PPS Inside News

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Join the party for new high-tech classroom

Northside and Southside Family Support Centers staff help newcomer families enroll in PPS. [More]

Spanish Readiness Fair reaches out to families

September 22, 2009

Amid this year’s back-to-school rush, several PPS employees had an idea: How about a school readiness fair just for Spanish-speaking families? The idea grew into a successful event Sept. 3 and good example of reaching out to families in a welcoming and culturally respectful way. [More]

Marshall teacher connects students with OMSI

September 22, 2009

Many students at the Pauling Academy of Integrated Sciences have never had the opportunity to visit the state’s premier science museum, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. But that’s changing this year, thanks to Pauling teacher Jill Semlick, who won a $25,000 grant from Jordan Fundamentals that provides students free access to OMSI exhibits, laboratories and other resources. [More]

Wanted: Your participation in community workshops

September 22, 2009

PPS employees are invited to take part in two community workshops about plans to create a stronger system of high schools, as well as to modernize the school district's outdated buildings. The workshops will be on the state in-service day Friday, Oct. 9, at the Marshall Campus in Southeast Portland and on Saturday, Oct. 17, at Rosa Parks Elementary School in North Portland. [More]

Volunteers needed for Great City Schools Conference

September 17, 2009

Portland Public Schools has been chosen as this year’s host for the annual conference of the Council of the Great City Schools October 28 - November 1. The Council is made up of the 70 largest school districts in the United States. Attending will be superintendents, administrators, college deans, school board directors and nationally recognized leaders in education. There are a range of volunteer needs before and during and after the conference. [Sign Up]

Record turnout for Community Care Day

September 17, 2009

Teachers, custodians, principals and other PPS employees joined families, students and community members to make this year’s Community Care Day the biggest ever. Almost 6,200 people volunteered at 78 schools, donating thousands of hours in labor. [More]

Celebration of Debbie Luppold's life

September 17, 2009

Carole sends her appreciation for your cards and e-mails since the death of her life partner, Debbie Luppold. She said your warmth and condolences have buoyed and comforted her. [More]

A day of firsts in Portland Public Schools

September 8, 2009

The excitement of a new school year laced the air as 46,000 Portland Public Schools students shook off summer and made their way back to class Tuesday. And while much is familiar for many students, there is also much that is new. [More]

All-green classroom opens at da Vinci Middle School

September 3, 2009

Da Vinci Middle School's long-awaited Evans-Harvard High Performance Classroom is completed, and you're invited to join the celebration. [More]

PPS accountants are top notch

September 3, 2009

The PPS accounting office has received two awards honoring the high quality of its 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The awards indicate our outstanding dedication to high standards in communicating valuable financial information. It is the 29th year in a row our accounting staff has received these honors. [More]

New principals and assistant principals for 2009-10

August 26, 2009

The hiring of Carla Randall as principal of Madison High School completes the building administrator assignments for 2009-10. For a list of all school principals and their contact information, follow this link. Otherwise, please join in welcoming the following principals and assistant principals who are either new to PPS or new to their position. [More]

Video spotlight on Hank Harris

August 25, 2009

New HR Director Hank Harris shares a bit of his personal background and his greater goals at PPS in a short video interview. [More]

From the superintendent: C.J. Sylvester steps up to COO

August 25, 2009

I am happy to announce that C.J. Sylvester will become our executive director of operations (chief operating officer), effective immediately. [More]

New Principal for Madison

August 25, 2009

I am pleased to announce that Carla Randall will return to PPS as Madison High School’s new principal, rounding out an experienced leadership team with vice principals Jeff Spalding and Roger DeVille. [More]

Lee Kappes, curriculum leader, leaving PPS

August 19, 2009

Now called “The 501 Deli,” the BESC cafeteria is revamping its menu to focus on locally-produced foods and beverages – sorry, no microbrews! Staff is also changing: Chef Robert Schierburg will remain at The 501 Deli, while Shana Spiekerman will cook food for the students at Madison High School and Karen Beckner will be preparing great food for students at schools across the district. [More]

Dixon Street Diner gets new name, food

August 19, 2009

Now called “The 501 Deli,” the BESC cafeteria is revamping its menu to focus on locally-produced foods and beverages – sorry, no microbrews! Staff is also changing: Chef Robert Schierburg will remain at The 501 Deli, while Shana Spiekerman will cook food for the students at Madison High School and Karen Beckner will be preparing great food for students at schools across the district. [More]

New Principal for Ockley Green

August 18, 2009

Please join me in welcoming Finnius (Conrad) Hurdle as the new principal of Ockley Green K-8 School. [More]

PPS teachers play lead role in International Storyline Conference

August 13, 2009
Community Care Day

How do you teach in an engaging way? PPS teachers and administrators explored one method – Storyline teaching – at a recent conference where many PPS teachers and administrators joined hundreds of others to learn more about this Scotland-based technique. [More]

From the superintendent: Taking some personal time

August 10, 2009
Over the last months, I have been facing the serious illness of a family member. It is now time for me to focus my energy on my family and private life.

That means taking some time off and temporarily stepping away from the job I love over the next few weeks before school starts. I do so certain that the work will continue, that your focus on our students and their success will not waver and that we will open our schools on September 8 ready for another great school year. I have full confidence that my chief of staff, Zeke Smith, and our senior leadership will continue to push forward on our critical initiatives.


Thank you for your thoughts, understanding and support. While I spend time with my immediate family, my staff will make sure to collect and forward your messages on a regular basis.

All the best,
Carole Smith

School board selects co-chairs, committees

August 6, 2009
Members of the Portland School Board with Superintendent Carole Smith (far left) in July. Board member David Wynde is not pictured.

Trudy Sargent and Ruth Adkins will co-chair the Portland Public Schools Board of Education for the 2009-10 school year. The board elected them co-chairs in July, also assigning members to each of four committees and sub-committees. [More]

From the superintendent: Measuring our performance

August 5, 2009

Trudy Sargent and Ruth Adkins will co-chair the Portland Public Schools Board of Education for the 2009-10 school year. The board elected them co-chairs in July, also assigning members to each of four committees and sub-committees. [More]

News sharing

Your PPS Communications team has multiple tools for sharing school and district news. The main PPS Web site, the Pulse e-newsletter and TV Channel 28 cover school news and events, while the PPS Inside page (where you are now) focuses on employee-centered news and district initiatives. Click to learn more.

Inside Video Corner