Principal's Messages

  • Principal's Messages 4/30/2019

    Dear Cleveland Community,

    Today, I read the following message to our students.  Please continue to let us know what you need from us during this challenging time.  I want to remind you of our Family Equity Council meeting on Tuesday, May 7th in the library at 6pm. 

    Sincerely,

    Principal Freeman

     

    Announcement to students today during 2nd period:

    Good morning students and staff.  This is Principal Ayesha Freeman, please pardon this interruption during class time.

    With continued racialized incidents in our school, the most recent one being graffiti in a girl’s bathroom yesterday afternoon, we have created a “Safe Space” for students to come together in community, process what has happened, and receive some healing and support.

    The safe space is room #116 and it is open beginning now, 2nd period for the remainder of the day.  Our wonderful Cleveland counselors along with district level supports from our Students Services Department are there to help you.

    Also the “Sista to Sista” meeting with our student engagement coach, Alisha Kelly is moved to Mr. Erickson’s room which is 277.  It is happening today during lunch.  Any Black/African-American student is invited to attend.  Lunch is provided.

    Please let us know what you need.  We want to come together as a community and support and protect one another during this time.

    Principal Freeman

     

    Ayesha C. Freeman
    Principal
    Cleveland High School
    503-916-5120


  • Principal's Message 4/29/2019

    Dear Cleveland Community,
     
    The events that have transpired have been deeply unsettling for our students, families and our entire school community.  I’d like to share with you what we are doing to address recent incidents of hate speech and racial insensitivity at Cleveland High School.
     
    Student-Centered Panel Discussion
    We are using a restorative lens to focus on the voices of students of color in a panel discussion after school on Wednesday, May 1 for staff and students to participate. Questions framing the panel discussion are: 
    a.       How is racism showing up at Cleveland?
    b.       What can we do about it?  What can we do differently?
    c.       How can we come together as a community to heal?
     
    Culturally-Specific, Anti-Hate Assembly
    We have our RISE (Reclaiming Indigenous identity through Solidarity and Education) Assembly on Thursday, May 2.  The intention of the RISE Assembly is to honor our Native American community while putting an end to the last bastions of culturally appropriated Native American symbols and language from the era of when the “Indians’ were the mascot at the school. The ultimate purpose of the assembly is to address issues of hate at our school and to demand that it come to an end.
     
    Education
    CHS Social Studies teachers have developed a lesson about the racism and history of blackface in the United States.  Social Studies teachers are delivering this lesson this week. I am grateful for our Social Studies teachers immediate application of lessons on this important issue. I’ve included the video link they plan on sharing as part of the lesson.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9soZnDf0P7E
     
    Family Equity Council
    Our Family Equity Council is meeting for the 2nd time on Tuesday, May 7 at 6 pm in our library.  This council was initiated after hearing concerns from parents who also expressed an interest in helping. I would like to invite all families who wish to attend for a community discussion about how to move forward.    
                                                                                                                                                  

    Small Restorative Justice Circle
    We are facilitating a smaller Restorative Justice (RJ) Circle with the students most directly impacted to help them heal together and with each other. We are working closely with them and their families on this next step.
     
    I will keep you informed about our progress and any additional next steps. I am grateful to all who are offering support and expertise. 

    Ensuring that our school is a safe, respectful, and hate free space is core to our work at Cleveland. While the above events are reflective of activities just this week, we know this is something that is constant, ongoing work with our staff, students and community. We will continue to keep equity work at the center of our professional learning as school as we finish this year and prepare for next year. Our mission at Cleveland HS is to promote active, responsible citizens and provide a community where everyone is included. There is no place for hate speech or racism at our school. We must come together to demand change and protect our students. 

    Ayesha Freeman, Principal

  • Principal's Messages 4/19/2019

    Hello Cleveland Families,

     

    With the District decision to extend the school calendar year, I want to share with you how this affects our calendar at Cleveland.  Here are some important considerations all of which are reflected on the google calendar on the front page of our website:

     

    1)     School will be closed on May 8th due to a planned teacher walkout in response to state-wide budget shortfalls that severely impact public schools across the state.

    2)     As a result, seniors last day of school is Friday, May 31st.  Senior Finals will be on May 29th and 30th.

    3)     We have FLEX TIME for our students on the following dates:  May 3rd, 9th, 17th, 22nd, and 23rd.  We have two planned assemblies on May 2nd and May 16th.   On May 22nd there will be a Climate Justice Fair in the cafeteria and an ESL celebration for seniors in the library during Flex Time.  I am currently seeking approval for an additional FLEX TIME the week of June 3rd.

    4)     Final Exams for 9th – 11th graders will be June 10th – 12th.  The last day of school for 9th-11th graders is Wednesday, June 12th.  The last day of school for teachers is Friday, June 14th.

     

    Have a wonderful weekend,

    Ayesha C. Freeman

    Principal

    Cleveland High School

    503-916-5120

     

  • Principal's Messages 3/14/2019

    Dear Cleveland High School​ Families,  

     

    We are hearing that students may be planning ​a Climate Strike Walkout on Friday March 15th at 10:00​am.  Please read the following PPS message that all schools hearing of planned walkouts will be sending:

     

    “While we appreciate and acknowledge students’ free speech rights, as a school and district we understand we must also balance that with students’ right to education. We are not allowed to approve walkouts and protests that disrupt the educational environment.   Students who participate in any walkout ​on Friday​ will be marked unexcused from class, meaning they may not be eligible for sports and similar activities that day. Students could also face typical school consequences for not being in class. Additionally, significant disruptions to the educational environment could also result in disciplinary action in accordance to PPS Student Handbook based on the scope of the disruption. When students walk out of class and leave our property we are no longer responsible for their safety.  It is our expectations that students will return to school following the event.  ​Please make sure to discuss your family’s expectations with your student, if there is a chance they could walk out. 

     

    A critical part of our work is to support students to be critical thinkers with opinions and ideas backed by their knowledge, experience and interests. We understand the importance of students sharing their views on important issues; we also much ensure safe, robust learning environments for all students in all schools.” 

     

    We are also sharing PPS guidelines and expectations for teachers who will stay on campus to take attendance and teach students who remain in classes.

     

    Thank you for understanding our need to balance supporting student free speech/civic involvement with our district’s and school’s responsibility to protect students’ rights to instruction and our obligation to ensure their safety during the school day.

     

     

    Ayesha C. Freeman

    Principal

    Cleveland High School

    503-916-5120

  • Principal's Messages 3/14/2019

    Dear Cleveland Community,

     

    I want to take a moment to share how exciting it was to be at the Auction with you on Saturday evening.  We, as a Cleveland High School staff, appreciate so much your willingness to step up on behalf of students and all the adults who work with and teach your child(ren).  It was a spectacular night!

     

    AND, as I said at the Auction, now more than ever we need you.  This year’s staffing reductions, due to a $17 million state revenue shortfall, are feeling deep.  Last year, we were able to offset our reductions with retirements and some resignations.  We are not in the same situation now.  I’ve had to make tough decisions to reduce teaching and support staff across the entire school.  With the CHS Foundation’s help, we are able to maintain a robust “IB for ALL” (all juniors enrolled in 3 IB classes) program and preserve our academic core content courses.  Our CHS Foundation is also focused upon supporting the overall health and well-being of our students through a funding initiative we have been calling “Warrior Wellness.”  Monies raised within our community will help us maintain mental health supports both through classroom instruction and through our Counseling department.  

     

    Last year, the Foundation was able to raise enough funds for 1.0 FTE (a full time teacher).  At this point, the Foundation is able to commit .67, for which we are grateful, however, it is less than what we need.  I am writing to ask that you still consider a donation to the Foundation so that our staffing reductions do not go as deep as they are right now.  If our Foundation receives additional monies, we would be able to add back additional staffing for next year.

     

    If you have not already, please consider donating here:

    https://www.isupportchs.org/

  • Principal's Messages 3/6/2019

    Fellow CHS Families — 

    We are writing to personally invite you to the Cleveland High School Auction — THIS Saturday, March 9 at 6:00 PM.

    Cleveland High School Auction 2019
    Saturday, March 9 @ 6 PM

    Melody Ballroom

    ORDER YOUR TICKETS NOW:  https://clevelandhs.ejoinme.org/MyEvents/PromPDX

    Seriously, this is the biggest fundraiser of the year for both the PTA and the Foundation. It funds additional teaching positions and grants for classrooms and programs that benefit every student.  Plus, this event is a ton of fun!  Please join us this Saturday!

    BID ON EXCITING AUCTION ITEMS

    • Beach houses in Laguna Beach, Manzanita, Gearhart & Arch Cove
    • Buy-in parties, including a Sing-Along Party with Pink Martini’s Thomas Laurderdale (at his loft) and Dance Party with the 80’s band the Nu Wavers
    • Instant Wine Cellar – 50 bottles of delicious wine
    • And much more . . .

    AND . . . IT’S A PARTY!
    Join us for a great evening of fun with other CHS families, delicious food, a bar featuring local wine, beer & spirits and get your ticket for the amazing 80’s dance party that follows the auction. It will be a lively night of building community, having fun and raising funds for teaching positions and teacher grants at CHS.

    We hope to see all of you there!

    Rebecca Friedenwald-Fishman and Christina Marcoules

    Auction Co-Chairs and leaders of the CHS PTA and Foundation 

    THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!
    A big thank you to NIKE for once again being our presenting sponsor!  Thank you also to our other sponsors – Buchanan Angeli Altschul & Sullivan LLP, McEwen Gisvold, Metropolitan Group, RecumbentPDX, The Floor Store and Brown Lumber!

  • Principal's Message January 28, 2019

    Hello Cleveland Families,
    Always so much happening at Cleveland High School. We are enjoying an excellent start of the new year. I want to share some updates AND start with some exciting news that we can all celebrate as a school community:

    Cleveland's Graduation Rates Over 90%
    I am proud to announce that Cleveland High School has the highest increase in our four year cohort graduation rate of all the PPS high schools! 87.89% in 16-17 to 91.5% in 17-18. That’s a 3.61% gain! WOW! One of our three school-wide goals was to increase graduation rates by 2% from 16-17 to 17-18, which is a very high bar, actually, and we exceeded it! This is a tribute to all of us, particularly our students and teachers. Our families, counselors, school administrators, and our outstanding support staff are the supports that ensure there is great teaching and learning occurring at Cleveland High School. Congratulations everyone!
    Read More
  • Principal's Message January 11, 2019

    Hello Families of Cleveland High School,

    Today, we learned of a conflict yesterday, January 10th, after school at approximately 3:15pm involving students at Powell Park. Several Cleveland High School students were present as were youth from other schools in the city. Students report to us that there was a weapon during the altercation.

    We have engaged Portland Police who are here at Cleveland this afternoon interviewing students. We are working closely with the administrators of other schools as well as our Director of High Schools. Our counselors are providing support to students feeling upset and we also have additional counseling support available from the district. We have ample security at the Cleveland basketball game this evening and Portland Police are providing additional police presence at Powell Park today after school and into the evening.

    We appreciate the courage our students have demonstrated by reporting to us about what happened yesterday. We encourage any student who has concerns about safety to report it to a trusted adult. Please call a school administrator if you have any questions, concerns, or information to share.

    Thank you and have a safe weekend,

    Ayesha C. Freeman
  • Principal's Message January 10, 2019

    Hello Cleveland High School Community,

    Today, on January 10th, teachers read the following message to students during 6th period about how to report hate speech and/or hateful behaviors at Cleveland High School. The administrative team, in collaboration with teachers and students, are taking many actions to prevent, stop, and respond to any future acts of hate. I will be communicating our plan to parents in several venues including e-News, PTA Meetings, “Coffee Talk” with families, and in special evening sessions we are offering in partnership with a local organization who Is willing to help us facilitate. We are in the process of working out the details of those special sessions, so, more to follow once it is organized. I am also taking many actions to communicate directly with students including “Flex Time with Freeman”, attending student leadership classes, the Newspaper class, and being more visible in many classes and the hallways.

    I appreciate us coming together as a community to address these issues. If you have not already, please follow the CHS Administrative Team on Instagram at ClevelandPDX.

    Thank you,

    Ayesha

     
    Students,
    Read More
  • Principal's Message January 7, 2019

    Hello all,
    I am looking forward to a series of “Coffee Talks” with parent(s)/guardian(s) once-a-month on Fridays from 9:30-10:30am. Here are the dates: January 25, February 8, March 22, April 26, and May 31. During our first “Coffee Talk” I would like to have a conversation about why we are working hard to increase our student participation rates on our Smarter Balanced Assessments which happen during the 11th grade year. I also want to spend some time sharing with you the action steps to educate our students in order to prevent and stop hate speech, language, bullying, and harassment. I look forward to seeing many of you on January 25th in room #212 from 9:30-10:30am.

    Read More
  • Principal's Message January 2, 2019

    Hello Families of CHS Students,

    Happy New Year and WELCOME BACK!  With the turn of the new year, I am beginning a NEW weekly “Principal’s Message” in e-News for you.  A comprehensive high school is like a small city with so much happening.  There is always something to celebrate as well as important issues to address in collaboration with you as a school community.


    Read More
  • Principal's Message December 5, 2018

    To all PPS high school students: 

    You are invited to attend a student led discussion about the Student Resource Officer Program and proposed agreement with the Portland Police Bureau. 

    Portland Public Schools has relied upon school resource officers (SRO) to provide safety and security services in our schools for nearly twenty years. SROs are police officers with the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) who are specially trained to work with student populations and school communities in a restorative justice and trauma informed best practices approach.

    The primary goal of SRO agreements, across school districts nationwide and in PPS, is to formalize the processes and intent by which school district and police bureau staff work together to address safety and security incidences in and around schools. These agreements also outline how student criminal misbehavior is addressed. The priority for PPS and PPB is to avoid referring students to the juvenile justice system whenever possible.

    Work is currently underway to formalize the working agreement between PPS and PPB through the adoption of the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA). The IGA is scheduled to be considered by the PPS Board of Education in the coming weeks. Before that vote, the Board is interested in hearing students’ thoughts, ideas and concerns.

    Please consider attending this student discussion and sharing your views:

    Thursday, December 6

     3-5 pm

    Blanchard Education Service Center (PPS District Offices)

    501 North Dixon Street in the Board Room

    Representatives from the Portland Police Bureau’s Youth Services Division and SRO program, along with staff and Board from PPS, will be on hand to listen to student feedback, address concerns, and answer questions about the Student Resource Office Program and proposed agreement with the Portland Police Bureau.  

     

    Ayesha C. Freeman

  • Principal's Message November 15, 2018

    Hello Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of CHS Students:

    Thanksgiving break is around the corner.  Students will not be in school November 19th-23rd.   We are looking forward to hosting and receiving parent(s)/guardian(s) of our Cleveland High School students on Monday, November 19th and Tuesday, November 20th.  We offer “arena” style conferences mostly.  This means that most of our teachers will be available in the cafeteria and the library.  Conversations about your child/student are kept to a minimum of 5 minutes as typically there can be a line of parents waiting to speak with the same teacher.  The schedule and more details are in the attached letter.  Our schedule times have adjusted slightly on Tuesday, Nov. 20th from what was sent through eNews this week.  We will be offering conferences on Tuesday until 8pm.

    Cleveland High School staff are also offering a variety of break-out sessions for parents.  Please take note of them below on the conference schedule on the attachment.  We will be engaged in dialogue with parents about our IB Program, Drug and Alcohol Use/Prevention, and Graduation Requirements.  We hope to have a large parent turn out for these sessions.

    The PTA has generously offered to provide their annual potluck to our approximate 120 staff on Monday, Nov. 19th from 4:30-5:30.  Please sign up below to be a part of this recognition and support of our hard-working, dedicated CHS staff. Thank you so much! 

    See you Monday and Tuesday,

    Ayesha

  • Principal's Message November 2, 2018

    Hello Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of Cleveland High School,

    It’s unbelievable that we are already one fourth of the way through our ‘18-19 school year with the end of 1st quarter last Friday, October 26th.  WOW!  I hope that your student is having a positive experience here at Cleveland High School.  High school can be a challenging place for young people when it comes to navigating the social and cultural norms.  Know that we have an outstanding Counseling Staff, an excellent Social Worker, a Restorative Justice Coordinator, and many community partners who can support your student.  Please communicate directly with your student’s teachers if you have questions about their learning or grades in specific classes.  Our teachers welcome conversations with parents/guardians about our students’ academic progress. 

     

    Parent-Teacher” Conferences
    Parent-Teacher conferences are around the corner.  Please see the schedule listed below.  We will have more information posted on our website and I will send out a more detailed message in coming days.
    Monday, November 19th
    8:15-11:30am
    12:30-4:30pm
    5:30-8pm

    Tuesday, November 20th
    8:15-11:30am
    12:30-6pm

    CHS Theater Arts Program and Teacher
    I am want to let you know that theatre teacher, Mr. Tom Beckett will return to Cleveland next week.   Mr. Beckett will be back on campus on Monday, November 5th and he will reach out to parent(s)/guardian(s) of Theater Arts students in the next week.  He will begin teaching Theater Arts classes on Tuesday, Nov. 13th. I have been going into Theater Arts classes today, November 2nd, to share with students that Mr. Beckett is returning.

    Please know that I am grateful not only for the patience and flexibility shown by our Theater Arts students the last several months. I look forward to our students and Mr. Beckett’s continued commitment to our Theatre Program.

    Student Conflict at CHS
    We have about 25-30 students who are impacted by an on-going conflict between this same group of students which is mostly happening outside the school day and off campus.  We have been working diligently this entire week helping our students de-escalate this conflict.  This conflict escalated at the end of last week on Friday night near the McDonald’s on Powell.  Police were called and we have been working to resolve the tension amongst groups of students. 

    At Cleveland, we have asked for additional security presence on campus and we are organizing three Restorative Justice Talking Circles with the students who are involved.  Two primary groups of students are involved.  “Restorative Justice” is an approach to help anyone, in this case students, resolve their conflicts.  RJ Circles create a safe space for voices to be heard and to repair the hurt and harm that has been done.  We are fortunate to have an masterful RJ Coordinator, Charles Hunter, Sr. in our building, and he is working closely with our administrative team and teachers to help resolve this conflict.

    We, the administrative team and our RJ Coordinator, are calling the parents of students we know who are involved.  Individual student discipline is confidential, however, know that some students have already received school-based consequences since this conflict is having negative implications for our learning environment during the school day.

    Parking on Franklin Street
    Parents, please know that at the end of the school day, we work closely with families of students who have specific needs that need to be met, and as a result, we have a direct hand-off of some students from our school staff to parents on Franklin Street.   Please do not park along Franklin after school unless you are one of the families who has permission to pick up your child at that location.  Let me or a Vice Principal know if you have questions.

    Thank you for making some time to read this message.  Have a wonderful weekend with your families!

    Ayesha C. Freeman

  • Principal's Message November 2, 2018

    Hello Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of Cleveland High School,

    It’s unbelievable that we are already one-fourth of the way through our ‘18-19 school year with the end of 1st quarter last Friday, October 26th.  WOW!  I hope your student is having a positive experience here at Cleveland. High school can be a challenging place for young people when it comes to navigating the social and cultural norms.  Know that we have an outstanding Counseling Staff, an excellent Social Worker, a Restorative Justice Coordinator, and many community partners who can support your student.  Please communicate directly with your student’s teachers if you have questions about their learning or grades in specific classes.  Our teachers welcome conversations with parents/guardians about our students’ academic progress. 

    Read More
  • Principal's Message October 11, 2018

    Good morning Cleveland families, 

    This morning we had a small fire in our woodshop.  The fire is out and it will not impact classes. Classes start at our regular time. We will be working with staff on the machine that started the fire and deciding whether it is fixable or needs to be replaced. 

    Thank you to our custodial staff who alerted 911 right away and the quick response from fire department. 

    Ayesha

  • Principal's Message Sept. 24, 2018

    Hello Families,

    Please join us for Back-to-School Night on Wednesday, September 26th. The program for the evening will begin at 6:15 pm in the auditorium. You will then have an opportunity to meet with your student’s teachers in their classrooms, and find out more about programs and curriculum at Cleveland High School.  

    After the presentation in the auditorium, Period 1 will begin promptly at 6:45 pm. Each period will be ten minutes in length, with a five-minute passing time to get to the next class.

    Encourage your student to fill out this blank schedule so that you will know where you are supposed to go for each class period. If your student cannot remember or is unable to complete it, you can get your student’s schedule through ParentVUE. If you need helping getting on to ParentVUE, please see Amy Liu in the main office before or during Back to School Night.   

    We look forward to hosting you Wednesday evening!

    Ayesha C. Freeman
    Principal
    Cleveland High School

  • Principal's Message Sept. 14, 2018

    Hello Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of CHS Students,

    The start of the new school year is always so full and busy. I have made it into almost every single classroom already and have enjoyed meeting with several student groups about what is going well and what Cleveland can do differently to best serve them.  It has been an outstanding start!

    Of course, we always face new challenges and issues that require a high level of response.  I want to share with you some updates that may directly or indirectly influence your student’s learning experience at Cleveland. 

    Read More
  • Welcome Back

    Hello Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of our Cleveland High School students,

    What an excellent first day of school today!  It has been wonderful seeing all of our Cleveland students, answering their questions, and helping them to find their classes.  

    I shared an email earlier about our additional staffing we received from the district and some schedule changes that happened over the weekend as a result.  Again, let us know what questions you have.  

    Read More