August 22, 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 MLC. We are proud to be a unique school that is rooted in collaboration and experiential learning and we will continue to provide experiences throughout the year that develop curious and empowered learners. I am privileged to have the opportunity to begin my second year as your principal and feel honored to work with our dedicated staff, wonderful students, and supportive parents. This summer, many of our teachers have attended professional development trainings and are eager to implement new strategies that support and differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all of our students. They have been working hard in preparing their instructional plans, lesson ideas, and assessment strategies with your students in mind.
We have had the opportunity to add some new staff that will bring varied experiences and perspectives to our school. At this time the new members of our team include the following:
Please welcome each of them to our MLC community.
I truly believe that communication is a key element to a successful educational experience for your child. Education is a partnership between the school, students, families, and community. To that end, I am committed to using a variety of ways to communicate with families including our school website, a brief weekly email blast from the office called “Short and Sweet” which provides meeting dates and reminders, monthly coffees, and School Messenger that gives us one tool with the ability to send out texts, emails, and phone auto-dialer messages containing important information, reminders, and emergency notifications.
This year we have added the beginning of the year conferences to include grades 1-12. The purpose of these early conferences is to deepen relationships and provide a clear and mindful path for each student to start the year in a positive direction. Please plan to attend with your child. Electronic sign up links are posted on our website.
As you might know, research clearly supports that when parents/guardians participate and are involved in their child’s education, there is a greater likelihood of academic success for their child. With that in mind we invite you to become an active participant in our school community through volunteering, joining our PTSA and Foundation, and attending school events. In order to create a more inclusive PTSA that serves the needs of our families, we want your participation. Meetings are the third Thursday of the month at 6:30 in the library. Please know that you are welcome in our building and consider joining us as a volunteer if you are able. There is a sign-up form in your opening packet or contact the main office if you are interested.
The first notable PTSA sponsored event on the calendar, is the “Welcome Back to School” Potluck for families on Saturday, August 27th on the playground from Noon-2:00 which will also include an opportunity for high school families to get together at 1:30. The potluck will follow our Community Care Clean-Up, an opportunity in which we can all pitch in to spruce up the school inside and out before students return. Community Care is from 9:00-Noon and all are welcome.
Our parent volunteers have worked diligently to prepare an opening day packet for our families. Please take a moment to review contents and complete the very important Student Verification Form. It is also important to fill out the Free and Reduced paperwork if you think your family qualifies. You can apply electronically at the following link, https://district.ode.state.or.us/apps/frlapp/ Even if your child will not be eating the school lunch; the percentage of students qualifying represents important resources for the school.
Make note of the events on our August-September calendar including conferences for grades 1-12, the first day of classes, staggered starts for kindergarteners, and curriculum nights. For new parents, I will be hosting informal meet and greet opportunities on Friday, September 2nd at 8:45 and Wednesday, September 7th at 6:00. For future events please regularly check our website for information and dates.
I look forward to our work together as we support the Metropolitan Learning Center community.
Dear PPS staff and families,
The search and recruitment for our new superintendent is well underway.
The community, board and search firm recommended more than 40 educational leaders for consideration. The search firm and the Board reviewed the prospects and candidates and the Board selected a diverse group with deep educational experience to interview. They included individuals from within and outside Oregon, current superintendents as well as senior education leaders from large districts.
From a remote town in Jordan to leading Oregon’s biggest school district
At the age of 5, Yousef Awwad joined his older brothers in the streets of Ghweria, Jordan, a small city outside Zarqa, to sell sesame candies and balloons to keep food on his family’s table.
Yousef’s dad was serving in the Jordan military and was stationed in an area of the desert so remote that he wasn’t able to send money home while he was deployed.
Today, Yousef is serving as the new interim superintendent of the largest school district in Oregon. How did a boy living in poverty in a remote town in Jordan wind up here?