Portland Public Schools
Portland, Oregon

MLC logoMetropolitan Learning Center

K x 12 student-centered education

2033 NW Glisan St. | Portland, OR 97209
Phone: (503) 916-5737
Fax: (503) 916-2658

Team 222 News 9/21/11

Hi Families,


It's PICNIC DAY on Thursday!  We will leave for Washington Park with our reading buddies at 9:45 and return by 2:30.  School ends at 3:00 as usual.  Your child will need a sack lunch, a water bottle, and a backpack to carry his/her things in.  Please be sure your child is wearing comfortable walking/outdoor play shoes and is dressed for the weather.  Feel welcome to join us either for the walk or once we are up there. We'll be at the 'Elephant House' picnic area, just below the Rose Gardens.


i won't be at school tomorrow, Wednesday, September 21.  My Mom is having a procedure to remove a skin cancer from her face and I am her support person.  I WILL be back at school in the afternoon for my scheduled conferences, so don't worry if you don't see me in the am.  Mag Savage will be our sub.  I taught with her many years ago and she is wonderful.  I know our kids are in good hands.  


Thanks for all of your support and planning with your children as they have been sharing their Gifts and Talents!  It's been so lovely to hear about the things that are important to them--and we have quite a variety.  The children are learning to take risks as speakers, to express themselves with confidence, to listen well to others and to ask questions of one another--all important skills both in and out of the classroom.


Remember that next Thursday, September 29th is our Curriculum Night.  We'll begin as a large group in the auditorium and them break out for specific classroom related information afterwards.  I understand that KCLC is offering child care as this is an adult only event.  You do need to call them to make a reservation.  


I for one am loving this last bit of warm sunny weather before the rains come!


See you soon!






1X2 Teacher

Metropolitan Learning Center

Portland, Or



News You Don’t Wanna Lose From the 1X2’s


The following contains important information about the nuts and bolts or our 1X2 classrooms.  Please read it carefully and keep it handy for future reference. 

Good Morning!

        We usually open our doors at 8:25 when the first bell rings.  Please help your child read the morning message, put away his/her belongings and Home /School Folder, and get settled into the classroom routine.    



        It is of great importance to us that we know who is picking up your child after school.  Please take a moment to complete the after school plan that will come home in your child’s Home/School Folder.   Return it (in your child’s Home/School Folder) as soon as possible.  This information will assist us in making sure that children are connected to the right person each day.  Please write a note if your child is going to go home in a different manner than usual.  If you have an unexpected delay or change in plans, call the school office and they will relay a message to us.



        It is very important that children arrive at school on time and are ready for learning.  We often use our first meeting of the day to set the tone and to establish a purpose for our work together during the day.  Arriving late can cause embarrassment for some children, can make a rough transition into the day and can cause disruption for the rest of the class.   Your help with this is greatly appreciated.

        It is also important that children come to school every day unless they are too ill to attend.  At the same time, we have the flexibility and understanding to acknowledge that emergency situations can arise that prevent your child from being at school.   In order to best support consistency in your child’s learning experience we ask that you make arrangements for special trips during our scheduled vacation times as much as possible.  While it is impossible to compensate for the continuum of scaffolding in both community building and content learning it is important that your child practices some skills while they are away.  Please let us know ahead of time when your child will miss school for a planned absence so that we can send schoolwork with him/her to complete.


Home/School Folders

        All of the children in the 1X6 classrooms have a Home/School folder.  The purpose of this folder is to help your child keep track of important papers as they are transported to and from school.  Please help your child get into the routine of checking the folder each evening.  Remove all papers from the “Home” side of the folder.  Put papers that need to be returned to school on the “School” side of the folder.  Your child should bring the folder back to school each day.  You child may need a reminder to ‘turn in’ papers that she brings back to school until this is an established routine. Watch the folders on Mondays for weekly homework. 


Weekly Special Activities

Library:  Our classroom library time is every Wednesday morning.  Children can check out two books at a time. Books are due two weeks from the time of check out.  Your child can also visit the library at lunchtime to either return, renew, browse or check out new material.

PE:  We have a new PE teacher this year, Mavis Randclev.   Unfortunately budget cuts only allow us to have her half time this year.  Our PE schedule is TBD.

Electives:  Elective classes are held Tuesdays afternoons from 2:05-2:55.  Classes change each trimester.  Course catalogues are sent home the week before sign-ups.  Laura is always looking for parents/community members who would like to teach an elective to a small group of children.  If you have a passion or a special interest to share, please consider teaching an elective for our primary children.  You can contact Laura for more information.



We look forward to and appreciate our parent volunteers very much. Volunteer opportunities include helping in the classroom directly with children, preparing materials for use in the classroom, supervising during field trips, and/or special activities such as classroom celebrations, art projects, etc.   Some volunteer positions are ongoing, some may be needed only once, some occur in the classroom during school hours, others may be done at home.  We are especially on the look out for ongoing, consistent, in-class help for our literacy block.  You can sign up for specific jobs on the classroom door.  Odd jobs will be posted on our bulletin boards as they arise.  Please know that we depend on you, but also understand how the unexpected can change a busy schedule.  Please call ahead if you are unable to keep your scheduled time.  Classroom volunteers will begin in October.  We’re excited about having you join our classroom communities!



        Our children eat lunch from 11:30-12:30.  Please talk to your children about eating a full lunch each day.  You may want to check your child’s lunchbox at the end of the day (especially during the beginning weeks) to make sure that your child is eating.  Sometimes children are so excited about the opportunity to play with friends that they rush through the meal, having eaten very little.  We notice a marked difference in children’s ability to attend and participate when they’ve eaten a substantial lunch.  Please let us know if you notice that your child is not eating lunch at school so that we can support their daily nourishment.

        Our children have an extended period to play after they have (hopefully) eaten a good lunch.  Each day they can choose to play in one of the 1X2 classrooms, visit the library or play outside.  The gym is open to primary children on Wednesday at noon.  Please be sure that your child is prepared for the changing

NW weather by having jackets, hats, etc available as needed. 


Whose Is This?

        Last year our classroom lost and found was constantly overflowing with unidentified belongings.  Many of these items were never claimed and eventually found their way to the school lost and found and from there to a final donation destination.  Please regularly check the classroom lost and found baskets located outside our classroom doors.  The larger school lost and found is located in the cafeteria.  Please label all outerwear, lunchboxes and backpacks with your child’s first and last name so that they can easily be returned.


What to Bring to School

        Bring your rested, well fed, and warmly hugged self to school ready for learning every morning. We recommend that every child has a backpack to carry and store belongings.  Be sure to bring your Home/School folder with you EVERY DAY. We also request that your child has a SPILL-PROOF water bottle to keep at his/her sit spot.

It is ok to bring small toys or stuffies to school, but these items must stay in the backpack or cubby until recess.  If an item from home causes a disruption during learning time we will hold on to it until the end of the day.  It is then your child’s responsibility to remember to pick it up before going home. 

Children are welcome to bring their own books for reading time.  Books should be labeled with the child’s name.  Children are welcome to keep their books in their book box or cubby. 

        Personal items such as make-up, hair brushes, and extra hair accessories should stay at home.  At the very least please talk with your children about the importance of never sharing these items in a school setting. 


Birthday Celebrations

        In celebration of a student’s birthday you are welcome, but not required, to send a small treat (store bought and individually wrapped if it’s a food item).  Please consider sending stickers, pencils, etc as an alternative to a sugary treat.  If you do decide to bring treats PLEASE make all the treats the same.  It can be very difficult to please everybody if there really isn’t enough of a favorite flavor to go around.  This can be very upsetting for some children.  We’ll celebrate your child’s birthday at the end of the day.  You’re welcome to join us if you’re able. Please let us know if you’ll be sending treats so we can plan accordingly. 

        If you are having a birthday party outside of school for your child please send invitations through the mail.  Do not put invitations into children’s school mailboxes unless you intend to invite the entire class.  It is very difficult to be the child who didn’t get invited.  One of our core MLC values is to be inclusive; this is a great opportunity to practice this value.


It’s My Bag

        Each week one child is selected to bring home our special sharing bag.  Your child will be given a bag to fill with items for sharing and a poster to complete.  This is your child’s opportunity to share about his/her life, family, favorite activities and special belongings.  Sharing and public speaking are the focus of this program.  Please support your child as s/he practices what to say and how to show the items s/he brings to school.  This is an excellent opportunity for children to gain experience presenting to a large group.

        Suggestions for sharing in this activity include pictures your child has drawn, stories your child has written, favorite books or family items, items from nature, items your child collects, photographs of family members or your child as an infant, mementos from a special trip, etc. 



        The focus of homework is the following:

1.    Strengthening math and literacy skills

2.    Reinforcing classroom learning

3.   Involving family in children’s work

4.   Developing responsibility and good study habits


Homework comes home every Monday and is due back at school the following Monday.  The homework packet includes a cover sheet and 1-4 assignments.  Most assignments are completed at home AND stay at home.   Some assignments will need to be returned to school.  These will be clearly marked on the cover sheet.  After assignments are completed, both the parent and student sign off on the cover sheet and return only the cover sheet to school. 

We recommend that you create a special time and place that you do homework each week.  Building homework into your child’s daily schedule can help make the task seem easily completed.  Gather a set of homework supplies; pencils, crayons, scissors, and a glue stick are helpful.  Keeping your child’s completed stay-at-home assignments in a homework folder can help you and your child track growth over the year.

We never want homework to become a struggle.  We suggest that you help your child stagger assignments throughout the week (except for nightly reading) so they are not overwhelmed on Sunday night.  If your child is resistant or confused, tell your child that you’re going to back up and try again another day.  If this continues, please let us know so that we can support you at home.


Weekly Assignments include:

Reading:  Students have 15-20 minutes of reading homework five days per week.  Reading homework can be either grown-ups reading to the child or the child reading to the grown up or a combination of the two. Reading homework is recorded on the homework cover sheet.

Math:  Games, practice sheets, problem solving, data collection reinforce skills and concepts introduced in class. Math challenge homework is available outside our classroom doors.

Handwriting and Spelling:  Weekly assignments include handwriting practice sheets, sight word spelling practice.

Social Studies, Science, and Art:  Assignments come home periodically throughout the year.

Family Journals:  This is YOUR homework.  Family journals come home weekly for families to respond to their child’s letters.


Conferences and Contact Info

We have three parent-student-teacher conferences scheduled for the year, a goal setting conference in November, goal review in March, and then a student led portfolio conference at the end of the year.


This year we have also added a ‘getting to know you’ conference for parents-teachers only during the first month of school.   This conference will be a quick 15 minute check-in and an opportunity to share your child’s strengths, challenges, areas of pride, and any concerns you may have for the coming year.


If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s progress, the class program, or any of these policies and procedures, doesn’t hesitate to call.  You can reach us at MLC (503.916.5737) between 8:00-8:30 and after 3:00 pm.  If we are unavailable, please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.  You can also reach us by email.  

Avril (amunro@pps.net)

John (jwalrod@pps.net)



We are looking forward to a year of growth and the joy of watching your children blossom!



 Avril & John