• Forest Park News 06/23/20

    Forest Park News

    From Principal Lisa Newlyn

    In this issue:

    • Principal's Message: Report Cards, Class Assignments and Budget Update
    • Yearbook and Summer Scholar Books
    • School Supplies
    • Student Stuff Pick Up
    • Surveys for Parents

    Dear Parents and Families,

    We may just have started some new traditions this year as we celebrated the end of the school year with social distance, fun and energy.  Thank you for lining Durrett and Miller to say goodbye and celebrate the 19-20 School Year!  It filled our hearts; we hope to have filled yours as well.

    Let's keep this short and sweet.  This is the final wrap up for the year, with some important pieces to include for the good of the order.

    Report Cards 
    End of Year Reports are in the mail.  You will see a mark for "Evidence of Participation" or "No Evidence of Participation".  If you have questions about marks on the report, you can contact me directly. 

    Class Assignments for 20-21
    Class assignments are complete so we are preparing Welcome Letters to be sent out by end of week.  These decisions are final.  If you have questions, feel free to let me know: lnewlyn@pps.net  

    PPS Budget and Staffing Changes for 20-21
    In response to the recession and budget shortfall due to COVID, Portland Public Schools had to reconfigure staffing allocations for the 20-21 school year.  Forest Park Elementary had to again make cuts in order to fit new class ratios.  As a result FPE will have two classrooms of Kinder and 1st grade instead of three.  We have regrouped class assignments to reflect this change. 

    FOFPE Commitment for 20-21
    On Thursday evening the FOFPE Board met, during which I shared updated budget and staffing information.  It had been my hope for the Friends of Forest Park Elementary to agree to continue support for Educational Assistant positions as Site Council and Staff surveys agree that the support to classroom teachers is important to programming, especially with the loss of our Technology position.  FOFPE decided to hold off on any commitment for staffing until September. 

    Their decision means we must say goodbye to David Scott and Debra Kerrigan who have served our students so well.  I want to give a big THANK YOU to Deb and David for their service to FPE and wish them well in their next steps in PPS.  FPE won't be the same without you! 

    Our office will officially close end of day Wednesday June 24th.  And, this is my last newsletter update to the Forest Park Elementary community.  It's been my pleasure to serve our students.  We should have an announcement for our next school principal soon.  In the meantime, please know that I am still working and available by to email and and cell: (503) 953-0852.

    Look for survey links - PPS wants to hear from you.  Curious about other end of year topics?  Read on below for more.

    Lisa Newlyn

    Keep the conversations about Race going in your home.  Here are a few resources to help:

    Talking About Why Black Lives Matter - my Thursday afternoon lesson: 

    Teaching Tolerance


    The Conscious Kid




    A great book on talking with children about racism published by A Kids Book About

    Our Tip Sheet and a Grief Out Loud Podcast Episode on supporting children and teens grieving a violent death

    Our workbook for children grieving a violent death

    Grief Out Loud Podcast Episode 142: Supporting Black Youth & Suffocated Grief with Dr. Tashel Bordere

    A message from Portland Public Schools

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    Dear PPS Community,

    As we prepare a school bond renewal measure to refer to voters for the November 3 election, we want to hear from you. 

    Please join us on Thursday, June 25, at 6:00 p.m. for a virtual town hall. Visit pps.net/2020bondrenewal for more information and to register to participate in the town hall.

    A 2020 school bond renewal could fund projects that support diverse and specific needs of students; urgent health, safety, and educational improvements including technology updates that support distance and classroom learning; and continued work to modernize the remaining three comprehensive high schools: Cleveland, Jefferson and Wilson. 

    Also next week, we will launch a survey that will allow you to give specific feedback on what you think our priorities should be. You can also send us immediate feedback by emailing schoolbond@pps.net.

    The 2020 bond renewal will maintain the current tax rate, and there are several options for the PPS Board of Education to decide on. For details on the options, other documents and background, along with regular updates on engagement opportunities, please go to pps.net/2020bondrenewal.

    Thank you.

    A message from Portland Public Schools

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    Dear PPS Families,

    Last week, we shared with you that district staff is working urgently to reconcile our fall opening plans with the most recent guidance from the Oregon Department of Education (ODE). We promised to be in touch this week with an initial opportunity for you to be a part of our planning. 

    Please click here to take our family survey regarding various possible fall scenarios. You can expect it will take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete the survey.

    Thank you for participating. Your perspective is critical to our ability to finalize our plans for fall.


    A message from Portland Public Schools

    To better support you, your school and teachers would like to ask you some questions about how you think and feel. Only your teachers and school leaders will be able to see your responses, which will not affect your class grades. Please respond honestly—there are no right or wrong answers! Your voice is important, so thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. If you need someone to help you with this survey that is okay, we just want to know how this spring has been
    for you.


    PPS Systems Planning and Performance Team


    Thanks to our crack team of parents working hard behind the scenes, we will have a yearbook published and ready for release in August.  Stay tuned for more information to come!
    School Supplies 20-21
    As we await updates to how teaching and learning will be configured next year, we are holding off on buying school supplies.  In year's past we have done the buying for parents, asking for a donation to cover costs for digital subscriptions to learning tools and all the supplies students need in the classroom.  We'll share more information in August once we have more information on what students will need for learning.
    Summer Scholars
    FPE has had a proud tradition of giving each child a Summer Scholar book, purchased by Friends of Forest Park Elementary.  This year we weren't able to get books into children's hands in June, but will have a book ready for students when school reopens September 2nd.
    Student School Stuff Pick Up 
    If you were unable to come by June 11th, we have student belongings saved for one more day of pick up in August.  Stay tuned for more info to come.

    Missed it Connect to Kinder this year?  Not to worry - you can view all the materials with this link.

    Register for Kindergarten Online!  

    If you have a child who will be 5 years old by September 1, please register for kindergarten! To register, 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 and can be emailed to lnewlyn@pps.net.  You don’t need to register if your child attends a PPS Head Start or Pre-Kindergarten program. 

    Friends of Forest Park Elementary School
    End-of-Year Summary

    On behalf of your parent leadership team, I would like to thank you for supporting the numerous school projects and activities that enrich the educational and social lives of students and families of Forest Park Elementary. While the 2019/20 season has been a particularly challenging one, we are deeply grateful that, together, we have been able to lean into the FOFPE mission to support the educational programing and other projects that our community has come to value by continuing to provide resources for our students that are not funded through Portland Public School District.  These events and initiatives include:

     Back to School Night
     Kindergarten Summer Socials (3 events for kinder families in summer 2019)
     School Clean-Up Day
     School Beautification (teacher’s lounge makeover & new reader board)
     DirectorySpot (online family directory)
     Book Fair
     Harvest Festival
     Food Drive
     Coat Drive
     Family Dine-Out Nights
     Portland Trailblazer Ticket fundraiser
     See’s Candy fundraiser
     International Festival
     Author visit
     Safety initiatives
     Spring Gala (replaced this year with the online auction)

    In prior years, FPE families have helped raise around $300K with about $200K of that being raised at the annual auction. This year, we adjusted our auction fundraising goal to $100K because our live auction was canceled. Due to COVID restrictions and school closures, sign up parties, teacher experiences and some other items had to be pulled from the auction; however, our total expense was also less. Additionally, we were concerned that COVID-19 may impact the financial stability of some of our families restricting their ability to donate.  However, we are happy to share that, having set an exceptionally high goal of $100K for our first online auction, we made more than other public schools with our online event and will exceed our goal of $100K once corporate matching donations are received.

    Funding drives for 2019/20 have raised:
     2020 Online auction: $95,307 (This will increase with corporate matching)
     Fall Drive: $56,487
     See’s Candy Fundraiser: $2,500
     Various other fundraisers: $2,300
    TOTAL funds raised to date: $156,594
    This year’s major expenses included:
     Staffing support for 2019/20 (Educational Assistants & Technology) $210,853
     8 security cameras (not funded by PPS) $8,742
     Teacher discretionary funds ($20/student) $8,080
     Speaker Fees & Author Visits $1,800
    TOTAL major expenses $229,475

    With uncertainty of how school will resume in the Fall, Friends of Forest Park
    Elementary has reserved our financial commitment for the 2020/21 year until there is a solid plan in place from PPS. We will be reviewing next year’s budget at our July 9th board meeting via Zoom. As we close out our last few days of school, stay safe, have a great summer and thank you for your continued support of Forest Park Elementary.

    Best Regards,
    Sunita Thaker
    President, Friends of Forest Park Elementary

    School Links

    School Website
    FOFPE Website
    Technology Blog

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