Weekly News From Principal Newlyn
Hello Forest Park Families,
No doubt your child will come home with an enthusiasm for their book fair purchases and an excitement for tonight’s Harvest Festival. It’s been a busy week. Talent Show announcements were made, and Peer Mediators were trained. Auction projects are being planned as we look ahead to this years FP Foundation Auction this February. Teachers are making their preparations for our upcoming Parent Teacher Conferences. And, through it all, teachers are busy teaching and students are busy learning.
This week our school community is particularly mindful of safety. Along with the entire Portland Public School District, Forest Park practiced Earthquake Safety yesterday afternoon, followed by a fire drill. As Principal, I take these events seriously. As a parent myself, I deeply understand the responsibility we have to make sure your children are safe which makes our practice of this kind of event very important to all of us. Our teachers and staff are trained in the protocols in place which make certain students “duck, cover, and hold on”, account for student attendance in class, and have materials at hand ready to use in case something more dire should occur. Our emergency preparedness is something which I encourage you to talk about with your children. I praise students for following their teacher’s directions and for staying quiet and calm. We conducted an excellent drill and I have confidence in our students and staff that should a real emergency arise, we would be ready to respond. Throughout the year we will conduct other drills, including and intruder drill where the building would be “locked down”. When this occurs, I will let you know.
Your knowledge that Forest Park is a safe place is important to all of us. With that in mind I need to alert you to some changes I need to make in order to ensure student safety on campus:
* First, students are arriving very early, at a time we have no adults on duty to supervise them. I do not want unsupervised students in the cafeteria. Do not drop your child off before 7:45am. We will not let students into the building before 7:45am. Until duty staff are available, students may wait outside in the covered front entrance.
* Second, except for the front entry, all exterior doors are locked at 8am. This prevents the entrance of unknown and unseen visitors in our school.
* Do not park in undesignated areas. This is a safety hazard. We need emergency vehicles to arrive safely should the need arise.
* Pay attention to our safety patrol. They are here to help students arrive safely to school. When the flags are down, do not proceed.
* Always come directly to the office when you enter the building. Even if you are expected in a classroom, we must know who is in the building at all times. Our staff is trained to ask people without a visitor sticker to return to the office to obtain one. Our students are also trained to know all our visitors should have a badge. It makes our students feel safe to know you have followed our safety practices.
Did you know Forest Park is the neighborhood emergency site responding to natural disasters? The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management is conducting an earthquake drill here this Saturday, 10/18, in cooperation with the Forest Park Neighborhood Emergency Team. I want to acknowledge the role our school facility plays in the greater scheme of emergency management and preparedness in our community. I thank you for supporting and participating in our community’s safety.
I have just a few quick reminders for you as we look ahead into next week. Please read through the full list - we have a lot coming up, particularly our Maker Fair coming next weekend.