information for school and central administrators. Please see the current posting below which may include required action, required reading, deadlines and opportunities.

Admin Connection for January 27, 2015

Information for school and central administrators:

This administrative webpage will be the primary communication tool from district leadership. Occasionally, there could be a change in venue, date, or time of an event or meeting. When these or similar pieces of information need to be conveyed quickly, group e-mails will most likely be sent out. However, the number of these should be limited. School and district administrators are expected to view the Admin Connection every Tuesday (on Wednesday on weeks when the district is closed on Monday). Thank you and do not hesitate to notify us (admin-connection@pps.net) if you have suggestions for improvement of this tool.



PFSP's most sought-after Professional Development day is THIS Friday, January 30, at Marshall Campus.
Much work has gone into providing a program to support all types of PFSP work. Our special emphasis this year has been attending to the training needs of our school and principal's secretaries.

Below are the classes specifically for secretaries:

-Student Funds: Tips and Trends 2015
-Synergy Q&A
-The Business of School: Title IA, Contracts, Invoices, and Travel/Training
-How to manage your Payroll Information and your Professional Development Funds
-Secrets of the SMT
-Discipline Data in Synergy: Swiftly, Accurately & Efficiently
-Aesop: Advanced Learning

Please make it possible for your secretary(ies) to attend Classified Connections this Friday. Thank you.

Sue Ann Higgens, Senior Director of Training and Development
x63210 shiggens@pps.net


All families in your school are receiving a postcard in the US mail in their home language with basic information about the upcoming Smarter Balanced Assessments. The postcards inform families that more information is available in their school office or at www.pps.net search "Common Core." View postcard:
The "more information available in your school office" is a two-page Smarter Balanced Key Facts sheet called "College and Career Ready: Smarter Balanced Assessments coming this spring."

Locating the Smarter Balanced Key Facts sheet:
- PDFs in all languages are posted in the right column on the PPS Common Core page: http://www.pps.k12.or.us/departments/curriculum/7650.htm (Lots of helpful resources are on this page)
- 200 English copies of the Key Facts are coming via Pony to your school this week.

Required Action:
Share the Smarter Balanced Key Facts with families. Options include:
• Make hard copies available on your school counter in appropriate languages by using the English we are sending you and then making copies of the languages you need using the PDFs posted on the Common Core page. http://www.pps.k12.or.us/departments/curriculum/7650.htm
• Distribute hard copies at PTA meetings and/or other family events.
• Share hard copies and/or the Common Core page link with staff, especially testing coordinators for their own information and to share with parents as appropriate.
• Put the Common Core link in your school newsletter as a resource for parent information about the Common Core and Smarter Balanced.
• Specifically share the link for parents to take a practice Smarter Balanced test with their student: http://sbac.portal.airast.org/practice-test (Note: This link is included in the Key Facts sheet)
• Order extra copies from PubTech and backpack the Key Facts home with students taking the tests (grades 3-8; and 11)

If you have questions, please contact Erin Barnett, ebarnett@pps.net Thank you for helping us to share this important information with families.

Erin Barnett, Senior Communications Manager
x63385 ebarnett@pps.net



If you choose to attend the February breakout session on Co-Teaching, please bring your master schedule, a list of all your faculty and support staff and a list of the anticipated number of special education students, ESL students and their grade levels. In addition, here are several articles and webinars that you may want to read before the session to maximize your work time.

Webinars on Scheduling for Co-Teaching:

Additional helpful documents on the site below: (1) co-teaching administrator’s role (2) What Teachers Wish Administrators Knew about Co-Teaching in High Schools

Kristin Lierheimer, SPED TOSA

Robin Malone, Office Coordinator, Special Education
x63297 rmalone@pps.net


Reminder: The K-8 Winter Literacy Assessment Window closes January 29. The Guidelines for Administration
clarify which students are required to be benchmarked in the winter on DIBELS in grades K-3, IDEL for Spanish Immersion schools in grades K-3 and on easyCBM in grades 4-8.

When scheduling school data meetings, please note that updated benchmark data is loaded into Data Wall and Admin Dashboard biweekly during the testing window and is available every Monday and Thursday morning.

DIBELS and IDEL scores are entered at https://dibels.uoregon.edu/ and easyCBM assessments are administered and entered at http://pps.or.easycbm.com/.

Jennifer Kalis, Assessment Functional Lead
x74203 jkalis@pps.net


In July 2014, the US Department of Education released guidance that prohibits English Learner Students with Disabilities (ELSWDs) from being exempted from all four domains on annual state English language proficiency assessments. For Oregon, this means that our previous practice of allowing four-domain exemptions had to be discontinued for 2014-15 and forward. Although Oregon is allowing up to three domains to be exempted on the Oregon ELPA during 2014-15, there are some cases in which ELSWDs will have difficulty accessing the test. An ODE cross-office team has been working since July to help problem-solve these unique cases, and will be issuing specific guidance soon. In the meantime, ODE recommends that no testing begin for any ELSWD for whom there is no clearly accessible ELPA domain.

For those students, we recommend waiting until March 1, 2015, or after to administer the assessment, so that ODE will have additional resources prepared for the students for whom there is currently no clearly accessible ELPA domain. Although we are recommending a delay in assessing these students until at least March 1, please remember that all qualifying English Learners must complete and submit the ELPA by the end of the day on April 15, 2015, when the testing window will close.

Please note: if there is at least one accessible domain that the ELSWD is able to access, ODE recommends administering the ELPA to that student on the regular schedule, once the IEP for that student has been updated and any qualifying domain exemptions have been entered into TIDE. Remember, the March 1 or after recommendation is only for those students for whom accessibility to any ELPA domain remains unclear.
If you have questions, please contact your AD for additional information.

Veronica Magallanes, Director of ESL
x66525 vmagallanes@pps.net


If your school has any “Reading Street” curriculum items that are not being used, please contact Textbook Services at textbooks@pps.net and we will coordinate with you to collect these materials. Items that are collected will be reassembled into new “Reading Street” classroom sets for 2015-2016.

Adrienne Howard, IRC Program Manager
x63228 ahoward@pps.net


Copies of the Discipline Handbook will be delivered to schools beginning 1/30/15 and schools can begin distribution to students and families on 2/2/15.

Copies will be sent in the languages represented in your school. A letter with directions and Handbook changes will be included in the delivery.

This week, building administrators will be emailed a translated "Newsletter" article for you to include in your school communications with families (newsletter, principal letter, website). The "Newsletter" article contains information for families on Handbook changes.

Questions/Concerns? Please Contact Rick Kirschmann.

Rick Kirschmann, Program Director for School Climate and Discipline
x63121 rkirschmann@pps.net


Last week the school board approved changes to the enrollment & transfer policy. The changes will begin to take place immediately. Highlights:

The annual school choice lottery will be open to focus option schools and programs only, not neighborhood schools. The high school lottery will be open for applications to Jefferson Middle College and Benson February 4-18. The K-8 lottery will be open for applications to Buckman, Creative Science, daVinci, Odyssey, Winterhaven, and all immersion programs. Lottery slots will be available primarily for entry grades. Access to other focus option grade levels will be through the petition process.

o The school board approved a higher level of preference into most focus options for students who qualify for free and reduced-price meals or attend Head Start. The preference will be applied after the preference for co-enrolled siblings. Additional outreach is in the works so that eligible families are aware of this increased opportunity.

o Lottery slots for K-5, K-8 and middle school focus options must be submitted to the ETC by Monday, February 2. Focus option principals will receive more information through your placement specialists this week.

The petition process will be the only way to request transfer for all grade levels of neighborhood schools and some grade levels of focus option schools. Petition forms will be available at schools and online. As in the past, families requesting transfer due to having siblings at the requested school or who are seeking to return to their neighborhood school will have high priority for petition transfer. All applications will be reviewed individually, and principals will be consulted before decisions are made. There is no deadline for petition applications, but we will encourage families to apply as soon as possible, because space is limited at many schools.

This information and more will be available on the ETC website. Please contact your placement specialist or me with any questions or concerns.

Judy Brennan, Enrollment Director
x63355 jbrennan@pps.net


None at this time



This is a reminder that the application for teachers interested in participating in the Science Instructional Specialist Development Grant will close this Friday, January 30. PPS has 17 available slots for K-6 teachers. You can learn more about this opportunity with this linked PowerPoint and the teacher application can be found at K-6 NGSS Instructional Specialist Application.

Teacher nominations and questions about the grant or the application process can be directed to Nancy Lapotin, K-12 STEAM TOSA.

Nancy Lapotin, K-12 STEAM TOSA
nlapotin@pps.net, x71327

Julie Rierson, Asst. Dir. ICA
X71038 jrierson@pps.net


As you may or may not know, Portland Public Schools is in the process of recruiting and hiring a large number of substitute teachers for the current school year. We would like to request that you share this information with anyone you think may be interested in applying to our posting or with someone that is able to help us spread the word.

Our substitute teacher posting, Job Number 2100011893, opened January 15, 2015 and will close February 15, 2015. We will consider anyone with a full teaching license.

Here is a link to the PPS application system: https://employment.pps.k12.or.us/ats/app_login?COMPANY_ID=00002736

Any assistance with this is greatly appreciated and PPS Human Resources thanks you for your continued help.

Alma Morales Galicia, HR Senior Specialist
x63099 amoralesgalicia@pps.net


Teachers in grades 3-8 who are interested in developing CCSS Performance Tasks associated with the Smarter Balanced Assessments are invited to attend a one-day PD offered by the Office of Instruction, Curriculum and Assessment. The morning will be used for reviewing Performance Tasks skills and expectations, while the afternoon will be spent developing performance tasks for your students. Choose one of two days.

CCSS/Smarter Balanced Performance Task Development
Dates/Locations (Choose one)
Feb. 12, 2015: Tubman, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
March 2, 2015: Marshall, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Angela Hubbs, Assistant Director, Instruction, Curriculum & Assessment
x63495 ahubbs@pps.net