Cleveland Choir has six students Selected for All Northwest Honor Choir!
The following student were selected from over 4370 students who auditioned to participate in this outstanding honor choir event that will be hold in Portland Oregon on February 14-17. This is a true honor and a mark of the dedication and hard work these students have for music. They will be rehearsing over the coming months in preparation for this prestigious event and will get to work with one of the finest conductors in our country.
Please help me in congratulating the following Cleveland Choir Students:
NATIONAL HONOR CHOIR Selected our very own Nora Burkhartsmeier
The American Choral Directors Association auditions and selects students grades 10th-12th and all Undergraduate University levels for their National Honor Choir held only every other year. This event pulls from every state across the entire country and this year, Cleveland High School's very own Nora Burkhartsmeier was selected for this incredible honor. Thousands of applications were sent in and the group only selects a small few to come together, rehearsal with a world-renowned conductor, and perform for over 10,000 people at their National Conference. We can't be more excited and Thrilled for Nora!!!
Dear Cleveland High School Families,
I want to take this opportunity to let you know about a specific incident of hate that occurred at Cleveland High School in late October. Unfortunately, our Vice Principals and I often have to respond to incidents of hate, racism, sexism, and discrimination. An important part of the work we do as school leaders is to create a safe environment for all students and teach our students how to respond to people with kindness and compassion. We strive to support all of our students who historically feel marginalized and/or targeted. To that end, it is important that I share this particular incident because it is an example of the challenges we face and because of the social-political-cultural climate of our nation.
In late October, a day or two after the traumatic shooting at a Pittsburgh, PA synagogue where 11 people were killed, I arrived at Cleveland High School in the morning and our Head Custodian, one teacher, and one Vice Principal shared two Jewish Student Union (JSU) club fliers that had been vandalized. One had a swastika written with a pencil and another club flier had hateful words written in pencil. We immediately removed these hateful fliers and walked around the building to see if we saw any other writing of this nature on JSU club fliers. We did not. We conducted an investigation to see if we could determine who may have written on the fliers. We determined that the writing occurred after the end of the school day the day before. We could not find any witnesses, making it very challenging to find out who may have done this. We concluded that only a handful of adults, the ones mentioned above and myself, had seen the fliers and that the harm they may have caused was contained. I kept the fliers in my office for almost three weeks. After not hearing from any students or staff members, I recycled the fliers.
On Friday, Nov. 16th, my Instructional Leadership Team, composed of teacher leaders in the building, brought to my attention that there were many questions about the swastika and the hateful message. We, as an administrative team, wanted to be immediately responsive. During parent-teacher conferences, I met with two Jewish families and spoke with the teacher advisor of the JSU. After doing so, we made the decision to center our students' voices from the JSU in order to ensure that their concerns were heard and we were responding to them directly.
The week after the break, I met with three wonderful student leaders of the JSU. They expressed their concern that I had not reached out to them when the swastika and message of hate was written on their fliers. They said they had heard about it from a teacher. I shared with them that I was very sorry for not coming to them immediately and, moving forward, I will make sure to let them know when there is anti-semitism in our school. Clearly, our JSU students wanted to be made aware and I am grateful for them letting me know. Together, we brainstormed next steps. The students wanted a forum to address the issue with our staff and our students. They shared that they felt the school had not done enough to be responsive to the atrocity in Pittsburgh. As a result, we, as a community, have taken several steps moving forward. Here is what we have done:
1) Student Panel for Our Staff:
I asked the JSU and members of our CARE (Cleveland Alliance for Racial Equity) Leadership class to offer a panel presentation with our staff as an audience and we planned some questions together in advance. They presented in front of approximately 90 staff last Tuesday, Nov. 27th. Our staff was moved and grateful for their presentation as they shared their experiences of discrimination and offered suggestions of what we can do as adults in the building. As the Principal, I stood up in front of my staff as part of introducing the panel and shared that being an anti-racist educator is hard work and that I, too, sometimes make mistakes. I took responsibility with my staff and the students for not immediately going to the JSU when we found the swastika and hateful message written on their club fliers and said that moving forward, I will be coming directly to the JSU when there is anti-Semitism in our school.
2) Social Studies Teachers Organized:
Our Social Studies teachers supported leaders of the JSU to do presentations in 9th, 10th, and 11th grade classes at the end of last week. I am proud of our teachers’ responsiveness and of our students’ courage to speak out about what anti-Semitism is and what their peers can do moving forward when they notice it.
3) Meeting with Parents:
As a result of the JSU student presentations in Social Studies classes, I have had several Jewish families wanting to dialogue with me about this incident. I have met with six Jewish families in our community last week and this week. I offered them this story, assured them that I share their concern, spoke about how we will do all we can to investigate every incident of anti-semitism that is reported to us, and we will communicate with our JSU student club regarding any similar incidents in the future.
4) Anti-Hate School Wide Assembly:
Kristy Mize, our Vice Principal in charge of clubs and activities, is bringing together the club advisors of our culturally-specific clubs and student leaders from those clubs/classes to discuss a school-wide anti-hate assembly. Our hope is that our students will be empowered and guided by us to offer practical tools to the student body to respond to hate in our school community. The administrative team will be directly involved in planning this assembly in an effort to communicate clearly with our students about when and how to report hate, racism, sexism, and/or discrimination.
5) 9th Grade Academy Field Trip:
One of our 9th Grade Academies, the Wy'East Academy, is taking students on a field trip to the Portland Art Museum's current exhibit titled "Memory Unearthed," an exhibit of Holocaust photographs. This is a collaboration between the Portland Art Museum, the Oregon Jewish Museum, and the Center for Holocaust Education in February. This is not in response to the recent incidents of hate, specifically, as they had been planning this as part of their curriculum. However, it is timely and I plan on attending with them. They are in need of parent chaperones as well. Please let Laura Fisher, our Main Office Manager, know if you are a parent interested in chaperoning.
6) Principal Listening Sessions:
Beginning with the new semester in late January, I will be hosting parent listening sessions once-a-month on a Friday. These listening sessions will be open to any parent/guardian to attend. I look forward to sharing more information with you about those listening sessions in January. Finally, I want to thank you for reading this long email. I want to thank my staff for their reflections and commitment to being responsive to our students in this moment. AND, I want to thank members of the JSU Club and Jewish families in our community for reaching out to me to share questions, concerns, and ideas. Together, we will continue to create a caring environment for us all!
As someone who has been the victim of racism growing up in the rural south with a mother who is South Asian, and more recently in Portland in our post-9/11 world, I know intimately how traumatic hate speech and actions can impact individuals and communities. Please know that I, and WE (our staff at CHS), are your allies moving forward.
To all PPS high school students:
You are invited to attend a student led discussion about the Student Resource Officer Program and proposed agreement with the Portland Police Bureau.
Portland Public Schools has relied upon school resource officers (SRO) to provide safety and security services in our schools for nearly twenty years. SROs are police officers with the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) who are specially trained to work with student populations and school communities in a restorative justice and trauma informed best practices approach.
The primary goal of SRO agreements, across school districts nationwide and in PPS, is to formalize the processes and intent by which school district and police bureau staff work together to address safety and security incidences in and around schools. These agreements also outline how student criminal misbehavior is addressed. The priority for PPS and PPB is to avoid referring students to the juvenile justice system whenever possible.
Work is currently underway to formalize the working agreement between PPS and PPB through the adoption of the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA). The IGA is scheduled to be considered by the PPS Board of Education in the coming weeks. Before that vote, the Board is interested in hearing students’ thoughts, ideas and concerns.
Please consider attending this student discussion and sharing your views:
Thursday, December 6
Blanchard Education Service Center (PPS District Offices)
501 North Dixon Street in the Board Room
Representatives from the Portland Police Bureau’s Youth Services Division and SRO program, along with staff and Board from PPS, will be on hand to listen to student feedback, address concerns, and answer questions about the Student Resource Office Program and proposed agreement with the Portland Police Bureau.
Ayesha C. Freeman
Hello Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of CHS Students:
Thanksgiving break is around the corner. Students will not be in school November 19th-23rd. We are looking forward to hosting and receiving parent(s)/guardian(s) of our Cleveland High School students on Monday, November 19th and Tuesday, November 20th. We offer “arena” style conferences mostly. This means that most of our teachers will be available in the cafeteria and the library. Conversations about your child/student are kept to a minimum of 5 minutes as typically there can be a line of parents waiting to speak with the same teacher. The schedule and more details are in the attached letter. Our schedule times have adjusted slightly on Tuesday, Nov. 20th from what was sent through eNews this week. We will be offering conferences on Tuesday until 8pm.
Cleveland High School staff are also offering a variety of break-out sessions for parents. Please take note of them below on the conference schedule on the attachment. We will be engaged in dialogue with parents about our IB Program, Drug and Alcohol Use/Prevention, and Graduation Requirements. We hope to have a large parent turn out for these sessions.
The PTA has generously offered to provide their annual potluck to our approximate 120 staff on Monday, Nov. 19th from 4:30-5:30. Please sign up below to be a part of this recognition and support of our hard-working, dedicated CHS staff. Thank you so much!
See you Monday and Tuesday,
Hello Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of Cleveland High School,
It’s unbelievable that we are already one fourth of the way through our ‘18-19 school year with the end of 1st quarter last Friday, October 26th. WOW! I hope that your student is having a positive experience here at Cleveland High School. High school can be a challenging place for young people when it comes to navigating the social and cultural norms. Know that we have an outstanding Counseling Staff, an excellent Social Worker, a Restorative Justice Coordinator, and many community partners who can support your student. Please communicate directly with your student’s teachers if you have questions about their learning or grades in specific classes. Our teachers welcome conversations with parents/guardians about our students’ academic progress.
Parent-Teacher conferences are around the corner. Please see the schedule listed below. We will have more information posted on our website and I will send out a more detailed message in coming days.
Monday, November 19th
Tuesday, November 20th
CHS Theater Arts Program and Teacher
I am want to let you know that theatre teacher, Mr. Tom Beckett will return to Cleveland next week. Mr. Beckett will be back on campus on Monday, November 5th and he will reach out to parent(s)/guardian(s) of Theater Arts students in the next week. He will begin teaching Theater Arts classes on Tuesday, Nov. 13th. I have been going into Theater Arts classes today, November 2nd, to share with students that Mr. Beckett is returning.
Please know that I am grateful not only for the patience and flexibility shown by our Theater Arts students the last several months. I look forward to our students and Mr. Beckett’s continued commitment to our Theatre Program.
Student Conflict at CHS
We have about 25-30 students who are impacted by an on-going conflict between this same group of students which is mostly happening outside the school day and off campus. We have been working diligently this entire week helping our students de-escalate this conflict. This conflict escalated at the end of last week on Friday night near the McDonald’s on Powell. Police were called and we have been working to resolve the tension amongst groups of students.
At Cleveland, we have asked for additional security presence on campus and we are organizing three Restorative Justice Talking Circles with the students who are involved. Two primary groups of students are involved. “Restorative Justice” is an approach to help anyone, in this case students, resolve their conflicts. RJ Circles create a safe space for voices to be heard and to repair the hurt and harm that has been done. We are fortunate to have an masterful RJ Coordinator, Charles Hunter, Sr. in our building, and he is working closely with our administrative team and teachers to help resolve this conflict.
We, the administrative team and our RJ Coordinator, are calling the parents of students we know who are involved. Individual student discipline is confidential, however, know that some students have already received school-based consequences since this conflict is having negative implications for our learning environment during the school day.
Parking on Franklin Street
Parents, please know that at the end of the school day, we work closely with families of students who have specific needs that need to be met, and as a result, we have a direct hand-off of some students from our school staff to parents on Franklin Street. Please do not park along Franklin after school unless you are one of the families who has permission to pick up your child at that location. Let me or a Vice Principal know if you have questions.
Thank you for making some time to read this message. Have a wonderful weekend with your families!
Ayesha C. Freeman
Hello Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of Cleveland High School,
It’s unbelievable that we are already one-fourth of the way through our ‘18-19 school year with the end of 1st quarter last Friday, October 26th. WOW! I hope your student is having a positive experience here at Cleveland. High school can be a challenging place for young people when it comes to navigating the social and cultural norms. Know that we have an outstanding Counseling Staff, an excellent Social Worker, a Restorative Justice Coordinator, and many community partners who can support your student. Please communicate directly with your student’s teachers if you have questions about their learning or grades in specific classes. Our teachers welcome conversations with parents/guardians about our students’ academic progress.
Good morning Cleveland families,
This morning we had a small fire in our woodshop. The fire is out and it will not impact classes. Classes start at our regular time. We will be working with staff on the machine that started the fire and deciding whether it is fixable or needs to be replaced.
Thank you to our custodial staff who alerted 911 right away and the quick response from fire department.
Please join us for Back-to-School Night on Wednesday, September 26th. The program for the evening will begin at 6:15 pm in the auditorium. You will then have an opportunity to meet with your student’s teachers in their classrooms, and find out more about programs and curriculum at Cleveland High School.
After the presentation in the auditorium, Period 1 will begin promptly at 6:45 pm. Each period will be ten minutes in length, with a five-minute passing time to get to the next class.
Encourage your student to fill out this blank schedule so that you will know where you are supposed to go for each class period. If your student cannot remember or is unable to complete it, you can get your student’s schedule through ParentVUE. If you need helping getting on to ParentVUE, please see Amy Liu in the main office before or during Back to School Night.
We look forward to hosting you Wednesday evening!
Ayesha C. Freeman
Cleveland High School
Hello Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of CHS Students,
The start of the new school year is always so full and busy. I have made it into almost every single classroom already and have enjoyed meeting with several student groups about what is going well and what Cleveland can do differently to best serve them. It has been an outstanding start!
Of course, we always face new challenges and issues that require a high level of response. I want to share with you some updates that may directly or indirectly influence your student’s learning experience at Cleveland.
Hello Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of our Cleveland High School students,
What an excellent first day of school today! It has been wonderful seeing all of our Cleveland students, answering their questions, and helping them to find their classes.
I shared an email earlier about our additional staffing we received from the district and some schedule changes that happened over the weekend as a result. Again, let us know what questions you have.
Here are the best ways to stay connected as a community and receive the latest news about Cleveland.
The CHS eNews is a weekly email newsletter sent to parents and the Cleveland Community.
The CHS Bulletin is a daily news feed featuring important items for students.
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Students in Portland Public Schools’ Community Transition Program will get to learn valuable culinary skills, thanks in a part to a donation from a legendary singer.
Student and staff safety is a primary concern for Portland Public Schools. As part of the 2017 Health, Safety and Modernization Bond, approximately $5 million was allocated to upgrade school security systems across the district. That work, known as the Secure Schools Project, uses national best practice recommendations that focus on securing school perimeters and controlling access.
Fifth-grade students will have the opportunity to visit their future middle school during open houses scheduled from January to May. This is a great opportunity for families to visit neighborhood schools, focus option and alternative programs.
Portland Public Schools marked a significant milestone in the work to bring a long-term vision to the district earlier this month, with the first meetings of the PPS Guiding Coalition. The meetings, which included about 100 participants and were themed “Let’s Dream Together,” took place Dec. 7 at the Blanchard Education Service Center and all day Dec. 8 at Faubion School.
6:00 PM District Board Meeting