At first glance, the annual Portland Public Schools district calendar might seem to fulfill one crucial function: to alert students, staff, and families to the days when school is in session and when it is not.
If that were the case, crafting the calendar would be the work of days, if not hours. In fact, the calendar is a multipurpose living document that involves meticulous planning and careful forethought to ensure the best possible outcomes for students and staff. It also reflects the needs and observances of the many diverse communities the district serves.
Ethan Kramer, Beaumont Middle School’s assistant principal, sees middle school math as so much more than 2x + 3y = 5.
“It’s helping to build the logic center – the prefrontal cortex – in analysis and processing,” he said. Given this, Kramer and others believe that middle grades instruction must lay a strong foundation to support more challenging math concepts in the future – first high school, then beyond.
But what are the components of that foundation? And how is it best established?
The district’s middle grades core academics team and its grades 6-8 math committee have spent the last year weighing these questions in tandem with educators and community stakeholders. Their goal: a comprehensive math curriculum that challenges students without rushing or skipping over key concepts.
In meteorological terms, Portland’s first big weather event of 2024 has been the definition of a perfect storm. Frigid temperatures and high winds combined with snow and ice to bring down tree limbs, close roads, scramble traffic, freeze pipes, and knock out power for tens of thousands of residents.
It’s been a metaphorical perfect storm for Portland Public Schools as well. Fallen trees cut power to multiple schools and others have suffered water damage from broken pipes. Lack of heat is also a problem, and impassable roads, paired with snowed-in and icy parking lots, have made it impossible for buses to run safely. Those same conditions have limited how the district’s facilities and operations teams can even assess the scope of the issues, let alone begin working on solutions. And icy sidewalks mean walkers have no safe route to school.
In a dark corner of a dilapidated house, several young people work together to locate a baby in distress. A few hundred feet away, a second group uses cribbing techniques to free a man from a 2,000-pound slab of concrete. Nearby, a third learns how to use a multi-tool to turn off a leaking gas line.
Thankfully, none of it – the ailing baby, the crushed man, the gas leak – was real. Rather, each scenario was part of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training for students from Darshanpreet Gill’s biomedical innovations class.
Dear Arleta Community,
Happy February! It’s hard to believe it’s time to begin planning for our incoming kindergartners for next year. This week Ms. Hedlund, Ms. Arias and I had fun making our “Welcome to Arleta” video for the Kindergarten page on our website. If you know any families with children who will turn 5 by September 1st, please let them know to check our website or give our office a call for information about our incoming kindergarten events beginning later this month. Hurrah for kindergartners!
Our district is also beginning to prepare for next school year and that includes a draft school year calendar (next paragraph) and a process called “staffing”. This is the number of staff the district allocates to each school, and is based on school enrollment. The #1 thing you can do to support Arleta is to spread the word to all families in our boundary to enroll their children at Arleta! I’ll share specific staffing information with you as soon as I have it. What I can tell you for sure right now is we’d love to have some new 2nd graders enroll (who would be 3rd graders next year) because our overall 2nd grade, which is currently two classes, is right at the PPS class size threshold for 2nd grade (32). If you know current 2nd graders who might love Arleta, please tell them all about us, and/or have their family call our office: 503.916.6330.
, PPS leadership presented the proposed draft for the 2024-2025 school year calendar: . The new contract with PAT led to several shifts between this year's and next year's calendars that are important to be aware of. If you have questions or comments regarding the proposed calendar, you can share them by visiting
Our Dolphin Drive fundraiser has officially begun! Your children can decorate then return their dolphins from the coloring sheet they received to the office, and as we get donation cars full of dolphins, children’s dolphins will get to ride our goal-a-coaster! We need riders, so please participate! You’ll be helping our school reach our goal of $7500 to support crucial programming serving students, teachers, and our broader Arleta community. Every dollar counts-- CLICK HERE to donate today! Please see the additional important information included further below.
Thank you for being such awesome dolphins everyone, and have a great weekend!
Thank you for helping our early release go so smoothly, everyone! I hope your child had a good morning and week at school.
In Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Day coming up this Monday I thought I’d express how grateful I feel, and I believe our whole staff feels, for the contributions of Black staff, children, families and people in our own Arleta community. Our staff is in process planning the ways we will bring meaningful opportunities to appreciate and learn about contributions of Black people in our own community as well as to learn about, reflect on and appreciate the contributions of Dr. King and other well known Black heroes in the upcoming months. Across our school teacher teams will be facilitating learning and thinking related to Oregon’s Multicultural Studies Standards as we move forward into Black History Month next month. I also want to offer my heartfelt and deep appreciation to our PTA Inclusion Committee Co-Chair parents Sherly Moren and Melissa Sircy (who also leads Communications and production of this newsletter) for the thought-provoking, engaging and meaningful bulletin board displays they create in our main entry and also our cafeteria each month. Here is the new one they put up just today… I hope you’ll be able to pause and spend some time reading and reflecting on the message when you’re next inside our school…especially if you haven’t had your child’s conference yet, hopefully that will be next week!
If you haven’t signed up for your child’s conference yet, here’s your link: www.MyConferenceTime.com/dolphin.
On behalf of our Arleta Staff, we wish all a safe and fun weekend! And, a day of action and/or reflection on Monday.
Hello wonderful Arleta families,
Our School Climate & Counseling Team has created some joyful daily activities that teachers may be integrating into the regular learning schedules next week, to provide students with something special to look forward to on each of our added school days. Here are some things you might hear about, depending on what your child’s teacher designs! Monday Ugly Winter Sweater Day: Classes will decorate a large cutout of a knit sweater however they like to post in the hallway to decorate our school for winter! Tuesday Game/Quiz Day: Students might play board games or online school appropriate pre-approved games, do fun all class quizzes to review material, etc. Wednesday Snow day: Ultimate recycled-paper Snowballs and/or paper snowflakes. Thursday Reading + Stuffie Day: Bring a good book and a stuffie from home to read in class and enjoy special read-aloud visits from various staff. Friday Movie Day: Movies in the classroom for our school-wide dolphin celebration -- because each of our classes has earned a Big Dolphin! This means each class has been recognized at least 20 times this year by other staff members, for following school-wide expectations in our common areas (bathrooms, hallways, playground, cafeteria and classroom).
I want to let you know that next week we will have a guest administrator, Gene Bivens, who used to be the Assistant Principal at Arleta when we were a K-8. This is because I’ll be in New Zealand visiting both of my kids! This is a trip I planned for winter break pre-strike, and while I’m pretty excited, it will still be hard to be away while school is in session. However I know our staff and Mr. Bivens, along with our awesome kids and community, will make it a great week! In addition to the Spirit Week activities above, teachers are planning all kinds of other fun things in addition to a continuation of meaningful learning goals and routines.
Here are our rescheduled conference dates for after winter break: Wednesday and Thursday evenings January 10th and 11th then the following week Tuesday, January 16th and Wed. the 17th, between 3:30-6:30 all four nights. Sign-ups for conferences will be sent out in next week’s Dolphin Digest, shared via teachers and linked on our website. We strive for all families to have a conference, so we really appreciate parents signing up right away. A reminder that children are welcome to attend their own conference, too. More information will be shared with the sign up link next week. Thank you!
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM OBOB Championship
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM School Board - Facilities and Operations Committee meeting
8:45 AM - 12:30 PM 3rd grade field trip to Reed Canyon
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM School Board- Regular Meeting
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM School Board - Student Success Committee
9:00 AM - 9:45 AM Author Visit grades K-3
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM School Board- Budget Work Session with vote on a consent agenda
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM School Board - Facilities and Operations Committee meeting
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM Last day of SUN Winter term
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Litter Pick-Up: Volunteers needed :)
Go to pps.net/kinderenroll. The process takes 20-30 minutes and school staff will follow up with you later in the summer
With schools closed, online registration is the easiest option, but paper options will be available soon
You don’t need to register if your child attends a PPS Head Start or Pre-Kindergarten program, you’re already pre-registered for kindergarten