Sunday Memo May 7, 2017

On Japan

Next Saturday, I'm going back to Japan - with a group of 16 CVMS students and two chaperones. We are going to Asago City, in Hyogo Prefecture. It's been quite some time since I traveled to Japan. As some of you know, I lived there from 1986-89 and then returned twice, once on an educational fellowship in 1993 and again in 2007 with both of my daughters. I am looking forward to re-immersing myself in Japanese language and culture and sharing the experience with our CV kids. Japanese culture is truly unique, with a very codified set of social behaviors, rituals and daily routines that are quite different than our daily experience in America. If you haven't experienced living and working in a drastically different cultural environment, just know that it changes you forever. Speaking a second language actually rewires your brain and confronting the social differences between cultures opens up your heart and mind to the "other" in ways that a majority culture experience does not. This kind of experience is critical for educating our kids to be global citizens. I am so proud of our school for forging this link with our sister city and establishing a joint cross-cultural exchange program. It is rare in today's educational environment to have an opportunity like this for our kids and teachers. Although I am a little stressed about leaving CV next week, I know it is in good hands. Minasan, gambatte kudasai! Sugu ni, watashi-tachi ga CVMS ni kairimasu.

Weekly Reminders

  • On Monday afternoon, our special education department and I will meet with district coordinators to plan for our new SpEd model at CV for next year. As we work together to plan our next moves, we will keep you in the loop.
  • Wednesday is a PLC late-start.
  • We will host our first discipline workgroup meeting on Wednesday from 3-4 PM. Thanks to all of you who have joined the committee - I will let folks know the location tomorrow.
  • Thursday morning is our principal PLC - so I will be out of the building for the morning. Casey will be holding down the fort until noon.
  • Our talent show is scheduled for Friday evening @ 6 PM. We have some amazing performers scheduled. Thanks to Emily Garrick-Steenson for her lead on this. The event is free, with a $5 suggested donation to the Resource room. Now, if only somebody will teach me how to line dance before Friday.
  • CV staff and students will depart PDX on Saturday afternoon for Japan. Watch for updates and photos through the week.

Discipline Committee

Thank you to all who have signed up for our first discipline committee meeting this Wednesday from 3:00 - 4:00. Location TBA. We will have a minimum of 3 more meetings with dates set by attending members. Click on the button below to see current members of the committee and view the IF and PBIS updates.

Last week, we hosted our first of three student workshops to address the issue of bullying @ CV. Staff from Peace Village, a local non-profit, met with over 50 CV students on Wednesday to begin our work around creating a Stand Up school culture. Peace Village has worked with Rotary International in Newberg over the past three summers to support peaceful practices in our community for teens. Their website includes the following information about their outreach: Peace Village offers trainings in anti-bullying and upstanding to schools in the greater Portland area. Students, teachers, staff, and parents will learn what it means to be an upstander, gaining specific skills in conflict resolution, empathy building, and confronting racism.

I was amazed by the number of CV students who pledged to become allies to break the pattern of bullying in our schools. We will host two more sessions at CV to train our students to become allies who interrupt bullying – and we will continue this training in a summer leadership workshop in August. I am proud of our student leaders and excited by our partnership with Peace Village, an organization with a long history of promoting peace in our community. CV students are providing the leadership we need to move our school culture toward inclusion and peaceful practice. If you would like to support this work through volunteering, please connect with me via email to learn more. In addition, this link to Peace Village will give you more information about programs connected to their work in schools:

Confronting Hate Speech

Recently, more students are using hateful language in school. While this is a reflection of larger trends in our society, we need to make sure CVMS classrooms are safe for all students and staff. Safety begins with a staff commitment to interrupt hate speech when we hear it and to help students process it when they hear it. The link below is a great article from Edutopia about interrupting hate speech in classrooms.

Cheers, Karen


Created with images by zoonyzoozoodazoo - "Way of the Bamboo" • stux - "art therapy hand hands"

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