Superintendent's Memo February 21, 2017

In the News

NHS CULINARY TEAM PREPS FOR STATE

TIGERS ROAR TO FIFTH STRAIGHT STATE TITLE

PROMOTING PEACE IN NEWBERG

Catalyst Offers Students Many Different Learning Opportunities

Catalyst students were working on a range of projects during my visit last week - engineering projects in Mrs. Barrier’s room, exploration of Roman history and an examination of the Gettysburg Address in another classroom. Bill and I also talked about enrollment numbers and the number of students on track to graduate this year. I know he and his team are working hard to help students reach that milestone.

Dundee Elementary visit

Dundee Elementary Principal Reed Langdon and I really enjoyed the excitement and energy in fourth grade as students observed and recorded data on their trout eggs. You could see their tails emerging. Ms. Schneider is recording video and posting it to their class DoJo site for students and parents to observe continuously. I also appreciated the opportunity to listen to a story created by a kindergarten student in Ashley Ludwig’s class. She was so proud to share it with me! In fifth grade, Mrs. Bachmeier-Swanson’s students are simulating life in colonial times. One of her students shared a graph she created to examine how she used her time each day. Finally, it has been a while since I got to walk through the cafeteria and see the completed fish mural created by staff. The colors and sea life certainly create a great space for students to have lunch every day. Thank you for a great school visit Dundee staff!

A Day without Immigrants

The national and social media reports about “A Day without Immigrants” seemed to impact Edwards Elementary. While Edwards is the only school we really saw a fairly large number of absences, our high school students decided to show their support the following day. A small group of students began spreading a message, mostly through social media, to organize a walk out as their protest and support for A Day without Immigrants. Kyle was able to connect with student leaders and organizers to help shape their actions. The students began their demonstration at lunch, moving around the school in a group, at times chanting a message in support of education. While they did miss some of a class, their demonstration moved around the campus twice then the students returned to class. Many of us from senior staff joined Kyle and his team to ensure students chose appropriate behavior both in demonstration and in those who may oppose the message of the demonstration. The situation was relatively calm; Kyle and his team did a great job minimizing the disruption to the learning environment.

Reflection

The annual Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce Awards banquet gives the school district the opportunity to honor citizens or organizations in our community who are friends of education. This year we honored both an individual and an organization as “Partners in Education.” In recognizing an individual who has made a significant difference, we recognized Emily Chlumak, parent club leader from CVMS. Emily has done so much great work to help organize “Susan’s Closet” a space where students can get most every need met – food, clothing, school supplies etc. She has also been incredibly valuable is creating a positive, healthy climate for students and families through her work with the CVMS parent group.

We also recognized Newberg Christian Church for the ongoing volunteer work in our schools and establishing MyZone. David Case and the great team of volunteers at Newberg Christian Church give our middle school students a place to go after school every day from 3:00-5:00. MyZone provided physical activities and games, movies, food and even help with homework every day. This program has helped so many of our students have a safe, productive place to go every afternoon. We are incredibly appreciative of the many people who volunteer and make a difference in our schools for kids.

Finally I want to say a big thank you to staff throughout the district for the incredible work people are putting into preparing for conferences this week. I experienced an interaction just today with a teacher and administrator as the teacher was putting together MAP data to talk with parents next week. Having been both teacher and building principal, I know what it takes to really be prepared for conference week. I also know how much parents appreciate all the information you are able to share about their children. Thank you for all you do to prepare for these important conversations.

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