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.”
There are three ways we send messages to families about delays, closures and other weather-related decisions:
We also post updates online:
Hello ACCESS Families -
As we begin semester two this week we will also begin administering the winter MAP assessment for reading and math in grades 3rd through 8th. Because of our walk-to-math program in our lower grades this will include all students in grade 3 math regardless of their homeroom. Our lower grades will spend a little time practicing this coming week and the actual testing sessions will begin the week of February 8th, 2021. Our middle school grades will start the test in Language Arts classes first and then move to Math. The testing window is open the whole month of February, so teachers and students have amble time to complete.
I am sharing a parent guide to MAP testing. Because of CDL, there are a few things that are important to do in preparation for the actual testing session. For those students using devices not issued by PPS, please review TEST Preparation section on page 2. There's an introduction video as well as a practice test.
2020 MAP Remote Testing Parent Guide: https://docs.google.com/
Our team finds that the MAP test provides helpful information regarding students proficiencies and skills. We are excited to have good, standardized assessment data. We realize administering the MAP test remotely comes with different challenges and that you are parents have the option to not have your student take the assessment. Please, please, please share any concerns or ask questions of your students teacher this week so we can best support your student in being able to take the MAP test. This is not a timed test. Students can take a break and take the test over more than one day. It is really low stakes.
Of course we ask that you speak with your student about test integrity given the nature of CDL. Teachers will do that same. You will receive more detailed information from teachers.
Thank you all! Be well, Ginger
Good Afternoon ACCESS Staff, Students, and Families -
You should expect to receive a district communication regarding Limited In-Person Instruction this evening prior to the PPS school board meeting. Building leaders around the district are beginning to outline the details for engaging small cohorts of students back in the building starting as early as next week. ACCESS is in the "Phase III" group, and we are tentatively working toward a start date the first week of March. We will begin with a very small student cohort (10-12) in mixed grades 1-3, possibly 6th grade too. Both staff and students who are to participate do so voluntarily. CDL programming will continue as scheduled. LIPI will take place in the afternoon. We will start with one day per week. More details to come...
Educators are just beginning to receive appointments for their first round of vaccinations.
While their are many details to outline, we are excited about the opportunity to have students back in buildings in the coming weeks! In anticipation of your questions and concerns I will host a Principal Chat this coming Friday, January 29th from 2:00pm - 3:00pm. Please join me if you are able!
Happy Friday ACCESS Families!
As we move into the 3-day MLK Holiday weekend, I continue to reflect on the state of our Nation and the overwhelming Global Pandemic. Martin Luther King Jr was unrelenting in his pursuit of racial justice for Black communities across our country. The same systems of oppression that Dr. King railed against during the Civil Rights era still have a strong hold in our communities of color. There are a new generation of Freedom Fighters and one way that we are able to join them in the fight for racial justice is to learn about Dr. King’s teachings, challenge systems of oppression, racist speech, and interrupt decision-makers that serve to perpetuate the “racial divide”.
The MLK holiday weekend has for many years, asked people to gather in ways that we are able to “serve” our communities. A day of service. This year, with COVID-19, creates challenges. Be intentional this weekend. We have much to learn!
Virtual MLK Jr celebrations, service opportunities, and resources (to highlight just a few)
This & That….
Our ACCESS Talent Show audition sign up deadline has been extended to January 24. Please encourage students to SIGN UP. Email email@example.com with any questions.
ATTENTION 8th GRADERS
High school forecasting (choosing classes) will be happening over the next 3-4 weeks. The timing depends upon the individual school. This spreadsheet includes links to high schools and their forecasting information, if available. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Congratulations to the following spellers who will advance to the school-wide “spell off” on Friday, February 5, at 9:30 am:
Semester One ends January 28th, 2021
There are two weeks remaining for first semester. Teachers will spend the planning day, January 29th , assessing student works and finalizing grades. Please take time with your student to review CANVAS and SeeSaw, catch up with communications from teachers, and ensure assignments are completed and turned in.
Enjoy the weekend.
Be well, Ginger
Dear ACCESS Community, Faculty, Staff, & Families –
The range of emotions I have felt throughout today as I witness what is happening in our Nation’s Capital are incredible. I quickly think about how our students are processing and trying to make sense of what is going on and what the implications are for how our current government operates. I worry that once again, students are feeling anxious and unsafe. Their emotional threshold for anxiety, stress, fear, and uncertainty, when paired with the extended isolation of this global pandemic are a test of our resilience as a people and educational community like I’ve never experienced.
I will share that reflection, open dialog, and listening to understand are invaluable steps for making sense and settling emotions. We will continue to navigate such disruptions and uncertainty like professionals. We have an awesome team of educators at ACCESS! We are blessed this way. Lean on each other as adults; reach out to counseling and admin teams for support, questions, or concerns. We are great thought partners and problem-solvers.
As adults and particularly as educators it is important to make space for individual student voice and establish norms that help to guide discussions. Assist with words and language that are supportive of our community. Challenge and interrupt hate, bias, and discriminatory comments. Our ACCESS community is so caring. Thank you all!
This is not about politics. This is about safety: physical, spiritual, and emotional. It is about respect and civility. This is about systems of white privilege and oppression. These are big issues, complex, and very challenging to navigate in conversation, classroom lessons, and day-to-day living.
Teachers will do everything possible to be adaptive and provide for students needs to talk and process. Our counseling team is ready to support and provide safe spaces for students as well. They will visit community meetings for our elementary students in the morning and open drop in meeting links for students who need to access them outside of class. Please let us know if your student needs individual support right away.
ACCESS support team:
Stay safe, Be Well. We care about you and your students, Ginger & Team
Wanting to learn more? Below are some additional resources for helping students process the current turbulence in Oregon and the U.S.
Dear PPS Families & Community,
Thank you for your ongoing collaboration and support as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times. In our ongoing effort to support the needs of all our students, PPS is offering an Online Learning Academy (OLA) for students who cannot attend in-person due to COVID-19 related health reasons.
Dear PPS High School Families,
Yesterday, Multnomah County Health announced updated guidance for mask-wearing: Wear a mask when indoors around people you don’t live with, whether vaccinated or not. This update is in response to increases in Delta variant cases in Oregon and is consistent with evolving guidance from state and national public health agencies, including the CDC, which today will advise that vaccinated people who live in high-transmission areas wear masks in indoor public spaces and that K-12 schools require masks for all.
Yesterday, Multnomah County Health announced updated guidance for mask-wearing: Wear a mask when indoors around people you don’t live with, whether vaccinated or not. This update is in response to increases in Delta variant cases in Oregon and is consistent with evolving guidance from state and national public health agencies, including the CDC, which today advised that vaccinated people who live in high-transmission areas wear masks in indoor public spaces, and that K-12 schools require masks for all.
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Afternoon Chat with Principal
6:00 PM District Board Meeting