Welcome to Stephenson Elementary School, Home of the Lions!
Welcome to 2017-2018 school year. I look forward to continue building a professional relationship with staff, parents and students. We will strive towards excellence and make every effort to raise Achievement Scores for all students. All K-5 instructional staff and I participated in PD this summer in both the K-3 TechSmart grant and the new K-5 Literacy Adoption. We are excited to bring a new vision to Stephenson with a change to our reading and writing instruction along with using technology to enhance student learning. Parents will be invited to an evening event and be introduced to both new programs in early October. Our school 2016 report card will be out soon and each family will receive a copy of our school performance as well as their individual student assessment report. A huge part of our continued success is our staff and their efforts to work hard and provide the very best education to our students.
We have a few staff changes for 2017-2018 and you will have the opportunity to meet those new staff members as well as our current staff during both Back to School events which are: Back to School Picnic on September 8th and Back to School Night on September 19th. More details to follow on these events. Attached you will find photos and bios of some of our new staff members.
At this time I have not heard any news regarding my request for additional FTE (full time employee) for a third Kindergarten classroom. Many conversations have taken place with both my new senior director and PPS budget coordinator regarding my request. Due to the uncertainty of classroom sections and what teacher’s job assignments will be in order to balance classroom sizes for 2017-2018 I will not send class lists on Monday, August 21st. If I do not hear anything today or Tuesday morning next week at the latest regarding additional FTE, I will send out class lists the PM of Tuesday, August 22nd. If necessary updated class lists will be posted in the main hall near the office on Thursday, August 24, 2017.
To assist you with the day-to-day goings-on, we will again be producing a 2017-2018 Parent/Student Handbook. This handbook contains the calendar for the entire school year and important information about the school. Please feel free to contact us regarding anything that is not explained in the handbook or if an item needs further clarification. Look for the Parent/Student Handbook in the Opening Day Packet sent home on the first day of school. In the meantime I’ve attached a one page at a glance 2017-2018 Master School Calendar for those of you who plan ahead and need the dates.
The first day of school for 1st through 5th grades is Wednesday, August 30th and for Kindergarten is Tuesday, September 5th. The morning bell will ring at 7:55am, tardy bell will ring at 8:00am and the student day ends at 2:15pm. The cafeteria will be open at 7:45am for grades K-3. 4th-5th grade students will be allowed to walk directly to class at 7:45am versus waiting in the cafeteria. This will help with the large group in the cafeteria each morning.
ALL K-3 students will report to the cafeteria in the AM. They will line up and be escorted to classrooms by their teacher. PLEASE make sure you sign in at the main office and wear a VISITOR badge if you plan to stay in the building. Otherwise, you can pick up a visitor lanyard from Mr. Galindo or staff member each morning if you are simply walking your child to class and leaving. Please make an effort to return lanyards and for student safety we ask all parents to exit the building from the Front Main doors and not the Deer or West Side doors.
The dismissal procedure is the same as years past. All K-3 students who ride the bus will be picked up by Mr. Seavey and escorted directly outside to busses. K students will exit from the Deer doors as staff will wait for parents/guardians to pick up the students. 1st-3rd students will be escorted by teacher to cafeteria and parents will be able to pick up from the cafeteria. Finally 4th-5th grade students will be escorted by staff directly outside to the front of the school. If special arrangements need to take place please speak to your child’s teacher directly.
We will have three lunch periods in 2017-2018 due to the increase from 14 homerooms to 16. The cafeteria space is small and we are not able to add additional cafeteria tables. This will also help reduce the number of students during each lunch period and allow for shorter lines and less students eating lunch at one time. NEW for 2017-2018: K-1 students will be eating in their classrooms. We will have a designated classroom for students with peanut/nut allergies. Food waste will be removed immediately as students recycle their trays. The three lunch periods are K-1: 11:15am-11:40am, 4-5: 11:30am-11:55am and 2-3: 12:05pm-12:30pm. Lunch recess takes place before or after lunch depending on grade level. A K-5 15 minute morning recess will also be part of the instructional day which is now required by the PPS school board for all K-5 students. This is also the time teachers allow students to eat a snack during the mid-morning.
We have not been given approval to use school building water for consumption. Stephenson will be provided one cold dispenser for every hallway water fountain, one in the cafeteria/gym, staff lounge, and nurse’s office. No dispensers will be placed in individual classrooms. Once placed, dispensers should not be moved. Several five gallon, BPA free bottles will be placed at or near each dispenser. Bottles should be left in place to be used with the dispenser. Students will not be permitted to lift or place bottles on the dispensers. PPS provides cup dispensers and cone cups at each water dispenser. Students and staff are encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle to school if possible.
PARKING LOT SUPERVISION NEEDED and NEW PAINTED LINES
There is always a need for parent volunteers to be outside near the parking lot each morning and after school to help with traffic. Last year Mr. Seavey and parent volunteer Edward Jacobowitz were present daily to assist the situation and to help keep students safe. If you are interested in helping out, please contact Principal Galindo. On a great note our parking lot was recently re-striped over the summer. Both the parking space lines and handicapped parking spaces are now visible. There are several NO Parking signage. We ask you to please not park in areas where signage is visible which includes the striped lines between the two handicapped spaces and any fire lanes. Parking spaces next to the boiler room are for the custodians, cafeteria, PPS Warehouse and winner of the auction principal space.
On occasion flyers/information will come home. This information is critical and time-sensitive communications from the principal, PTA, teachers, and community organizations. Please remind your child daily for any flyers/information that should be given directly to you. Every week the Friday Principal Newsletter will be emailed to families through the Stephenson/Parent List Serve. If for some reason you are not on the parent list serve, please send an email to Carlos Galindo at email@example.com. We will have a hardcopy newsletters posted near the main office.
Our website will be updated weekly with information regarding the school events and information at www.pps.k12.or.us/schools/stephenson/.
Parents are welcome to visit our school! Whenever you come into the school, you are to check in at the main office. It is important that you make prior arrangements with your child’s teachers to observe in the classroom. Conferences are not convenient during this type of visit, but teachers are available before and after school with an appointment. Please call or email your teacher directly to arrange an appointment.
The children of Stephenson truly benefit from parent and community volunteers. All volunteers should sign in and out in the office. For your protection and that of the children, we require all volunteers to complete an online Criminal
History Background Check. The link for the online application is apps.pps.net/volunteermanagement/. When applying to volunteer, you must read and agree to the Volunteer Code of Conduct before you apply to volunteer. Please print a copy, sign it, and turn it in to the school at which you will be primarily volunteering. Once approved, your background check will be valid for three years. Saturday, August 26th is the annual Stephenson Community Care Day. Please join us in helping to clean up school grounds. The time is 9:00am-12:00pm or so. Please bring gloves, rakes, and gardening tools. Your help is greatly needed and appreciated.
In closing, I am very excited for a great year and look forward to continue building a positive relationship with each and every one of you. Stephenson’s OPEN HOUSE/Back to School Night is Tuesday, September 19th from 6:30pm-8:00pm. I hope to see you there!
Carlos Galindo, Principal
Today the Portland Public Schools Board of Education voted to approve the contract that authorizes outside legal counsel Amy Joseph Pedersen of Stoel Rives to engage Bob Weaver and Joy Ellis of the law firm Garvey Schubert Barer to lead the investigation into the Mitch Whitehurst matter and provide recommendations to strengthen district policies, practice and procedures for employee complaints and misconduct as it relates to students. Norm Frink, retired Multnomah County Chief Deputy District Attorney with over 35 years as a public prosecutor and experience in the Portland region, will also be on the team.
On Saturday, September 16, dozens of PPS staff and volunteers fanned-out across Portland to knock on doors and reach out to students who have disconnected from school. These door-knockers invited students back to school and offered resources to help them re-engage with their education.
Architectural Digest picked Roosevelt High School as one of the most beautiful high schools in the nation. According to the story, “while many high school buildings might be rather bland from a design perspective, there are others that are veritable works of art.”
The honor comes as crews are putting finishing touches on a full modernization of the school, thanks to a voter-approved bond.
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Board listening session on middle schools
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM District-wide Boundary Review Advisory Committee meeting
6:00 PM Board Meeting
6:30 PM - 9:00 PM Middle School Planning, Community Forum
6:00 PM Board Meeting
6:30 PM - 9:00 PM Middle School Planning, Community Forum
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM Run for the Arts
3:15 PM Site Council Meeting
6:00 PM PTA Meeting
6:00 PM Board Meeting
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM PTA Fall Fun Night