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August 29, 2016
I would like to officially welcome you to the 2016-17 school year! I hope your summer has gone well and you are excited for the beginning of the new school year. I anticipate a wonderful year, full of opportunity as we collectively foster a strong culture of learning at Beach. I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve as your principal and feel honored to work with our dedicated staff, our wonderful students, and supportive families. I am very much looking forward to reconnecting with you and your students when the school year officially begins this August 29th and for our Kindergartners on September 1st.
This year, Beach’s goals will be centered around two of PPS’ priorities: 1. Third graders are reading to learn at the end of grade three 2. Reduce out-of-school discipline for all students and the disparity in out-of-school discipline between white students and students of color. As part of this work, one of our goals is centered around creating inclusive classroom communities through restorative justice and mindfulness practices. All our staff have gone through mindfulness training this August to bring Mind Up as our social emotional curriculum into the classroom. As part of this work, students will have a “soft start” to their day, whereby teachers will be intentional about implementing mindfulness and restorative justice/community building practices for the first 15-20 minutes of each day to support the social, emotional, and academic needs of our students. At this time, students will engage in “core practice” - a breathing exercise to bring awareness to the breath and moment in order to prepare for learning. This is a sacred time for the students and teacher to build strong and supportive communities, so appreciate your support in keeping this space free from interruptions and distractions. Thank you for honoring this time. If you have any questions about this, please let me or our new AP, David Jamieson know. There will be more information and opportunities to learn about this throughout the fall.
As you are well aware, there have been many programmatic and building changes due to our reconfiguration to a K-5 school. That means there has been much activity in our building throughout the summer in preparation for a strong opening and year ahead. The support staff in our building and from various departments in the district have been working steadily to prepare for the return of students and staff. Likewise, our teachers have been diligently preparing their classrooms and instructional plans for a productive year at Beach. We have also had the opportunity to hire some new staff that will bring additional experiences and perspectives to our school. I also wanted to let you know that we have recently lost our arts teacher, KC Weber, and as a result, we have made the decision to hire our music teacher full time in order to build a robust music program from Beach to Ockley Green. As an RBI school, we will be intentional and deliberate about integrating the arts into classroom instruction. At this time, our new hires include the following staff:
Assistant Principal - David Jamieson
Counselor - Katrina DeBoer
Kindergarten DLI - Letisia Mejias-Dominguez
5th Grade DLI - Viviana Lopez
2/3 Blend - Cameron Shaw
PE - Daniel Ramirez
Music - James Coleman
English Language Development - Jessica Diaz-Toribio
Special Education - Helen Wall
Instructional Tech Assistant - Jordan Christy-Hamilton
Kindergarten Education Assistant - Candice Haning
5th Grade Education Assistant - Andrea Flores
Special Education Para - Cieyre Kukes-Myrick
Your student will receive an opening day packet that will come home with students on the first day of school. Please take a moment to review the materials carefully which contain important information about school procedures and activities as well as forms you will need to complete and return, including an updated registration form for your child ensuring that we have vital contact information for your family by Tuesday, September 6.
With the transition to being a K-5, we are taking the opportunity to improve routines in the beginning and end of our school day for the safety and wellbeing of our students. In order to ensure the safety of all of our students and limit disruptions to the instructional day, we are establishing new expectations and routines - please look these over in the opening day packet and on our website to help reinforce our school expectations.Thank you for your support in helping us establish a safe and respectful environment at Beach!
As you review and complete the enclosed packet materials, we would like to highlight some timely reminders:
School starts promptly at 8:45 AM, and the building doors (in the annex and in the main entrance) open at 8:37 AM. There is no adult supervision at the start of the school day as teachers are in their classrooms planning for our students. Please do not just drop off your student without adult supervision before 8:30AM.
Classroom assignments have been thoughtfully generated by teachers and support staff along with considerations from families (when possible). They have been carefully created to balance class size, gender, student needs, reading/math levels, and student dynamics. As part of our policy, families do not determine or choose the placement for student(s). At this point, we are no longer taking or making class or teacher changes. Please partner and work with your classroom teacher to address any concerns.
ALL K-3rd grade students must have a Go Home Plan and bus tag. This form must be completed turned into the classroom teacher on the first day of school.
We have 14 drinking fountains scattered across the school. We encourage your child to bring a water bottle with his/her name on it so we can collectively reduce our waste.
September 5th is Labor day holiday. There will be no school on this day.
SUN school starts in late September (more information to follow).
The first coffee with the principal will be on Septemeber 16th for new families. This will be in the auditorium from 9 AM to 9:45 AM.
Beach continues to enjoy a long standing community partnership with Kinder Care (formerly, Knowledge Universe). The company generously sponsors the school each year and this year, they are revamping our library with moveable furniture, creating a lego wall, donating a poster-making machine, and will be donating one book to each Beach student at an assembly in early September! We are very fortunate and grateful for their support and generosity. Please note that this year, our partnership no longer supplies every student with a backpack and supplies. If you are in need of a backpack or school supplies, please let your teacher know so we can continue to provide your child with the necessary items for a successful start to the school year.
Finally, I want to personally invite you to partner with us this year and become an active participant in our school community through volunteering, joining our PTA or Site Council, supporting school events, or sharing your many talents and skills with us! We will also be organizing opportunities for our Latino and Black families to form affinity groups to come together to support each other, share perspectives, and inform and impact school-wide policy, practices, and decisions. More information on this will be coming soon. Research clearly supports that when families participate and are involved in their child’s education, there is a greater likelihood of academic success for their child.
I look forward to working together to support our learning community. I hope you enjoy the final days of summer and can’t wait to open up our doors and arms to all of you.
Dear PPS Families and Staff:
We hope that you have had a wonderful summer and that everyone is excited about starting the new school year next week.
Saturday, August 27 from 9:00am-noon is Portland Public Schools’ Annual Project Community Care Day. Join PPS staff and community volunteers to help prepare schools to welcome students back to class next week. More information is available here.