• Online-Only Classes Will Continue Until At Least January 28

    Following state guidelines on coronavirus data, PPS will stay with Comprehensive Distance Learning through the second quarter. More information

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School News

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  • Tech support

    A message from Portland Public Schools

    PPS Tech Help and Other Supports for Students and Families
    August 26, 2020
    English | Español | Tiếng Việt | 中文 | Русский | Soomaali

    Dear PPS Families,

    At Portland Public Schools, we are continuing to work to ensure students and families have the support they need to start the 2020-21 school year online. We want to share a number of resources available to you:

    PPS Fall 2020 Resource Page
    We continue to update our Fall 2020 webpage, pps.net/Fall2020. This week we added a section that lays out the web platforms and tools that students will need as we begin the school year with online learning until at least November 5. The section includes guides and videos for our main platforms and apps: Seesaw, Canvas, Remind, Google Meet and Clever. The resources for families are presented in the six PPS-supported languages.

    PPS Technology Help Desk
    The PPS Technology Help Desk operates from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on school days to provide support to parents, guardians, students and families about navigating school online. We will answer your questions and share information and helpful tips about our distance learning technology platforms, apps, internet connection and other important resources for your student. 

    PPS Multilingual Family Line
    The PPS Multilingual Family Line is a service for parents or guardians (in all PPS-supported languages) to communicate with schools regarding meals, tech help for online classes, special instruction, talking to your teacher, COVID resources and information, etc. Please call these numbers:

    • Español: 503-916-3582
    • 中文:503-916-3585
    • Tiếng Việt: 503-916-3584
    • Soomaali: 503-916-3586
    • Русский: 503-916-3583

    We hope you take advantage of the resources above if you have any questions about the learning technology your student will soon be using. We are here to help!

  • ACCESS Academy Students Win C-Span Competition

    C-SPAN has announced the winners in their national 2020 StudentCam competition. ACCESS Academy students Dorothy Swanson Blaker, Malia Lee and Ania Leonardo are third prize winners and will receive $750 for their documentary, Renewable Resolutions: Solar 2020 (watch it at viddler.com/v/31e14be6).
    Learn more in the SE Examiner Article
  • Dr. Garcia-Arriola named to Circle of Excellence by OnPoint CCU

    Dr. Garcia-Arriola, middle school science teacher at ACCESS Academy, was named to the Circle of Excellence by Circle of Excellence by OnPoint Community Credit Union. This award comes with a $1,500 cash prize for Dr. Garcia-Arriola and a $1,000 donation to ACCESS Academy. Congratulations, Dr. Garcia-Arriola, on this recognition of your outstanding work as an educator! See the full article here
  • Online Open House and Contacts for Prospective ACCESS Applicants

    Want to learn more about applying to ACCESS Academy? Check out this online presentation. You can also contact access.pta.outreach@gmail.com to connect with current ACCESS families and students to learn about their experience at ACCESS. 
  • Writer-in-Residence Rosanne Parry

    Award-winning local author Rosanne Parry will be Writer-in-Residence at ACCESS Academy for elementary grades throughout the Read-a-thon, providing writing workshops and culminating in a Family Literacy Celebration on Friday January 31 from 6:30-7:30. 
  • Renée Watson visited ACCESS, October 2019

    Renee Watson at Vestal Auditorium

    Award-winning author Renée Watson gave presentations at both ACCESS campuses in October. Ms. Watson is a Portland native whose writing focuses on the lived experiences of black girls and women and explores themes of identity, home, and the intersection of race, gender and class. As she explained to students at Vestal, she writes “so girls who look like me can see themselves in books, and so people who don’t look like me can get to know girls who look like me.”

  • Inclement Weather Policy

    There are three ways we send messages to families about delays, closures and other weather-related decisions:

    • Phone calls: Automated calls, in all supported languages (Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian and Somali), will be placed to the primary number listed on each student’s registration. If you’ve changed your number recently, please update it with your school.
    • Email: An automated message will be sent to the email address you listed in your child’s registration. The message will be translated into our five supported languages.
    • Text message: You will receive a text message on your cell phone, but first you’ll have to opt in to the SchoolMessenger system by texting “Yes” or just “Y” to 68453. If you opt in, you will still receive an auto-dialer call. Texts go to parent and staff phone numbers registered with the district.

    We also post updates online:

    • Twitter: Follow our account, @PPSConnect.
    • Facebook: Connect with us at facebook.com/pps.homepage.
    • Our website: Go to net and look for a yellow bar across the top of the page. That’s where you’ll find more detailed information, such as snow routes for buses. Messages will be translated.
  • Announcing new principal at ACCESS Academy, Ginger Taylor

    July 22, 2019

    Printable version of announcement

    Dear ACCESS Community,

    I am pleased to announce that Ginger Taylor will become the new principal of ACCESS Academy. Ginger is a veteran educator who has worked in Portland Public Schools for 15 years, and she brings a deep background as a counselor and student advocate and is dedicated to equity of educational access for all students.

    Ginger will succeed Krista Blovad, who served as principal this past school year. We thank Krista for her leadership.

    The last three years, Ginger served as vice principal at Lincoln High School, where she lead work focused on Multi-Tiered System of Supports and intervention, dropout prevention, school climate, special education and English Language Learners programs. She worked collaboratively with Lincoln’s Whole Child stakeholder groups, site council, equity team, and PLC leaders to pair the strong IB academic programming with evidence-based academic and social-emotional supports and interventions for students.

    From 2010-2012, Ginger served as the vice principal of Summer Scholars, becoming the administrator for both Portland Evening and Summer Scholars programs in 2012. PESS programs support on-time graduation, enrolling over 1,700 students from across 20 different high schools and programs. Under her leadership, PESS was credited with increasing the PPS graduation rate by 3% each year.

    Ginger served as a school counselor for eight years, starting at Harriet Tubman Middle School before settling in at Benson Polytechnic High School, where she served from 2005 to 2012. As a school counselor leader at the district, state, and national levels, Ginger served on several advocacy teams with the College Board. Ginger helped shape and deploy the first national survey of school counselors sponsored by the College Board. The results of this national survey have resulted in elevating the work of school counselors.

    Before moving into education, Ginger was a certified therapist and case manager for many years, working with adolescents in dual diagnosis day and residential treatment.

    Ginger earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Sociology from Western Oregon State College, a Master of Education and School Counseling from Lewis & Clark College, and completed her School Administration program at Portland State University. She has deep ties to Portland and attended K-12 at PPS schools, and is a graduate of Jefferson High School.

    Ginger is married to a math teacher-turned-school administrator, and they have two grown daughters. Ginger loves everything having to do with the outdoors, traveling, classic rock and roll, and shares that “family is everything!”

    You will have a chance to meet Ginger on Wednesday, Aug. 21, when she hosts a meet-and-greet in the Lane cafeteria starting at 5:30 p.m. Please join me in welcoming Principal Taylor to ACCESS Academy.

    Keeley Simpson, Ed.D.
    Regional Superintendent

  • ACCESS Girl Scout Bronze Award Brightens School

    The 5th grade ACCESS Girl Scouts spent this year talking about human energy--the power they have inside of themselves and what they're capable of doing with it. The girls decided that for their Bronze Award project that they wanted to spread a positive message with their energy. The idea was simple: paint positive and inspirational quotes in the ACCESS girls’ bathroom at Vestal. They met several times with Byron Booze from PPS Facilities to discuss how to do the project properly. They researched and selected quotes they thought would be inspirational for elementary-school girls (drawing on the multi-lingual ACCESS parent community to translate one of the quotes into seven languages). They submitted their ideas for approval. And finally, they worked long Fridays to get the quotes painted onto the walls.

    Window Quote  
  • Caring Teacher Award

    1st/2nd grade teacher Mr. Ryneal was nominated by ACCESS Academy parents for the Caring Teacher/Educator Positive Impact Award. Today the director of the Children's Program notified Assistant Principal Jamieson that Mr. Ryneal was selected as a recipient! Along with the award comes $200 for classroom expenses. Congratulations Josh! The award letter also included comments from the nominating parents:
    "He takes time to catch kids doing good things, he reinforces them, and he takes the time to give parents positive feedback and updates on progress. PPS needs more teacher like him."
    "He has helped our daughter so much to be successful academically and socially and really cares about her as a person."
    "His positive strong leadership style has created a safe environment for all students - both physically and emotionally."
    "I am beyond grateful for the teaching, coaching, and support that Josh has provided to my son and the rest of the class."
  • Arts Coordinator

    David and I are excited to share our work with Young Audiences and our Arts Coordinator, Genevieve Stevens-Johnson, who is in charge of booking amazing opportunities for arts related opportunities for our students. She has been hard at work researching potential author visits, trips, residencies, and enrichment for our students that align with curriculum, access for all students, focus on diversity, and shared events for ES and MS. We are thrilled with what we have on the calendar so far and also for events in the works. 

    I asked Genevieve to share a bit about herself and the work she is engaged in for us. She will also be coming to staff meetings in January at both sites, to get input from staff around class and grade level trips. 


    My name is Genevieve Stevens-Johnson and I could not be more pleased that I've been asked to serve as the arts coordinator for the Access program. A little of my background:

    I have taught K-5 general music, choir, and strings in public schools for seventeen years. In addition, I have experience performing professionally in both music and drama. I love serving in a coordinating capacity and have served on several non-profit boards, including as the treasurer and member-at-large for Vibe of Portland. I am currently the President Elect for the Southern Washington and Oregon Kodaly Educators (www.swoke.org)

    My passion lies in promoting and finding ways to provide music and arts to the widest possible audience of children, with a particular focus on addressing issues of equity and inclusion.

    I am excited to work with staff and families to organize arts experiences for the students in the Access program. My goal is to provide experiences across all grade levels, including several opportunities for all students to come together. I've already had a chance to meet with some teachers and staff members, as well as parents, and our work is moving forward beautifully. Please see the list of upcoming booked events and field trips below, and keep an eye out for updates as more events are verified in the coming weeks.



    Karida Griffith Walker


    Karida Griffith (Performer, Instructor, Choreographer) is a Portland native who has established an extensive dance career in New York. A student of the one and only Sally Mack, Karida’s dance career took off when she was cast in the European tour of the Broadway hit Black and Blue, working with the great Henry LeTang, Dianne Walker, Bunny Briggs, Germaine Goodson, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and others.

    After completing her business degree at NYU, Karida became a Radio City Rockette, where she performed in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Sinatra, on The Today Show and The Tony Awards. Karida was also a dancer for Cirque du Soleil, and was a featured dancer in multiple episodes of the HBO hit series Boardwalk Empire.

    Currently a member of the critically-acclaimed tap dance company Dorrance Dance, Karida was also honored to be a member of select companies including the Cotton Club Sophisticated Ladies with Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, T.A.D.A.H. with Jared Grimes, Mable Lee’s Ladies, Barbara Duffy & Company, and has also performed with Chloe Arnold’s Syncopated Ladies. In addition, Karida was the producer of Creations: Choreographic Introductions, which featured her own choreography along with early works of Dana Foglia, Mishay Petronelli, Chloe Arnold, Michelle Dorrance and Claudia Rahardjanoto.

    Karida has been on the tap dance faculty at the renowned Broadway Dance Center in New York, and a Professor in Pace University’s cutting-edge BFA Commercial Dance program. She has taught at festivals and conventions throughout North America.

    Based again in Portland, Karida is the founder of the annual PDX Tap Intensive, is a performing artist for Young Audiences of Oregon, and a member of the West African Dance Company, Sebe Kan. As she has for the past 16 years, Karida continues to work with the The Children’s Theatre Company, a non-profit organization which fosters the belief that, through the arts, children can become agents of positive change and healing in the world.

    Signature Project


  • Girls on the Run

    We are looking at setting up a Girl’s on the Run team for ACCESS @ Vestal. We need coaches to make this happen. The time commitment would be 90 minutes twice a week after school from March to May with one Saturday. If you are interested please send David an email. For more information please visit this website:  https://www.girlsontherun.org/

  • Principals' Coffee Dates & Times for Rest of Year

    David and I set up the "Coffee with David & Krista" dates for the rest of the year. We varied the days, locations, and times up the days and times in response to family requests. We also coincided them with other events that families would already be at, to lessen travel times. 

    Attached are the dates, times, and locations for the remainder of the year. Our next coffee will take place on Monday, December 10th from 5:30-6:30 in the Lane cafeteria. Please feel free to bring any treats/baked goods to share. We will provide coffee and tea!

    Childcare will be provided for evening Principals' Coffees.

    We apologize for any confusion over the date for November and want to clarify that there is no admin coffee tomorrow, 11/30. We hope that having all the dates and times in advance will allow for more parents to attend. 

    Admin. Coffee Dates 18-19 Year.pdf 

  • Vestal After School Plans

    Please remember if you are changing after school plans to email both Susie Fung and your child’s homeroom teacher. Thank you!
  • Attn: 8th Graders- ACCESS HS Options

    ACCESS 8th grade students are assigned--by default--to their neighborhood schools in Synergy. Therefore if you want your student to attend their neighborhood school, no action is required by families. There is one exception to this is- if students live in a dual-assignment area such as the Jefferson boundary, you will need to choose between Jefferson and the dual assignment school, OR you will need to make another one of the available choices listed below.

    Visit https://www.pps.net/Page/2343 for more information on high school choices. Students also have guaranteed transfer option to Grant High. If families choose this option, you will need to fill out the transfer petition on https://pps.schoolmint.net/.

    PPS High School Options for ACCESS Students- 

    1. Attend neighborhood school  

      1. Action required: NONE – unless student lives within Jefferson boundary*

    2. Attend Grant High

      1. Action required: Fill out transfer petition: https://pps.schoolmint.net/

    3. Apply in the lottery to focus option such as Benson.

      1. Action required: Enter lottery: https://pps.schoolmint.net/

  • PE for ACCESS@Lane

    The Lane PE Teacher has been out with an injury and as soon as he returns, we will begin shared PE for 4th and 5th periods. The only reason this can’t happen for 6th grade/3rd period is that ACCESS wanted an earlier start time and we shifted our schedule. The desire of the ACCESS Community to start and end earlier than Lane affected our PE for period 3. This was a decision made by ACCESS and requested by families prior to the start of the school year. Unfortunately all aspects and effects of the schedule shift were not initially obvious and now we know. With our shift, our 3rd period moved to coincide with Lane’s entire student population recess, and the gym is their primary recess location.

    The PE requirement is for one full quarter of PE for MS students each year. Our goal is 2 with our 3 or 2 week sessions, depending on cohort. Next quarter 6th grade/period 3 will be focused on Health, so gym space is not an issue until 3rd quarter. I am looking at schedule shifting options 3rd quarter to allow for gym use for all grades, all PE focused quarters this year. Next school year, I will look to shifting periods of PE for ACCESS students so that it does not fall during 3rd period/Lane lunch and recess. But again I want to reiterate that this was only due to ACCESS switch of instructional day in response to Community request, not due to any lack of support from Lane administration or collaboration between us. Jeandre Carbone has been nothing short of gracious and open to positive problem solving from day 1! Thank you Jeandre.

  • TAG Identification for all ACCESS Students

    It was interesting for David and me to learn that there were many students at ACCESS who are not officially identified as TAG, even though they of course meet the criteria for TAG identification. We are working with Linda Smith and the TAG department to streamline this identification and it should not require any action on your part. We’ll keep you updated, but this should simply be a system records procedure on our part.
  • Window Replacement

    Last weekend, our side entrance window was vandalized by a pellet gun. It was immediately replaced by facilities. It is unfortunate that vandalism occurs, particularly at a school. But I would like to thank our custodian Tim Curtin for fast action in contacting facilities to repair the window within 24 hours.

  • CELL Phone Policy at Lane

    Teachers and students had discussions around cell phone use and policy in our advisory classes, then had student representatives from each class help construct the plan as group. I think it was an incredible process and way for students to take ownership of their own digital citizenry, as well as protected the rights, safety, and comfort of all individuals. The final policy summary is that students can use phones in passing times and at lunch, with an absolute rule being no filming or pictures of anyone else at the school. Phone use in class is determined by the teacher and academic purpose. Each teacher has outlined the policy and posted it in their own classroom. Violations of any teacher, or school policy result in a warning to put the phone away, a second ask would result in the student giving the teacher the phone for the period, and any repeat/concern over a phone issue would proceed to a meeting between teacher, myself, and students to find a solution.

  • MAP Testing

    Students in 1-8 have been engaging in the MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) testing the last 2 weeks. Testing is MAP/NWEA. It is a PPS internal adaptive growth assessment that is used to see where students are now in Math and Reading and a number of skills within each subject. It allows teachers, parents, and students to see the data, work together to set goals based on their strengths and areas for growth, and support targeted grouping for differentiated instruction. It takes the place of the EasyCBM that has been used in the past. Here is the link for parent information and resourcesTeachers will be sharing the data with you as ONE peice of your child’s progress at conferences. It is important to remember that any assessment is one piece in a larger “body of evidence” and the puzzle that encompasses your child as a learner, person, and global citizen.  I have worked with this assessment tool since 2006 and love the information, reports, and growth data it provides. It is used extensively at international schools and I’m thrilled that PPS has adopted this assessment tool.

Principal's Message

  • October 23, 2020

    Hello ACCESS Community! 

    There are some fun fall happenings going on at ACCESS in lieu of our infamous haunted house! 

    1) Staff and Students are putting together a Fall Spirit Week for all students the week of October 26th - October 30th! During this week students will get to show up to virtual classes dressed as the theme for that day! The themes are as follows: 

    • Monday: Pajama Day 
    • Tuesday: Tacky/ Backwards clothing day
    • Wednesday: Rainbow Day 
    • Thursday:  Halloween Costume Day 
    • Friday: Masquerade Day (where your mask you made in art class or another masquerade like mask)

    Link to Slide! 

    2) The middle school students are also creating an Horror Art Show google site for students that will showcase original short stories, images, music, films etc created by our talented students! The link to the google site is still under construction, but will be up and running on Friday to view at yours and student convenience! (link to come!)

    ** If your child is a 6th-8th grader and would like to still submit an original piece of art, music, film, sculpture, image, etc. for the horror show, submissions are due this Friday the 22nd. You can submit your project here.  We are looking forward to seeing some amazing themed outfits and spooky art submissions! 

    3) Mr. Houser, Mrs. Ricketson and some students are also working to create a fun "Virtual Haunted House" for our elementary students! This will include student submissions of original photos, stories, art pieces, films etc and teacher found items students will be able to interact with!  We will also be showcasing some student material  Friday during our elementary showcase from 11:45-12:15. (Google meet code: accessstudentshowcase)

    4) LASTLY, Mrs. Szok, our amazing art teacher, has been working with students to create masquerade masks at home! We will be putting together a slideshow students will watch during their morning meeting (elementary school) and Advisory (middle school) on Friday Morning in their classrooms. IF your child wants to submit their mask photo (they can choose whether they want to be in it or not) to be in the slideshow, please have them submit a photo to their Art classroom Mask Assignment tab in their Seesaw or Canvas platform!

    So looking forward to our amazing week together! Go ATOMS! Thank you from the ACCESS Spirit Week Team!


    October 20, 2020

    Good Evening ACCESS Community -

    I wanted to circle back to the many discussions we have had over these past few weeks regarding all of the ways students are able to demonstrate their engagement with Comprehensive Distance Learning. Discussions have been rich, enlightening, better understanding, and have lead to a team agreement for holding a school-wide goal that 100% of ACCESS students will demonstrate engagement in one or more ways each quarter.

    As written: 100% of students will demonstrate school engagement 80% of the time (4 of 5 days per week) each quarter. Engagement is demonstrated by one or more of the following:

    • Whole or small group meeting attendance
    • having the camera on
    • turning in school work
    • Appropriately participating in the chat feature 
    • verbally participating
    • exchanging emails with teacher
    • turning in work
    • using any of the digital tools for video submission, turning in work, or sharing ideas

    Thank you all for your perspective, discussion, and commitments to broadening our collective understanding for engagement. We are committed to building our capacity for CDL.

    One critical element of our community commitment to CDL is also leaning in with our ACCESS students to teach, support, and reinforce all of the different ways the accessible digital tools as well as the power of being able to participate on-line, comes with a huge responsibility to being safe, being kind, and being respectful when on-line. The digital world is here to stay. With COVID-19, we have accelerated the different ways we are engaged virtually. Our students are inquisitive and curious, clever and brilliant, and they are social beings. They are missing friends, classmates, and in-person social time. 

    While our primary focus during school time is to use on-line access and the digital tools to support academic engagement, we know the responsibility we have as educators to teach, support, and reinforce safety, kindness, and respect at all times. Teachers, counselors, and all members of our support team are committed to providing ongoing lessons for digital citizenship, and on-line safety. We are facilitating discussion, reinforcing expectations, and celebrating innovation and mastery. The student showcase and storyline campaigns are evidence of the brilliance of innovation and mastery!

    I am sharing a few resources that are worthy of printing and displaying at home. My hope is these will lead to on-going and meaningful discussions as a family. Please, please, please reach out to any of us if you need a thought partner, would like to consult, check understanding, or have any concerns. 

    I hope you are enjoying the evening. Be well, Ginger


    October 20, 2020

    Hello ACCESS Community,
    We want to thank all of you for taking part in our online learning and want to encourage you to keep up with the many emails coming your way. Here at ACCESS, the office staff has received many emails regarding updating your emergency lists, phone numbers, emails and children information. Thank you for being on top of updating this information. What we need from you now is to get on your ParentVue and make sure your yearly verification form is updated. PPS has stated the deadline to do this is October 31, 2020. If you are unsure of how to do this, PPS has provided instructions online at https://www.pps.net/Page/2341. Please do this at your earliest convenience.
    We appreciate all of you and want you all to remember, YOU ARE DOING GREAT! Keep up the hard work and we hope to see you in February 2021.


    October 19. 2020

    Good Morning!

    I am sharing exciting news with our ACCESS community so we can all wish Richard Deng well while he competes amongst 30 other students across the country during Finalist Week this week, in the first ever virtual Broadcom MASTERS: A program of Society for Science & the Public. Great job Richard, and recognition to Dr. Garcia-Arriola, for his incredible dedication to science education!



    October 8, 2020

    ACCESS Community!

    I am sharing a very simple, yet powerful video that is circulating. Please take a moment to sit, listen, let the words and the energy of these young people sink in.

    You are doing a good job!

    video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkDNp4ATCso

    Be well,



    October 7, 2020

    Good Evening!

    Many of us on the ACCESS team have been really leaning into conversations focused on student engagement during distance learning, particularly during live sessions when students are on screen with their class mates and teachers. This is our current reality for school. Google and Zoom meets. This is how we are conducting school. I recently heard someone refer to it as "schooling". Our schooling model is proving to be challenging for assessing and monitoring engagement, building relationships, and being able to connect socially. As I have spent short bits of time in classes I notice that nearly half or more of our students have their cameras off.

    We are such social beings that it feels like we have taken for granted the importance of being able to see each other, make eye contact, see and feel the emotion in a look, catch a smile or a squint, see the excitement of learning, or the boredom of schooling on a screen. There are a multitude of things to consider when it comes to students having the cameras on or off at any given moment. This is a worth while conversation to have with your student(s), regularly. Teachers are having this conversation with students, and our support team members are planning guidance lessons focused on relationships and engagement. 

    While we will never force any student to have their camera on while schooling, we do strongly encourage it. Or, a second option would be for students to use a recent photo of themselves rather then an Avatar image when their camera is off. We want to see students! We want students to see each other! We miss seeing and being together! Help us make the most of our virtual world and do everything we can to strengthen our relationships! We want students to bring their best selves to every class, keep cameras on, be engaged!

    For our middle school students, quarter 1 progress grades are due at the end of the week, and report cards will come next week. 

    A few other considerations for our virtual schooling; it is so challenging to create separation between home and school when we are actually doing school from home. As much as you are able as parents to please imagine the view for the entire class of students. Ask yourselves: What is behind my student at home? Are there things happening within the view of others that might be distracting or may be creating visual clutter? How can I ensure that the environment for the whole class is non-distracting from the view of their screens? Am I doing everything possible to create a virtual environment that will support students being on task, engaged, being able to hear others, and follow the teachers lesson? Do I feel like I am striking a good balance between allowing my student to be an independent learner and providing subtle supports? 

    If any of this is intriguing to you and you would like to be able to hear more, or have an opportunity to discuss with other parents and our ACCESS support team, please plan to join us for our October Principal Chat on Monday, October 12th from 3:00 - 4:00pm (I moved this an hour later because of a standing meeting with our middle school team).

    The ACCESS administrative team, counselors, and our new school climate specialist will all be on the meeting. We have three new members to out support team and we are just getting going with working together as team across all grades. You all know me, Mr. Corona, and Mr. Harkness. Please join us to meet Mr. Hill and Ms. Bevans, our new counselors, as well as Michelle Strickler, our new school climate specialist. Hear what we are thinking for school-wide programming, student groups and supports, as well as the strengths of this impressive team! 

    Thank you and have a great evening!



    September 25, 2020

    Hello ACCESS Community,

    We are excited to kick off Let's Get Reading which offers a Bag of Books for your students' home reading experience. This is one way to bring the library to you during this period of distance-learning. The Access@Vestal librarian selected five books for students that represent a range of interests and reading abilities. The books can be enjoyed by your student as well as the entire family. Book bags will be available every week until we are allowed to have students back in the library.

    ACCESS@Vestal staff are ready to begin distribution of the book bags on Monday Sept. 28th from 12:30 to 4 p.m. for students in all grade levels. We will continue collection and distribution every Monday from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Book bags will be handed out from the south side entrance of the school around the corner from the playground.

    For ACCESS@Lane students, the Lane library will be open for book "holds" distribution. On Mondays and Tuesdays, the external backdoor of the library will be open from 11:00 AM-5:30 PM and students, guardians, and parents are welcome to come pick up books that have been checked out to ACCESS@Lane students. More information will be available in their Language Arts classes in the next couple of days, but students will place holds on books online and then once they become available they will be notified to come pick them up. Any books that need to be returned to Lane or other PPS libraries may be returned at the same time. For updates, please visit the library's website.

    The PTA is coordinating families in the different quadrants of Portland to help deliver these books for families who cannot reach the Vestal or Lane locations at the scheduled times. Please sign up below if you need delivery or can provide delivery. We will contact you to set up more specifics for delivery soon.

    This is the form link.

    Any questions, please email Ms. Jardine (djardine@pps.net) or Ms. Raspone (sraspone@pps.net)

    Please remember to keep 6-feet of distance while waiting in line and please wear a mask. We will have signs posted to mark the way. We look forward to getting you started with Let's Get Reading.


    Sept. 15, 2020

    Please check the Supply List for the Comprehensive Distance Learning School Year 2020-2021 provided in the link below. 

    Comprehensive Distance Learning Supply List

    Have a great day!


    Sept. 6, 2020

    Hello Families,

    We are continuing to hear great things from families, staff, and students about how glad everyone is that school is starting.

    At our house it's just has me, my husband, and our old dogs. My husband mostly reports to school for his job each day, leaving me to work at home without us needing to juggle multiple virtual meetings taking place throughout the house. I am gaining better insight into what many of you as families are needing to manage with one or both adults working from home and in many households balancing not just one, but often multiple children also engaged in school, virtually. All the while day to day household duties, responsibilities, and activities along with the other virtual meetings in the house may 'spill over' into the "classroom" environment. This is true for our educators as well.

    I empathize with you, I really do. It is a work in progress as we all learn to balance the crossover of home, work, and school in our virtual world. I do want to ask that we all consider these complex variables as we all do our best to provide a healthy and supportive distance learning experience for ACCESS students. A simple thing like leaving the mic open on your students device while other things are occurring in the background can cause a disruption or distraction. I hope this makes sense.

    I am sharing the link to PPS Digital Citizenship resources and lessons. They are sorted by grade level and focus area. Please take time to review and learn together as a family what it means to practice strong, healthy digital citizenship habits. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R1F5V2AmuFdzNjZz6dGckvVUbXWKRkeTt5uwMuwoPPw/edit#heading=h.c77kcb8vln2c

    Be well,



    September 2, 2020

    Good Evening!

    Well, I was able to participate with the middle school welcome session, and I have heard many many fun and happy stories from staff today while we welcomed students back to school. Many of our students were able to offer their expertise to problem-solve technology questions, and help their classmates in being able to access what they need with Synergy and other digital tools. Students are so excited to reconnect with friends and to meet our new students. Meeting spaces filled early with joyful chatter. Its so good to have our students back!

    Thank you so so much to families for supporting your student in being able to participate and engage today, and a HUGE thank you to our teachers and staff for your tireless commitment to your students. We are all learning how to navigate in this virtual learning environment and the patience, flexibility, and adaptive thinking help to smooth the rough spots! We will continue to problem-solve things as they arise and will do our best to communicate quickly.

    Everyone should have a message from their teachers explaining what to do tomorrow morning.

    1st - 5th grade will again start their day in a morning meeting @ 9:30

    6th - 8th grade will report to their ADVISORY TEACHER @ 9:15(edited from original email)

    Again, Welcome Back to School! We've missed you!



    August 31, 2020

    As we begin Fall 2020 unlike any other school year, I have some good news to share. I know we’ve all been anxiously looking forward to a time when ACCESS can be together in one location. PPS has been working hard to find a space to accommodate our whole school from grades kindergarten through eighth grade. We have looked at many sites throughout the district and have found a great site that will allow ACCESS to unite as one at Terwilliger Elementary. 

    Currently, Sunstone Montessori is renting this space. They have a lease until 2022, but we are trying to get the site released in 2021 so it is possible ACCESS can unite together for the 2021-22 school year. At the latest, it will be by 2022-23 school year.

    This location offers us many of the attributes we know are important to the staff, students and community.   Specifically, this location allows us one space large enough to offer mentorship opportunities and advanced classes and a safe space for our students to thrive. This will really allow us to build on our strong community. 

    I am sharing this information now because the Enrollment and Program Balancing process is beginning next week and I wanted to assure you that our process for finding a new space for ACCESS is completely separate from the Enrollment and Program Balancing process. 

    I invite you to join us for a virtual community meeting on September 3 at 6 pm where our Deputy Superintendent Claire Hertz, Chief of Schools Dr. Shawn Bird, Regional Superintendent Dr. Esther Omogbehin, and Area Senior Director Kathleen Ellwood will join us to help answer questions and provide more information. 

    Virtual Community meeting on September 3rd, 2020 @ 6 pm (see email for meeting login information).

    We have created a Google form for questions.  We will compile the questions into a Q & A for everyone.

    I know this is exciting news for our students, staff and families. Please take the opportunity to drive by the location. We do ask that everyone is super mindful of the fact the there is an operating school in the facility during the day and we do not want to disrupt them in any way. Thank you for your continued patience and flexibility as we’ve been working to find an appropriate location for ACCESS.


    August 31, 2020

    Our elementary team is excited to get our school year started!

    Our first soft start day will be:

    • Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020 
    • Students will log into SeeSaw for a 9:30am face to face, meet & greet with their teacher and classmates
    • You will receive a welcome email message from your students homeroom teacher by the end of the day Monday, August 31st, 2020 with the link to face to face meeting.

    The face to face meetings each day during soft start weeks will be at 9:30am. Your students' teacher will review in more detail through email and video chat.

    During the soft start weeks your student will meet each day with their teacher, meet our specials teacher, counselor, and the administrative team. They will have time to explore and have opportunities to practice in SeeSaw on their own to gain confidence with navigating this fun platform. You will also receive an invitation to a phone call or video chat with your students teacher. 

    Remember, the soft start weeks are focused on relationship and community building, easing into the distance learning tools, developing strong digital citizenship habits, and having fun! Our academic instructional class schedule begins September 14th, 2020. 


    1st Day Soft Start Schedule for Middle School ONLY

    (We are still working on the Synergy schedule and should be done by the end of the day Monday, August 31st. 7th period will be Advisory)

    We are super excited to have our middle school students coming back to virtual school this coming Wednesday! The first day is structured around meeting staff, learning Clever & Canvas, and working in advisory teams to review the rest of the soft start schedule. Please reference the attached schedules for details.  Please make sure your student has the 1st day schedule electronically as there are links to all of the planned activities embedded.

    Here is the 1st Day Middle School Soft Start Schedule https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1lM7_fcXfiokaOIeguNmQe5VMT3kH1zdRZYyZNFkBhls/edit#gid=0

    Here is the Middle School Soft Start Schedule https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1J3rf2zYU7ej8tv2yDTlcMIbSS-BIkt5t3EyCJ45_xbU/edit#gid=1865752987

    PPS Students: Getting Started with Canvas Tutorials https://lor.instructure.com/resources/11b7180e507d4fbdbb5250b3e7335699?shared

    We will see you all later this week. 



    August 29, 2020

    Updated information for the parent meeting:

    Good Morning!

    After looking back at my last message I see that I had a few typos regarding the Monday, August 31st family/admin team mtg. Here are the particulars:

    What: ACCESS Family/Admin Team Mtg (virtual google meets)

    When: Monday, August 31st, 2020 @ 4:30-5:30pm

    Where: Join with Google Meet


    Meeting ID


    Phone Numbers

    (‪US‬)‪+1 234-719-4038‬

    PIN: ‪113 592 402#‬

    We will do our best to provide more detail regarding soft start weeks, the instructional schedule, ease anxieties, and answer questions.

    Enjoy the weekend and see you Monday!



    August 28, 2020

    Good Evening!

    I just wanted to send a quick clarifying message regarding the sample schedules sent by PPS Communications yesterday. ACCESS has operated on a different "school day" start and end time for several years. With staff just returning today we are working quickly to define the details for both the soft start weeks, Sept. 2- 11, and the instructional schedule which begins Sept. 14.

    Soft Start  screen time breaks and lunch aligned

    9:30 start - Elementary and Middle School 

    12:00pm end - all levels, with asynchronous learning lessons throughout the two weeks

    Instructional Schedule

    • School Day Hours - same as last year

    • 8:20 - 2:35, @ Elementary, Specials, lunch/recess

    • 8:36 - 3:06 - 6 period day @ MS, lunch/recess

    • Synchronous & Asynchronous learning 

    • Walk to math

    • Community building everyday

    • Social-Emotional lessons

    • Dedicated time for SpEd supports - ODE implementation guidance

    • Counseling supports, guidance lessons,and small groups

    Slide deck from last parent google meets. https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1xYalvzn-gnKmxgv1P7eA_ln3gcN2ZrLTHAUeNPT9dv8/edit#slide=id.g91bd26c456_0_28

    We will share the detailed soft start schedules by the end of the day Friday, Aug. 28th.


    Our next Family/Admin Team google meets will take place on Monday, August 31st @ 4:40pm 

    Join with Google Meet

    meet.google.com/iqf-oahj-has · Up to 250 participants

    Meeting ID


    Phone Numbers

    (‪US‬)‪+1 234-719-4038‬

    PIN: ‪113 592 402#‬

    Breathe, enjoy the last few days of summer. We've got this! Ginger



    August 27,2020

    First Parent Meeting of 2020-2021 School Year



    August 19, 2020

    Good Evening to you all! 

    I am confirming that Mr. Corona, our assistant principal, and myself will host an Administrative Team chat/check-in Thursday, August 20th from 6:30 - 7:30pm using google meets. Link details below:

    Join with Google Meet

    meet.google.com/vav-rncm-cof · Up to 250 participants

    Meeting ID


    Phone Numbers

    (‪US‬)‪+1 304-935-5254‬

    PIN: ‪594 137 781#‬

    We are excited and anxious to get this school year started, and to see familiar faces and meet our new families! We will do our best to share the details that we have with regard to the start of the school year. Please share this mtg invitation with others in our community who may not check emails regularly.

     We are looking forward to seeing everyone! Go Blazers!


    August 15, 2020

    Just a quick Hello and message regarding the start of school, new families & students, hiring, and a welcome meeting next week.

    Start of school - I know that PPS Communication is doing there best to keep everyone informed of the progress toward preparations for the start of school. We hope to have a final schedule by mid-week next week. School starts September 2nd, with the first two weeks dedicated to family and student outreach to ensure everyone has what is needed to be successful with distance learning. These two weeks will include math placement recommendations, IEP goals and accommodations, social-emotional supports, and other individualized programming decisions. 


    New students & families - We are working closely with district enrollment & transfer and the Synergy teams to finalize our new student/family enrollment. The stay at home, virtual platform we are all working from has us moving slower then we first expected. I am really expecting that all new students will move into ACCESS (in Synergy) for their home school by mid-week next week. Please rest assured that if you have been offered a spot at ACCESS and have spoken with someone at enrollment & transfer you are good to go. I know many of you are starting to receive information/communications from your neighborhood schools. District staff are working hard to finailze this process.


    We have been doing our best to finish up our hiring for the 2020-21 school year. We are so excited to announce the following new staff members to our team:

    Abigail Webb - Ms, Webb was on temporary assignment as one of our 5th grade teachers last year. We are fortunate to be able to offer her a permanent teaching position, and we are excited that she will continue as the grade level partner to Ms. Byrkit. 

    Jennifer Hellman - Ms. Hellman will join our middle school Humanities team, teaching Language Arts and Social Studies. Ms. Hellman is IB trained, has taught pre-IB courses at the middle school level and IB course at the high school level. She has taught abroad in Turkey. Ms. Hellman is an experienced teacher and brings an excitement to teaching that is so welcomed. Ms. Hellman has already been working collaboratively with our Humanities and elementary teachers to outline an exciting storyline unit of study for grades 3-8.

    David Hall - Mr. Hall will join our elementary team as a full-time school counselor. He has a strong background in music and we are so excited to have Mr. Hall join our team. His passion is with "littles". He is new to school counseling after a year in PPS at Richmond elementary, but Mr. Hall has many years experience in music education with elementary age students.

    MS Health/PE - we have interviewed and recommended a teacher candidate with PPS HR. Just as soon as the official offer comes through we will introduce our newest teacher.

    Learning Center Teacher - interviews being held Monday.

    .5 School Counselor - (Student Success Act funds) This opening is currently posted.

    Spanish Language courses

    Peter Gawronski will continue as our Spanish teacher with our elementary students. Mr. Gowronski joined our team mid-year last year and we are so happy to have him for the 2020-21 school year!

    Adith Busetto will be our Spanish teacher for our middle school students. She has already been collaborating with Mr. Gonzales for lessons and curriculum resources in preparation for our high school level courses. Ms. Busetto is a native Spanish speaker and comes to us from another PPS school. Welcome to Ms. Busetto!


    Our Mandarin offerings will not happen this school year. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the international travel bans, we do not have teachers. The Confucius Institute at Portland State University has always arranged for these wonderful guest teachers in PPS schools. I am working with district leaders to secure a virtual option for our current 8th graders who planned to continue in Mandarin for the second high school credit. As for our current 6th graders who usually take a semester of Spanish and semester of Mandarin, and our 7th graders who forecasted for Mandarin, I am in discussion with my supervisor for a solution. Stay tuned! 


    Principal chat- Watch for details and a google meets link for a virtual meeting with me, Principal Taylor, Assistant Principal Corona, and other members of the ACCESS team next week. I have Thursday, August 20th @ 6:00pm blocked on my calendar.

    I hope you are enjoying this incredible summer, staying cool this weekend, and that you and your family are well. We are looking forward to getting the school year started! Be well, Ginger

    July 31, 2020

    New Families & Students - (resending to include any newly added families. Additional info included as well)

    We want to briefly say "Hello" and "Welcome" to ACCESS Academy! We are so excited that you have decided to choose ACCESS as your school for the 2020-21 School Year, and that your student was selected in the school choice lottery! We are just beginning to learn details for the start of school, with our first two weeks, beginning September 2nd, focused on getting to know you and your student(s), ensuring that all of our students have what they need in terms of technology, and orienting staff, students, and families to whatever learning platforms we will operate with as school begins. We now know that we will engage with full distance learning through 1st quarter, November 5th.

    State and PPS district leaders will continue to monitor Corona virus cases, and plans beyond 1st quarter may change in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our teachers and staff are spending some time this summer honing their skills with technology, flipped classrooms, and discovering many fun and engaging and rigorous educational programs in preparation for distance learning. I just reviewed the Teacher Institute catalog of professional development offerings and am very excited and impressed with the level of support and expertise being offered.

    We have a very passionate and engaged community of families here at ACCESS Academy who are anxious to connect with you all, answer questions, offer support, make connections, and form lasting relationships with you and your student(s). Please reference the message below from our family outreach team. I have also included (cc'd) a handful of very knowledgeable and helpful parents on this message should you wish to connect directly via email.
    Phoebe Shen, phoebeshen95@gmail.com - PTA, student moving to 6th gr
    Tanya Awabdy, awabdy@biostudio.com - PTA, student moving to 6th gr
    Kinnari Shah, kinnarpdx@gmail.com - PTA, student moving to 7th gr
    JaneAnne Peterson, janeannechov@comcast.net - Site Council, student moving to 8th gr
    Tanya Schaefer, tkschaefer@gmail.com - Diversity-Equity-Inclusion Committee, student moving to 8th gr
    Tim Christy, timothy.o.christy@gmail.com - Site Council, student moving to 5th gr
    Sally Maltman, maltman.sally@gmail.com - volunteer extraordinaire, students moving to 4th & 6th gr
    Again, Welcome to ACCESS Academy! I have included Assistant Principal, Gabriel Corona, gcorona@pps.net and his assistant, Janae Merritt, jmerritt@pps.net. Both are located at our elementary location @ Vestal School. My assistant and principal secretary, Susie Fung, sfung@pps.net is also included here. Susie and I are both located at our middle school location @ Lane MS.

    Once we have all students rolled into our Synergy we will begin individual outreach for IEP's/504's, math placement, etc... We will have more information including homeroom teacher, support, details for the first days of school, etc... in the coming weeks.

    Be Well, Ginger Taylor, ACCESS Principal
    I am delighted to introduce ACCESS "Outschool" Summer 2020!

    In previous years, we would have park gatherings in each quadrant of the city and our annual potluck picnic at the end of summer so new and current students could meet before school started. Then came COVID, and we had to get creative!

    ACCESS teachers and parents and students have volunteered to lead classes on interesting topics, ranging from D&D to zumba to exploring how the eye sees color! Check out the schedule and course descriptions below, and sign-up to reserve your space in class (using the Sign-up Genius links in the document).

    (NOTE: This schedule is a work in progress, as several parents/staff finalize their plans. Check periodically for updates. If you have an idea for a class you'd like to lead, let me know at kinnaripdx@gmail.com; it's not too late!)

    Ginger Taylor
    ACCESS Principal




    June 8, 2020

    Good Morning!

    I wanted to share that a few of our valued ACCESS faculty and staff will be moving on for the 2020-21 school year. 

    Mario Gonzalez, Spanish teacher at our middle school is moving over the Lane MS full-time. We will still see him in the building, but will miss his bi-cultural, Latinx view of our world and how he incorporates this in his teaching. 

    Lauri Hausafus, educational specialist at our middle school. Lauri is with us only to the end of this school year. Her enthusiasm for supporting students is unmatched! If there is a way to have Lauri back for the 2020-21 SY I will not hesitate!

    Shiqin Liao (Kat), Mandarin teacher at our middle school will be returning to China this month. Kat's energy and bubbly personality will be missed by students, and her love for her Chinese culture and heritage has been so appreciated in the two years she has been with ACCESS.

    Thom Johnson, Humanities teacher at our middle school is returning to one of our PPS middle schools. He will be closer to home. Thom has been that super hero teacher for so many of our ACCESS students! His gentle ways, humor, and gift for teaching is admired by all!

    Meihua Hu, Mandarin teacher at our elementary school will also be returning China after being with us for two years. Her gentle and kind ways have been so appreciated with our young students. 

    Carrie Hutchinson, Learning Specialist teacher at our elementary school is returning to a PPS charter school. Carrie has been a champion for our 2e students! Her patience and kind and caring ways will be missed in the Learning Center.

    Ruth Tessema, School Counselor at our elementary school. Ruth is transferring to another PPS elementary school. We have very much appreciated Ruth's comprehensive approach to supporting ACCESS students! I too have benefited from her perspective as a black, female educator, in a mostly white space. Sharing her ACCESS at Vestal Spring 2020 School Counselor Newsletter .pdf.

    We thank you all for your service and commitment to our ACCESS community throughout this crazy year! Enjoy summer and have a great 2020-21 school year! Be well, Ginger & Gabriel 


    June 4, 2020

    Good Morning ACCESS Families –

     We only have three more days in this virtual world together! Really, we do not yet know what the start of the 2020-21 school year will look like, but summer is just around the corner and school will take pause. This messenger will have a variety of information relevant to the end of the school year.

    We celebrated our rising ninth graders last night in the first ever Virtual 8th g=Grade Promotion. It was so fun. Students stayed on the call to play a spirited game using Kahoot! We will miss our current 8thgrade class and wish them well as the transition to high school!

    The last day of school for students is Wednesday, June 10th, 2020. As a result, the middle school schedule next week will shift one day with classes being held on M/T/W. Please consult with teachers for any other details related to next week.

    • Student Belongings pick up - Please remain in cars. We will bring items to you.
      • Monday, June 15th 2020
        • 9:00am – Noon @ ACCESS at Lane MS
        • 1:00pm – 4:00pm @ ACCESS at Vestal

    Anything items not picked up on this day will be held until fall. If you would like to return any school items please do so then. Otherwise we will collect books, calculators, Chromebook, etc… in the fall.

    • Grades – all grading marks for all classes will be either a Pass or Incomplete.
    • Math Placement – grades 1st – 5th will receive an email this week from your current teacher with their professional recommendation for your child’s math level placement for next school year. We realize the distance learning conditions have been challenging for some. Rest assured that we will conduct a baseline assessment of all of our students once back together to identify learning gaps.
    • Teacher assignments and class schedules – This will occur mid-August via email or letter for grades 1-5. Middle school schedules will be available in Synergy a few days before classes start.  
    • Student/Parent Portal - https://sites.google.com/apps4pps.net/portal/pps-student-portal It is my understanding that you will continue to have access into August.

    Celebrations continue!

    5th Grade Arch of Friendship - car parade

    Vestal School

    Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

    3:00pm - 4:00pm

    ***Enter from the SE 80th & SE Flanders side of the lot, drive through and out onto 81st. (we will have cones to mark the route)

    ACCESS teachers and staff will be physically distancing, wearing masks and gloves in the auxiliary parking lot where the buses usually sit while waiting for students.  We will celebrate with signs, banners, streamers, and other flare. Staff and teachers will form the Arch of Friendship, clapping and cheering as cars drive through. Please plan to decorate car windows, bring your own signs, banners, and streamers. In order for this to be successful all rising 6th graders and families must plan to stay in their vehicles. You are welcome to circle around more than once. :-)


    8th Grade Arch of Friendship – car parade

    Lane Middle School

    Wednesday, June 10th, 2020 - last day of school

    3:30pm - 4:30pm

    ACCESS teachers and staff will be social distancing and wearing masks on the school side of the curb where buses usually drop off, while students and families drive through on SE 60th. We will celebrate with signs, banners, streamers, and flare. Staff and teachers will form the Arch of Friendship as cars drive through. Please plan to decorate car windows, bring your own signs, banners, and streamers. In order for this to be successful all 8th graders and families must plan to stay in their vehicles. You are welcome to circle around more than once. :-)

    • Lottery for new students – Our hope is that the lottery will run mid-June with notices going out to families right away. Once we have our new students rolled into Synergy I will let you all know so we can go to work with outreach and welcoming our new ACCESS ATOMS!

    Lastly, I have another medical leave scheduled starting Tuesday, June 9th, 2020. My left knee is doing great, getting stronger, 130 degree flexion, still stiff, but no pain. I am so happy with how recovery has been.

    I will have a total joint replacement of my right knee this time. Yes, they are both bad! Mr. Corona, gcorona@pps.net and Kathleen Ellwood, kellwood@pps.net will take charge in my absence. I will monitor email and consult as able, but my focus will be on rest, pain management, ice, and rehab!

    I will have one more messenger before my leave. Continue to hold space for discussions about systemic oppression, racism, white privilege, and healing for our communities of color. Today is the memorial service for George Floyd. Take a moment to breathe, reflect, and hold his family in your heart. I am hopeful. More than I have ever been. It seems that America is listening.

    Be well, Ginger

    May 30, 2020

    Good Morning ACCESS Community -

    My heart is heavy as I breath deeply this morning. I have been consumed by the intense response our communities of color in this country find themselves expressing once again after a number of brutal and oppressive killings and racist actions against people of color in our communities. Most recently; Ahmaud Aubery, Christian Cooper, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.

    I reflect back to my first days with you all when I described my personal and professional journey as a white educator in Portland and in PPS, as well as a white student of a few of PPS's most racially diverse schools, having attended Portsmouth School and the graduating from Jefferson High School. My white parents never talked with me about race, oppression, or white privilege. They barely can have these conversations with me or their white grand children today.

    I ask that we please find a way to step out of our fear, guilt, or any anxieties we may experience whenever we try to talk about race, oppression, white privilege, and the systemic nature of how these impact people of color as well as white people. Talk with your children, Talk with each other. Talk with your neighbors. Talk with your friends. Do not be silent. These things will not stop unless we all work to interrupt and dismantle oppressive actions and systems. Let's support our children as they become anti-racist.

    Be well, Stay safe, Ginger

    A Letter to White Parents: https://www.romper.com/p/from-christian-cooper-to-george-floyd-a-letter-to-white-parents-22940751?utm_term=share


    Statement on Tragic Death of George Floyd from Guadalupe Guerrero, PPS Superintendent https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#search/statement+on+tragic+/FMfcgxwHNWJSCPhrJrWrFjDtGlSlNksr


    I am also passing along a message from Ms. Tessema, our elementary counselor and one of our valued staff of color. She has included links to resources that will support us in being able to talk with our young people and with each other about what we are seeing all happening all over our country in response to the killing of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. 

    Hello ACCESS staff and families,

    The devastating news of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor will continue to cause emotions and confusion for many people and not just BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). I think it is important and necessary to have conversations with our young students even while at distance. Given the recent social climate and pandemic, many of us have been extremely sensitive and emotional the past few months. As an educator of color who has always worked in predominantly white institutions, I feel these conversations are always relevant to our communities. Don't underestimate your students- I personally don't think one can be too young to talk about racism. In my experience I am always blown away by their ability to understand the demand to be part of solutions. 

    A previous colleague of mine shared a little bit about her virtual discussions with her predominantly white 4th graders. They read the article Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh. For the activity, the teacher wrote different types of daily privilege on cards and placed them into a backpack. She then had student volunteers read them aloud as she picked out each card. This is just an idea of how to start conversations. 

    I also want to share a document with many resources compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein to help spark more conversations about race with friends, colleagues, and families. 


    Ruth Tessema, M.Ed., NCC

    ACCESS at Vestal School Counselor


    ACCESS at Vestal Counseling Website

    May 7, 2020

    Good Morning ACCESS Community-

    I just want to share briefly that with PPS going to a four day school week, Monday - Thursday, starting May 8th, that teachers and staff will be adjusting their schedules and moving everything that is on Friday to another day. In some cases these scheduling adjustments may result in a reconfiguration of office hours. 

    We really appreciate your flexibility and support during this incredible stay at home, distance learning time. This shift to furlough days will result in significant savings for our PPS budget in the 2020-21 school year. I am including the link to Superintendent Guerrero’s message from yesterday, which outlines the details for this decision. As more details become available I will be sure to pass it along.

    We hope you are all managing and well. 


    A few other things to share….

    5th - 6th grade transition - We are planning a virtual tour of the Lane location and opportunities for our 5th graders to hear from both our middle school teachers and a panel of middle school students. Students will first view a video tour of the middle school campus and both Ms. Byrkit and Ms. Webb will facilitate gathering questions. Following the virtual tour will be the meet up with middle school teachers one week, and then the next week will bring a panel of middle school students to share about what it's like to move over to the Lane location. Watch for details from Ms. Byrkit and Ms. Webb. We are so excited that we are able to bring this adaptive experience for our rising middle school students!

    8th grade promotion - Thank you to the 8th graders who were able to join Mr. Harkness and myself on a quick video chat on Monday and to the parents who joined a similar video chat later in the evening. We have a planning team of students who are exploring the most dynamic virtual platform for a promotion event. Students have also created and shared a survey to 8th graders asking for ideas, who might be interested in assisting with creation of the virtual event, who is wanting to perform a musical number, sing, or deliver a speech to their peers. Mr. Harkness and I will meet with our planning team again next Monday to review the survey results and outline the virtual promotion event. 

    We had the 8th grade promotion scheduled for Wednesday, June 3rd in the evening and had planned to use Franklin High School’s auditorium. We may shift this date as a result of the extended school year. The last day of school is now Wednesday, June 10th. We will share the details next week. 

    If there are 8th grade parents who would like to assist with executing the virtual promotion event or have another idea, please connect with me, gtaylor1@pps.net, or Mr. Harkness, dharkness@pps.net

    Virtual Information Mtgs - Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to all of our ACCESS families, students, and school and district staff who made a point to login to our virtual information meetings this week. Your contribution and testimony speak volumes beyond the slide presentation. Our prospective families really want to hear directly from you. Again, thank you! An interesting benefit of being able to adapt to a virtual platform for our information meetings is that more people were able to participate. Tonight's meeting, focused on our elementary program, had 86 people logged into the meeting. Very awesome! Note: the application deadline for the school choice lottery has been extended to May 12th, 2020.

    Lastly, this week is National Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week. Our ACCESS team has not skipped a beat with moving to distance learning. They have adapted, learned quickly, and continue to learn the variety of ways available to engage your students, virtually. It is an incredibly HUGE lift to do what we have been forced to do during the stay at home order. The dedication of our ACCESS team is unmatched! I am in awe everyday when I talk with teachers and staff about how they are differentiating, reaching out, and thinking adaptively to keep students engaged and partner with you as our teachers at home. Thank you! 

    Enjoy the warm weather and happy Mother’s Day to all of our ACCESS moms! Be well, Ginger


    April 26, 2020

    Good Evening ACCESS Families –

    It has been a busy week as we continue to think and work adaptively to meet the needs of our students under our stay at home orders. Students are doing their best to make the leap to online learning and the virtual platforms. There have been a few hiccups with how students are engaging with regards to appropriate use of technology, and others not quite ready to sign on, but for the most part I am hearing great things form students, parents, teachers, and staff. Our counselors, learning center teachers, and Mr. Corona and I are joining classes throughout the week. It is so nice to see our students’ faces, and to see the surprise on their faces when they see us using the virtual platforms.

    Mr. Z and the climate team with our elementary students have some very fun activities in the works and are busy engaging with students via video. Please help us to reinforce our ACCESS ATOMS(Accountable Team player Optimistic Mindful Safe) values during our distance learning.

    We are working to link important items and information to our newly added “Distance Learning” tab, including the Youtube channel for the MS morning announcements and the student/teacher schedules. You will also see a growing gallery of images and messages from ACCESS staff that gives us all a sense of what it is like to be “working from home”.

    Digital Citizenship guidelines online safety. Please take time to review with your students appropriate use and engagement with technology and our virtual platforms. Teachers are doing the same, but reinforcement from home will go a long way. It is challenging to remember that anytime we are using district technology, learning/communication platforms, and interacting with each other during class/meeting times we must follow the district guidelines, even while at home.  Here is the link to the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook. Thank you!

    Health lessons @ MS – Mr. Harkness and Ms. Raspone have teamed up to offer supplemental lessons for MS Health starting this week. Personal safety, rights, responsibilities, and respect are the main themes of the lessons, as well as digital citizenship. Lessons will be shared via google classroom; will be both synchronous and asynchronous in nature.

    • 7th gr – Tuesdays @ 2:00pm
    • 6th gr – Wednesdays @ 2:00pm
    • 8th gr – Thursdays @ 2:00pm

     Please review the Master Schedule for MS for details. MS Weekly Class Schedule (1).xlsx 

    5th gr to 6th gr transition plan – we are in the process of outlining a virtual tour and visitation activity for our current 5th graders. We plan to firm this up with our 5th gr and MS teachers this week and then will share details in the next messenger. I think it’s going to fun!

    Renaissance Fair is being canceled for this spring. We will think ahead to next year and make our next event super spectacular!

    Open House/Information Mtgs – We are going virtual with our outreach and information meetings in anticipation of the application lottery for perspective new students! We have worked closely with both the TAG and Enrollment & Transfer offices to coordinate our outreach. The application deadline is being extended to May 12th, 2020.

    Dates/Times for Virtual Information Mtgs

    • Elementary (Vestal) Location: Wed - May 6, 2020, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
    • Middle School (Lane) Location: Thurs - May 5, 2020, 5:00pm – 6:00pm

    You will find the links to the google meets invitation on our web page. Please feel free to join in the meeting, and spread the word to perspective families.

    Foundation – we are working on a message for giving this year. In these uncertain times it is tough to think about asking families to contribute financially. There is much for our district and elected officials to sort out with regard to budget impact resulting from the shutdown orders. All district hiring has been put on hold. I do not anticipate we will know much prior to the State's May revenue forecast. This last week’s school board meeting outlined several scenarios based on the revenue forecast. The one thing that stuck with me is this:

    For every $1 billion loss of state revenue = $30 million loss in PPS State School funding.

    Thank you to everyone for all you do to keep our students safe, engaged, and feeling loved!

    Be well, Ginger

    April 18, 2020

    Hello ACCESS Families –

    It has been a very busy week as we all work to find a rhythm with our stay at home reality, and distance learning needs for students. Teachers and staff are so glad to have students engaging with the virtual platforms and finding ways to connect with trusted adults and friends at school. I have heard from some parents and staff alike about how challenging it is for some students to manage the virtual platforms, track schedules, engage academically, and find ways to cope with the isolation of being home for many weeks. This first full week has been successful, and we will get better at it all!

    Guidance from both ODE and PPS leadership is that our distance learning priorities are that we are doing everything we can to ensure students and families are safe, are able to have their basic needs met, are coping both emotionally and mentally, with academic program offerings coming after. Maslow before Blooms… Nothing is required. Students are able to engage when they can. No one will fail a class. No one will be held back a grade. Our approach with all of this is “do no harm”.

    I will host a virtual Principal chat Monday evening, 4/20 @ 6:30pm. Please join me. We will touch base about distance learning, 2020-21 enrollment, virtual information mtgs, budget/staffing.

    Links to resources that have been shared on various platforms these past few weeks from district…

    I think this is enough information for now. Enjoy the weekend, and we will continue to learn and grow in ways we never imagined during this stay at home order! I will leave you with a Kim Stafford poem that our middle school Learning Center teacher, Ms. Anderson just shared with staff, Kim Stafford.docx.

    Be well, Ginger

    April 12, 2020

    Hello ACCESS Community -

    Teachers and Staff continue to work to adapt to digital platforms for connecting with you and students as well as provide learning resources that are challenging, fun, interactive, and supplemental. Lessons and learning activities will be in a variety of formats using synchronous and asynchronous options for engagement. Opportunities for students to connect virtually with their teacher will vary by grade level and teacher. Some have set "office hours", small group homeroom groups, "lunch bunch" and other social groups, and student clubs will come on board as we continue to learn and adapt.

    • Elementary teachers will continue using the e-mail feature in Synergy for all class communication. For now, this is the main vehicle for communicating their schedules with you all. Unlike when we are in brick and mortar school the virtual schedules for each teacher will vary based on their need to be able to balance responsibilities between school and home life. We are exploring the best option for a central location for each teachers schedule. 
    • Middle school teachers have set a standard "class time" and have given strong guidance to students for how to best organize and use their time throughout the day. Please reference the grade level schedule found attached to the message. We will most likely be adding these to a “digital learning” tab on the ACCESS web site. This is a task for the coming week…

    • MS Weekly Class Schedule - ACCESS@Lane 6th grade student schedule.pdf 

    • MS Weekly Class Schedule - ACCESS@Lane 7th grade student schedule.pdf 

    • MS Weekly Class Schedule - ACCESS@Lane 8th grade student schedule.pdf 

    I keep using the analogy that "we are flying a plane that is in the process of being built", and everyday we are learning more about what is possible, how to be more efficient and engaging, and investing a good deal of time on the front end with virtually learning of our own in order to keep this plane in the air. I cannot say it enough that these are uncharted waters for PPS to be able to provide distance learning for every student across the district. An incredible undertaking to say the least!

    I anticipate frequent communications from me now that I am back to work full-time as we get going and continue to learn and adapt. I feel like I have the most to learn with regards to digital platforms for communicating with our various stakeholder groups and this will be my focus for these first few days. I hope to be able to offer a video chat with you all Thursday sometime. Let me figure out the most accessible platform and I will share details before then. Of course, I am always available via e-mail, gtaylor1@pps.net and Mr Corona, gcorona@pps.net.

    I am hoping you all are well and staying connected to family and friends. More throughout the week! Ginger

    April 9, 2020

    I know everyone has heard that Governor Brown has extended the distance learning order for schools through the end of the school year. Such a surreal situation we are in, but it is the right thing to do. This leads to many, many questions regarding end of school year events and activities:  talent show, skate party, parent potluck, outdoor school, 8th grade promotion, information nights, and others I may have missed. While we are not able to hold these events and activities in our planned ways, we will work adaptively to find ways to celebrate and honor our student’s talents and accomplishments virtually.

    I will schedule several opportunities for parents to connect with me virtually starting next week. I will plan to join the scheduled PTA mtg via zoom on 4/15. We will get a few virtual information meetings scheduled this month as well.

    Teachers and staff have been working at warp speed to develop schedules, prepare google classrooms, set up Remind as a communication platform, all the while managing home responsibilities during our stay at home orders. Many on our team also have children and other responsibilities at home and are challenged by striking a balance between supporting their own children’s needs and providing rich, meaningful learning opportunities for our students. We have good support from district leaders and department experts to support and problem-solve navigate these uncharted territories. Know that we are all learning and we will do our best to grow, adapt, and maximize opportunities for students, virtually.

    First and foremost we want to know that you and yours are well. Teachers and other staff are doing their best to connect with every student this week. If you have not been able to connect with a teacher or counselor let me know right away. We want to make sure every student has access to a Chromebook, and that each household has wi-fi before our distance learning begins next week.

    Please always reference the most up-to-date information at this district resource page, https://www.pps.net/Page/15080 , including resources for meals, childcare, and socio-emotional and mental health.

    Chromebook pick up for anyone still needing a device 4/9 & 10, as well as everyday next week, https://www.pps.net/devices

    We will have tentative schedules posted to the school web page by Sunday. I will also share them via messenger. These will include opportunities to connect with teachers and other staff. Know that they will be tentative as we all adapt and learn.

    I have been working more and more this week. I see my doctor tomorrow afternoon, virtually, and expect to be back to work fulltime following.

    Please continue to monitor district lines of communication, as there will be additional details coming daily.

    I am well, as is family near and far. What an amazing gift it is to have so many ways to connect with loved ones virtually! Be well! We will get back to some semblance of a schedule soon. Ginger

    March 31, 2020

    Dear ACCESS Community –

    I have been thinking about you all while at home. First as I began recovering from knee replacement surgery, and then as I have moved into physical therapy and rehab. Now in the third week of social distancing with the worldwide pandemic we find ourselves learning to navigate life and uncharted areas virtually. It is all so very surreal to me. I want you to know that I am well, as is family near and far. We are connecting daily using all of the digital and virtual platforms. I hope you and yours are well too.

     Information sharing regarding the pandemic and state, community, agency, and school responses to it comes fast and furious and are found on all forms of social media and digital platforms. As far as information sharing and district response, please always refer to e-mail communication from PPS Comms and this central web site https://www.pps.net/Page/15080 .

    We held our first all staff virtual staff mtg yesterday and then teachers set off to engage in virtual learning of their own as we prepare for distance learning with our students. This will continue all this week as teachers prepare Google classrooms, design lessons and enriching activities. Last night, the Oregon Department of Education released new guidance, shifting from “supplemental learning” to “distance learning for all.” Current district planning for home-based distance learning seem to align well with ODE’s expectations. Please know that educational leaders across the state, other districts, and within PPS are working to figure out how to best design these distance learning platforms to engage ALL of our learners.

    Learning resources https://sites.google.com/apps4pps.net/portal/pps-student-portal

    Teachers and staff have and will be connecting with you and arranging to interact and engage with students soon. Google classroom, Google chat and meet up will be the main platforms for communication and information sharing. District is finalizing a contract with an app called “Remind”. Details coming soon!

    Message from the middle school teachers & staff https://docs.google.com/document/d/13-ctpwHMWxC7jsu0TLyF_7Kc5aB_tRvvXrhuAiWh4U8/edit

    I am continuing with my leave through this week and most likely into next, as I do not see my doctor until 4/9. Marylyn John, mjohn@pps.net will continue as lead administrator in my absence, and Gabriel Corona, gcorona@pps.net as assistant principal. We are using google meets daily to consult and stay connected.

    I know there are so so many questions regarding the remainder of the school year, Q3 grades, high school credit courses, skate party, talent show, 8th grade promotion, etc…. Just as soon as we know definitively what our course of action is we will surely share plans as they relate to things that impact our ACCESS community. I have done my best to follow decisions related to the various academic competitions and events and believe they have all been canceled; Geography Bee, Spelling Bee, Oregon Writing Project, etc… Please confer with the lead teacher to confirm. Sigh….

    More to come as we hear… Missing you all! Be well! Ginger

    February 21, 2020

    Good Morning ACCESS Families –

    I am scheduled to be out on medical leave for (hopefully) four to five weeks starting Wednesday, February 26th, 2020 following a total joint replacement in my left knee. My goal is to return Monday, April 6th, 2020. Pain management, swelling, and mobility are the key factors that will drive my return date. This is a long time coming, after nearly six years of managing the arthritis following arthroscopy, with a regimen of pain injections, and physical therapy.

    In my absence, I have two very strong retired administrator, Sarah Lewins, slewins@pps.net and Marylyn John, mjohn@pps.net who will take the lead with day-to-day operations. Both had commitments to work around so coverage will be as follows:

    • 2/26 – 3/10 Sarah Lewins everyday
    • 3/11 – 4/ 3 Marylyn John everyday

    My connections to both date back many years. I was the school counselor for Ms. Lewins son when I was at Benson HS, and Ms. John and I were both PPS school counselors together before moving in to school administration. I feel very at ease knowing they will look after things while I am away.

    Ms. Lewins has been the school principal for several PPS schools, last at Rieke elementary, and Roseway Heights K-8 prior to that. She has a strong background in teaching and Special Education.

    Ms. John spent many years as the assistant principal for both Hosford and Sellwood Middle Schools before retirement. She has a strong school counseling background, with leadership amongst the MS team. Last I remember she rode a Harley.

    Ms. Lewins, myself, and Mr. Corona met this week to review key important events, dates, discuss communication practices between buildings, student supervision, met several staff, and tour the building at Lane MS. Ms. Lewins plans to spend the afternoon on Wednesday, 2/26 at Vestal to do the same thing with Mr. Corona. Mr. Corona will continue in his role full-time at our Vestal location.

    Key work that will continue in my absence:

    • Information Mtgs/Open Houses – Mr. Corona, my supervisor Kathleen Ellwood, and TAG Director Linda Smith will all be in attendance for both March dates. I have teachers scheduled for each of these dates as well. There is a parent group heading up outreach, starting with a personal invitation to all families who received the 99% letters from PPS TAG department. These will go in the mail tomorrow. Please have students participate in the Information mtgs. Perspective families love seeing and hearing for them.
    • Lottery gender weighting – myself and a small group of parents have been collaborating regularly around the change in the gender weighting. We have been in conversation with E&T and Title IX staff to see what is possible before the lottery runs. Everyone needs to promote, promote, promote ACCESS and encourage families to apply. Outreach is key!
    • MS Health – I think I have secured a regular substitute teacher for the remainder of the school year. With support from Mr. Harkness I feel secure with the arrangement. I will share a bit more detail next week once we have firmed up the plan. I do have Planned Parenthood coming in April to co-facilitate the Sexual Health unit.
    • Site Council – Monday, 3/16 3:30-5:00pm will continue in my absence. We meet this coming Monday and will discuss facilitation and agenda for the March date.
    • Principal Coffees – Let’s cancel both dates in March.
    • Single building reunification – the PPS School Board is actively discussing and working through the logistics for the boundary review for the district. Reuniting ACCESS into one building was mentioned as a priority.
    • Both Mr. Zollinger at Vestal and Mr. Harkness at Lane have returned from paternity leave. Students and staff and very glad to have them back! Babies are growing, healthy, and fun!

    Of course, Kathleen Ellwood, kellwood@pps.net my direct supervisor will be in close communication with the administrative team while I’m out. Susie Fung, sfung@pps.net , my assistant will keep me informed of things. I expect after a few weeks that I will be able to monitor e-mail to some degree. No promises. Recovery is my priority!

    Thank you all for your support and active engagement! I will communicate again next week with additional information. Ginger


    January 30, 2019

    Good Morning! 

    It is that time of year when perspective families and students are considering school options and we have scheduled several information meetings/open houses. See schedule:

                            ACCESS @ Vestal                        ACCESS @ Lane


    Wed - Feb 5, 2020,6 – 7 pm

    Wed - Feb 12, 2020, 6 – 7 pm


    Thurs - Mar 5, 2020, 6 - 7 pm

    Thurs - Mar 12, 2020 6 - 7 pm


    Mon - Apr 27, 2020, 6 – 7 pm

    Mon - Apr 13, 2020, 6 – 7 pm


    Wed - May 6, 2020, 3 - 4 pm

    Thurs - May 14, 2020, 3:30-4:30 pm

    We will have a set of slides to guide our presentations and offer a tour. We will use the library for our meeting space at both locations. I would love to have parents, students, and staff participate. Please let me know if you or your student would be interested in speaking to our visitors and I will share the talking prompts so you are able to think about how you will share about your experience with ACCESS Academy. gtaylor1@pps.net  


    Your intentions for next year, 2020-21 School-year.

    I am sharing the link to an internal survey. We are headed into staffing, budget, and transfer season and your intentions with regard to whether or not you plan to continue at ACCESS will help us as we prepare. The form will only allow one response per person, so if you have already done so there is no need to do this again. A few of you have asked to speak with me. My goal is to make these calls by end of day Friday.

    Link to form https://forms.gle/s6bXp3qUhYKM1o92A  


    PPS Successful Schools Survey: Family Feedback   (Please take a few moments to provide PPS with your feedback)

    Dear ACCESS Families,

    Thank you so much for participating in our annual Successful Schools Family Survey. Your responses will help your school understand your experience and use them to set goals and plan for next year. The survey will cover topics on school safety, school climate, barriers to family engagement, racial equity and inclusion as well as how well your school fits your student’s needs. Please be honest and thoughtful, and take your time to read and respond to the questions.

    Please visit the link below on a computer, tablet, or smartphone and select the school your child attends. If you do not have access to a computer or internet, please contact your school office so we can provide a way for you to take the survey. Thank you so much for your time and feedback! 


    Thank you! Ginger & Gabriel


    January 25, 2020

    Happy long weekend, again....!

    These last few weeks have been super busy so things I want to share have been long in coming...

    First, I'd like to congratulate our master spellers!

     Congratulations to the following students in grades 4-8 who will advance to the school spelling bee! There was some fine spelling in the classroom bees this week and last. Special shout out to Ms McBride's 5th period 7th grade ELA class, who got deeper into the word list than any other class. (List is attached) Student List.xlsx 

    The school bee will be on Thursday, January 30, 9 am in the Vestal auditorium. Parents are welcome to attend. Middle school contestants will be bused over from Lane first thing in the morning (so don't be tardy!) and eat lunch before returning.

    Winner of the school bee will advance to the Regional Spelling Bee at the Hollywood Theater on Saturday, March 14 at 9 am. Winner of the regional bee will win a trip to Washington DC to compete in the National Spelling Bee! An ACCESS student has qualified for the national bee in two of the last four years.

    Contact JaneAnne Peterson with questions, janeannechovy@comcast.net.


    Spanish @ Vestal - after a few stops and starts with teacher candidates we are finally welcoming Peter Gawronski. Mr. Gawronski is a current halftime Spanish teacher in the afternoons at Creston School . We are very excited to have Mr. Gawronski as part of our team. He not only is fluent in Spanish, but he has varying levels of proficiency in other languages as well: Mandarin, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian. Mr. Gawronski is participating in district sponsored professional development on Tuesday, so his first day will be Wednesday, 1/29.

    PE/Health @ Lane - we are sad to share that Mr. McCormick is moving to a new school for the remainder of the school year. It is a long story involving state and district requirements for specific content licensing requirements. We have explored a variety of solutions thus far with district HR and Labor Relations, resulting in us holding off on teaching Health until second semester hoping we could make it work. In order to meet state requirements we have to switch to our Health curriculum starting Tuesday, 1/28. We will have a great guest teacher, Louie Sloan. Mr. Sloan has been in our program serving as guest teacher in a few classes these past few weeks and is excited to be with us for the short-term. We will work to secure a teacher for the remainder of the school year quickly.

    I have had district PE/Health program administrator, Jenny Withycombe, prepare our Health lessons, including providing class sets of materials as well as securing guest facilitators for our units on sexual health. Mr. Harkness, counselor and Ms. Raspone, media specialist, will both co-facilitate lessons throughout the semester. More to come, once we get going with second semester. 

    World Language switch in 6th grade - reminder that 6th graders will swap from Spanish to Mandarin and visa versa starting Tuesday, 1/28.

    8th Grade Promotion - we have reserved the auditorium at Franklin High School for 8th grade promotion on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020 for a 6:30pm ceremony. We will secure a reception space at Franklin as well. Most likely the cafeteria. Please let me know who are our parent volunteers charged with helping plan for this much anticipated event.

    MAP Assessment - teachers are seeing good growth for many students as they finish up with winter MAP assessments. We will share details in a few weeks.

    Lastly, we want to welcome the Chinese New Year! 2020 is the year of the Rat. https://chinesenewyear.net/ Have a great long weekend (again)! Ginger & Gabriel

    January 13, 2020

    Good Morning - 

    Many staff and families have asked if there is a way to assist the Stiles family from Vestal, so I am passing along the gofundme link should you feel compelled to contribute https://www.gofundme.com/f/stiles-family-support

    We will continue to hold a space in our hearts for this family and our Vestal partners. Please let use know if our students are needing extra support or space to talk, write, draw, and process. Thank you to our strong team of educators at our Vestal location for supporting each other and our students throughout the day yesterday. Ginger and Gabriel

    January 12, 2020

    Dear ACCESS Community -

    We learned from our Vestal partners today that a Vestal first grader Lola, her younger brother William, and their father Jeremy were walking onshore near Cannon Beach on Saturday when they were swept suddenly into the ocean. Rescuers pulled Lola and Jeremy from the water and they were taken to a local hospital in Seaside, where Lola was pronounced dead. Coast Guard rescuers continued to look for William, spending nearly five hours scouring the ocean Saturday afternoon. They called off the search after dark. You may continue to hear reports and information on the news and through social media.

    Our Vestal partners are doing everything they can to care for and support students, families, and staff tomorrow and throughout the week. We are all very sad for our Vestal partners, and for Lola’s family. Please hold them in your hearts, be strong for our Vestal partners, and support each other. Ms. Tessema will hold her office as a space for student support today where students can talk and write/draw cards.

    ***This part of the message (above the line) will be shared with ACCESS @ Vestal students in the morning in classrooms at the discretion of their teacher.


    For our Vestal partners who may need additional support, members of the district crisis recovery team will be on site all day and will  help to set up a safe space in their Wy' East room for Vestal students and staff. This space will be staffed by members of Portland’s Trauma Intervention Program (TIP's) and the Vestal counselor, where students can talk, write cards, and get support. Our ACCESS team is also encouraged to visit with a TIP's staffer should they need support.

    Your student might want to talk about this news with you at home.  Below are some resources that might be helpful:

    We are devastated to hear about the Stiles family and the impact to our Vestal partners, and we will be here to support each other. If you have concerns or questions, please contact either Gabriel or myself:

     Ginger at 503-916-6482, gtaylor1@pps.net              Gabriel at 503.916.6483, gcorona@pps.net

    Please know that if your child is struggling at school, we will call you right away. 

    Sincerely and with a heavy heart, Ginger and Gabriel

    January 12, 2020

    Welcome Back!

    I hope the break was relaxing, fun, and refreshing and that everyone is ready to be back to school. Winter break and the start of a new calendar year always provides for a bit of time to reflect before looking ahead to the rest of the school year.

    As Gabriel and I have listened, observed, and learned as much as we can about our ACCESS community these first four months we have realized the uniqueness of our program. We have parents who are passionate about their child's educational experience, staff you are equally passionate about education and for providing for the needs of all students. We have also realized that with the changes that have occurred over the past handful of years (transfer process, administrative turn over, relocating to a split campus model) that we have work to do. I want to briefly offer some insights into things that are in motion with regards to "our work":

    • Formation of our ACCESS instructional leadership team which includes staff from both campuses: adding leads for TAG, testing, and technology coordination for both locations. 
    • Student Intervention & Climate Teams with priority for our Vestal location. These teams meet weekly. We are better supporting individual students with functional behavior assessments, behavior support plans, evaluating for continuum of service, as well as focusing on school-wide and classroom expectations. Vesta/ACCESS bucks, monthly community celebration assemblies, and Friday Vestal/ACCESS bucks store are in place. Weekly classroom-based guidance with focus on Zones of Regulation, and our tier two focused student support groups will begin this month with Ms. Tessema.
    • Monthly principal coffees at each location
    • Monthly site council; student council @ MS location
      • Site council goals for reading, math, behavioral referrals, and family engagement are being finalized this week.
    • A variety of in-school and after-school activities: chess club, math club, cat club, Girl Scouts, Oregon Battle of Books, talent show, several upcoming math, science, geography, spelling competitions, opportunities for community service (I know I am missing some...)
    • Visiting authors, field trips, and various "residencies" supported by our Run for the Arts budget.
    • Monthly (or more) consultation & collaboration with department leads for Special Education, Talented & Gifted, Enrollment & Transfer, Student Services, Instruction, Curriculum, & Assessment. Including classroom and school-wide observation, teaming/coaching, as well as facilitated professional development for staff.
    • In addition to our regular all staff professional development we have teams participating in targeted PD
      • MAP - Measure of Academic Progress
      • TAG - Talented & Gifted for rate & level, differentiation
      • FBA/BPS - Functional Behavior Supports & Behavior Support Planning (2-day)
      • CPS - Collaborative Problem-Solving (3-day)
      • CASEL - Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (evening)
      • Co-regulation: Trauma Informed Schools (webinar) 
      • Inquiry-based Learning (webinar)

    Additionally, PPS will undergo an audit this spring evaluating TAG Services which will include school and classroom visits. Both ACCESS campuses are slated for full day visits in April. Our TAG department will be collaborating, teaming with staff, and visiting classrooms in the coming weeks starting with our elementary location.  

    We are also anticipating to have a "first look" at the work happening with regards to district space and facilities use being conducted by the district's space committee. 

    The Successful Schools Survey will open at the end of this month as well and will provide an opportunity for families to give feedback.

    We have Family Information & School Tour dates set for both locations. We will be asking parents, staff, and students to participate in the coming weeks as we engage inquiring families. I will send a separate survey to our current families this week asking about intentions for the 2020-21 school year so we can set our open spots by grade level for the enrollment lottery.

    We are moving into staffing and budget season as a district as well, and I will share details once they are released.

    ***Tuesday's, 1/14 8:45 am @ Lane MS principal's coffee will focus on 8th grade transition and the upcoming lottery activities. Of course I always welcome any topic or questions that families may have.

    Please watch for communications regarding inclement weather being predicted this week https://www.pps.net/Page/124

    Happy New Year to you all! Gabriel and I will continue to push forward with "our work". Thank you to families, staff, and students for always doing your best in this regard. Ginger & Gabriel

    November 26, 2019

    Good Evening! 

    Long days and nights of successful conferences is a great way to slide into the Thanksgiving break. Thank you to all of you for your active participation and engagement with your students school experience. The ACCESS community is a deeply caring, passionate, and caring group. Your students are fortunate to have you all as parents and advocates. 

    I also want to extend a HUGE shout out to our team. The preparation, care, and attention to detail that goes into bringing personalized academic information in the form of assessment results, feedback, and insights that build on the strengths each and everyone of our students is no small undertaking. Two, twelve hour days is mentally, emotionally, and physically taxing, and educators are known for their stamina!

    A last appreciation for all of the food and goodies the last two days. This is a tremendous amount of work and so, so appreciated by our team! THANK YOU!

    A bit of business before I sign off. We have four new staff on our team.

    • Franscesca Wrobel will be taking Mr. Zollinger's role while he is on family leave. As of this morning no baby yet. She will start the week of 12/9 as she already had a prior commitment. We often have Ms. Wrobel is a regular sub for both our Vestal and Lane locations, and we are so thankful to have her as she already knows many of our students, our team, and the nuances of our programming needs. 
    • Barbara Sandhorst is our counselor substitute while Mr. Harkness is out for family leave. Baby Cosmos came early! He and momma and very healthy. Barbara has been here several days the past few weeks, and will be with us full-time starting 12/2. she is a retired counselor and has already hit the ground running!
    • Lauri Hausafus is an educational assistant for our lane location. She will be with us to help support students during lunch & recess and stay for most of the afternoon to work in classrooms supporting students. she is the current golf coach for Cleveland High School and has a thriving tutoring practice. Lauri was her a few hours on conference days to get oriented. We are excited to have her join our team!
    • Zachary Moss is a para-educator who has been gifted to us by district Special Education department. Zachary will be with us full-time for now, supporting students in classrooms. Zach was with us a few days last week and has been in classrooms supporting and getting to know students.

    Heading home for the night and to the coast for the break. Take care, rest, sleep in, eat lots of great food, and hug your kiddos!

    Ginger and Gabriel

    November 26, 2019

    Good Morning - 

    Day one of Parent-Teacher conferences was very busy and I observed lots of smiling faces, laughing between parents and teachers, and many collaborative and productive sessions. A HUGE THANK YOU to all of the parents who brought the amazingly delicious food! We ate from lunch all the way through the end of the night, with lots left for tomorrow. It really is appreciated by teachers and staff.

    Math changes at our ACCESS @ Vestal location

    It is always tough to find the balance with decisions that impact a few and the need for all to know. The use of social media for information sharing makes it very challenging to strike this balance. For those that need to know, Mr. Jacinto and has resigned his position. After many weeks with different substitute teachers and Mr. Corona stepping in to prep and teach this math class, as well as administer the MAP assessment we are forced to fold one math class and shift some students. I understand the implications for this decision, and trust that this transition will go smoothly.

    Add to this that Mr. Zollinger often stepped in to prep and teach Spanish too. These are not long-term solutions, and it is not sustainable to have our Assistant Principal and School Climate Specialist serve as teachers. 

    I can tell you that there is a shortage of math teachers around our state, and to find someone at this point in the school year that can teach Spanish and Math in the middle of the day as a half-time teacher would be virtually impossible. The time it would take to recruit, interview, reference and background check, and process through HR would be many, many more weeks, if there is such a candidate. 

    I do plan to work with our Dual Language Immersion and the teacher pathway programs to hire a Spanish teacher. I expect this will move quickly.

    Mr. Corona is honoring conference times for parents that have scheduled. Mr. Corona and homeroom teachers are able to share the student shifts with those effected. Student shifts will occur Tuesday. 

    My wish is that day two of conferences goes well for those scheduled with us. Thank you, Ginger


    November 15, 2019

    Happy Friday! 

    Site Council membership is as follows:


    • Ginger Taylor - principal
    • Gabriel Corona - assistant principal (as schedule is able to accommodate)
    • Amy McBride - middle school humanities teacher
    • Kim Hultgren - middle school humanities teacher
    • Marc Zollinger - school climate specialist (mostly located at elementary location)


    • Grazia Cunningham
    • Marian Berger
    • Tim Christy
    • JaneAnne Peterson

    We will continue to solicit for support staff participation and will discuss community membership.  Thank you to everyone in your engagement with our process. We will hold our first meeting Monday, 11/21 @ 3:30pm at our Lane location. 

    Enjoy the weekend! Ginger

    November 6, 2019

    Good Morning!           

    Please take time to read this in its entirety. Thank you! Ginger


    Background: We are forming a new site council, which will consist of me as principal, at least two teachers being selected through a similar process, a classified employee, and parents. No more than half of the membership can consist of either teachers or parents. Additional community members will be selected by the site council itself once it is formed (please see the full text of ORS 329.704 below for details). Please note that teachers and classified staff participate as volunteers and are not compensated for their time.

    We are seeking at least two and no more than four parents to represent the ACCESS parent community on our new site council. Site council is about making our school the best it can be, and we need and want the diversity of voices and perspectives within the ACCESS community represented. With our current split campus configuration it is critical that we have representation from both campuses.

    Self-Nominations: Interested parents should email Ginger Taylor (I would much prefer this all be managed by parents so we are in keeping with site council rules) with a brief statement (no more than a short paragraph) about your background and why you are interested in serving in this valued role.

    Please email your statement no later than Tuesday, 11/12 by NOON, gtaylor1@pps.net . All interested parents submitting a statement will be included on a Google voting form, which will be emailed to all parents (this must be managed by parents). Parents will then be able to vote for up to four candidates to serve on the site council. In the event there are fewer than four candidates, all candidates will be automatically accepted.

    Initial Site Council Priorities: 

    • School Comprehensive Improvement Plan.  ACCESS currently does not have a SCIP plan, so site council will be instrumental in finalizing ACCESS school improvement goals.
    • District GVC implementation and differentiation needs for rate and level appropriate to giftedness 
    • Multi-Tiered systems of support (MTSS) & social-emotional programming
    • Facilities (current building needs and long-term planning)

    Site Council Meetings: First meeting, Monday, 11/18 @ 3:30 p.m. @ Lane MS

    Monthly meetings going forward, 3rd Monday of the month 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. @ Lane MS. This gives Vestal reps time to travel.

    Expectations: Attendance at monthly meetings and participation in any work group(s) that may form once site council is up and running in order to accomplish specific tasks between meetings.

    Please contact me with any questions, and thank you all for considering! Ginger, gtaylor1@pps.net 

    A brief insight into the role of site council:

    School Site Councils were mandated in 1991 by the Oregon Legislature with the passage of the “Oregon Educational Act for the 21st Century.” ORS 329.704 states:

    To fulfill the mandate of the state legislature, the Site Council has developed and will approve a School Comprehensive Improvement Plan (SCIP). 

    The Plan will:

    • delineate both long- and short-term school improvement objectives;
    • include specific actions, specific personnel, and measurable outcomes.

    The Site Council will:

    • solicit input regarding the CAP from staff, parents, administration, students, and community members;
    • closely monitor progress toward attainment of the objectives during the school year;
    • review and revise as necessary the CAP each spring for the following school year.
      1. “There shall be established at each school a 21st Century Schools Council.” [These are commonly called Site Councils.] “The duties...shall include but not be limited to:
        1. The development of plans to improve the professional growth of the school’s staff;
        2. The improvement of the school’s instructional program;
        3. The development and coordination of plans for the implementation of programs under this chapter at the school;
        4. The administration of grants-in-aid for the professional development of teachers and classified district employees...”
      2. A Site Council “shall be composed of teachers, parents, classified employees and principal or the principal’s designee, as follows:
        1. Not more than half the members shall be teachers;
        2. Not more than half the members shall be parents;
        3. At least one member shall be a classified employee; and
        4. One member shall be the principal or the principal’s designee."
      3. In addition other members may be “...including but not limited to local school committee members, business leaders, students and members of the community at large.”
      4. Members of a site council “shall be selected as follows:
        1. Teachers shall be licensed teachers elected by licensed teachers at the school site;
        2. Classified employees shall be elected by classified employees at the school site;
        3. Parents shall be selected by parents of students attending the school;
        4. Other representatives shall be selected by the council.”


    October 29, 2019

    Greetings on this bright, blustery, and chilly morning!

    Just a few reminders regarding Spirit Week/Halloween costumes and "calling a handful of volunteers" to assist with furniture moves this week at our Vestal location.

    Spirit Week - ACCESS @ Vestal 

    • Monday October 28th                           Pajama Day
    • Tuesday October 29th                           Rainbow Day
    • Wednesday October 30th                    Backward Day
    • Thursday October 31st                         Dress Like Your Favorite Book, Movie or Made-up Character Day
    • Friday November 1st                            No School Day (Teacher Planning Day) 

    Halloween Day - ACCESS @ Lane

    • Thursday October 31st                   Costume Day (there will be an end of the day costume fashion show in the cafeteria)

    Costumes should be safe to move about the day, up and down stairs, outside, lunch/recess, etc...  Please, no face masks/face coverings, simulated weapons, or super gory make up. Also be mindful to consider costumes that may depict insensitive or racist images, or are reflective of cultural appropriation. 

    Have a great time with family and friends, be safe, sleep in on Friday! 


    Library Furniture for ACCESS @ Vestal - a few volunteers are needed to help with this 3-step project:

    • Tuesday, 10/29 afterschool, 2:45pm (ish)
      • Step 1 - remove tables & chairs from portable 1 (Art/Spanish classroom)
      • Step 2 - move current library tables & chairs to portable 1
    • Wednesday, 10/30 in the morning, 9:00am (ish)
      • Step 3 - assemble new library tables & chairs and help arrange learning spaces

    The Harvest Festival and Haunted House this past Sunday were a great success! Huge THANK YOU's to everyone who helped with set-up, engaged with families and students on Sunday, and then stayed to tear-down and clean-up. Such a fun activity and the community spirit warms my heart:-)

    Enjoy today! Ginger & Gabriel


    October 24, 2019

    Good Morning! 

    We plan to have a site council formed soon and hope to hold the first meeting on the third Monday in November; 11/18 @ 3:30, but first we need to select our council members, and parents are valued stakeholders.

    ***I would like to meet with a small group of parents on this coming Monday, 10/28 @ 3:30pm at our Lane location to review priorities and develop a nomination form that can be shared out electronically. 

    A brief insight into the role of site council:

    • School Site Councils were mandated in 1991 by the Oregon Legislature with the passage of the “Oregon Educational Act for the 21st Century.” ORS 329.704 states:

      To fulfill the mandate of the state legislature, the Site Council has developed and will approve a School Comprehensive Improvement Plan (SCIP). The Plan will:

      1. “There shall be established at each school a 21st Century Schools Council.” [These are commonly called Site Councils.] “The duties...shall include but not be limited to:
        1. The development of plans to improve the professional growth of the school’s staff;
        2. The improvement of the school’s instructional program;
        3. The development and coordination of plans for the implementation of programs under this chapter at the school;
        4. The administration of grants-in-aid for the professional development of teachers and classified district employees...”
      2. A Site Council “shall be composed of teachers, parents, classified employees and principal or the principal’s designee, as follows:
        1. Not more than half the members shall be teachers;
        2. Not more than half the members shall be parents;
        3. At least one member shall be a classified employee; and
        4. One member shall be the principal or the principal’s designee."
      3. In addition other members may be “...including but not limited to local school committee members, business leaders, students and members of the community at large.”
      4. Members of a site council “shall be selected as follows:
        1. Teachers shall be licensed teachers elected by licensed teachers at the school site;
        2. Classified employees shall be elected by classified employees at the school site;
        3. Parents shall be selected by parents of students attending the school;
        4. Other representatives shall be selected by the council.”

    To fulfill the mandate of the state legislature, the Site Council has developed and will approve a Comprehensive Improvement Plan (SCIP). The Plan will:

    • delineate both long- and short-term school improvement objectives;
    • include specific actions, specific personnel, and measurable outcomes.

    The Site Council will:

    • solicit input regarding the CAP from staff, parents, administration, students, and community members;
    • closely monitor progress toward attainment of the objectives during the school year;
    • review and revise as necessary the CAP each spring for the following school year.

    Thank you all for considering! Ginger

    October 19, 2019

    Happy Weekend! We made it through our first middle school social last night. Students had a great time, and a HUGE thank you to all of the parents who helped with decorations, food, supervision, and clean up! 

    Tuesday, 10/22 8:35 - 9:35am Principal Coffee @ Vestal location. This coincides with All Hands Raised sponsored Principal for Almost a Day citywide event. I will be hosting Brenden Butler Community Development Officer for Umpqua Bank, Oregon Corporate Responsibility https://www.umpquabank.com/corporate-responsibility Please join us!

    Sunday, 10/27 2pm-4pm Harvest Festival/Haunted House @ our Vestal site: Details found in the Atomic Flyer   https://accesspta.membershiptoolkit.com/newsletter/03379-NL20191016122135-085525600-1227323285

    Spirit Week - ACCESS @ Vestal 

    • Monday October 28th                           Pajama Day
    • Tuesday October 29th                           Rainbow Day
    • Wednesday October 30th                    Backward Day
    • Thursday October 31st                         Dress Like Your Favorite Book, Movie or Made-up Character Day
    • Friday November 1st                            No School Day (Teacher Planning Day) 

    Spirit Week for ACCESS @ Lane is being finalized this week by student council. Stay Tuned for details! 

    Library Furniture @ Vestal - a few volunteers are needed to help with this 3-step project:

    • Tuesday, 10/29 afterschool
      • Step 1 - remove tables & chairs from portable 1 (Art/Spanish classroom)
      • Step 2 - move current library tables & chairs to portable 1
    • Wednesday, 10/30 in the morning
      • Step 3 - assemble new library tables & chairs and help arrange learning spaces

    Spanish instruction for ACCESS @ Vestal: Mr. Zollinger will support our guest teacher(s) with lessons, direct instruction, and enriching engagement experiences in Mr. Jacinto's extended absence. We hope for his quick return. Thank you Mr. Z!


    October 17, 2019

    Good Morning ACCESS Families -

    We wanted to share a few quick tips for communicating with us when your student will be out of school. with Janae Merritt being with us full-time at our Vestal location and Susie Fung now at our Lane location full-time please note when sending e-mail messages of these location changes. Absences, dismissal changes, etc... are best routed directly to the location where your student attends. Additionally, there are specific e-mail accounts per location for attendance. These attendance e-mail accounts are the first checked in the morning. I am not sure how widely this is known so want to share them here.

    @Vestal location: Janae Merritt, jamerritt@pps.net, School Secretary                       

                                 attendance: accessatvestalattend@pps.net 

    @Lane location: Susie Fung, sfung@pps.net, Principal Secretary

                                 attendance: accessatlaneattend@pps.net 

    ACCESS Attendance link from web page: https://www.pps.net/domain/5092

    We are heading into cold and flu season. Many staff and families have already suffered colds. Please remember to wash hands often! Also, both locations are accumulating a heap of jackets and sweatshirts in the lost & found. If you are missing things please take a few minutes to check here.

    Buses: PTA met with representatives from PPS Transportation and Student First at last nights monthly meeting to problem-solve a few chronic issues and clarify communication protocols. PPS Transportation will be utilizing Schoolmessenger directly for late buses. We will come behind with another messenger in the afternoons. We really appreciate the opportunity to partner and problem-solve. 

    National Shake Out Day: both locations practiced an earthquake drill today as well as an evacuation drill.  

    Have a Great Day! Ginger & Gabriel


    October 7, 2019

    Happy Monday!

    Principal coffee @ Lane is tomorrow and it is at the same time as the 6th graders' Run for ACCESS session. We will start our coffee meeting @ 8:45am and maybe we can end a bit early to go out and cheer on the last few laps. Will see how our conversation is going.

    • 2nd Tues each month - 8:45am - 9:45am, Principal's coffee @ Lane, rm 184
    • 4th Tues each month - 8:35am - 9:35am, Principal's coffee @ Vestal, rm 113

    Topics to cover this month: site council membership & date/time, MTSS - multi-tiered system of support

    Run for ACCESS

    Tues, 10/8 @ Lane - zero (6th gr), 1st (8th gr), & 2nd (7th gr) periods. It looks like a fair chance of rain so please plan accordingly. A change of clothes/shoes may be a good idea.

    Thurs, 10/10 @ Vestal - ACCESS & Vestal students will run together

    • 9-9:30 am: 4th & 5th gr
    • 9:40-10:10 am: 1st & 2nd gr
    • 10:20-10:50 am: 3rd gr

    Good News! We finally have a school secretary, Janae Merritt. We are so excited to have Janae join our team! Janae is coming to us after  many years in Early Childhood Learning Centers where she served in both Assistant Director and Director roles. Janae and Susie are working together for a few days at the Vestal location this week and then Janae will be at our Vestal location full time and Susie will shift over to our Lane location. We are so thankful to finally have a permanent secretary! Thank you all for being tolerant, adaptive, and forgiving as we went many days at our Lane location without anyone stationed in the office. 

    It's a short week with Friday being a Statewide Inservice Day. Enjoy! Ginger & Gabriel

    September 29, 2019

    Happy Sunday! 

    I want to reflect on this very busy past week and look ahead to coming weeks....

    Thank you to families who came out to our Vestal location for Back-to-School Night. We are so excited to get to know new families and for you to hear from teachers about what your students are experiencing. We have many new staff at our elementary site and it was great to have them be able to meet so many parents. Also a HUGE thank you to our 8th graders who came over to fund-raise for their class trip. The pizza and treats were delise!

    Communication - I will do my best to share information on a weekly basis via Schoolmessenger. As things come up you can expect more frequent communications. PTA mtgs and twice monthly principal coffees are other opportunities to connect with me.

    With school underway and B2SN events past, I would expect that you will hear from teachers on a more predictable cycle. Knowing about google classrooms, teacher web pages, etc... will hopefully give insights that you find helpful and hopefully serve to minimize the need for individualized communications. Please mark your calendars for parent-teacher conferences Nov.25th & 26th. 

    • Progress Grades for middle school - report cards should go home by the weekend. 

    Safety Drills - this past week seemed to be the week for all things safety. Both locations had building and bus evacuation drills. Other drills to anticipate throughout the school year:

    • Monthly Fire Drills
    • Two Earthquake Drills
    • Two Lockdown Drills
    • One Lockout Drill
    • One Team Response Drill

    We coordiante drills with our co-located partners and do our best to give staff a 'heads up' for drills so they are able to prepare students. 

    OATAG Conference - the Oregon Association of Talented & Gifted annual conference is Saturday, October 26th from 8:30am - 4:00pm at Clackamas Community College. This years theme: Celebrating Neurodiversity. I plan to attend as do several staff members. I know parents are invited as well.

    School Secretary position - I think we have finally found a strong candidate to fill the school secretary position and am hopeful that HR will process the hiring quickly. I will introduce our new staff person once things are official. In the meantime, Susie Fung has already been promoted to principal secretary, and while remaining at our Vestal location since the start of school, Susie will move over to our Lane location with me once our new hire is on-boarded and trained. The timeline is pending.

    Technology policy for middle school - Mr. Zollinger, Mr. Harkness, and myself have been working with student focus groups to review the cell phone policy and compare to the language in the revised PPS Students Rights, Responsibilities Handbook to develop a more relevant use policy for middle school students. We will be collaborating with our Lane media specialist to implement regular "digital citizenship" learning opportunities. Technology is a part of everyday life and integral to learning and career paths. We think it's important to help students develop good habits with it's use and learn how to grapple with the ethics associated with the power technology provides.

    ACCESS Academy Middle School Technology policy - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ajY1b2UxTkmXArU7lc7FjsM5O0FxyuAs/edit

    SRR Handbook - https://www.pps.net/cms/lib/OR01913224/Centricity/Domain/5007/SRRD-Handbook-Final-English-08262019.pdf

    Other translated versions can be found here - https://www.pps.net/domain/1294

    I think fall is really here. While I am a summer lover, the cooler weather feels more like school is in session.

    Have a great week! Ginger & Gabriel


    September 23, 2019

    Good Morning ACCESS Families! 

    Just a quick note to everyone who participated in Friday's climate strike. Thank you to parents for letting us know of your intention to either keep your student home, or that you intended to come to school to collect your student in order to participate in the climate strike and climate festival sponsored by OMSI. The communication made for a smooth day with regards to attendance, student movement leaving school, and participation in the days events. A huge thank you to Mr. Harkness for is willingness to be at the demonstration and the festival. He was able to connect with many of our students and families throughout the day.

    Follow us on:

    Twitter - @ACCESS_PPS

    Instagram - ppsaccess


    A few things for your information....

    New para-educator @ Vestal location – Felicia McCoy-Kojac is taking the place of Steven Morgan (he has been accepted to nursing school) and begins with us on Monday. Felicia comes highly recommended. She was with ACCESS @ Vestal last year as a contracted employee, so should be familiar to many. Please welcome Felicia.

    School Secretary – We have interviews scheduled for the school secretary position being vacated by Susie Fung. Yes, Susie has been promoted to Principal’s secretary and will eventually shift over to the Lane location. Susie has been invaluable to Gabriel and I as we are learning our new roles and how to best support staff, students, and families.

    Principal’s coffeeTuesday, 9/24 8:35am @ Vestal location in the staff lounge. No agenda, no pressure or expectations. I plan to listen and answer questions. Mr. Corona will stop in as well.

    Back-to-School Night @ Vestal location – 6:00pm – 7:30pm. Childcare drop off, along with pizza and treats for sale beginning @ 5:30pm. Childcare is being provided by ACCESS and YMCA staff. No charge for childcare. Some of our ACCESS Academy 8th graders will be on hand to assist with check-in of out younger students and help with dismissal at the end of the night. The pizza and treats are a fundraiser for the 8th grade class trip in the spring.

    A schedule of the evening events will be available for pick up, but plan begin with a welcome and introduction by myself and Mr. Corona, followed by sessions for meeting your students homeroom teacher, "specials" and math teachers.

    Bus Evacuations drill @ both locations – Friday, 9/27 @ 9:45am. I will follow up Friday evening with a update as to how the drill went.

    Have a great week! Ginger & Gabriel

    September 18, 2019

    Good Morning!

    We had a wonderful turn out on Tuesday evening this week for the Back-to-School Night event at our Lane location. Thank you to our 8th graders who provided pizza for a reasonable price and baked yummy treats for sale. I hear that they raised a good chunk of money for the class trip this spring. A huge shout out to those who came early for pizza and home baked treats! I also heard from many parents regarding how happy they are with their students experience thus far this school year. It has been a great start to the school year!

    ACCESS teachers at our middle school location were very happy to see so many parents. Thank you all again! If you were not able to be with us for B2SN this week, please do contact your students teachers to learn about any teacher web pages, google classroom details, course syllabi, etc... 


    ACCESS @ Vestal

    Tuesday, 9/24 8:35am - 9:35am - Principal Coffee. No agenda, no pressure. I will be available to chat, answer questions, hear ideas. I realize with B2SN later in the evening folks may need to make a choice. Or consider that you have two options in one day to connect with me! Mr. Corona will join us as well.

    Tuesday, 9/24 6:00pm - 7:30pm - Back-to-School Night. 

    5:30pm pizza and treats for sale in support of the 8th grade class trip. Check in for childcare (not confirmed as of 9/18 evening).

    6:00pm - Introductions and Welcome. Sessions to follow for:

    • "Specials"
    • Homeroom
    • Walk-to-Math

    See you all next week!


    For all - just a quick note regarding the planned Climate Strike Friday 9/20, around the World! We have had some families contacting us regarding their plan to not have their student(s) in school on Friday 9/20 in order to be able to participate in the Climate Strike. We really appreciate this prior notice of your intentions. I am attaching the guidance sent by PPS Communications for your review. Climate Strike message to families.docx  

    I must say that the call to action being generated by our youth on behalf of our precious planet is noble, impressive, exciting, and promising. I often tell students that they will change the world, and the activation and determination I see in our youth with regard to the health of our planet gives me much hope! Thank you! Ginger & Gabriel


    September 12, 2019

    WOW! Our first full week of classes and the weather changes too. I am not ready for fall.... Students are settling in, building strong community, becoming active with clubs and leadership activities, and beginning to show what they know academically. I am very excited about things to come....

    Back-to-School Nights 

    @ Lane location - 9/17 6:00pm - 7:45pm (time adjusted just a bit). We will begin in the cafeteria with a short welcome, introductions of staff, the run of the B2SN schedule, and then parents will dismiss to follow their students schedule. 10 mins with each teacher. There will be food for sale, pizza by the slice and cookies, in support of the 8th grade trip from 5:15pm - 6:00pm. No child care will be provided. We will have your students schedule ready for pick up when you arrive. Teachers are super excited to have you all in to really get our school year off the ground!

    @ Vestal - 9/24 6:00pm - 7:30pm Details to come next week.

    9/24, 8:35am - 9:35am Coffee with Principal Taylor & Assistant Principal Corona. We will go ahead with our first coffee as scheduled knowing that Back-to-School Night is the same date. Thank you to those parents who were able to stay for the Lane location coffee this week.

    Middle School Spanish

    I have spent a good chunk of my day sorting through what the issues are for mostly our 8th gr cohort in Spanish. In speaking with Profe Gonzalez a few times to hear his professional assessment of students readiness, as well as talking with Michael Bacon, Assistant Director for Dual Language Immersion, and having exchanged a few e-mails with Profe Salmon, we now understand the scope of what needs to happen to adjust for rate and level, and make the needed adjustments to Spanish 3-4. I'm so grateful for the hard work of Profe Gonzalez with his pre-assessment work with students and his proactive work to begin preparing for the needed adjustment.

    Assistant Director Bacon is going to track down the STAMP results from last year, and conduct a double review of the results (standard protocol) before we issue high school credits. I’ll figure out whether or not the current 9th gr cohort needs this as well. 

    Profe Gonzalez is working closely with Profe Marisol Keuzer, district Spanish Language Specialist, to adjust for Spanish 3-4 with our current 8th gr cohort. They plan to meet Friday to outline what is needed in terms of curriculum planning. The textbooks have already been requested, and Profe will have a high school course syllabus ready for back-to-school night. I will have a firmer timeline by the weekend regarding curriculum, but expect by Monday 8th graders will .

    I have to confess that the turnover in administrators for ACCESS the past few years, including the TAG Director, on top of moving to a split program is presenting a level of challenge I did not anticipate. I share that because it adds an additional layer to my learning. Trying to stay ahead of things, such as this issue with Spanish that has taken many days to “unpack” all-the-while managing day to day things, etc... 

    I understand the scope of the issue with regards to Spanish, we now have a plan for getting things on track. Profe Gonzalez and I will talk with students in class on Friday (I am out of the building all day tomorrow). Profe Gonzalez and I spoke about B2SN as well. Thank you all so much for your questions, inquiries, assistance with providing past practice, and ALWAYS staying immersed in the ACCESS mission!

    Walk-to-Math @ Vestal location - WTM has begun, with few exceptions. Teachers will be in contact (if not already) to introduce themselves as your child's math teacher. We will build into the B2SN schedule a session to hear from your students WTM teacher.

    Thank you! Have a great Thursday! Ginger & Gabriel 


    September 6, 2019

    Happy Friday! 

    Just a few items to pass along...

    Chess Club is open for Fall 2019. First session: Sept 9th, Monday 3:15pm - 5:15pm  @ Lane location. Bus #335 from Vestal to Lane location.

    Please welcome our second coach (and new ACCESS parent) Chad Lykins to chess at ACCESS- yes, we'll have two chess coaches this time.

    Register now through the store at https://accesspta.membershiptoolkit.com/home Details linked here.

    Back-to-School Night (B2SN) - several of us realized there were lots of conflicting times for B2SN in various locations. After consulting with a few folks we will hold both B2SN events from 6:00pm - 7:30pm

    • Tuesday, September 17th, 6:00pm - 7:30pm ACCESS Academy @ Lane location
    • Tuesday, September 24th, 6:00pm - 7:30pm ACCESS Academy @ Vestal location

    Details to come next week.

    From ACCESS Academy PTA -  There are still about 20 families who are not yet in the PTA database. We hope all families will participate as there is lots of information, opportunities for students and families, and is our main vehicle for communication. https://accesspta.membershiptoolkit.com/home  Please join us!


    ACCESS @ Vestal location 

    Dismissal Safety Protocol (2:00-2:45)

    If you are picking up a student at dismissal please park first (outside of the school black top), then walk onto the black top to meet your student.

    We will try our best to put up a big whiteboard sign reminding people...no driving on the black top when students are getting dismissed.

    Thank YOU!

    Enjoy the coming weekend! Next week is our first full week of classes. Ginger and Gabriel


    September 5, 2019

    Good Morning ACCESS Families!

    I am seeing lots of progress with getting bus routes sorted out and am hopeful that district transportation will be operating at a much more efficient level. Pass along some appreciation if you feel compelled too. I know folks are appreciative. I learned today that some of the routes with new drivers have had bus assistants these first few days to help support students with expectations while the driver is learning the routes and other nuances of pick up and drop off. I am not sure which routes these have been, and the assistants positions will end this Friday. Mostly we wanted to pass along the information in case your students are talking about having an extra adult on the bus this week.

    ACCESS @ Vestal - several pieces of information to share.

    1. Walk to math will begin Friday. A "soft start". Teachers will continue to assess students in these next few weeks and may have a few adjustments to make. Placement changes will be reflected in ParentVUE by Monday, although I expect teachers will be in communication directly as well.

    2. Counseling programming. Ms. Tessema has a great web site https://sites.google.com/pps.net/accessatvestalcounseling/home outlining all of the programming opportunities available for supporting pro-social behavior and executive functioning skill development. 

    3. An update in reference to a situation we have been working on with the Vestal admin team since before school started this year. There are multiple cars/garbage/cooking devices and people that have set up a camp of sorts right outside of a vacant house at 8036 NE Flanders. We have been working with the Madison school cluster School Resource Officer (SRO) and other Portland Police, as well as the PPS security team to try and help resolve the challenges presented by this camp being so close to school. As of today, the police have towed one car, and noted about 6 others that are abandoned or in disrepair and will work to have these removed quickly. We have learned that the house is being remodeled and the owners have now been notified. The SRO, Parking Patrol, and PBOT have added this location to their regular patrols.

    Portland Police have asked that staff and parents continue to call non-emergency ((503) 823-3333), or 911 in emergency circumstances, so that concerns are both documented and officers can respond as soon quickly. 

    We have been assured that the police will be working to try and uproot the issue to ensure that all of our students and families feel welcome and safe.

    If you have any questions, please reach out...and please do not hesitate to call the non-emergency number. We know that the squeaky wheel gets the attention, so we will stay squeaky as long as necessary!   


    ACCESS @ Lane 

    A quick reminder from our library that this Friday (9/6), we'll be celebrating the ACCESS MS students who earned a t-shirt through the Multnomah County Library Summer Reading Program. 

    • What: Students who wear their 2019 T-shirt to school this Friday will be treated to pizza and ice-cream (and fruit & veg) during lunchtime in the library. Teachers are welcome too! And if you bought a t-shirt or have one from a previous year - please wear it - the more the merrier!
    • When: This Friday, Sept. 6th, from 11:32-12:12 PM 
    • Where: In the library! 
    • Why: To celebrate our readers and infuse a little addition joy into their day!
    • How:  With generous support through the PTA's support of the library! 

    Many clubs and activities are getting up and running during lunch/recess this week. I am so pleased to see the level of participation from our students!  Thank you to teachers who are graciously hosting groups in classrooms, and to Mr. Harkness for getting the word out and encouraging involvement.

    We also started morning announcements using the phone intercom system during advisory. Our two 8th grade student leaders, Ania and Gwen lead the charge. A more formal way for students to submit items for announcements will be forthcoming before Tuesday next week.


    MAPS testing has begun. You are able to access information for MAPS at this parent link https://sites.google.com/view/map-growth/for-parents. We will share in more detail during Back to School Nights and hope to have assessment results for this first round for parent/teacher conferences in November.

    Coffee with Principal Taylor. Time is moving so quickly, that I am finding myself remiss with getting a few of my "promises" formalized. With input from a few folks these past few weeks I will host 2 coffees each month. One at Lane and one at Vestal. All available staff are welcome to join us. Dates as follows:

    • 2nd Tuesday each month, 8:35am - 9:35am @ Lane location. The first one is 9/10, next week
    • 4th Tuesday each month, 8:35am - 9:35am @ Vestal location.The first one is 9/24

    I will secure a location in the buildings and share that out before the weekend. Coffees are a casual opportunity for me to chat with and get to know ACCESS families. There are no prepared agendas, nor any pressure. 

    A few other dates to get on your radar:

    Back-to-School/Curriculum Nights

    • Tuesday, September 17th, 7-8pm ACCESS Academy @ Lane location
    • Tuesday, September 24th, 7-8pm ACCESS Academy @ Vestal location

    Have a great rest of the week. Next week begins our full week of classes. It has been good to build our stamina for full time school again with two short weeks. Now we will dig in and get to learning lots! Ginger and Gabriel

    August 31, 2019

    Good Evening Everyone! 

    I just have a few brief things to offer as we go into the Labor Day weekend.

    Transportation - I am seeing Teri Brady from transportation services, responding to your inquiries and concerns regarding long bus rides home after school. She is including both Mr. Corona and myself on her e-mails. I appreciate her keeping us in the loop as they work to solve issues, and I am hopeful they will have things smoothed out come Tuesday afternoon.

    School Supplies - A huge thank you to Marian Berger for spending time today sorting and organizing donated school supplies at our Lane location. We are grateful for everyone's generosity! 

    Walk to Math - I was able to get over to the Vestal location in the late afternoon and Mr. Corona and I met with teachers to review placement, assessment use, and anticipated start for students. It will take a few more days to assess our new students. Teachers are reviewing MAP and SBAC data as well. Our soft goal is to begin the walk to math schedule by the end of next week. Teachers are feeling pretty excited by students high level of engagement and attention to doing their best work!

    I will offer a more thoughtful and detailed message regarding math assessment practice, the ACCESS walk to math model, and a bit about data sources considered throughout the year, later next week. I must share that I am completely in awe of the high level of commitment, intelligence, and thoughtful practice each of our ACCESS teachers demonstrates everyday. I have much to learn from them!

    I have seen several teachers sending all class communications home to families to welcome you all into the school year. I expect this will be the case through next week. Do not hesitate to contact your students teachers directly to offer support and insights specific to your student. 

    It has been a great start to the school year for everyone on staff at both locations. Mr. Corona and I have received lots of positive feedback from both staff and families. Thank you all for your patience, flexibility, and commitment to not only your exceptional student(s), but the ACCESS community as well! Enjoy the long weekend! I am at the coast for the lowest tides of the year! Wifi access will be really spotty. See you all Tuesday! Ginger & Gabriel

    August 29, 2019

    Good Evening ACCESS Families!

    Your student(s) should have a "welcome packet" in their backpack from this week with a variety of items in it. Please take a few moments to review the materials, update, sign, and return the registration pages, the walking field trip form, and any other items we need for our records back at school. If for some reason your student did not bring home a welcome packet , please notify Susie Fung, sfung@pps.net and we will get one together and send home right away. 

    All students at both the locations have been issued lockers as of today. Some may have opted out of wanting a locker. If your student is one who opted out, but later decides they would like to have a locker please let us know and we will accommodate. Many of our middle school students were so excited to have a locker today I noticed some coming to their locker between every class. With a three minute passing time it will be important for students to consider how to best organize their school materials and be good time managers. One suggestion would be for students to have all of the morning classes items with them until lunch and then to switch out for the afternoon, circling back at dismissal to ensure they are taking what they will need at home. It is so fun to see the look on their faces once they understand the nuances of a locker combination!

    I was able to get over to the Vestal location this afternoon and pop into all of the classrooms today. Students were busy drawing and learning the continents with Ms. Byrkit, holding a community circle with Ms. Evans, and discussing what they would like to write about in Ms. O-Hagan's class, "something special that represents your summer". Ms. McShane's class was on their way to art, and Ms. Ryneal's class was cleaning up before dismissal. I was able to stop down with Ms. Webb's class and just chat for a few minutes with students. I missed Ms. Millis' class because they were already out to art.

    I want to introduce Renee Takara, rtakara@pps.net or 503.916.6482. Renee will be with us at the Lane campus for several weeks while we work with HR to get a secretary vacancy posted, interview, and fully on-board. Thank you so much Renee for coming to support us at ACCESS!

    Community school supplies. It would be great to have one or two volunteers to help sort and organize the school supplies in our very small closet next to our office at the Lane location. If you have a few hours to spare (even tomorrow, Friday)  let me know. I think most of the supplies are either in my office or down the hall with Ms. Szok in the art room.

    Social media platforms. I have to confess that I am fairly new to using Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but really see the value in these outlets for highlighting and celebrating day to day learning. Many schools and programs do so throughout the day. I was able to finally set aside some time today to get Twitter and Instagram accounts activated and shared a few photos and messages.

    Follow us:

    Twitter - @ACCESS_PPS

    Instagram - ppsaccess

    Facebook - waiting for approval

    Another good day! 

    -Principal Ginger Taylor

    August 28, 2019

    Good Evening ACCESS Families-

    Day one is in the books! It was very nice to have students in the building. Welcome Back! As I popped into middle school classrooms throughout the day I heard lots of sharing about summer experiences, new friendships forming, promises of interesting novels to be read, a science activity involving assumptions, inferences, and evidence collecting, with a fun surprise to make a point about scientific methods by Dr. Garcia!  There were cooperative games in PE this morning, and in the afternoon I heard lots of Spanish being spoken with our new teacher, Mr. Gonzalez.

    We will begin issuing lockers with our 6th graders during 0 period in the morning. Any community school supplies can come to the ACCESS office @ both locations and we will get the closet organized for teachers. We appreciate your generosity!

    I heard from many people, both staff, some parents, and district supports at both locations that buses went much smoother then last year. I have no frame of reference for this, and also know that transportation is working to get every route and drop off location right. Please continue to communicate directly with transportation regarding your needs. Student Transportation, (503) 916- 6901, transportation@pps.net. We will do everything we can in the afternoons to communicate what we know.

    Our middle school students and staff gathered at the end of the day for a quick welcome assembly and then processed out to the bus pick up area for the ACCESS Academy Arch of Friendship for our new students and staff. What a sweet tradition. I will get over to the Vestal location on Friday this week to stop into classrooms and say hello to students. Cooler weather is coming!

    Thank you for entrusting your students to us. Ginger Taylor


    Hello ACCESS @ Vestal families.

    I wanted to take a moment to let you all know how good today felt. I am grateful for parent and district staff supporting our first day and making sure students felt welcome and knew where they were going. I also want to thank you for your patience and flexibility with transportation services. They are working stops in their system and bus drivers are becoming aware of all the new stops on their routes.

    Overall, students were here, excited and ready to learn. Good job parents on setting the stage. As I visited classrooms students were learning about each other and our classroom routines. We were also able to practice and model some of those school wide expectations. We even got to walk out The Arch of Friendship, to honor all new ACCESS people to our community. Students were having fun and were reminded to drink water often. You may want to send a water bottle with them for the next few days.

    On a different note, math assessments for new students will be taking place this week. We will finalize the math levels and have students walk to math by the middle of the next week. Returning students have already been placed, unless your student worked extra hard on math this summer. If so, contact the teacher for a possible new assessment.

    Have a great evening! Gabriel Corona


    August 27, 2019

    Hello ACCESS Academy Students & Families!

    Tomorrow is the first day of school! We are really looking forward to having students back in the building on Wednesday! Teachers and other staff & faculty are ready to greet their smiling and eager faces.

    Bus Transportation announcement

    Please be aware that Transportation Services is adding stops and changing times throughout the day. Visit the Transportation website frequently. https://www.pps.net/Page/141

     If you are a parent who received an email confirmation with a stop and no bus number or time. There will be a bus tomorrow to take your student to school, those are being put in their system.

    Also please fill out our google form titled, ACCESS @ Vestal After-School Plan. This will inform us of your plans so we can coordinate your child’s transportation at the end of the day. Fill out even if you are planning to pick them up. https://forms.gle/tY73jYa3yVkhThiHA

    We are so sorry that arranging transportation has been so frustrating. For peace of mind as parents, it may make sense to drive your student(s) to school the first day? 

    Middle School schedules

    We will have middle school schedules at the ice cream social tonight, but if you are looking in StudentVUE you can see the A/B schedule for PE/Art as follows:

    Meet Days: “ABWHF” classes meet every day. “A” and “B” classes (PE and Art) meet every other day. The first day of school, Wednesday, August 28th is an A day. The following day is a B day, then an A day, and so on throughout the year. A sign will be posted each day in the hall outside the ACCESS office to remind you whether it is an A or B day.

    Period 10 = 0 period (1st class of the day). Everyone reports to their 0 period class for advisory and stays for 0 period.

    Sample MS ACCESS schedule.pdf 

    My hope is that this information provides some clarification and reassurance. Please trust that we will have "all hands on deck" this week to smooth out any issues that arise. I expect that I will send a daily messenger for the first week or so. 

    Thank  you and we are really looking forward to getting the school year underway! Ginger & Gabriel

    August 24, 2019

    Happy Weekend! 

    We have been hyper focused on preparing for your students to be with us in just a few short days. Team bonding, community agreements, tightening our commitment to a positive school climate and culture with a lens for dismantling practices of oppression and challenging bias, digging into refreshed scope & sequence with district GVC (guaranteed viable curriculum) implementation, student planners for middle school, and room arrangements on shiny new floor tiles, so I am just catching up to e-mails... 

    ACCESS @ Vestal location: teacher-student assignments (aka "who is my teacher"). Hard copy letters went in the mail today. You should have also received a short welcoming e-mail from your students teacher (3rd, 4th, & 5th anyway), and we will have hard copies of class lists to reference at the ice cream socials on Monday & Tuesday.

    Who is teaching what again?

    1st/2nd blend - Mr. Ryneal 

    3rd - Evans & Millis

    4th - McShane & O'Hagan

    5th - Byrkit & Webb

    All staff are listed on web site https://www.pps.net/domain/3787

    New Hires

    Abigail Webb will be stepping in for 5th grade this year while Ms. Egan is out on leave. Ms. Webb is so excited o be joining the ACCESS team! She has many connections with the ACCESS community. Abigail and I worked together many years ago at Oregon City High School. She has taught Spanish, ESOL, and has been a grade level teacher is several schools around the Portland area. Please welcome Ms. Webb!

    Mario Gonzalez will join the ACCESS @ Lane team to teach middle school Spanish. Mr. Gonzalez is a world traveler who enjoys blogging and photography as ways to engage in his travels. He has taught in Japan and Peru, and has last served as an educational assistant at Sitton School here in PPS. Please welcome Mr. Gonzalez!

    Spanish/Math at ACCESS @ Vestal location. Gabriel and I just interviewed a strong teacher candidate that we think will be a great fit for our younger students. We have made our recommendation to HR, and hope things will move quickly.

    Buses - update We've heard from many families that the bus departure and school dismissal times do not align.Transportation is aware and Susie Fung our secretary, has spoken with them several days ago, as well as again today. They have reassured us that buses will not depart without students on them and that they are working to change the times in the system.

    Enjoy the weekend and hope to see many of you at ice cream socials! Ginger & Gabriel

    August 23, 2019

    Good Morning ACCESS Community! 

    Teachers are back! I am so excited to meet our team of educators and spend the today in community reaffirming why we all love education and serving ACCESS students! We were provided with a delicious meal for lunch on our first day, prepared with love by two fabulous parents, Natalie and Liz. Thank you so much! I was overcome by the care, and preparation that went into you responding to our request.

    It was also very nice to meet many families and a few students, at the principal meet & greet Wednesday evening. Thank you all for coming to welcome me and assistant principal Mr. Corona!

    Details as I know them

    Bell Schedule - found on the ACCESS web site. https://www.pps.net/domain/4202

    Transportation - Bus Schedule: https://www.pps.net/domain/3781 We are hearing from many of you that the new transportation on-line program is tough to navigate. We will do everything we can on our end to work with district transportation to rectify issues, and please, please, please do everything you can on your side to ensure transportation understands what your students needs are with regard to pick up and drop off location. Bus tags will be available at the respective ice cream socials M/T

    ACCESS @ VESTAL bus and after school form. Please take a few moments to provide us with your students after school plan. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1PAE2y3oaJXIo_vwZhkmbIAWCFcnkjlLOOhjnncH5NdM/edit It is really important to communicate any changes to the after school plan for your student. Secretary at Vestal location Susie Fung, sfung@pps.net and Assistant Principal Gabriel Corona, gcorona@pps.net are the main contacts for any changes. 

    School Supplies- Families can find a link to the requested school supplies for ACCESS Academy at https://www.pps.net/domain/4419 The PTA has financial resources available to families who request help purchasing school supplies (no application, just ask). Please contact: Tanya Schaefer, Co-Chair, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee at access.pta.dei@gmail.com. All requests will be kept confidential. In addition, the PTA works with teachers to ensure all students have the materials they need.

    All ACCESS families and staff are encouraged to register with the new ACCESS PTA website to be part of the school directory and bus, class, grade and special event message boards. You can also order t-shirts (free to all new students and staff), sign up to volunteer, donate and more! Create your account today at https://accesspta.membershiptoolkit.com/home

    Please contact Phoebe Shen (access.pta.sec@gmail.com) with any questions. 

    Important Dates:

    8/24, 9am-Noon - Community Care Day.  Project-Community-Care-Flyer-2019.pdf   
    @ Vestal, we will help with a number of outside projects, so bring your gloves and gardening tools.
    @ Lane , we will need Community Care Day volunteers to help get classrooms Earthquake Ready -- we will be using items purchased by the PTA to reduce the chance children will be hit by falling objects. (We will follow-up this effort at Vestal.) We cannot do this without support.  Thank you!

    8/26, 4-6pm @ Vestal & 8/27, 5-7pm @ Lane - Ice Cream Social. Attached is information about our ice cream social events for each ACCESS @ Vestal and Lane locations. Please join us! Principal Taylor will be there hoping to meet you all! We will have bus tags ready for students

    Vestal Location teacher assignments - Letters will go in the mail tomorrow, and we will have a hard copy of class lists at both ice cream socials.

    ParentVUE - We will activate ParentVue by the end of the day on Monday.

    Lastly, I want to share that although it has been incredibly challenging and often stressful to step into my new role and as principal for the ACCESS Academy community and begin to learn how to navigate all of the details and nuances of the operations side of things, Mr. Corona and I are feeling very supported, and loved by all of the families and now the staff. We cant wait to meet all of our students next week! Enjoy the last weekend of summer break!  

    Hello ACCESS Community!

    We have been hard at work preparing for the start of the 2019-20 school year and have so many things to share with you!

    New to the ACCESS Team

    Glenn McCormick - .5 PE, @ Lane site. Glenn is moving to ACCESS from Lincoln HS (Yes, we have worked together the past few years!). Glenn is a veteran teacher with lots of experience and creative ways for engaging all students in developing life-long fitness goals. Glenn has children in PPS. He loves, loves fly fishing and anything having to do with the outdoors.

    Carrie Hutchinson – 1.0 Learning Center Specialist, @ Vestal site. Carrie has been with PPS for a few years, and comes to us after working in a variety of schools around the district. She is a strong systems thinker and has had good outcomes in the schools where she has worked. Carrie also has children in PPS and personal experience with ACCESS Academy.

    Ruth Tessema – 1.0 school counselor, @ Vestal site. Ruth is moving to ACCESS after working in two different schools in PPS the past few years. She brings strong pedagogy for classroom guidance and teaming with teachers for supporting all students. She is so excited to spend all of her days with our elementary students and families!

    Kirsten Crombie – kcrombie@pps.net Principal Secretary, ACCESS @ Lane (sub). Kirsten has already been engaged in a two day district on-boarding PD, and has the office organized and everything on-line ready for work to begin. Kirsten comes with a strong recommendation as an experienced admin assistant. She is a go getter, great communicator, and is excited to be with our team for the duration. Kirsten also has children in PPS.  


    Summer Building Projects

    ACCESS @ Vestal - Many windows have been replaced and they are beautiful! Several room tiles have been replaced as well, and there is now a permanent wall in the 3rd grade classroom. It looks so great!  The asbestos abatement is almost complete. Cleaning crews are working day and night to have everything cleaned up and welcoming by the start of school. Our Learning Center has been relocated to room 206 and is no longer a shared space with Vestal teachers.

    ACCESS @ Lane - The entire ACCESS hallway and rooms have beautiful new floor tiles after the asbestos abatement work has finished. I can't believe how shiny the floors are with a fresh coat of wax! Mr. Coste will move downstairs into room 129 (I think that's the room number?), and our new Spanish teacher will be upstairs in room 228.

    Thank you to our hardworking and dedicated custodial and maintenance teams!  


    Important Dates

    8/21, 5:30-7:00pm - Principal Taylor meet & greet. Please join me. I will share a little about both my personal and professional journey and I am so excited to meet everyone! Light refreshments will be provided.

    8/24, 9am-Noon - Community Care Day.  
    @ Vestal, we will help with a number of outside projects, so bring your gloves and gardening tools.
    @ Lane , we will need Community Care Day volunteers to help get classrooms Earthquake Ready -- we will be using items purchased by the PTA to reduce the chance children will be hit by falling objects. (We will follow-up this effort at Vestal.) We cannot do this without support. If you can help at either location, please contact the PTA Emergency Preparedness Coordinator through the PTA: access-academy-pta@googlegroups.com. Thank you!

    8/26, 4-6pm @ Vestal & 8/27, 5-7pm @ Lane - Ice Cream Social. Please join us! Principal Taylor will be there hoping to meet you all! We will have bus tags ready for students, and you can drop off school supplies, meet classmates and any teachers who are around, ane learn about after-school activities adn other ACCESS community groups and clubs.


    Other Info

    8/21 - ACCESS @ Vestal teacher/student assignment letters go in the mail. 

    8/22 - ParentVUE activated 

    Buses - Susie Fung, sfung@pps.net is hard at work coordinating with district transportation for the start of school. By the end of next week I will share a google survey asking for bus and after-school care information. Again, bus tags will be ready at the ice cream socials. Thank you Ms. Fung!

    Welcome packets will go in student back packs on the first day of school.

    Student Planners - Our dear Mr. Johnson has been hard at work these past few weeks creating an incredible student planner that is 8.5" x 11", spiral bound, and three hole punched so it fits nicely in student binders. Our hope is to have them back from the district print-shop by the first day of school. Middle school students will each get one, and our rising middle schoolers (5th graders) will have a chance to use them as well. Planners are great tools for supporting executive functioning skill development. Thank you Mr. Johnson!

    Enjoy the last few days of summer break. We are really looking forward to having our students back in buildings! Ms. Taylor & Mr. Corona 

    July 30, 2019

    Hello ACCESS Community,

    I am so very excited to join the ACCESS Academy team as principal! I am looking forward to meeting you and your students beginning with our “meet & greet” August 21st @ 5:30pm in the Lane MS cafeteria. I spent a little time on the phone with David Jamieson last week as he transitions to a new job with ODE starting later this week. David and I plan to meet up later next week to further prepare. David has worked very hard and thoughtfully to ensure a smooth “hand off” to me. Thank you so much David! I have also exchanged several e-mails with teachers and have times scheduled to meet with some teachers once I am back in town.

    (warning: this is the first Schoolmessenger I have ever sent, so forgive me if my embedded links do not come through.)

    From David Jamieson – “I hope summer is treating everyone well. I know I am enjoying the extra time I get with my family over the break. I wanted to take the time and space to give you an update on schedule and class placements, hiring and introduce you to some of our new learning community members.” 

    ACCESS @ Vestal families: we have finalized class placements and will be sending out a letter to each student by the end of next week.

    A note about elementary school placements: this coming school year there will be some shifts in staff and student placements. These shifts were made based on input from teachers, specialists, and families. Please know the shifts were made in the best interest of all students. Most notably are the shifts in 4th & 5th grade next year. We are happy to report that Joyce McShane will be with us next year in a new position as a classroom teacher! In looking at the needs of our students, current staffing, and the invaluable input from both John Blanck and Teri Geist, our 4th grade team next year will be Ms. O’Hagan and Ms. McShane and our 5th grade team will be Ms. Byrkit and Ms. Egan. There were many factors that went into this decision, but I can tell you the ultimate determining factor is that we believe this shift is best for ALL students. Also, because there will be a new 5th grade team we will be adjusting the cohort of students a bit for best fit. These moves do not mean the end of looping at the elementary level. They are meant to ensure curricular stability across the 4th/5th grade band for next year. Every elementary family will receive a letter in the mail soon with class placement information.

    ACCESS @ Lane families: I have also just finished building individual schedules for each middle school student. Middle school student schedules will be available through ParentVUE and StudentVUE on August 19th when the district rolls over the new schedule allowing access. 

    • If you are new to PPS you can access ParentVUE or StudentVue using this link as a guide.

    Staffing Update

    As of today, here are the new staff members joining us, as well as our remaining hiring needs:

    Assistant Principal – Gabriel Corona: Mr. Corona comes to us from Tigard-Tualatin Schools, with a teaching and counseling background. We have worked together in the recent past at PPS Summer Scholars, and Mr. Corona has worked a several PPS schools prior to TTSD. I am so excited to have Mr. Corona on our team! His bi-lingual and bi-cultural perspective will be a wonderful addition to our ACCESS community.

    Elementary PE - Yishan (Michael) Chen: We have a new placement for our PE position, Mr. Chen is coming to us from Jason Lee School. He is originally from Kunming, China. Mr. Chen spent three years at the University of Idaho where he earned degrees in PE & Health. At Jason Lee, Mr. Chen taught PE & Dance. Before he got into Physical Education Mr. Chen played professional basketball in China for 10 years!

    4th Grade Classroom Teacher - Joyce McShane: Ms. McShane joins us next year as a classroom teacher. Last year she worked with ACCESS students in math and drama. Ms.McShane is excited to join the staff in her new position and we are all very happy and excited to have her back!

    Currently posted with interviews & hiring pending:

    • .5 Middle School PE
    • Elementary SPED Learning Center Specialist
    • .5 Elementary Spanish/Math
    • 1.0 Elementary School Counselor
    • MS Spanish teacher (we had a teacher transfer, but she just resigned her position with PPS today)

    Enjoy Summer!

    Ginger Taylor, incoming principal & David Jamieson, outgoing assistant principal

    June 19, 2019

    Hello ACCESS Community,

    I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. I wanted to provide some information regarding After-School Care options for next school year.

    YMCA Care at Vestal: 

    • If there are a minimum of 10 ACCESS students per day, the YMCA will be able to provide child care services at Vestal for ACCESS students for the 2019-20 school year. Please sign up with the Y by Monday, July 8. To register for Y childcare, you can find registration forms at the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette website. Please call the main office, 503-327-0007, with any registration or programming questions. If there are fewer than 10 students registered, families will have the options below:
    • If you prefer to attend child care closer to home, first confirm that PPS provides a bus to the school. If that school is listed on the Student Transportation website, please reach out to the child care provider of your neighborhood school.

    • The YMCA will be holding four spots at its Tabor Heights location for ACCESS families in case there is not enough demand to run a program at Vestal school.

    To explore other options, contact 211info. This agency holds the data base for all licensed and registered child care programs and can inform you if a child care provider has bus or van service.

    This information will also be shared with incoming families in the very near future.

    Thank you,

    David Jamieson

    May 24, 2019

    Dear ACCESS Academy Staff and Families,

    I wanted to share with you that ACCESS will have a new principal next school year. We thank Ms. Blovad for her service in her time at ACCESS, and we will now begin the process to identify the next ACCESS principal. 

    As we enter the summer months, David Jamieson will be the ACCESS administrator. Pam Joyner and John Blanck have been wonderful interim leaders for ACCESS, but they are not available during June and July. David is an experienced administrator and I am confident that he will be an effective leader and familiar face while we search for a new principal.

    In the coming days, we will invite staff, parents, and students to attend meetings to understand the process for selection of next year’s principal and to get your feedback and input. We want to hear what you think is special about ACCESS and the characteristics and skills you would like to have in your new principal. The full hiring process will also be explained at the meetings. A survey link will be sent to staff and families next week to allow those who are unable to attend the meetings to give their input. Your voice and feedback in this process is absolutely critical to help create the principal profile unique to ACCESS.

    Staff Meeting for Principal Hiring Input
    Date: Thursday, May 30th 
    Time: 3:30-4:30 p.m.
    Location: ACCESS @ Lane Room 131
    Community Meeting for Principal Hiring Input
    Date: Thursday, May 30th 
    Time: 6:00-7:00 p.m.
    Location: ACCESS @ Lane Library

    I look forward to seeing you all on May 30th.  


    Keeley Simpson, Ed.D. 
    Area Assistant Superintendent 

    May 24, 2019

    Hello to you all in the Access Community,

    Today is my last day as the Interim Principal of Access, and was planning on writing a long message reiterating that I was hoping that some resolution or certainty would be coming your way for your next leader. Then saw the message from Keeley Simpson today, with the news that a new Principal would be sought. I am now hopeful, and gratified, to see the extent that they will have the community involved in the selection of your next Principal. 

    My main hope for your next leader is that this leader be given as much support as you showed me in my time here. I have been truly delighted at what these wonderful students have been accomplishing, and have learned so much from you all, and from the dedicated and creative staff. I am grateful to more people than I can name here today, but your warm offers of help and guidance to me were so helpful.

    I have been so impressed with the quick and confident replies from David Jamieson, and his reassurances to me that he could handle things (which he invariably did). I also have to mention my appreciation for the efforts Keeley Simpson has made to provide support and understanding of the needs of the students here, in unusual and trying contexts. Pam Joyner did such an amazing job of helping us get on track.

    I am happy to head to my time with three of my Grandkids, who are heading here from Atlanta soon for some summer fun in the Columbia Gorge, where I'm building my house. 

    It is easier to leave here knowing that Teri Geist will be here beginning this Tuesday, the 28th, and be here through the last day of school. If you need to reach her, you can contact her at Access at Lane, or by emailing her at tgeist@pps.net .

    My best and warmest wishes to you all. 

    John Blanck

    Happy Friday!

    This is a brief note to remind you of some important information:

    • I am delighted to be able to continue as the Interim Principal here for as long as I am needed. I have a desk at the Access at Lane site; if you want to contact me, or any of the staff, the Access webpage has current information on the names, phone numbers, and emails for all the Access staff at both sites, shown at https://www.pps.net/domain/3787 . 
    • No School Monday in PPS - this is a Planning Day for teachers to work on report cards, grades, and plans for the last quarter of the year. 
    • Outdoor School: Our 6th graders leave on Sunday for their Outdoor School experience, and will return Friday afternoon. If your child is goibng to Outdoor School, please remember to send an medicines or medical information with them, as detailed by Eric Lannes.
    • Parent Support: I am so impressed by the responsiveness of the parent community, as well as your expertise, commitment, and generosity. Whether its in your donations in the Auction, hosting fund-raisers, coordinating movie nights and supporting talent shows and school dances, or the thoughtful provision of teacher lunches (and chair massages for the staff this coming planning days), it is truly humbling to experience. Your PTA, Foundation, and individual offers are so very appreciated.

    With warmest regards, 


    March 8, 2019

    Hello ACCESS Families,

    Thanks to all of you that participated in the Successful Schools Survey. The district wide goal for family participation was 50%, we exceeded that number with 63% of our families taking the survey.

    I also appreciate those of you that have been waiting patiently for us to confirm the date for 8th grade promotion.  It will be June 5th at Franklin High School.  There will be more details in the coming weeks.

    I know many of you have been concerned and had questions about our staffing numbers for next year and the impact of the 17 million dollar district shortfall on our program.  Like many schools in the district we are facing a cut.  The good news is that our initial cut has been significantly reduced down to -.40 FTE.  We are going to use Foundation funds to offset this reduction in FTE in order to keep our current staffing in place.

    Final Staffing Summary

    Promised district supports as a result of the co-location are continued this year:

    • Admin at both sites
    • Counselor at both sites
    • Full-time Secretary at both sites
    • Learning Center teacher at both sites
    • Media Specialist at both sites
    • School Climate Specialist
    • Advanced Math FTE for Walk to Math program at Vestal Site

    Elementary teaching staff kept in tact pending closure of the lottery.  We will need 20+ new 4th and 5th graders to be staffed for 7 teachers.  If we fall short, we would be facing a cut of one FTE and need to create three sections of 4/5 blends.  

    Middle school staff kept in tact as long as Foundation keeps pace with their 3-year historical fundraising numbers.  We are planning to pay for a .35 FTE to keep staffing the same and class sizes small.

    Foundation help:

    • .35 FTE towards a teacher in order to  keep middle school classes small, allow for current differentiated math levels, and keep current elective program in place.

    • .1 FTE added to elementary physical education, making the position half time

    • 1.0 FTE for two half time educational assistants to support academic and social emotional needs in the elementary grades

    While I consider all of this very good news, our work is cut out for us to attract additional students in 4th and 5th grade, as well as raise lots of money at the auction for our FTE needs.  We want to keep this program stable and growing!  


    Pam Joyner, Interim Principal ACCESS Academy

    February 16, 2019

    Hello ACCESS Community,

    We have been very busy both with the day to day, but also with an eye towards what is coming up.  We also want to express our gratitude to all those who are supporting staff and students.  The PTA potluck for staff was a recent example of the kindness of this community, and I know that we are all deeply appreciative.

    Upcoming Events

    • PTA Meeting - Wednesday, February 20, 7:00-8:30 at the BESC (501 N. Dixon)
    • Principal’s Coffee - Friday, February 22, 8:45 to 9:45 in the Vestal Library. We will provide some coffee and hot water/tea that morning, just prior to the Parent Tour. You are welcome to join both administrators for this informal get-together.
    • School Tour - Friday, February 22, 10:00 – 11:00. This tour is offered to parents who are interested in finding our more about ACCESS, including how to apply and the offerings here. It will be hosted by both administrators along with Brigid O’Hagan, (our amazing teacher), Linda Smith, (Director of TAG), and current parents. If you are a parent that is willing to come and help answer questions about the program, please let us know.
    • Movie Night - Friday, February 22, at Vestal. Pre-events start at 6:30 and the movie starts 7:00.

    Other Information:

    • Inside Recess at Vestal – We’ve had to have inside recess after lunch several times in the last few weeks. Students get the choice of either going to read in the library, going to the “studio” to play board games, or going to the auditorium to watch a video (Planet Earth episodes on “Mountains” and “Cities”, with notable hit performances by golden eagles, grizzly bears, and swifts).
    • Successful Schools Survey – Please take time to complete this PPS survey that will give school leaders an opportunity to hear your voice.  The window to take the survey is open until March 1st
    • Communication - John discovered that his district Outlook account has been deciding to send some of his incoming emails to the “Junk” folder (its happening to other principals too). He has been looking through that folder, and so far only found one related to ACCESS (the email with feedback on the Read a Thon). He wants to apologize if any of you have had other emails that weren’t returned; PPS IT department has been working on this and we think it is fixed.
    • Battle of the Books competition and Talent Show rehearsals are under way, stay tuned for upcoming details and updates.
    • Interim Staff - With several interims stepping into roles right now, we want to make communication lines are open.

    With Gratitude,

    Pam and John

    February 8, 2019

    Hello Access Families,

    I have enjoyed meeting many of you since officially becoming the interim principal on February 1st.  I want to thank you for all the support and encouragement that I have received already. For those who were not able to attend the meet and greet on Wednesday night, I would like to give you a brief introduction to my background.

    I have been in PPS for many years as a teacher (Madison HS and Grant HS) and administrator and have considerable knowledge of how the district operates. I am also a parent, with three adult children who went all the way through PPS schools, so I bring that perspective as well.

    As an administrator I have been at all levels K-12:

    • I was a vice principal at Cleveland High School

    • Principal at Lane MS and Hosford MS

    • Retired as the principal of Metropolitan Learning Center K-12 Alternative School                                                                                Retired is a relative term, since officially “retiring” a year and a half ago, I have been working as a mentor to six new administrators (who are in their 1st or 2nd year as leaders) while also subbing in buildings as my schedule allows it.

    In the past few weeks (before admin went on leave) I have had the opportunity to sub at both ACCESS sites. I have been impressed with the professionalism and resilience of the staff.  They are very student-focused and many have leaned-in to help in ways that have allowed me to get on board quickly and understand the needs of the school.

    I will be serving as the interim principal ACCESS for the month of February, my goal is to lead and manage the school while the Krista is on leave.  

    • This will include being responsive to the day to day needs of staff, students, and families.  

    • Ensuring that there is clear communication along the way. I consider myself someone who listens to lead.

    • I will also make sure that priorities such as teacher evaluations, professional development for teachers, and Open Houses are effectively scheduled and completed on deadline.

    • I will also be looking ahead at the calendar to make sure that events such as the talent show, auction, and 8th grade promotion are on track for Krista’s return.  On a side note, I very much enjoyed the poetry slam that I attended this week.

    I also want to say that I feel very comfortable working with John Blanck who is the interim assistant principal. I believe he has the right expertise and temperament to be the acting admin at the Vestal site.  Area Assistant Superintendent Keeley Simpson and TAG director Linda Smith (who I met with last week) have also been tremendously helpful.

    Finally, I can’t say enough about the parent community, you all are amazing.  Thanks to those of you who came today to help with our Open House and for the lunch provided for staff at both sites.  I admire your generosity and passion for the ACCESS learning community.

    In Gratitude,

    Pam Joyner, Interim Principal ACCESS Academy


    February 8, 2019

    Hello to the Access at Vestal parents and community!

         My name is John Blanck, and I am happy to be the Interim Assistant Principal here during the leave for David Jamieson. During my first two and a half days here, I have been trying to jump in immediately to be of help to the staff and students. I have also been looking at ways to get you as much information and communication as possible. I really appreciate the patience and understanding that you have shown me in my brief time here.

    Communication to you can come in many ways, and I am working to find the best ways to do that. In the meantime, I want to at least give you some preliminary thought and information. So as a very brief start, I want to at least let you know about the following:

    ·        My background related to ACCESS:  I have 4 adult children, and two of them attended a program very similar to ACCESS while in elementary grades in Illinois. I remember well my nervousness and the advocacy I needed to get them into that program (for example, in spite of my years experience as a School Psychologist in that district, and my usual calm demeanor, I’ll never forget my impatience in the eligibility meeting for my first daughter, waiting to hear them agree that she should be eligible for that TAG program and placement!).  It was a wonderful experience for my kids. I have worked as a School Psychologist in public schools for 24 year (including about 7 years assigned to that TAG program my daughters had attended). I then went directly into Elementary Principalship at Maplewood Elementary near Multnomah Village in 2000, and stayed there 11 years. I retired as a Principal, but have continued in part time work supporting the Principal hiring process for PPS which included my facilitation of the meetings held to hear what the community wanted in their next Principal. I conducted those meetings at Sabin and at Rose City Park when there was administrative changes there for Access. (I remember those meetings well and what people were asking for, and remember thinking to myself that I’d love to be an administrator for Access.) I have been mentoring new administrators for PPS schools for the last 4 years, as well.  When I was asked very recently to take on this interim role here, I did commit to continuing my work as a mentor, but making those appointments with them happen after school hours as much as I can.

    ·        My time here at Access:  I don’t have any information about how long Mr. Jamieson will be out, but I sure sympathize with the need for continuity, so I made the commitment to be here full time, as long as needed.   So far, I am trying to address the immediate needs of the students, and the staff, to keep things working smoothly, and happily. I am confident in, and enjoy, helping in this way. I also want to assure you that I have great respect for you, the parent community, and always like to help facilitate your generous offers of time and help, which are very appreciated and welcome.

    ·        Communication and Emails – I will be working to give you as much information as efficiently as possible. To those who have emailed me about upcoming events, etc., I want to thank you for your patience. I want to get to the immediate concerns first. In my career tried to reply as quickly as possible, but I know that I just haven’t gotten to some of the longer-range issues as yet. Regrettably, I know there is a backlog, but I promise you I am working on it as quickly as I can. I am also working closely with the Interim Principal, Pam Joyner, who I know well and respect immensely, to try to keep things working smoothly. I believe in healthy communication, which includes the concepts of assumption of positive intent, transparency, and integrity.

    ·        Events – I enjoyed meeting some of you at the “Meet and Greet” and was delighted to catch most of the Poetry Slam last Wednesday night. I really appreciate Keeley Simpson, and the parents who coordinated the thought-provoking and mindful Slam. I am going to gather more specifics on many of the immediate and future events, including Author Visits, Talent Show, Movie Night, Tours, Taiko Residency, and other special offerings. I will get those dates and information out to you as soon as I confirm them (I really don’t want to send out incorrect or misleading information.)

    ·        As I write this on my third day, I also know that the forecast makes us anticipate the possibility of another snow day, possibly on Monday. Please watch for messages from PPS and the media for information about that.

    John Blanck

    Interim Assistant Principal, Access at Vestal

    August  13, 2018

    Welcome to the 2018-19 school year families and students!

    It is our absolute pleasure to welcome everyone to the start of what we deeply believe will be an incredible school year for us all. We know it is a year of significant change and apprehension as to the future of the program and school. We understand many of the complexities and emotions involved, due to so many of you reaching out to us and sharing your experiences. We also know that the driving force behind everything is the success and growth of the children who attend and depend on ACCESS to serve their unique talents and learning pathways. Individualized education that accounts for who each student is, what they are passionate about, where they come from, and who they want to be- is what we want to be a part of together.

    We are co-located in 2 spaces, but often barriers provide opportunities for us to overcome them and become even stronger in spite of them. We also have a unique opportunity to grow skills around collaboration and learn from communities that are new and may be very different from us. My hope is that we find those things that unite us are as strong as those that define us individually. Knowing that there will be challenges has us embracing the belief that the only way we will address them is together, which includes student involvement and input.

    David and I are thrilled to be in this with you. We will be the ACCESS Community's supporters, advocates, leaders, learners, and thought partners in the journey. When Dr. Curtis called me to offer me the opportunity and privilege to come to ACCESS, my response was, “Absolutely. Let’s do this!”

    That is how David and I have been diving into it all, along with everyone else we have been working with since we came on board. We ask you to adopt this “Let’s do this”, mindset alongside us and the ACCESS staff. We know and honor that there is a special history and culture that comes with you. Most of all, we want work with you to make the ACCESS Community even stronger as it moves forward.

    Thank you for allowing us into your community. It is truly an honor!

    -Krista & David


    July 3, 2018

    Hello ACCESS families of 1st through 5th graders and welcome to the Vestal Campus! We are excited to have you join us at our amazing school.

    David Jamieson has been named the Assistant Principal for ACCESS. He will have an office here at Vestal.  Many of you got a letter from me in May sharing some of what we knew then about our co-locating plans. David and I have spent some time meeting and we are able to share more of what we now know. Our intention is to share another letter in August. Once the school year begins, our intent is for David to share a weekly newsletter with ACCESS families and I will send a weekly newsletter to Vestal families.

    Here are a few more things we can share as of July 3rd:

    • ACCESS and Vestal will have different start/end times to allow for a smoother entry and exit.
    • We are working with transportation on our bus/car drop off/pick-up plan. The specific details will be shared in August. It seems hopeful that the buses will NOT be on the playground. ACCESS and Vestal students will wait outside until the doors open and students are greeted by staff. Please note- there is not an outdoor covered area for waiting in the morning. There are not staff available to be supervising students before school.
    • ALL school doors remain locked during the school day. The door facing Everett has a buzzer for families (for both ACCESS and Vestal) to be let in during the school day.
    • Vestal office in on the main floor.
    • ACCESS at Vestal will have a separate office, on the 2nd floor.
    • All safety drills (Fire, Lock down, Earthquake, etc.) will happen for both ACCESS and Vestal at the same times. David and I will work together on safety/emergency planning and drills. We will teach and practice all drills with all students. We will share details in the Fall.
    • New information regarding the library/media teacher- we will share one library teacher, Ms. Melody Lang. She will be .50 Vestal and .50 ACCESS. The ACCESS library books are being integrated into the Vestal Library. Ms. Lang is working closely with head of the district library, Susan Stone.
    • ACCESS and Vestal specialists will be Library/Media, PE, Art.
    • We are moving forward with hiring a .60 Drama teacher. Details on scheduling to follow!
    • ACCESS students will be notified of homeroom teacher in August.
    • Recess and lunch times will be the same for both Vestal and ACCESS. We are currently working on our supervision schedules, which includes indoor recess procedures. All students will be taught recess/lunch procedures during the first week of school.
    • ACCESS at Vestal will have a student handbook/calendar that will go home with every student on the first day of school.
    • ACCESS at Vestal will be implementing the district EBBL (Equity Based Balanced Literacy) Writing Curriculum, Units of Study, in the Fall.
    • Just FYI-  ACCESS is currently in the process of hiring the following positions for ACCESS at Vestal- 1.0 School secretary, 1.0 Counselor, .50 School Climate Specialist, .60 PE, .50 Spanish, .50  Math
    • Vestal hosts weekly KICKBALL games every Wednesday during the summer on our playground, 6:30-7:30...please join us. No kickball on July 4th!
    • Community Clean Up day for both Vestal and ACCESS at Vestal is Aug. 18th, 9am-12pm. Please join us in sprucing up our campus!

    This is a lot of information and I know it doesn’t answer all of your questions, but again our plan is to share another similar letter in August.

    We hope everyone is having a fun summer! Know that we are working together to make the Fall welcoming and enjoyable!

    Sabrina Flamoe and David Jamieson

    June 22, 2018

    Dear ACCESS Community,

    I hope that this finds you enjoying your summer. I have been busy working hard with the district and the principals of Vestal and Lane on the transition of ACCESS to our new school campuses. More staffing information will be shared as it gets finalized, but I am happy to announce that Mr. David Jamieson will be the new Assistant Principal of ACCESS. He will have an office at the Vestal campus.

    Mr. Jamieson joins the ACCESS community having served as an Assistant Principal at both Beach K5 and Ockley Green. During that time he has enjoyed the opportunity to learn from many mentors, lead a co-located Spanish DLI school, open a middle school and get to know the people in PPS who serve as resources to school leaders.
    Before moving to Portland, Mr. Jamieson served as an administrator at a high-performing charter school in Los Angeles. While there he saw a 100% graduation rate for all students as well as the development of a school and instructional culture of acceleration, differentiation, creativity, and critical thinking.
    Born in Portland and an Oregon native, his love of travel and diverse culture began as a child while his father volunteered as a doctor in the Philippines and Hawaii. Traveling throughout Central America and living in Costa Rica while studying Spanish in college shaped his early career path which lead him to pursue his Teaching Certificate at San Diego State University. He then obtained a Masters of Education Teaching English as a Second Language as well as a Masters of Education in Leadership. Mr. Jamieson’s career experience spans sixteen years of working in private, public and charter schools at the elementary, middle and high school levels. He also has international teaching experience at an IB school in Xiamen, China.
    In his free time, he enjoys snowboarding, fly fishing, surfing, reading and spending time with his wife Sara, their son R.E and daughter Finley.
    Mr. Jamieson looks forward to getting to know the ACCESS community and being part of the school’s next chapter.

    Please join me in welcoming Mr. Jamieson.


    Anh Nguyen-Johnson, Principal


    Upcoming Events:

    • Back to School Picnic: Sunday, August 19 at Normandale Park (5700 NE Halsey Street) *More details to come
    • First Day for All ACCESS Students: Monday, August 27


    June 15, 2018

    Hello ACCESS families of 1st through 5th graders and welcome to the Vestal Campus! We are excited to have you join us at our amazing school. Vestal is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse schools in the city. We have about 68% of our students receiving free or reduced price lunch, which qualifies us as a Title 1 school. We have some unique programs due to our Title status. We also made the community wide decision to be a school that explicitly focuses on social justice starting in the Fall.

    My name is Sabrina Flamoe and I am just wrapping up my first year as principal of this wonderfully diverse and beautiful school. Previous to Vestal, I was the principal at Laurelhurst K-8, right down the street, and previous to Laurelhurst I was a teacher of grades 3rd through 8th, then an instructional coach.

    I wanted to share a few things we know for sure for Fall 2018:

    • ACCESS grades 1-5 will be co-located at Vestal; classrooms and the office will be in one wing. The ACCESS counselor and Learning Center will be in a different wing, but all on the 2nd floor.
    • Vestal and ACCESS will share a .6 DRAMA teacher which will be housed in our gorgeous auditorium.
    • ACCESS will have its own Assistant Principal, which will be the consistent administrator on campus. The ACCESS principal will be housed at Lane.
    • Recess and lunch times will be common times for both Vestal and ACCESS
    • We are hopeful to integrate the Playworks philosophy across both Vestal and ACCESS
    • Vestal and ACCESS will each have their own Art and Media Specialist teachers, but both will be teaching in the Art room and in the Library.
    • Vestal and ACCESS will each have their own PE teachers. ACCESS students will have PE in the Playcourt 2/week and in the gym 1/week…and hopefully outside lots!
    • Vestal partners with Earth/Art/Agriculture to bring a garden teacher in for all classes. We are hopeful that we can extend this partnership for ACCESS students
    • Vestal and ACCESS PTA’s have begun working together to schedule both evening and school day events that can be shared by all!
    • Vestal is hopeful that our focus on Social Justice and ACCESS focus on Service Learning can be an area of common ground and shared learning.
    • Vestal PTA hosts weekly KICKBALL games every Wednesday during the summer on our playground, 6:30-7:30. Please join us!
    • There will be staggered start time for Vestal and ACCESS in the Fall.
      • Vestal hours will be 8:00-2:15pm
      • ACCESS hours will be 8:20-2:35pm
    • PPS transportation dept. is working on logistics and will be communicating with families once decisions are made about transportation. Transportation decisions are not made by building administrators.

    While we can all agree co-locating comes with challenges, please know we believe we can do this well, even knowing there will be challenges! We invite you to join us in positive problem solving and assuming positive intent that this can be beneficial to all of our students, families, and staff!

    If you have ACCESS specific questions, please contact ACCESS administration. If you’d like to connect with Vestal’s PTA, please contact our PTA president Galen Gamble at galenblairg@gmail.com.

    Thank you so much, I wish all of you a very enjoyable summer,

    Sabrina Flamoe

    June 1, 2018 

    Dear ACCESS Community,

    The final five days of the school year are here! How did we get to the end of the year so quickly? Next week will fly by!

    On Wednesday we learned about our co-location sites and now the work of transitioning and preparing for the 2018-19 school year begins, as we also try to close out this year and finish strong. There is a lot to do and so I will be out of the building for some meetings next week to plan with the principals and the district for next school year.

    As I mentioned in this morning’s Principal’s Coffee, we have been on a wild roller coaster ride this year and I want to thank you all for staying on this ride with us. As our learning community expands onto two campuses and includes two other communities, we will be working on ways to help everyone with this transition.

    Our staff is still evolving as the year comes to a close. I have already shared the changes that we have so far in previous communications, but there is one more change that has come about in the last week. We also still have a few vacancies which we hope to fill by the end of June.

    • Ana Simantel has accepted a position outside of PPS

    Please also see the message below from Principal Lawler:

    Being principal for the day was a lot of fun.  It includes lots of learnings about being a principal today with Ms. Nguyen-Johnson.  It was really fun being able to be in her office, walk around the school and eat in the teacher’s lounge.  A principal's job takes a lot of responsibility.  It is to take care of a lot of things and a lot of people.  They help with activities, paperwork, meetings, answering questions, talking to people.  A principal has their own office and is very busy.   

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Anh Nguyen-Johnson, Principal

    Upcoming Events:

    • Field Day: Tuesday, June 5
    • Jr. Rose Parade Early Release @RCP: Wednesday, June 6 - Students dismissed at 11:15am *No lunch served
    • 8th Grade Oaks Park Field Trip: Thursday, June 7
    • 8th Grade Promotion & 8th Grade picnic: Friday, June 8 

    Year End Cafeteria Account Balances
    Any remaining account balances (positive or negative) on students’ meal accounts at the end of the year will be automatically held for students at their current school or transferred to students’ new schools within the district.  If your student is leaving the district, then you may call Robin Cafeteria Lead at Access and BC@RCP to arrange for a refund. Donations are also accepted for helping cover owed money on student meal accounts.  Visit our department webpage www.pps.net/nutrition to make a donation.

    Lost & Found
    All Lost and Found items are on display at the main entrance of school until the end of the day on Monday, June 11th.  Please take a look for any items you may be missing.  All unclaimed items will be promptly donated to the PPS Clothes Closet the following morning.

    8th Grade Picnic
    Hello 8th grade families! Hopefully you’ve heard about the picnic following the 8th grade promotion.  Here are details:

    There will be an 8th grade potluck picnic at Rose City Park (the actual Park at NE 62nd Ave and Tillamook- we will set up on the 62nd side around the picnic tables) directly following the 8th Grade promotion ceremony on Friday, June 8th.  This is not a school sponsored event, so students will need to be signed out by a parent or guardian at the office before leaving (or have a note from home with permission to leave school and go to the park).  Students can return to school to catch their bus.

    We will provide meat and cheese deli trays, bread, and fixings for sandwiches as well as a vegetarian option.  Signup genius link is https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0d4aafaf2cabfb6-8thgrade. It includes spots to sign up to contribute $ toward party trays as well as set up and clean up.

    Hope you can come help celebrate the last day of eighth grade!

    May 11, 2018

    Dear ACCESS Community,

    This week also flew by! We have four weeks of school left. The last day of school for 2017-18 remains June 8 - please see the message from the district that was shared with the PPS community earlier this week.

    A huge thank you to the PTA and the families of ACCESS Academy for making the staff feel appreciated during Staff Appreciation Week this week! We were well fed, ready to go with morning beverages, and showered in notes and flowers. We also thank you all for the generous gift cards.

    The latest staffing updates:

    • Hans Weih, paraeducator, will be leaving PPS to explore other opportunities
    • Mandarin Teacher; a new Mandarin teacher will be placed with us for the 2018-19 school year

    Also, we still anxiously await a decision on our location(s) for next school year.

    Enjoy the sunshine this weekend!


    Anh Nguyen-Johnson, Principal

    Upcoming Events:

    • Science Night: Tuesday, May 15 from 6:00pm-8:00pm
    • Late Opening: Wednesday, May 16 - School begins at 10:45am  *Reminder that breakfast is not served on Late Opening since Lunch/Recess begins 40 minutes after arrival
    • PTA Meeting: Wednesday, May 16 from 7:00-8:30pm in the Library
    • Dine Out for ACCESS: Wednesday, May 23 from 11am-10pm at ¿Por Qué No? (3524 N. Mississippi Ave.)
    • ACCESS Choir Concert: Tuesday, May 29 in the Auditorium
    • Principal’s Coffee:  Friday, June 1 from 8:45am-9:45am in the Auditorium
    • Last Middle School Dance: Friday, June 1 - 5th graders are invited to attend
    • Field Day: Tuesday, June 5
    • Jr. Rose Parade Early Release @RCP: Wednesday, June 6 - Students dismissed at 11:15am *No lunch served
    • 8th Grade Oaks Park Field Trip: Thursday, June 7
    • 8th Grade Promotion & 8th Grade picnic: Friday, June 8 *Details to come

    May 4, 2018

    Dear ACCESS Community,

    It is hard to believe that May is already here...the time has been flying by!

    I will continue to share staffing updates as they become finalized. In addition to the ones that were shared last week, here are the latest:

    • Jeremy Johnson will be the Head Varsity Football Coach and Mathematics Teacher at Lincoln HS
    • Yinan Sun, Mandarin Teacher, will return to China as her 2-year contract will end
    • Ana Simantel will return as the Grade 1 / 2 Teacher
    • Michael Todd will be the Learning Center Teacher (.50FTE) replacing Christy LeeWehage

    Also, we still await a decision on our location(s) for next school year. There were two communications sent out this week from the district, and in case you did not receive them, I have linked to them below:


    Anh Nguyen-Johnson, Principal

    Upcoming Events:

    • Science Night: Tuesday, May 15 from 6:00pm-8:00pm
    • Late Opening: Wednesday, May 16 - School begins at 10:45am  *Reminder that breakfast is not served on Late Opening since Lunch/Recess begins 40 minutes after arrival
    • PTA Meeting: Wednesday, May 16 from 7:00-8:30pm in the Library
    • ACCESS Choir Concert: Tuesday, May 29 in the Auditorium
    • Principal’s Coffee:  Friday, June 1 from 8:45am-9:45am in the Auditorium
    • Last Middle School Dance: Friday, June 1 - 5th graders are invited to attend
    • Field Day: Tuesday, June 5
    • Jr. Rose Parade Early Release @RCP: Wednesday, June 6 - Students dismissed at 11:15am *No lunch served
    • 8th Grade Oaks Park Field Trip: Thursday, June 7
    • 8th Grade Promotion & 8th Grade picnic: Friday, June 8 *Details to come

    Safe Routes to School Bike Fairy Week
    The Bike Fairy will be visiting the Rose City Park Campus on Wednesday, May 9 and leave a small surprise on all the bikes parked on campus.

    Oregon Health Plan
    Starting Jan. 1, 2018, the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) is available to more children and teens younger than 19, regardless of immigration status. OHP is free health coverage for Oregonians who meet income and other criteria. It covers many health care services such as check-ups, tooth fillings, glasses and prescriptions. It also covers labs, x-rays and hospital care. It even pays for rides to and from the doctor’s office. Apply to see if you qualify. Help is free. A trusted and OHP-certified community partner nearby can help you apply. You can find one by calling 1-800-699-9075 or 711 (TTY). You can also go online at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/HSD/OHP/Pages/OHPcoversme.aspx

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