Chapman Play & Learning Pods – Fill Out the Survey

Chapman Play and Learning Pods is inviting all parents to complete this survey to begin forming small groups for play and enrichment at Chapman. If you are NOT interested in this effort, we still ask that you simply answer the first two questions, so we can take you out of future classroom-level communications about this project. Fill out the survey HERE >> or start below.

Learn more about the Chapman Play and Learning Pods.

Chapman Learning Pods

We want to give you an update on Chapman Learning Pods, an initiative that Anna Truxes and Helen Shum have started as a parent and community-led organizing effort to support families and students through distance learning. 

You may have heard about microschools or learning pods in the media or even considered joining one yourself. It is important to know that this project is NOT an effort to simply match parents with one another to form private pods, hire teachers, or start homeschools. Our vision is to organize support in a more inclusive and equitable way. We are working with staff at Friendly House, parents of gap year graduates from Lincoln High School, school administration and staff, the PTA, and community volunteers to pool our financial and volunteer resources for the benefit of all kids at Chapman.

To help and keep up with the latest:

1) Make sure that you are in the Chapman Family Directory and subscribe to the Chapman Parent Mailing List. The school cannot share parent email addresses with us due to privacy laws and we want to reduce the communication burden on teachers. 

2) If you are on social media, there is a Facebook group called “Chapman Learning Pods”. We will also post regular updates via the Chimney Flyer. 

3) We need parent volunteers to help organize classrooms into groups of 10 (maximum). The more volunteers in each classroom, the smaller our “pods” can be. 

We have begun a list of those we think can serve in this role. See our spreadsheet here. If you see your name listed and DO NOT want to be in this role, please take your name off. If you are able to serve, please add your name! We have some classrooms with many parents identified and others which have no parents yet. 

Right now, the only requirement for parent leads is to be responsive to email, willing to work with fellow parents in your class, and able to help communicate to classroom families. We will also be asking you to add or suggest questions for an upcoming all-family survey. 

We hope that with a robust volunteer base, we can begin organizing outdoor recess and enrichment opportunities soon. We are open to hearing from others about the needs they have and the resources they are interested in contributing.

Thanks everyone!

Anna & Helen

Black Lives Matter: Stand Together and Act Now

The Chapman community stands in solidarity of the Black Lives Matter movement. To show our support, we need to take action. Below is a link to a collective list of resources to educate yourself, have conversations with kids, and ways to help the movement now. But remember: it is a journey–a marathon, not a sprint–and we need to put in the work to get there, today and every day.

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

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 (, 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

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.