Portland Public Schools
Portland, Oregon

Vernon Logo - ibVernon School

Every day, every child, a success!

2044 NE Killingsworth | Portland, OR 97211
Phone: (503) 916-6415 | Fax: (503) 916-2678

News Alert

Welcome Principal Ben Keefer

July/Aug. 2015

Hello Vernon Community,

I'm excited to be your new principal and look forward to meeting you all.

My passion is working collaboratively to realize the full potential of a school community. Nothing will make me happier than doing all I can to support Vernon's success. 

You can read more about me in the formal announcement from Superintendent Carole Smith that is posted here and was emailed to families. 

One thing I want to highlight is that I'm a strong believer in the International Baccalaureate program and its benefits for students, staff and the community. I look forward to working with you to build on Vernon's IB model to continuously strengthen the school as a whole.

I have heard wonderful things about the parents, staff and students at Vernon and feel lucky to be joining you. Please feel free to email me with any questions or thoughts you have as I begin my journey at Vernon at bkeefer@pps.net .

Also, if it suits your schedule, please come say hello on Monday, August 3 between 5 pm and 6 pm at the school. And remember that school starts Thursday, Aug. 27.

See you soon!

Ben Keefer

Welcome Assistant Principal Brad Parker

Hello Vernon Community!

I'm the new assistant principal at Vernon and can’t wait to work together to help the Vernon students and community thrive. Spending the last few days getting to know Tina, Missy, and Vernon as a whole has truly been a pleasure. This is a special community and a special place.

Here is a little about me, both professionally and personally. 

I studied education at the University of Iowa, have master's degrees in Educational Leadership and Curriculum and Instruction and am a National Board Certified Teacher and mentor. I spent the last 10 years teaching at an International Baccalaureate World School in Chicago Public Schools, seven years as a seventh grade Individuals & Societies and Language & Literature teacher and three years coordinating the IB Middle Years Program.

I’m passionate about IB and international education and was fortunate to study education in Costa Rica, Haiti, Japan and England.  I also am very interested in environmental sustainability. In Chicago, I led the charge to help our school go solar and to design and build a new community garden. I’m really looking forward to getting our hands dirty together at Vernon’s monthly Saturday garden sessions!

Personally, I was born and raised in Chicago. My Dad was a teacher, my brother teaches in Seattle, and my Mom is a social worker. I'm new to Portland, along with my wife Danielle. We’re both very excited to call the Pacific Northwest our new home and to be part of the Vernon family.

I look forward to getting to know you all and would love for you to email me a short introduction of yourself at bparker3@pps.net

I’ll be around Vernon throughout July and August, so if you see me around (I’m 6’6’’, you can’t miss me!) please do say hello.

Thanks, and enjoy your summer.

Mr. Brad Parker

Dental Sealant Program at Vernon School 2014-15


Vernon School with a partnership with School and Community Oral Health Programs was able to help the following number of children, shown below, dental care that would have cost $6350 in the private sector. 

Children found with urgent dental needs will have their parents contacted and referrals made. 


      # OF STUDENTS SCREENED                                                              56

      # OF STUDENTS RECEIVING SEALANTS                                         40



Children free of dental disease and pain will be better equipped to maximize their learning experience.  

We want to thank our partner, School and Community Oral Health Programs for all the work they accomplished this year for our students. 


School and Community Oral Health Programs

Vernon's Pledge of Nonviolence

Vernon's Pledge of Nonviolence

Making peace must start within ourselves and in our school. Each of us, members of Vernon School, on this day, commit ourselves as best as we can to become nonviolent and peaceable people.

To Respect Self and Others

To respect ourselves, to affirm others and to avoid uncaring criticism, hateful words, physical attacks and self-destructive behavior.

To Communicate Better

To share our feelings honestly, to look for safe ways to express our anger, and to work at solving problems peacefully.

To Listen

To listen carefully to one another, especially those who disagree with us, and to consider others' feelings and needs rather than insist on having our own way.

To Forgive

To apologize and make amends when we have hurt another, to forgive others, and to keep from holding grudges.

To Respect Nature

To treat the environment and all living things, including our pets, with respect and care.

To Play Creatively

To select activites and toys that support our school's values and to avoid activities that make violence look exciting, funny or acceptable.

To Be Courageous

To challenge violence in all its forms whenever we encounter it, whether at home, at school, or in the community, and to stand with others who are treated unfairly.

This is our pledge. These are our goals. We will check ourselves on what we have pledged once a month so that we can help each other become more peaceable people.

Eliminating violence, one school at a time, starting with our own.


Vernon Communication Commitment

Parents and teachers collaborating is very important to us here at Vernon. We wanted to make you aware of the guidelines we are committed to complying with as a staff:

  • If a parent has a question or concern about class, we encourage you to contact your classroom teacher first.
  • Teachers will respond to your email, note or phone call within 24-48 hours.
  • Please check with teachers as to which method might be quicker for them to answer your communication and please make sure we have your updated information.
  • If you have a question or concern for the administration, we encourage you to call, email, or send a note and we will responsed within 48-72 hours, unless it is a matter of urgency.

Vernon School has adopted the Rotary's Guide to Relationships.

We use the 4 Way Test when making decisions.

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Vernon Calendar

PPS District News

Board takes action on Benson enrollment; compensation audit

July 29, 2015
The Portland Public Schools Board. The Portland Public Schools Board of Directors approved a resolution which directs Superintendent Carole Smith to develop a two-year phased in plan including the feasibility of lifting the enrollment cap at Benson Polytechnic High School and bring it back to the board by Jan. 1, 2016. The board unanimously approved the resolution, 7-0. 


New PPS Board members elect new leadership, return to committee structure

July 06, 2015
Tom Koehler was elected Chair and Amy Kohnstamm Vice Chair of the Portland School Board at the first meeting of the new board Monday, July 6, 2015. In addition to electing new leadership the school board approved and announced member assignments to new committees. 


Sylvester, Owens to leave PPS with major bond accomplishments to their credit

June 26, 2015

Superintendent Carole Smith today announced that C.J. Sylvester, Chief of School Modernization, and Jim Owens, Senior Director of the Office of School Modernization, are leaving Portland Public Schools.


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