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Roseway Heights School

Our Kids, Our Community, Our Pride!

7334 NE Siskiyou StreetPortland, OR 97213Ph (503) 916-5600Fx (503) 916-2599

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Roseway Heights
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Principal's
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  • (archives of older messages)

    March 22, 2017

    Hello Roseway Heights Community,

    Last week I was lucky enough to get to participate in our K-2 literacy night. The event, sponsored in part by the PTA was full of fun, books, characters and pizza--and represented what I consider to be the best parts of our educational system. Working together we were able to get over 100 students and their families into our school to learn about reading games, computer based reading programs, how reading and writing support each other and have a great time as a community. I am so grateful that we have a teaching team that is so dedicated to the work they give up their own time, and that we have a community that thinks a night together is worth it. There truly is no stopping a committed group of folks working on behalf of each other and on behalf of learning.

    On the other side of the spectrum, I have spent the last week pouring over next year’s budget--which represents a reduction in the amount of teachers Roseway Heights will have for next year. This reduction is in part the result of under-enrollment in our primary grades coupled with an optimistic projection from last year--which left us with the staffing as if we had 700 students, when in fact we have only 650. This coming year’s staffing is a correction for those numbers. My challenge is to ensure that we provide an excellent academic program that addresses the needs of ALL of our students while doing so with less people. As I wrestle with the numbers, I want to assure you all that my process begins with ensuring the core program is met (student to teacher ratio, academic content minutes and enrichments) and then I turn to our Comprehensive Achievement Plan (CAP) which is a document created by the school community to guide our planning. In our case, our Site Council, Building Leadership team and staff have been working on updating the CAP to accurately reflect our priorities--priorities which are viewed through an equity lens consistent with the priorities of the district. So, as I look at next year’s staffing, I must consider what positions most support early literacy, multi-tiered supports (academic and behavioral) and school climate.

    Please know that as a teacher I was “cut” 3 times due to seniority, and in each case I felt a sense of shame, loss and confusion. I know that some of our staff members are feeling the same unease right now and we all need your support, your kindness and your compassion. There is no easy way to enter a time of uncertainty, but as I said at the start of this year--when we thought we were becoming a middle school next year--we must first focus on the students we have right now, right here. I would ask of this community that we allow the staff members to direct the conversations about who is staying and who is not--and instead of asking, be prepared to listen to those that feel comfortable sharing with you. As always, if you have questions or concerns about the program please write or talk to me directly. My mantra of “don’t talk about me, talk to me” is more important than ever as it also serves to keep the conversations about the budget from being inadvertently hurtful to the folks working hardest on behalf of your kids.

    With deepest gratitude and respect for this community,

    Jeremy

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