ACCESS Academy 1-5 @ Vestal, 161 NE 82nd
ACCESS Academy 6-8 @ Lane, 7200 SE 60th Avenue
Dear PPS Communities,
Yesterday, during a special meeting of the Portland Public Schools Board of Education, a resolution was approved to co-locate ACCESS Academy at Vestal Elementary and Lane Middle School.
As many of you know, this decision comes after a long process to find the best solution in a challenging environment. Our district is faced with changes to enrollment, rapidly changing neighborhoods and limited available school facilities. We must provide for the needs of every student across the District, and this begins with providing all students a place for productive learning. We believe this decision helps us toward that goal. There was no perfect solution to siting the ACCESS program, and we must work together as one community to successfully implement this decision for the benefit of our students. Much of this work relies on the entire PPS community coming together to do what is best for our students.
The need to move the ACCESS program stems from a Board decision last fall to provide 1,300 students in historically underserved communities in North and Northeast Portland with more equitable opportunities in a comprehensive middle school setting by opening Roseway Heights Middle School. That decision prompted the need to open Rose City Park as a neighborhood elementary school. We acknowledge the frustrations and concerns of many of our students, parents, teachers and administrators of these communities impacted by this decision. We are committed to improving the way we work with school communities affected by district-level decisions.
In the meantime, we will work with principals and staff at Vestal, Lane and ACCESS to plan community integration events and to identify support needs. We will be posting additional information on school websites, including answers to the questions we have been receiving, and translated copies will be available at each school. Although we are heading into summer break, we will continue to be in touch with you about this important work.
If you have additional questions, please send them to email@example.com or share them directly with your school’s principal.
Dear school communities,
I wanted to provide you with an update on our progress in finding a home for ACCESS Academy for the 2018-19 school year. Please know, we have heard, and share your concerns regarding the very late date of this decision. We understand the challenging position this puts everyone in and we are working as fast as we can to finalize a decision. This past week has been spent working with administrators, senior directors and other logistical coordinators on floorplans, schedules and transportation for our remaining options. We have asked these teams to identify opportunities to benefit all students as well as challenges and proposed solutions. The Superintendent has asked to have this detailed information before sharing a final decision. Next week, we will ask school principals to convene groups of parent representatives from each school community, to discuss possibilities and hear concerns.
Dear ACCESS community,
I wanted to update you on the process to find ACCESS Academy a new location. Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero is currently reviewing my recommendation for co-location sites. As a next step, please know that Superintendent Guerrero is also touring potential school sites and speaking with school leaders as part of the decision-making process.
Guadalupe and I look forward to announcing a decision soon. Thank you for your patience and understanding as district leadership takes the necessary time to make the best possible decision.
We look forward to starting the work of unifying our new school communities once a decision has been announced.
Portland Public Schools
May 4th 2018
We had planned to announce a decision today regarding a new location for ACCESS, however Superintendent Guerrero would like more time to consider the recommendation. We hope to have an announcement next week.
I understand this has been an agonizing process for all of you while we explore options for a new home for ACCESS Academy. This is obviously not our intent and I am sure it is difficult to standby while a completely new leadership team gets up to speed about the evolution of this program and the complex issue we are currently faced with as a result of our middle school reconfiguration. Balancing the work of doing our research in time to meet critical deadlines while keeping you all informed along the way has been a great challenge. Stephanie Cameron, our Senior Director of Communications and Public Engagement, and I continue to work on improving our communications. Please know, we are committed to keeping you informed and we continue to welcome and value your feedback.
My apologies for the length of time between our communications. We are actively working to find a home for ACCESS Academy and we have been doing a deep dive to get a better understanding of available resources and critical needs for this important program. We have an entirely new leadership team at the district and we bring a fresh perspective on how we approach this process. I recognize, and have learned from the many emails from ACCESS Academy community members, that in the past, this has not been done in a thoughtful, engaging or transparent manner. We are striving to do things differently.
The following message from Dr. Yvonne Curtis, Deputy Superintendent of Instruction and School Communities, was sent to ACCESS families April 9, 2018:
I would like to provide a brief update on our process for identifying a location for ACCESS Academy for next school year. We have assembled an Advisory Group to help inform our research and decision making. As many of you learned at the Principal’s coffee last Friday, this group is comprised of ACCESS Academy parents, teachers and district leaders involved in securing a home for ACCESS Academy.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much, I wish all of you a very enjoyable summer,
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.
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
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:
Also, we still anxiously await a decision on our location(s) for next school year.
Enjoy the sunshine this weekend!
Anh Nguyen-Johnson, Principal
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:
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
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
The school year was over, but more than 500 K-5 teachers were hard at work preparing for the 2018-19 academic year at the PPS Summer Institute at Roosevelt High School. The two-day training gave teachers the opportunity to dig into the new language arts curriculum, and hear from teachers who are already using it. The teachers also learned how the curriculum aligns with state standards and the district’s newly adopted scope and sequence — an academic term for what will be taught and in what order.
Dear PPS Families,
As the 2017-18 school year comes to a close, I would like to appreciate our students, teachers, support staff, and school leaders for all their hard work. They have all earned a well-deserved summer break. This past week, more than four thousand students walked across the stage at the various high school graduation ceremonies and received their diplomas. Congratulations to our seniors on reaching this important milestone. We wish you much success in your next endeavors.