Principal's Message 11/17/202311/17/2023
Dear Arleta Parents and Caregivers,
This afternoon we were honored and privileged to have the most beautiful and meaningful Native American dance, drum and singing performance in our auditorium. Thank you to Lisa Jackson, our own Arleta mom, who offered to share her own culture and identity with our students and staff through the performance and also by teaching us orally. Your children were so engaged and so beautifully respectful as they watched, transfixed at the sound, sight and spirit of our presenters, who represented several clans thus several different categories of dance, song and Native American culture. The spotlight dancer was five years old! Earlier this month, Lisa shared with our PTA, also in a very meaningful way and with special presentations and story. Thank you also to Sheryl Moren, our PTA Inclusion Committee Chair, and Melissa Sircy, Inclusion Committee, for this connection!
Our staff’s thoughtful and excellent work helping students understand the opportunity and meaning they would experience this afternoon, and practicing assembly routines, was important to the success of this first assembly of the year! Teachers have been bringing Tribal History forward to students this month. The state of OR created a Tribal History/Shared History curriculum in partnership with the 9 federally recognized tribes of Oregon two years ago, and PPS staff are teaching the 9 essential understandings that make up the curriculum across all K-12 schools. One of many things our staff identified as important for our students to understand is that for decades, our state’s public school curriculum has mischaracterized, minimized or completely left out the rich culture and vital contributions of Native Americans. Today, our school community was enriched and honored as they got to feel, listen, hear and learn. Because the dance experience, especially for Native American youth, is very private, we don’t have photos to share, but be sure to ask your children to share what they learned and thought!
Conferences are this coming week! We’re looking forward to meeting or re-connecting with you. 90% of students are now signed up! Please don’t hesitate to ask for help getting signed up. You can call the office for assistance Monday morning or text me any time (503.348.3982) -- it’s fine to text over the weekend and I’ll be in touch with you as soon as I can. Conferences are 8-8:30 pm this coming Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 21 and 22. You'll find the sign up link at the top of this newsletter, and also further on.
A note on attendance-- our staff and district know there are times when absences are unavoidable due to illnesses or unforeseen circumstances. We also want to make sure parents and caregivers know that the district goal is for students to be at school at least 90% of the year, which means missing less than 17 school days total. To help you track how things are going with your student, we’ll provide attendance updates if attendance is below 90% (including excused and unexcused absences). Hopefully this information will be helpful guidance for the remainder of the school year. We welcome and value all student and family voices and want your feedback in regards to your student's attendance as we strive to create a joyful, inclusive, supportive, and/or better learning environment.
Have a wonderful weekend, and see you next week for conferences.