1/21 Portland Council PTA General Meeting: Focus on Diversity and Inclusion

Please join us for an informative meeting including Q&A session with Scott School PTA about implementing successful strategies for increasing family engagement in a diverse community. This is a great opportunity to hear first-hand from a PTA who is doing great work! Read more here (page 36) about Scott PTA, who was featured in PDX Parent Magazine in October.
 
Portland Council PTA General Meeting with Scott PTA
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
6:30 – 8:00 pm
Scott School
6700 NE Prescott
Portland OR 97218

Appetizers and beverages will be provided. Childcare will be available free of charge for children ages 4-12. Children under 4 are welcome to attend and sit with you.

We look forward to seeing you at the meeting! 

Scott Overton  
Interim Portland Council PTA President

Overcrowded Kindergarten Classes: We Need Your Help

[UPDATE 1/6/20] – We’ve outlined call to action items you can take to help the kinders and their classrooms. First step is to come to the board meeting on January 7th at 6 PM at 501 N Dixon Street, Portland. Next is to write emails. Together we can do this. Read more…


[UPDATE 12/19/19] – Within just a few days, we have reached our goal of $15,000! We can now move forward to begin the process of hiring an EA. More updates to come. A sincere THANK YOU to our Chapman community for supporting our kindergarten classrooms!


Hello Chapman Families and Guardians,

The request (see the letter here) from Chapman’s kindergarten teachers asking for immediate relief to address the large classroom sizes has been denied by the School Board.  We’re fundraising right now to have a dedicated part-time Educational Assistant in each of the kindergarten classrooms. We wouldn’t be asking you to give, especially during the holiday season, if the need weren’t urgent. The situation impacting the kindergarten classes impacts the whole Chapman community.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Classroom sizes are between 26-28 children, and there’s very good reason to believe that classrooms are going to grow before the end of the school year. (Last year nine children were added to kindergarten classes during the second half of the school year.)  Best practices dictate 14-17 students per classroom.
  • Kindergarten classrooms aren’t safe: the student-to-teacher ratio is currently unmanageable. Every week a child “elopes,” which means runs out of the classroom and needs to be found.
  • The demographics of Chapman students has changed and we are now serving a higher need population than in previous years without the district funding to support the needs of the children. Population fluctuations and urban growth contribute to increasing class sizes.

Here’s what you can do:

The most immediate action we can take to help all students be safe and give them an opportunity to learn is to fundraise for an additional part-time educational Assistant (EA) dedicated to share among the three kindergarten classes. We need to raise $15,000 to hire an EA for the remainder of the 2019/2020 school year. We will also ask community/business members to support this effort.

Make Your Tax-Deductible Donation Online:

Make Your Tax-Deductible Donation by Check:

  • Step 1 Make checks payable to Friends of Chapman.
  • Step 2 Put ‘kindergarten’ in the notes section.
  • Step 3 Mail to 1445 NW 26th, Portland, OR 97210.

If you’ve already donated funds, they can be earmarked for this cause; email Cari and let her know. And please, ask your employer* if they’ll match your donation—let anyone invested in the well-being of Chapman’s students know how they can help.

*For Intel employees: Intel has maxed out its contributions to Chapman for the year. Please wait until January 6th to donate so Intel can match your donation. Thank you!

Inclusive Schools Week Celebration: Dec. 2 – 6

Chapman Elementary’s Inclusive Schools Week Celebration is this week week. Inclusive Schools Week is a nationwide celebration each year highlighting the importance of providing “quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, including students who are marginalized due to disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, language preference, and other factors.” The celebration will include activities for all grade levels. There will be read-alouds with guest readers in each classroom selecting from a diverse range of books, a community wide art project celebrating inclusion, inclusive books on display at the school library, and a special Friday assembly (see details below). Learn more at www.inclusiveschools.org.


How can you help? 

  • Volunteers are needed for classrooms readings, please ask your teacher if there are opportunities to volunteer in your child’s classroom.
  • If you know of any great diverse books that you love or would like to see at the Chapman library, feel free to check in with our library to share your ideas. You can share these by emailing our library assistant, Cynthia Stevens (csteven1@pps.net), or by stopping by and visiting Cynthia after school. Cynthia is at Chapman on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
  • Join us for our Friday Assembly at 9 AM or 10 AM with our guest Montrell Goss. Please remember to save the front rows for the students.
  • Consider finding ways to continue the conversation about the importance of inclusion at home with your family.

The Friday Assembly: “Chillin’ the Courageous Coyote Meets the Young Kids”

On Friday, December 6th, Chapman will welcome local Portland children’s author, poet and mentor, Montrell Goss (aka. Chillin’ the Poet), to read his book, “Chillin’ the Courageous Coyote Meets the Young Kids”, followed by a short Q&A. Two identical assemblies – one at 9am, one at 10am – will accommodate all grades. Montrell’s mission is to encourage, support, and teach life skills to young people that will allow them to realize and maximize their fullest potential. Through his work, he strives to disprove stereotypes, break down barriers, promote self-esteem, and personal growth.  

Each Chapman classroom will also receive a copy of the book (a few will also be available in Spanish), so that teachers may further explore the messages in the story within their own individual classes. We look forward to hosting Chillin’ the Poet! 


Thank you for helping us strengthen our community. If you have comments or questions about Inclusive School’s Week, please email Ashley Koch at ashleybkoch@gmail.com.

Inclusive Schools Week: Library Book Wishlist

Hello Chapman Elementary,

We are excited to be participating in Inclusive Schools Week this year from December 2nd to December 6th. Inclusive Schools Week is a chance to highlight our commitment to having an inclusive school that serves a “diverse student population, including students who are marginalized due to ability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, language preferences, and other factors.” We will be sharing more details about how this will come to life at Chapman very soon.

One way we will be celebrating Inclusive School’s Week is by reading books that highlight a range of experiences in each of the classrooms. As Principal Van Der Wolf reminded me today, it is important for children to have windows and mirrors. A window can help children see others experiences and a mirror helps them see reflections of their own culture to build their identity. Books are a wonderful resource to do just that. Our library will have books on display throughout the week that represent a vast range of experiences for the students and classes to engage with. 

How can you help? 

  • We are also hoping that our parent community will help expand our availability of diverse books in the library, by purchasing a book for the Chapman library. If you have the capacity to give, please consider purchasing a book on our wishlist
  • If you know of any great diverse books that you love or would like to see at the Chapman library, feel free to check in with our library to share your ideas. You can share these by emailing our library assistant Cynthia Stevens or by stopping by and visiting Cynthia after school. Cynthia is at Chapman on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, but during conferences she will be at the school on Monday and Tuesday.

Have comments or questions, please email me, Ashley B Koch.