Dear Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School families!
It is with great excitement that I welcome you all back to the 2019-2020 school year. I would also like to welcome our new Pre-K and Kindergarten families to our Dr. MLK Jr. family. Here is to many years of growing and learning together!
My excitement for welcoming everyone back to school is bolstered by the belief that it is our power as a community coming together that keeps us safe during these very difficult times. I am deeply aware that many of our families are waking up every day to new and ongoing threats to their safety and well-being. The continued struggle, both in our community and in our country, for what will be our defining values has a deep impact on all of us, especially our children. The tragic events of this summer on the heels of many years of tragic events continues to deepen and clarify my resolve to be an educator. I became an educator and continue to be an educator because I fundamentally believe that empowering our youth to think critically and with an open mind is truly the only way that we are going to change the culture of fear and greed that plague our country. I am humbled by the opportunity to welcome your amazing children to our school this fall and continue our journey to provide them the necessary skills and experiences to navigate this complex world successfully.
PPS and the staff of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are committed to creating and maintaining a safe space for all students. I want to remind our community that we will not open our doors to any ICE officers without direction from the Superintendent. We also do not share any information with these agencies unless approved by families. We will do everything possible to ensure that ALL of our families and students can safely and confidently participate fully in our community. We stand with you!
We had a lot of successes last year including strong growth in our reading and writing skills measured both on the statewide test and on our internal assessments. Our math achievement continues to show strong growth and we are moving more students closer to the grade level benchmark than ever. We have much more work to build upon these successes.
Postcards from your student’s teacher will be coming home at the end of this week.
Our summer program was a huge success. We served over 100 students in our Mandarin Immersion Camp, 55 students were served in our SUN summer school with a focus on informational writing and we welcomed 13 students in our Early Kindergarten Transition program. All of these experiences were free of charge for families. Thank you to those who donated funds to ensure that every single student who wanted to be part of the Mandarin camp could be. That is what community is about, we take care of everyone! We also served another 80 students throughout the summer at our Elite Sports Academy program for students at our school and in the neighborhood. We know that the time these students spent learning and growing this summer in a positive and safe environment will translate into additional successes during the school year.
To meet these challenges I want to share with you some of the highlights of our instructional program this coming year.
Instructional time is vital to achieving our learning goals. This year we will open the doors as usual at 8:30am The tardy bell will ring at 8:40am. Students arriving after 8:40am need to sign in by the main office. Breakfast will be available until 8:50am. Instruction will begin at 8:40 am. If your student plans to eat breakfast at school, please plan to arrive at 8:30 am so they have time to eat before instruction begins at 8:40 am. Students who arrive after 9:30 am will be marked absent for the AM portion of the day. We will be continuing to offer the Morning Mile from 8:00-8:30 and families are welcome to drop off their students on the track in the park with Mr. Kaufman. You can arrive at anytime and get in as many laps as you can!
PPS has created curricular units and a scope and sequence for both math and English Language Arts (ELA) for our K-5 students. Several of our staff members have helped write these units and provide direction for the work. We continue to be engaged in professional development to ensure our students learn the necessary skills to be successful at the next grade level. We are excited to have this additional resource and are looking forward to utilizing these materials along with the assessments to deepen our practice and improve outcomes for our students. We will continue to have access to online learning resources like MyOn, Lexia, and math practice. We will be adding access to other applications like Book Creator, SeeSaw and a typing program. These are in addition to Level Chinese for our immersion students which will have access to all of the Chinese readers by level for students without needing an iPad. Reading Results will continue to support a subset of students needing additional reading support and SMART will work with students during SUN to provide additional time for students to read with a caring adult.
Dr. MLK Jr. piloted a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum last year called Toolbox. We are excited to be able to continue this program this year and have spent additional time learning about the program and how to integrate it into our classrooms this summer. The tools provide concrete ways for students to address emotions they are feeling in an appropriate and pro-social manner. This will be the focus of our school climate work this year. Our classroom teachers will be sharing with you more information about the tools throughout the year so that you can reinforce the concepts and use them at home.
TechSmart is an initiative to more intentionally use technology to deepen and individualize learning for our students. We have received upgrades for our WiFi network and several more Chromebooks so that students can have available the tools of technology to document their learning as well as receive instruction specifically designed for their learning needs. We also have access to several online platforms that make it easier for students and teachers to share the learning that is happening in the classroom with you at home. Be on the lookout for more information on how to access this information.
The focus of our CARE (Collaborative Action Research for Equity) team this year will be to build a framework for teaching about racial literacy that is integrated into our skill building in math, ELA, social studies and science. A group of teachers will be building grade level units to explicitly build all students understanding of their racial identity and how that translate into action within the community.
All of these efforts require a strong connection and ongoing collaboration with our families and community. We look forward to deepening our partnerships in the following ways this year:
Safety Patrol- we will be providing a safe crossing experience for students and families at Alberta and 7th and Wygant and 7th this year with the help of parent volunteers and student leaders.
Family Leadership Council- in collaboration with our partners at SUN and SEI we will be recruiting community members to serve on a leadership council to provide feedback and help improve practices and programs that will better serve our families and students.
Celebrating our Student Success- the focus of our family events this year will be to highlight the hard work our students are doing in the classroom and share their successes with the community. We look forward to sharing this work with the community to provide our students with authentic opportunity to publish and showcase their learning.
Our monthly success assemblies will also have a focus to celebrate the amazing diversity of our community. We will have an opportunity to learn more about different groups and show off their gifts and talents.
We will continue to offer the food pantry for our families on a weekly basis and are working to find additional community partners to broaden the choice of foods and improve the nutritional quality of the food we can offer.
Security upgrades to the building will be happening this year which will allow us to keep the front door locked throughout the day and buzz in visitors. This is being paired with a new visitor and volunteer system that requires anyone who wants to be in the building while students are here to scan an identification card (driver’s license, passport, green card, or consulate card) through a system that will instantly identify if the person is a potential threat to students. While this increased safety for our students is welcomed it comes at a time that there is rightful skepticism about how this information will be used and who will have access to it. We will work with anyone with these concerns to determine an appropriate next step to meeting everyone’s needs.
We are fortunate to have almost all of our amazing staff members back with us this year. Their skill and dedication to serving our students is second to none. Here are the few changes:
It was with heavy hearts that we said goodbye to Claudia Egan and her over 30 years of service to Dr. MLK Jr. school. I am delighted to introduce Christine Sugura who has joined us to fill her big shoes. I hired Chris as my Principal’s secretary at Skyline and she did an amazing job stepping into big shoes there as well. Stop by and say hello when you get a chance, she is excited to get to know the community and serve our amazing students and families.
We have hired a new dance teacher who will serve all of our students. Many of you may already know him as he has been doing great work in our SUN program. His name is De’Andre Holton and he brings a passion and skill to the position that we are confident will build a strong and engaging dance program for our students for years to come.
Leah Moog has served as our learning center teacher the last three years and has done an amazing job. She will be moving into our 3rd grade Mandarin Immersion position and working with students on academic intervention the other part of her day. She is replacing Leah Mocsy who decided to pursue other career interests. We are currently working on interviewing candidates to replace Leah in the learning center. We are glad that she will still be with us and can help in this important transition.
Lin Wang has resigned from her position as Kindergarten assistant to take care of some personal business. We will miss her and all of her hard work and kindness. Yen-Ru Wu will be joining us from a similar position Woodstock Elementary. She will be supporting Iris Law in MIP Kindergarten.
Important upcoming dates:
Community Care Day 8/24/19 9:00-12:00
Welcome Back Social 8/27/19 3:00-4:30 Meet your new teachers and receive your new backpack and reunite with the community
First day of school for 1st-5th graders 8/28/19
Kindergarten Assessments 8/28-8/30
First day of school for Pre-K and Kindergarten 9/3/19
Back to School Night and SUN School Registration 9/26/19
Fall SUN term: October 7-December 5
Welcome to Martin Luther King Jr. School! We are a school with a strong history and a bright future. Our PK-5th grade students represent the future of this great city and we are proud to have many local partners supporting us. As an International Baccalaureate authorized school, we seek to provide inquiry based, conceptual learning for our students. Integrated arts is also at the heart of our work. These experiences serve to bring the content alive! Please visit the Integrated Arts page for more information about our partners. Finally, we are a Mandarin Immersion school, providing Mandarin language instruction in a 50/50 model. We are partnered with the Albina Head Start program where many of our students receive Mandarin instruction during their Pre-K experience.
Martin Luther King, Jr. School believes in the unlimited potential of everyone in our diverse community. We believe that a caring well-balanced student will be motivated to become a global citizen who is inspired to take action.
Dear PPS Families,
On Friday, Sept. 20, we expect a large number of PPS students to join other young people around the world to participate in a Global Climate Strike. Students are planning to walk out of class and march to Portland City Hall around 10:30 a.m., and then march to a Climate Justice Festival at OMSI in Southeast Portland around noon for a climate education festival, with events scheduled to end around 5 p.m.
September is Suicide Prevention Month nationally, and the issue has particular relevance in Oregon. In statewide statistics gathered by the Oregon Health Authority, suicide is the second-leading cause of death for Oregon residents ages 15-24. Amy Ruona, the Mental Health/Wellness Supports and Systems Senior Manager for Portland Public Schools, and Mila Rodriguez-Adair, Licensed School Social Worker, offered some insights and resources:
6:00 PM District Board Meeting
6:00 PM District Board Meeting
6:00 PM District Board Meeting
6:00 PM District Board Meeting