PPS Pulse: This month's issue

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Volume 10, Issue 2: October 2014

PPS Pulse - A monthly newsletter for families in Portland Public Schools

From the superintendent

Students shape school culture, experience

Students shape school culture every day through activities including leadership, academic endeavors, and athletics. This fall, for example, I am excited to see new and returning members of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council gather from all of our high schools to bring student perspectives to district initiatives.

Students also impact school culture in powerful ways that may gain less recognition. This month we debut a new PPS Pulse feature called What I Say, creating a platform for student voice and artistic expression.

Our Third Grade Reading campaign continues this year with the second annual Children's Book Harvest with lead partner the Children’s Book Bank. The Portland Timbers Community Fund and the Trail Blazers are also playing key roles in the campaign through school visits and support for Start Making a Reader Today (SMART). Reading to learn by third grade, reducing out of school discipline and accelerating the increase in our high school graduation and completion rates are my top priorities.

Important to all of those priorities are parent/teacher conferences this week. These conferences provide opportunities to meet with your child’s teachers and learn how you can work together to support your students’ learning. Here are tips on how to make the most of your time with your child's conference.

Thank you for your support of your student and our schools.
Carole Smith
Carole Smith


PPS enrollment, hiring on upswing

Student enrollment and hiring is going up, up, up at Portland Public Schools as primary and high school grades swell and state school funding improves. More


Dylan Palmer: Rap for Ferguson

PPS What I Say is a new feature in PPS Pulse that provides a platform for student creativity and expression. The debut features Dylan Palmer, a sophomore at Grant High School, who expressed his thoughts about the Ferguson, Missouri police shooting in a self-composed rap. More

Elective attractions

Sound Engineering keeps Trojans humming

Wilson Band Director Nick Caldwell wanted to offer a music class that drew students less likely to go for the more traditional band or music classes. More


Student leaders lift students' voices

This year’s student representative to the Portland School Board says she’s excited to serve at a time where the district is rebuilding programs and making schools more equitable. More


Kids run, spike, hurdle into PIL

When you see student athletes in jerseys reflecting their high school, look closer: they’re middle school students, proud participants in the expansion of PPS sports into the middle grades. More


Gabby Giffords talks anti-violence

Former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, was in Portland Oct. 21 leading a roundtable focused on the intersection of domestic violence with gun violence, reported Grant Magazine. More


Williams recognized for Riders’ rise

PPS Senior Director Charlene Williams says the best part about being honored by the Urban League of Portland for her work to turn around Roosevelt High School was seeing her daughters at the October recognition dinner. More


Timber Joey surprises Peninsula students for SMART announcement

Timber Joey surprised Peninsula K-8 School's kindergarteners through second graders Monday, Oct. 10 as part of a special assembly to announce the Portland Timbers Community Fund's sponsorship of SMART (Start Making a Reader Today) at three Portland Public Schools. More


Experts recommend extensive engagement

After six years of growth and with new predictions that enrollment will grow by over 6,200 students by 2028, PPS should undertake an expansive community engagement campaign to gather input about the values that should drive growth management and educational program equity, an advisory group told the Portland School Board Oct. 6. More


School board declines to set targets

The Portland School Board unanimously approved a PPS committee recommendation Oct. 14 that the district not set state Achievement Compact Targets for 2014-15 in areas that would be measured by the new Smarter Balanced tests until the reliability and validity of the new tests is established and districts have baseline data on this new assessment. More


PPS Bond Development Committee recommends high schools

The PPS Bond Development Committee (BDC) on Oct. 8 recommended the high schools that will be included in the planned 2016 and 2020 School Building Improvement Bonds. All bonds must be approved by voters. More




Grant hosts next board town hall Nov. 3

Portland School Board members, who visited dozens of schools in September and felt firsthand the positive energy and sense of hope from students, teachers, parents, and principals, now want to hear from you! More


Second annual Children's Book Harvest to begin in November

Portland Public Schools, the Children's Book Bank and the Portland Council PTA are teaming up again this year to encourage Portlanders citywide to recycle children's book and get them to children in need. More


High school info nights for 8th graders

Learn about your neighborhood high school or focus schools Benson and Jefferson. Information sessions for 8th graders start in November with Wilson, Cleveland and Grant. More


Race Talks tackles police shootings

Race Talks returns Nov. 18 with a localized discussion stemming from the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. More

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PPS Pulse is a publication of the Portland Public Schools Community Involvement and Public Affairs Department.
Questions, comments or story ideas: ppspulse@pps.net or 503-916-3304.

Portland Public Schools is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Portland Public Schools - 501 North Dixon Street - Portland, Oregon 97227 - 503-916-2000 - www.pps.k12.or.us