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.
Dear Rieke Rocket community,
First, let me thank you all for your continued support, understanding and patience during this very challenging past year. I know how very difficult it has been on families and students and staff. And I know the continued lack of certainty wears on us all.
But if I can, I’d like to take us back one year ago for a moment. In early March last year Rieke was staffed with a third kindergarten, first grade and fourth grade teacher based on growing student enrollment and neighborhood Rieke enthusiasm, coupled with state Student Investment Act funding. We were about to host our sold out Rieke Foundation sponsored Auction at the Jewish Community Center. Our kindergarten outreach was being highly successful. I allocated Foundation funds for literacy support Educational Assistants, technology assistant, full time Media Specialist in our library, and a robust Sustainability program at lunch. Our partnership with PTA and our Foundation were positive and productive, generating funds and volunteer energy into our school. The Rieke Way was gathering further momentum towards growth and expansion of excellence.
Then came March 13th, the closing of PPS campuses, the cancellation of our auction, and then eventually the reduction of Oregon’s Student Investment Act funds. That reduction led to a loss of our allotted third kindergarten and first grade teachers. We lost 10% of our students over the following 6 months to other educational options. Due to lack of clarity on the 2020-21 school year I had to reduce our Foundation fund allocations and save that money until it could be deemed necessary. As a result, we do have nearly $39,000 in Foundation fund savings to start with for 2021-22.
Luckily through vigilance and community organization I was able to argue for and finally get a third kindergarten position in August 2020. And we have maintained (and even grown) our student enrollment over the 2020-21 school year through the amazing work of our staff at learning and implementing CDL, with your continued support. We are very grateful for this!
Our staffing next year does include some excellent rewards for all of our collective efforts. We have been staffed with three Kindergarten and first grade teachers next year, meaning small primary class sizes! I have allocated (not all) existing Foundation funds for continued assistance with technology and media outreach. We retain our extra half time counselor through SIA funds. But there are some constraints that need support from the community.
Rieke is staffed with two large classes in all grades 2-5. We have not been given ANY extra staff to support these large classes, or support supervision at lunch. Our students and staff would greatly benefit from a reinvestment in classroom staff supports that can be provided by educational assistants in the school. These staff members provide supports for small groups, classroom extensions and interventions, and another trusted adult for students to connect with. And given the safety protocols likely to be in place next year for lunch and outside recess we will need such support staff to provide a safe and robust social environment for our students.
This letter is asking you to give to the Rieke Foundation so that we can again invest in the needed student support staff to provide our students and staff with that bit of extra love and help that makes Rieke such a special place for us all. Given the continued economic situation, the inability to host a live auction, and the continued uncertainty over PPS learning models, we realize raising vast sums of money is unreasonable. In the past Rieke has raised around $90,000-110,000 dollars to support staffing.
I am asking the Foundation to try and raise $70,000 this year. Given that amount of funding support, Rieke can then invest in at least two roughly half time Educational Assistants as well as having just enough funds to support a small Sustainability program at lunch. That coupled with our use of 2019-20 funds to continue support for technology and media endeavors I believe will provide us at Team Rieke the additional adult staff to provide our children the safe and supported learning environment at Rieke in 2021-22 that they deserve. Please join us all in donating to this collective endeavor.
To donate go to https://www.aplos.com/aws/give/TheFundforPortlandPublicSchools/donate and select Rieke Elementary School under Purpose or write a check made out to The Fund for PPS and write Rieke Elementary School in the memo line. Checks can be dropped off at school or mailed directly to The Fund at 501 N. Dixon, Portland, OR 97227.
Thank you. In partnership with the Rieke Foundation, cheers!
If you or your student is still struggling with any of the aspects of learning technology, we hope you will call the PPS Technology Help Desk, which is open from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on school days. We will answer your questions and share information and helpful tips about anything related to distance learning technology. The Technology Help Desk is available in all PPS-supported languages. Email email@example.com or call us: