Dear Lewis Community,
Happy August! It is actually hard for me to believe we are coming to the end of the summer and the school year is right around the corner. Even in the midst of COVID the time seems to be flying by. I hope this email finds all of you healthy and enjoying the beautiful Oregon weather.
Questions...we all have lots of questions, and it feels like not all of the answers. I hope that in this email, some of your questions are answered.
I would like to introduce a few new staff to our Lewis team.
We welcome Mrs. Evin Aksay to first grade. Mrs. Aksay has been at Whitman for a few years and I am excited that she is coming to Lewis. Alexis Schner is our new social worker. She is coming to PPS from private practice, with years of working with children and families and is excited to get back into a school setting. We will be sharing her with Duniway. This week I will be interviewing for a half time Learning Center teacher, as Ms. Monica Monardi has taken a full time position at Vestal, and a principal's secretary. When the hiring is done we will be fully staffed for the year.
We have Yard Signs for our school and I would love to get them out and into the neighborhood. With lots of time for thinking this summer, I decided that we needed a fun kick off, while at the same time touching on the social justice of the world around us. Thanks to Pamela Kennedy (kindergarten teacher) and her beautiful artwork, a team of staff and myself came up with our design. I am asking for a suggested donation of $10.00 per sign, however, anyone who wants one will get one. Sign pick up will be in the front of the school the week of August 24th. Having a sign in your yard will tell folks about our fabulous school.
Do you need a laptop for your student, or did your laptop from last year break? Please email Kathleen Gagnon-Witter firstname.lastname@example.org , your child's name and best phone number and we will connect you with a laptop. Laptops will be picked up at Lewis the week of August 24th. We want to make sure that everyone is ready for distance learning!
School supplies, when you are not coming to school you ask? I have been sending out the school supply lists in the past few newsnotes, as this is the time of the year that school supplies are on sale. Here are some reasons: Teachers will be asking students to do some projects with the supplies that you have purchased.
When we return to school in person, everyone will need to have their own box of supplies. We will no longer do community sharing of supplies. So if you purchase items now, then use a school box, shoe box, or some sort of container for them at home, your child will get used to keeping them in one place. Then when we return to school the box will come complete to the classroom.
This is also a great opportunity to teach your child about organization, taking care of your school materials, and will also help with home work space organization.
Learning pods, seems to be the new buzz word. Personally, I would like to look at them more as "care-shares". Getting families together to support learning and care. Having an adult help children with timing to get into class lessons, working on assignments, providing breaks, meals, and supporting the learning that the teachers are providing. Your Lewis teachers are here to teach your children, they are excited, working hard, and trying their best to make sure that they are ready for the new year of teaching and learning. Students may be in different classes, have different teachers, and will be completing their own assignments/lessons. I will not be moving children around to meet your care-share learning pods. This will cause very unbalanced classrooms for when we do return to school. Grade level teacher teams will be working together to coordinate schedules and curriculum, which should help if same grade level students are sharing a pod.
The teachers union and the district are still in negotiations on many topics. Once these decisions are made, we will know more about what our school day will look like and the schedule for daily learning. I do know that teachers will be working with students everyday (Monday-Friday), and the expectation is that students will attend in person lessons part of the day (whole class and small groups) and then have some time for independent work. Hopefully in the next few days we will hear about on site child care, and more specifics on the type of curriculum that will be used throughout our learning.
Please know that I do not have all the answers. This is a new year, unlike any we have had before. I have a zillion unanswered questions myself, and am trying to wrap my head around many new issues that I have never done before. On a good note, I am positive we will figure it out, just may have a few bumps along the way. Your children will learn, and we can add a little Lewis school fun in too! Feel free to email me your questions. I may not have the answer, but will certainly work on trying to get the answer to your question. If your family needs some support, (i.e food, household items,) please let me know. As a community we are here!
More information coming soon.
Thank you to all the volunteers that have worked to transform our rain garden this summer by weeding, hauling off yard debris, delivering 8 yards of mulch, and rallying others to join the fun. We can’t do any of this without the amazing support in the Lewis community. More thanks to those who have worked on planting, weeding, watering and keeping the back garden growing all summer.
Lots of things are growing in the Lewis Garden! We need your help this summer to water, weed and harvest the amazing things growing right now. For the month of August, the Lewis Custodians will unlock the gate to the back garden from 8am-1pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. You can come anytime during that time frame to weed and water. The great thing about helping out is that you also get to harvest anything that’s ripe when you’re there. Bring your kids and figure on contributing at least an hour doing the watering and weeding. Please email me for more information. Sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E094CACAB28A31-lewis5
Dear Families of PPS Secondary Students,
During Comprehensive Distance Learning, opportunities are built into the schedule for all families to be able to connect with teachers during office hours. As in a traditionally formatted year, we will also be offering Parent-Teacher Conferences (morning to evening) on November 23-24.
Dear PPS Families,
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant decline in children accessing preventative medical services such as vaccines and well child checks. We’re happy to announce that we have re-opened two of PPS’ school-based health centers to provide access to medical services for students while the district continues to hold classes remotely. School-based health centers offer quality, affordable health care by doctors and Family Nurse Practitioners for children and youth with no out of pocket cost.
Dear PPS Families,
We want to update you on the Enrollment and Program Balancing (EPB) progress. As we’ve shared, the initial work focuses on schools in Southeast Portland in anticipation of the reopening of Kellogg Middle School. The Southeast Guiding Coalition has held six meetings aimed at creating a common understanding of the Coalition’s charge and the process for developing proposals and a final recommendation. The process is starting with a focus on grades 6-8 now, and will expand to grades PK-12 next spring.
6:00 PM District Board Meeting
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM Board Audit Committee Meeting
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM Board Intergovernmental Committee Meeting
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM Board Policy Committee Meeting
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM School Improvement Bond Committee Meeting
6:00 PM District Board Meeting