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 August 26, 2014

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.



We have recently updated the Attendance Handbook for 2014-15. There are some differences from last year. This is the handbook that lists those reasons that are acceptable for excused absences, describes the number of minutes when a student is determined to be tardy or absent, mentions when attendance is to be taken, when the auto dialer makes phone calls and much more.

This handbook has copies of letters that principals may use when there are absence or tardy challenges with a student. The fillable letters, which are available in the main translated languages, can be found on the Attendance Resources webpage. At this time we have not been able to incorporate them into Synergy, but as soon as that function is available, we will let you know.

Principals are to make certain that all staff members responsible for attendance are aware of this handbook and know their responsibilities when it comes to this important aspect of school. We have included the link to the document: http://www.pps.k12.or.us/files/admin-connection/PPS_Attendance_HB_2014-15.pdf

To get to the Attendance Resource page, go to Inside PPS> Quick Links> Admin Connection> Resources> Attendance Resources.

Rudy Rudolph, Project Manager
x74618 rrudolph@pps.net


This message to remind everyone that all K-12 ESL students must be assigned to an ELD homeroom section on Synergy. English Language Development (ELD) teachers, including mainstream teachers who are teaching Content-based ELD K-2, will need ELD sections in Synergy. ELD teachers will be able to view their assigned students, access the ELD report card for each student, access student assessment data and view health information and parent contact information. If you are not the person responsible for assigning students to homerooms in your school, please forward this message to the appropriate person.

Traditional specialists (Music, Art, PE, Technology) have access to every student at the elementary grade level. English language development teachers will only need access to students that require ESL services. Therefore, ESL homeroom sections will need to be created at your school for your ESL Specialist(s) and mainstream teachers who will teach Content-based ELD K-2. Your ESL students will then need to be assigned to both their traditional homeroom section and an ESL homeroom section.

Grading is required for ELD teachers. Therefore, ELD teachers that are responsible for grading will need to be assigned to these ESL elementary homeroom sections and will have access to TeacherVUE. You will need to work with your school administrator and/or ESL teacher to obtain a list of all the ELD teachers at your school with the names of their ESL students before assigning them to the designated section and ELD teacher of record.

Once again, ESL homeroom sections will NOT require that attendance be taken. Attendance will still be the responsibility of the traditional homeroom teacher.

Here is a reminder of what needs to be completed. You may need to work with your Synergy support person for assistance.
• All ESL homeroom sections can be created and named ELMESL-01 section ID. Some schools may have more than one ESL Specialist and the last number in the section ID will increase with the number of Specialists, i.e. ELMESL-02, ELMESL-03.
• ESL students will need to be assigned to these ESL elementary homeroom sections. You will need to work with your school’s ESL specialists and your administrators to obtain ESL student lists by English language development teacher in order to complete the assignments in Synergy. Reference guide S10-Assigning Elem Students in ESL Sections will provide the instructions needed to assign students properly in Synergy for ESL teacher access.
• English Language Development teachers will need to be informed by their office staff when classes have been filled and teachers can login to see their students. We recommend a quick phone call or email to let them know that they can login and that you’ve completed the process.

If your ELD teachers have any issues with their accounts after logging into Synergy, or cannot login due to password or ‘focus’ issues, please have them log a ticket with the IT Service Desk, itservicedesk@pps.net .

All elementary ESL students must be assigned an ESL section. Students must be assigned to their ESL homeroom section NO LATER than September 12 and/or at the time that traditional homeroom classes are assigned. Thank you for your prompt attention to this requirement.

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


The next Admin Connection will be Wednesday, September 3, because of the Monday holiday.


On Friday, August 29, schools will be closed, however, district offices are open. In addition, school custodians are expected to report to their buildings.

Rudy Rudolph, Project Manager
x74618 rrudolph@pps.net


Oregon has had Essential Skills requirements in place for three school years now, and it’s time to take a step back and review areas where we as a district have some flexibility in how we support students in completing these requirements.

Once again, this year, there will be funding support available to schools for SCORING of Essential Skills work samples. The amount per school will be based on the number of seniors who have not yet demonstrated proficiency in each of the three areas (reading, writing, math). Details on individual school budgets will be available by the first week in September.

Joe Suggs will form a review committee to take a look at our practices as a district to maintain compliance with state requirements, as well as whether we should adjust any processes or expectations to align with best practice. This will include practices around scoring of work samples for Essential Skills. At this point, OTL is following the ODE recommendation that teachers should not singularly score their own students' Essential Skills work samples. Schools need to have systems in place, such as swapping papers in house, double scoring, using funds to pay teachers extended time to score, or contracting with trained scorers (e.g. retired teachers).

In addition, it will be important for us to hear from schools on how we can support students in meeting the requirements. If you have an administrator or teacher in your school who would be willing to sit on this committee, please forward that individual's name to jsuggs@pps.net. At this point we anticipate a series of three meetings early in the year (September-October).

Susan Payne, Asst. Director, Instruction, Curriculum and Assessment
x63115 spayne@pps.net


CCSS aligned inserts for the K-5 writing binder have been distributed to schools. If schools need additional inserts for their teachers, or if there are new teachers who need a complete Writing Binder for their grade level, they should email textbooks@pps.net.

The K-2 Developmental Writing Scales have also been updated to align with CCSS. These are not included with the inserts. Principals should let their kindergarten, first and second grade teachers know that they can access the revised Developmental Writing Scales on the K-5 ELA Writing Resources Page This information will also be posted on the PPS Teacher Connection blog .

Susan Payne, Asst. Director, Instruction, Curriculum and Assessment
x63115 spayne@pps.net


Good news! The US Department of Education just indicated that they intend to grant states flexibility from using statewide summative assessment results in educator evaluations for the 2014-2015 school year. Therefore, we have decided to let you know definitively right now that as you are working with educators to set student growth goals for this school year, you do not need to use statewide summative assessment results in educator evaluations this school year.

All educators will still need to have two Student Learning and Growth (SLG) Goals. However, these goals can be based on alternate assessments, as they would be for non-ELA and math teachers. Known as Category 2 assessments, these include commercially or locally developed assessments that enable educators to determine growth toward and attainment of their SLG Goals.

For more on setting SLG goals, visit: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=3836 or http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=4033. For more on developing or selecting high quality assessments, visit: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=512. Additional professional development in this area will be provided at the upcoming Professional Learning Team Conferences and the COSA 2014-15 regional trainings.

If you have further questions, we encourage you to reach out to our Educator Effectiveness Team. Wishing you all a wonderful start to the school year!

Susan Poscharscky, Administrative Assistant
x63487 sposcharscky@pps.net


Leaders, please take a few moments to complete the August Leadership survey: http://goo.gl/uJWfbR
From the completed survey, you will be able to view organizational responses. Thank you!

Melissa Goff, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning
x66080 mgoff@pps.net


Pests and the use of pesticides in Portland Public Schools is a concern for many staff and community members. Many pests carry disease and are asthma triggers. The use of pesticides in schools creates a greater risk to children than adults because kids have greater metabolic demands, as well as anatomic and physiological differences. Because of these concerns, PPS adopted an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) policy in 2004. That policy was recently modified to meet the requirements of the Oregon Schools Integrated Pest Management law.

In an IPM approach, pesticides are not relied upon as the only response to a pest problem, but are part of an integrated approach with other tactics. When needed, only low-impact products are used. IPM solutions are based on understanding pest biology and behavior. Key concepts are:
• Long-term solutions – eliminate food, water and harborage for pests
• Prevention and avoidance through pest barriers such as window screens, caulked cracks, door sweeps, and good sanitation
• Monitoring and identification of pests
• Treatment: A combination of mechanical (traps), physical (removal), and when necessary, chemical methods.

All custodians were trained over the summer on their role in IPM. Please include your custodian in any pest issue you have. Maintenance crews can eliminate pest access to buildings by adding door sweeps to exterior doors, closing building penetrations and trimming foliage away from buildings. If you have pest access problems please submit a maintenance work request.

Pests seek three things: food, water and shelter. The following actions can significantly reduce pest problems:
• Limit the consumption of food to the cafeteria or commons - this considerably lowers the sources of food for pests.
• If food is used in the classroom either for treats or for a lesson plan (dry beans, rice, etc.) store it in metal or plastic containers with tight fitting lids.
• Clean up food and liquid spills immediately. Small spills should be cleaned up by staff members instead of custodians.
• Keep staff and faculty rooms clean. Ask school staff to clean up their lunch areas (wipe counters, wash dishes, clean microwaves and refrigerators).
• Eliminate clutter in classrooms and storage areas. Clutter is shelter for pests.
• Report pest sightings to the school custodian.

A packet with copies of a one page information sheet on IPM for school staff will be sent out in September. When it arrives, please make sure each staff member gets a copy in their mailbox.

It is important to know that the Oregon Schools IPM law strictly prohibits the application of pesticides (insecticides, rodenticides, herbicides) on school property by anyone OTHER than a licensed public pesticide applicator. At PPS the only people who can apply pesticides are the pest contractor (Eden Pest Control) or the maintenance grounds crew.

Please contact Andy Fridley in Environmental Health and Safety if you have any questions.

Andy Fridley, Manager-Environmental Health and Safety
x63409 afridley@pps.net


In concert with IT, OTL Library Services is implementing DESTINY, a new district-wide system for managing library and textbook materials. It’s more efficient, more robust and more secure!

Destiny has advanced capacity for linking resources in our libraries to resources on the web through vetted searches. Nearly all current library staff have attended the basic training(s) in order to start the school year. All library staff will receive more training on the system’s many features to share with students and staff as the year progresses.

FYI: To provide for clear access to Destiny for all students, teachers, staff and families, Library Services and IT will facilitate adding a Library link on your school home page (if one does not already exist), and will provide a Library page appropriate for your school level, complete with vetted links to Destiny, World Book online, OSLIS and research databases, Tumblebooks and more (again, if one does not already exist). We expect to set up and execute these links over the first month of school.

No additional workload is being requested by school staff.

The impact will be that now every student, teacher, staff member and family will be able to access their school library online from the school’s home page.

Contact Susan Stone, Library Services x63406, sstone@pps.net if you have any questions.

Melissa Goff, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning
x66080 mgoff@pps.net


School principals can expect to receive an Excel spreadsheet that contains 4 worksheets:
1. Students eligible for ELD (English Language Development) services
2. Students eligible, but whose parents have refused ELD services
3. Students whose status has to be assessed
4. Students reclassified from ELD program (these are mainly exited or promoted students).

The ESL Department will assess eligibility for ELD services with every new student who indicates a language other than English during registration.

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


This year, nearly all schools – including high schools - will observe two-hour late openings on eight Wednesdays (seven for high schools). Focus and Priority schools will also have the two-hour late starts, NOT the full-day of PD as in the past. Exceptions are MLC, Jefferson and Beverly Cleary.

To help you communicate with families about the late openings, we have created several tools you can use as needed at your school:

- Published the dates in “What You Need to Know” (WYNTK):

- Created newsletter items that you can cut and paste in the appropriate languages into your school newsletter:

- Created a Family Advisory: http://www.pps.k12.or.us/depts/communications/docs/Family-Advisory-Late-Openings-2014-15.pdf

With the Advisory you can:
o Backpack a week before the first late opening.
o Give to specific families – such as new families or those you feel need the information.
o Put on your front counter.
o Have available at early-in-the-year parent-focused events.

NOTE: The items we’ve provided do not mention that buses also adjust to the late start (as this was covered elsewhere in WYNTK), nor do they mention before-school childcare, since every school is different. Should you choose to use the newsletter items provided, you may wish to add the fact that buses adjust to the late start and add any before-school childcare options available at your school.

Questions? Erin Barnett

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



Date: August 27-September 10
Time: 8 A.M. to 4 P.M.
Locations: Madison, Franklin, Cleveland, Roosevelt, Wilson - http://www.pps.net/departments/esl/8938.htm

Lisa Blount, Assistant Director, ESL
x66525 lblount@pps.net



Thank you for your ongoing feedback regarding Leadership Academy 2014. Many of you have requested copies of the information shared at Leadership. The PowerPoints and graphics are available at the links included here:

Resources page for Leadership https://sites.google.com/site/ppsmayleadershipacademy/resources-1
Connect page http://goo.gl/lm39Cq

Please contact us with any follow up questions. Thank you!

Melissa Goff, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning
x66080 mgoff@pps.net


We have added additional DIBELS trainings (September 8 for K-1 and 2-3 teachers) for those who would like to get the training before September 18/19. Register on the Learning Campus.

Teachers previously trained are encouraged to review the online refresher modules for DIBELS and easyCBM prior to administration to ensure reliability of data collection.

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