Creative Science School

critical thinkers, courageous problem-solvers, compassionate community builders

PTA Meeting Minutes 10/17/17


Meeting Called to Order: 6:35pm


Attending: Joanna Crump (President), Diana Marshall (Treasurer), Heather Fellers (Secretary), Erin Anderson (Vice President), see also attached list


Teachers Union: Allison (3rd grade teacher)

·      Teachers are still working without a contract.

·      What is happening is on the road to strike.

·      Teachers are not fighting for anything specific. They just want a contract.

·      Further down the road, the community might be asked to do additional tasks to support the teachers.

·      Families can leave a voicemail for the School Board supporting their views at 503.916.3741.



·      Halloween Party sign-ups will be posted tomorrow. If you need to sign up electronically, email your class rep.

· is the main email for CSS PTA business.

·      Meisha: Mr. Moore is doing a fundraiser/silent auction this Saturday for leukemia research. Details will come out on Facebook and/or email.


Positive Discipline: Julia Tomes and Steven Foster

·      Grant for Positive Discipline for CSS came from Free and Reduced Numbers last year.

·      Teachers are being trained in Positive Discipline this school year.

·      See attached packet for brief introduction.

·      Search Daniel Seigel for videos on understanding the brain on a comprehensible level.


Meeting Adjourned: 8:29 pm


Minutes taken by Heather Fellers, Secretary

PTA Meeting Minutes 5/16/17


Attending: Joanna Goebel (President), Heather Fellers (Secretary), Joanna Crump (Treasurer), see also sign in list.

Called to order 6:37 pm

New Business

Next Year Bell Schedule – Kristie

·      Not announced yet because the district has not finalized the plan.

New Principal – Kristie

·      Meisha Plotzke is new principal.

·      Assistant Principal will be announced soon but will be filled internally from PPS, due to budget cuts.

Music Program – Kristie

·      Received $1000 grant from Montavillage Jazz Festival.

·      CSS was the only school who received it this year.

·      Hoping for more community participation and would like volunteer visibility from CSS in the future.


2017-18 Goals and Dreams

·      More involvement for PTA meetings and in general

·      PTA bulletin board in front hallway (maybe kindergarten area too?)

·      Deadlines for volunteers to be set for events to make sure events are properly staffed

·      Pitch In emails to encourage more volunteers

·      Calendar in main hallway – someone to update it

·      A website that has all the information all in one place

·      More midlevel and elementary interaction

·      Tighter connection with Site Council and PTA, especially with the role of constructivism

o   Site Council is a state program made up of half staff, half families.

o   How to get deeper into constructivism was a big part of this year’s focus.

·      PTA representative at weekly staff meetings

o   Meetings start with appreciations that would be a positive view of the school.

·      Ongoing conversations about how to encourage volunteerism

·      Coordinate classroom fundraisers with PTA communication

·      More student participation in events, especially midlevel students

·      5th Grade Transition meeting – Open Forum for parents and students

o   Currently more of an informational meeting


2017-18 Involvement

·      Volunteer Coordinator: Maureen

o   Megan Lammers used to do a weekly Pitch In email people contributed to when they needed.

·      Board Retreat to make more specific plans

·      Sports: Jill

o   A summary will come out at the end of this school year.

o   More detailed information will come out in the fall with all dates.


Officer Elections for PTA 2017-18

·      Nominations:

o   President: Joanna Crump

o   Vice President: Erin Anderson

o   Treasurer: Diana Marshall

o   Secretary: Heather Fellers

·      Nominated, seconded, all in favor


Adjourned 8:19 pm

Minutes taken by Heather Fellers

Site Council Minutes 5/18/17


Present: Christie, Jill, Rachel, Brian, Racheli

Christie shared information about their Opal School visit:

  1. It was inspiring and overwhelming

  2. There are different ways to get PD.

    1. What is the cost?

    2. Different ways to get PD from Opal school

Rachel contacted someone from Opal about PD but hasn't heard back yet.

Working on constructivist practice from day one, focusing on climate part of it during the positive discipline portion of the PD, and then on instruction. Talked about reviewing the 5 tenants at the beginning of the year.

Action items by the end of this year:

  1. Confirm the amount of time for PD next year and tell Rachel and Christie as soon as possible - Meisha and Kristie

  2. Find  out cost and different PD options from Opal school - Rachel and Christie

  3. Confirm the amount of money in the budget for PD- Jill (PTA connection), Meisha, Kristie

  4. Write a short description of site council member position to post in the blast and send to Kenneth Johnson - Brian


Next year:

  • PTA would like 5 bullet point summation of site council meetings to post in the blast

  • New site council member

  • Focus for next year: Continue PD and define a goal. Continue to communicate with PTA about other issues.

  • Have a clear agenda for each meeting with PD portion every time.

Site Council Minutes 4/20/17


Guest: Steven Foster (Positive Discipline)

  1. Review this year’s PD

    1. Interest-based group

      1. Mid-level- Trauma-Informed Care and Restorative Practices

      2. Constructivism

      3. Interventions

    2. Grade Level PLCs

    3. Grade Band PLCs

  2. PD for next year- 3 staff meetings a month and late start

  3. 3 areas of focus for explicit PD for 2017-18

    1. Constructivism = framework for instruction

    2. Trauma-Informed Practice/Positive Discipline - framework for climate and taking action

    3. Mindfulness - continue to implement MindUP

  4. Concerns addressed:

    1. Need framework through which we can take action

    2. Need for school to act as a K-8 rather than K-5, 6-8

    3. How much time we’d have for PD

    4. How to stay focused and not feel like too many things are on the plate

  5. Steven presents info for group on Positive Discipline and what he and Julia will offer. Talked about the close relationship and integration of TIC, Mindfulness

  6. Group wants to find some sort of structure/organization/trainer/coach to shepherd Constructivism in the same fashion as Positive Discipline. Does such a thing exist? How do we get coaching, a new perspective and find common language and common ground for practice?

    1. Discussed having a pro come in to do PD and ongoing coaching

    2. Discussed having the team going to NY for the conference use developing a PD plan for constructivism for the year (or more)

Site Council Minutes 3/16/17


All here except Jill and Meisha

Discussed how the conversation about PD in relation to constructivism went with the staff. Staff was overwhelmed because there is also focus on trauma-informed care and positive behavior this year.

Four teachers are going to a conference about constructivism.

Constructivism-->climate-->trauma, mindfulness is all happening at the same time.

Mid-level is very interested in visiting each other’s classrooms and discussing it later.

Christi said it would be helpful to have a pre-meeting and focus on one specific thing you were looking for when the primary grades did it while doing their book study.

Christi shared a book about constructivism.

Rachel was asking about ways teachers could communicate to parents how to look for constructivism in the classroom because some parents are not seeing it happening in some classrooms.

The hope of Site Council is to come up with a solid and specific PD plan in relation to constructivism for next year and communicate the plan with parents.

Discussed all the work that has been done until now in the school about constructivism, and instruction.

Kristie talked about connecting with other schools with similar philosophy.

Next steps:

  1. Kristie and mid-level team will talk about how to do peer observations at their meeting next week.

  2. Kristie will include parts of the discussion in the principal podium.

  3. Create a PD plan for next year by the end of the year.

Site Council Minutes 2/16/17


All here except Christi

Discussed shortening our time together to 1 hour/month to accommodate loss of staff meeting time.

PTA money in classrooms - how is it being used?

K-2: Bought books for group: Standards Based Constructivism. Using it to plan lessons and will hopefully result in peer observations and continued lesson design

3-5: Strengthening writing, especially expository. Have contracted with OWP to facilitate PLC for two sessions based on what teachers have described as being difficult to teach or inspire kids about - heighten kids’ passion about learning and then synthesize it to write.

6-8: Want to conduct peer observations - calendaring units to see where the disciplines align. What makes these constructivist, how do we keep improving. Moving towards the academic focus of constructivism as we integrate instruction across all content areas. Would like to watch each other teach the content so they can see how ELA teachers do it so math teachers can build on it.

PD - thinking about how to carry this work forward? Perhaps using the booklet from the Constructivist conference to guide the whole staff study for the 17-18 year. Trying to get more folks to go to conference.

Make sure that groups/PLCs/workshops get to share out to others what they are learning.

Could parents, Site Council, visit classrooms to see constructivism in action? Ask Rawls for further thinking.

Watching video we used for Info nights - discussed need for more photos/videos that exemplify the four “signifiers” we chose that demonstrate constructivism. Talked about how to get teachers to document all the cool things they do every day/week in classrooms - maybe use a signifier a month? Put in bulletin? Need a variety of ways to document.

Discussion about how to spend time together as a whole staff talking about getting to be a better constructivist teacher - Brandi commented that she really misses this discussion. Suggested using some reflective questions to get talk going.

Have a sub once a month to provide for time to look in others rooms to see the signifiers.

CAP - reviewed with parents and discussed various goals and their progress toward completion.

Next month’s agenda:

  • Develop a SC goal to accomplish by May

  • Flesh out the signifiers more fully

  • Report back staff discussion of ideas

PTA Meeting Minutes 2/22/17


Meeting called to order at 6:41pm.


Fundraising update

-       Funraiser is March 11

o   We have class baskets for every grade and they are looking great!

o   Silent auction items are being collected

o   Theme is March Madness

o   Venue is Lagunitas Community Room

o   Photo booth, beer, wine, Por Que No food, huge silent auction

o   About 5 teacher and 5 family pay-to-plays

-       Overall we are about 30% to our goal

-       Goal for Just Give is $20k and we are at $6k

-       After the Funraiser there will be a push for Just Give and meeting our overall goal

-       Committee could use an IT guru volunteer for the night of (test computers the night before, make sure the swiper works, help with setup, be there for tech support)



-       Funds are short this year (about $2300)

-       PTA is working on finding the money to continue program for the rest of the year

-       Looking at polling parents and teachers about what kinds of arts activities are most wanted from the Creative Arts Run funds available


Student Art Show

-       Miss Mica is looking for volunteers to help

-       April 20



Meeting adjourned at 6:52pm.

Remainder of meeting: presentation on understanding sensory processing by Diedra Pine

Site Council Minutes 12/1/16



Attending members: Kristie Lindholm, Brandi Miller, Christi Braun, Racheli Ross, Jill Grassman,  Christopher Wallace , Brian Hoeft, Rawls Moore


  • Student Council presentation by Christopher Wallace, a parent:

    • He contacted Oregon Student Council. $60 membership fee through the state organization. Then students learn about and have governance roles

    • Brandi said that there is a history of student council being part of CSS when it was at Bridger

    • There used to be a representative from each grade at one point, which changed into leadership team

    • What grade level? Christopher suggests having it at midlevel and following all the rules. Team discussed the scheduling difficulties in making it an elective. This will not allow access to many students and there is not enough staffing to make it happen. It will have to happen after school to allow access for more students.

    • There has to be an adult sponsor. If we are part of the state organization then someone from there will be training the students and the adult. It will be hard for staff members to be part of it due to scheduling. If a parent is the adult sponsor then it will have to be a rotation to allow continuity.

    • Christi asked if we need to do a survey

    • Need 15-20 kids to be there

    • This year could be a transition year

    • Christi asked about the function of a student council: Christopher said ideally it would be democratic and not emphasizing the best students necessarily. Christi said it could be about furthering the main principles of the school, such as compassionate leaders and could be through community service projects. Tying it to taking care of ourselves, our school, and our community.

    • There could be an opportunity for younger students to participate as student representatives

    • Can Sarah come in January and help us come up with a timeline and create a survey? Christopher will contact Sarah.

    • If we decide to do it, it will be part of the discussion in hiring a new counselor.

  • Dates for future meetings:

    • Third Thursday of the month

  • Talking about constructivism and a product for the family info night

    • Overarching principles in constructivism

      • Teacher values students point of view

        • Example: A video of good classroom meeting with students participating

      • Classroom activities challenge students current thinking

        • Example:

      • Teachers pose problems that are meaningful to students

        • Foster the creation of personal meaning

        • Creating relevance to teach certain social studies

        • Example: 

      • Teachers build lessons around big ideas

        • Offer academic problems that challenges students to first grapple first with the big ideas and then figure out small steps to get there

      • Teachers assess students’ learning in the context of daily teaching

    • Talked about making a movie for info night with examples from the examples

    • Racheli asked about PD for teachers. Teachers explained the history of CSS PD.

    • There is about $4000 to use for PD from PTA. Some of the ideas are observe other classrooms at CSS and other schools.

    • Jill suggested coming up with examples of 5 signifiers of specific project. Kristie suggested for teachers signing up for taking pictures or videos of different signifiers.


  • Think of more examples of signifiers

  • How to present to staff

  • How to best use the PD money

  • Sarah will present to site council



Site Council Minutes 10/27/16


Attending Members: Brian, Jill, Brandi, Meisha, Racheli, Christi, Rachel

Today’s Meeting: October 27, 2016

Next Meeting: December 1, 2016 from 3:15- 4:45


Site Council Goals:

  1. Make our founding purpose clearer to the larger community

  2. Support staff to continue to develop constructivist practices


Follow-up from last month:

  1. Rachel shared about Mythic Imaginative Education Brainstorming Chart (K-⅔) and Romantic Imaginative Education Brainstorming Chart which are used to vet lesson plans through at Corbett Charter.

  2. Brandi shared the Vision and Mission statement that was created for CSS with Jules and Deb.


Christi shared that their K-2 Professional Learning Community is focused on learning more about the Learning Cycle Model.  Found in the book, “In Search of Understanding: The Case for Constructivist Classrooms, Revised Ed.  Chapter 9: Becoming a Constructivist Teacher.”


Site Council Members Read Chapter 9: Becoming a Constructivist Teacher and summarized their jigsawed sections.


  1. Constructivist teachers encourage and accept students' autonomy and initiative

    1. Students have the autonomy to explore and question their surroundings. They can be the problem solvers and are able to engage more in their own understanding and education.  

    2. Students asking questions and solving problems allows them to make connections between ideas and concepts.

  2. Constructivist teachers use raw data and primary sources, along with manipulative, interactive, and physical materials.

    1. Students can use these materials and resources in the context of a good question.

    2. Brandi related it to storyline.

  3. When framing tasks, constructivist teachers use cognitive terminology such as “classify,” “analyze,” “predict,” and “create.”

    1. “The words we hear and use in our everyday lives affect our way of thinking and ultimately, our actions.”

    2. “Framing tasks around analyzing, interpreting, predicting and synthesizing are mental activities that require students to make connections, delve deeply into texts and contexts, and create new understandings.”

    3. Common language and frame tasks, “What is the problem you are asking them (students) to solve.”  

  4. Constructivist teachers allow students' responses to drive lessons, shift instructional strategies, and alter content.

    1. Teachers building the capacity to be attuned and flexible when it is necessary.

    2. Experience with the scientific method, starting with their own interest, or teachers create a compelling situation.

  5. Constructivist teachers inquire about students’ understanding of concepts before sharing their own understandings of those concepts.

  6. Constructivist teachers encourage students to engage in dialogue, both with teacher and with one another.

    1. Encouraging dialogue between students.

  7. Constructivist teachers encourage students' inquiry by asking thoughtful, open-ended questions and encouraging students to ask questions and to ask questions of each other.

    1. Inquiry-based questions

    2. Students as experts

  8. Constructivist teachers seek elaboration of students’ initial responses.

    1. Understanding students' misconceptions

    2. Listening to students' explanations and understanding

  9. Constructivist teachers engage students in experiences that might engender contradictions to their initial hypotheses and then encourage discussion.

    1. Challenging their present conceptions by questioning

    2. Allow for process time

  10. Constructivist teachers allow wait time after posing questions.

    1. Learning that children process the world in different ways, allowing the wait time. Orchestrate dialogue.

  11. Constructivist teachers provide time for students to construct relationships and create metaphors.

    1. Provide time for discovery

    2. Teachers structure and mediate discovery and provide materials in order to explore.

    3. Metaphors can be a strong way to frame your thinking.

  12. Constructivist teachers nurture students’ natural curiosity through frequent use of the learning cycle model.

    1. Discovery

    2. Concept introduction - provide vocabulary to talk about parts

    3. Concept application


How does this work for reading and math?  Where is the discovery in handwriting?


For next time:

  1. Determine meeting dates

  2. Group descriptors into similar categories to determine how to share about constructivism.



PTA Meeting Minutes 10/18/16



President Joanna Goebel, Secretary Heather Fellers present

Also see attached list


Called to Order 6:30

Approve last month’s minutes

·      Colleen Smith motioned to approve. Seconded. Voted and approved.

Last Meeting Follow-up

1.   None

New Business

1. Reports from committees that are represented at meeting

·      ASE update: If you have any ideas for future classes you’d like to add, let Angie Fitzpatrick know by the beginning of December.

·      Teacher Liaison update: All classes now have representatives.

·      Creative Arts Run: Committee needs to decide about how to allocate the funds because they did not reach the goal.

·      Funds K-5 music, assemblies, all school art show, midlevel music enrichment, artist in residencies, art teacher support

·      K-5 music will not be able to continue throughout the year.

·      Art Tax funds half of the art teacher with the PTA funding the second half

·      Fundraising:

·               Fall Fund Drive – Hoping to get 75 families to join Just Give (goal is $20,000)

·               Box Tops, Fred Meyer Community Rewards, Amazon Smile, Schoola

·               Currently planning FUNraiser

·               Meeting every two weeks, if you’d like to join!

·      Communications:

·      Still need website help for photos and layout. Christopher Wallace volunteered to help. Anyone else interested can contact Brittney Corrigan-McElroy.

2. Security on playground

·      Person who brought up topic is not in attendance.

·      Kristie Lindholm: Discussed ongoing issues that parents cite regarding campers parked along school property and people lingering around them. Encouraged individuals to call police non-emergency number themselves in order to expedite the process of reporting since that’s all that the school can do, too.

3. Student council

·      Christopher Wallace is interested in starting an official student council. (OISC)

·      Inspired by leadership in mid-level students

·      Had heard there was less cohesiveness in mid-level?

·      Would benefit the school in many ways

·      Could start small and build on in later years

·      OISC Representative (Sarah) can come talk to our groups with new information

·      PTA Board and Site Council will discuss it at upcoming meetings.

·      Plan on a presentation about Student Council at the February Community meeting

4.   Earthquake preparedness for January community meeting

·      Small committee has met and heard about what the presentation will include

·      Susan is coming to present about getting prepared at home and will focus on making it simple.

5. Constructivism training for teachers, ideas?

·      Workshops that teachers joined for about 6 weeks might be a venue for adding information

·      Possibly pay for substitutes while teachers observe other classrooms or schools with a constructivism focus

6. November teacher/parent social

·      Location is still TBD

·      Kristie Lindholm mentioned a possibility of an adult Field Day type evening before the social time outside of school.

·      More information to come soon.

7. Holiday concert/craft fair

·      Historically was a make-your-own craft night, with last year as a craft fair where people sold homemade items

·      Possibly K parents were interested in making this happen this year

·      Will try to find out more about the choir event/fundraiser piece


·      Rosie: Interested in starting a book club based on the topic of race, possibly. Once she finds interest, they can decide when they may want to meet.

·      Allison: Pro Measure 97. Would increase school funding by 1/3. Controversial because No on 97 has $20 million in funding for ads. Can help by phone banking, canvassing every Saturday.

·      Annie Lawrence: Trip to Mt St Helens is still be planned. They are waiting to hear about buses.

·      Pollinator Parkways will be helping install a pollinator garden by the kindergarten area with a grant during the fall conferences.

·      Costume Swap is happening for the first time. We’re unsure how many costumes there will be and what the need is, but there are organizations that are interested in the extras. Let Catherine Cody know if there is a place where you would like the items to be donated.

·      Covered bike area:

o   Parents are coordinating

o   Need approximately $3000 more

o   Ideas: Holy Spokes could possibly fund it. They were the ones who have done the BikeTown covers. Research will be done about this.

Adjourned 7:35pm

Minutes taken by Heather Fellers

Site Council Minutes 9/29/16


Welcome & Introductions

  • Brandi Miller - current 3rd grade teacher. Has taught at CSS 13 years.  Student taught here at CSS as well.  

  • Christi Braun - current kindergarten teacher

  • Brian Hoeft - parent

  • Kristie Lindholm - principal. Year 3.

  • Rachel Dolkas - parent/substitute in the building

  • Jill Grassman- parent.  

  • Meisha Geisler - assistant principal. Year 3.

  • Rawls Moore - math teachers. 4 years.


Mindful Practice - classroom script lead by Kristie


KWL of Constructivism (members on their own wrote what they already know about constructivism.)

  • discovering knowledge

  • interactions with groups, ideas and materials

  • Inquiry based learning

  • Questioning (teachers and students with their peers)

  • Multiple opportunities to explore ideas/concepts

  • Teachers knowing the different abilities within their classrooms

  • Invention centers in kindergarten- literally constructing projects. Midlevel makers space in Mr. Moore’s room (beginning stages)

  • Excellent systems, expectations, relationships.  Classroom has to be a safe place for students to be able to make mistakes.  

  • teacher and students being able to collaborate

  • Ownership of work on students and able to self monitor/manage

  • Midlevel- the weight the knowledge carries and how it is applied to a social construct. Using concepts and then doing something with that context.  (Vgotsky)

  • Uncovering of purpose

  • Owning knowledge


Goal setting for SC 16-17

    What brought you to Site Council

    What do you hope to see/accomplish

    What do you bring to the table to help this along?


  • Question: is there a framework that daily lesson plans can be planned through?

  • Answer: not currently.

  • Are there non-negotiables for teachers? If so, knowing that teachers are on a learning spectrum and they might be seen as goals.

  • Question: What do parents/teachers/admin/students look for when they walk into a room when looking for constructivist elements?

  • Walkthrough document?

  • Spatial standpoint- areas for students to interact.  Not desks lined up facing the front.  Group spaces.

  • Late start day exemplifies constructivism

  • Storylines, culminations to hear about process from beginning to end.  

  • Creation based school

  • Developing habits of mind. Asking questions, looking for answers and how it impacts social constructs.


Logistics - PTA $ and how we want support (ideas)


  • Parents have a quick blurb to share about constructivism.  

  • Can we develop some succinct way to share about our school’s focus option.

  • Showing processes of student work- video

  • signifiers and framework

  • First annual parent/teacher constructivist symposium


Determine monthly meeting date

  • Third Monday of each month. October 24 for next Monday.

PTA Meeting Minutes 9/13/16


PTA Community Meeting & Orientation


*Meeting live video recorded and live streamed to Facebook


·      Introductions of attendees


Joanna Goebel (PTA President)

o   Welcome to all.  You don’t have to be a member of the PTA to get involved and assist with the school.

o   Benefits of being a PTA member: Participating in the non-profit status, being a voting member, contributing a small donation to our school, PTA provides insurance to our school-related activities.


Meisha Geisler (presenting for Kristie Lindholm)

o   Presented school budget.

o   PTA provides money to each teacher for additional supplies.

o   Encouraged all families to apply for Free and Reduced Lunch even if they are not planning on using it. The school has missed out on staffing and money from the district because our numbers were lower last year than they really are. Apply anytime but the district will start looking at the numbers in March.

o   Joanna G added a focus on how much the PTA fundraises for the programs that exist at CSS.


Joanna Crump (Treasurer)

o   Presented 2016 budget.

o   PTA fundraises approximately $40,000, excluding the Creative Arts and separate events that pay for themselves.

o   Ways to fundraise for the school: Just Give, FunRaiser, Food sales at events, Popcorn 50 Cent Fridays, Raffle, Restaurant Nights, Schoola, Amazon Smile, Fred Meyer.

o   Jeannette (Fundraising Chair) encouraged anyone to join the fundraising committee, which has already met twice.

o   Went over events that do not raise money for the school but take some PTA funds.

o   School beautification.

o   Garden Coordinator and garden expenses.

o   Classroom enrichment: $1000 for each teacher.

o   Float for the 82nd Avenue Parade (first year to do this).

o   Team sports.

o   Film series.

o   Field trips.

o   Constructivism Support: TBD by staff and administration.  Money is there and encouraged to be used for constructivism professional development or support.

o   Moved to approve budget. Seconded. Voted. Budget approved.


Jean Roy (Portland Eco-School Network)

o   Free trainings to help families learn how to work on making the school more sustainable, including student teams (Green Teams) as well as parent initiatives.

o   Most popular ideas: Cafeteria waste management, school gardens, recycling.

o   Additional ideas: Party packs for classrooms, Halloween costume exchanges.

o   Access to member website for ideas that have been used, if you join.

o   At the end of September, there will be informational meetings (Dessert Meetups).

o   Passed around sign-up sheet for people who might be interested.

o   Connected with Gwenn (Sustainability Chair).


Angie Fitzpatrick

o   Brief summary of ASE (After School Enrichment).

o   Deadlines are strict. Late registrations cannot be accepted.

o   Make sure your child wants to attend the ASE class since negative behaviors can arise when students do not want to be there.

o   Fall, Winter and Spring sessions.

o   Chess Club/Team is separate (coordinated by teachers Matt and Katy).


Gwenn (Sustainability Chair)

o   Looking for ideas and members for the committee.


Joanna Goebel (speaking for Beth – Teacher Liasion Chair)

o   Look for teachers to be connecting with the class about being a representative for your child’s classroom.

o   Teacher Liasion responsibilities: Sharing information with the classroom families, organizing holiday and birthday gifts, checking for teacher needs.


Brittney (Communications Chair)

o   CSS Blast – READ IT in its entirety, every week.

o   Bi-weekly Mid-Level Blast.

o   Boom! for reminders.

o   Facebook group.

o   Grade level listservs.

o   CSS website (newly renovated): Not completely finished but much easier to navigate (Still need help with the tech, if anyone is interested).

o   PTA is unable to get student information from the school, so make sure new families are connected where they would like to be.

o   Google calendars, school events, and classroom calendars can be downloaded to your calendar.


Tia (Hospitality)

o   Need to update popcorn machine with Popcorn Fridays as a new fundraiser.

o   Need volunteers for Popcorn Fridays.

o   Potlucks, coffees, other family events.

o   Talk to Tia or Lacy with any questions or ideas.


Jeanette (Fundraising Chair)

o   Creative Arts Run.

o   Just Give.

o   FUNraiser.

o   Looking for more committee members.

o   Question about choosing what your fundraising money goes to. Answer: It is difficult to manage that outside of restricted funds.


Jill Grassman (Sports Chair)

o   Fall volleyball for mid-level only, 4th-8th in spring.

o   Winter basketball (3rd-8th).

o   Entirely volunteer-run.

o   14 teams (at max right now).

o   Participates with the PP&R league.

o   Student athletes (code of conduct, parent code of conduct).

o   Money goes back to sports programs.

o   Equipment is used in PE too.

o   Kids can play with the PIL in order to play with students they will go to high school with. This is a program so students can play with their classmates from CSS.

o   Basketball skills clinic available after school.

o   Sign up for the CSS Sports Blast (link in the CSS Blast).


Maureen and Alina (Involvement Co-Chairs)

o   2 hour Power Pledges! They will be using these to find which people are interested in volunteering for what events.

o   Alina will be the Facebook contact. Maureen will be the school contact.

o   Trying to organize the system so we know what the volunteer needs are and who is interested and able to volunteer.


Catherine Cody (Garden Chair)

o   If you’re interested in supporting the garden, contact her. Any way that you would like to get involved, let her know.

o   Monthly classes in the garden, ASE Garden Club, Campfire, Summer Camp.

o   When the garden is not in use, it is open to be used by anyone, if there is adult supervision.

o   Late Start next week will be a time to come take a tour of the garden and learn about it, instead of a work party.

o   Late Starts are typically garden work parties.


Angie Fitzpatrick (Film Series)

o   More information to come.

o   First film is The Mask We Live In on September 23.


Joanna Goebel – Community Agreement

o   Make sure to read it and follow it.

o   All parents are doing the best they can.


Q&A and Issues to be addressed in the future

·      How are we reaching out to families who don’t have computers? Answer: Blasts are posted on the bulletin board.

·      Need someone to take over the Creative Arts Run next year.

·      K-5 is stronger with volunteers than mid-level. Looking for midlevel parents to volunteer throughout the year.

Site Council Minutes 11/19/15

Site CouncilbrittneyComment

Topics from Meeting on 10.15.15

  • Back to School Night
  • Covered play area
  • CAP review: next meeting 11/19
  • Student Government
  • MLK Day of Service January 18, 2016
  • Process for parents for kids who are academically behind – intervention options? – when is it Special Ed or no? – Podium 10-17-15


Today’s Agenda Items:

1.Outdoor Redesign

Building a stand-alone play structure

  • PPS contractor said it was around 100,000- 200,000k
  • Looking to create a hybrid, prefab frame and how it is roofed and faced is up to us
  • We could give specs to manufacturers, more information we can give them upfront the better
  • Custom roof systems, we would need to figure out what to do with the rain water
  • How do we incorporate the younger play area and what can we do for the older kids
  • We add a walking trail and see if we can partner with neighborhood association
  • Jacinda spoke with the Montavilla Neighborhood Association and they did not have any money
  • Putting it where the basketball courts currently are located
  • Mike N. will get a quote for a play structure
  • Brian and Beth will do an image search to support outdoor play for mid-level
  • Mid-level students want a place to sit (outdoor class)
  • Beth will contact friend
  • Admin will talk with staff in January about their dream school

Make a list of priorities for our building

  • Put together a dream school and put together options with pictures for community members to provide feedback
  • Survey out to teachers to see what they would like to have for their dream space
  • Design charrette with students- Mike, Beth and Brian could facilitate classroom discussions

Parkrose Middle School Space

  • a lot of windows, open
  • conference tables
  • library was open

Think about the way we use the space inside the building.  

Think about ideas for shade next to the east and west side of the building.


  1. Potential CSS Walk and Bike Improvements


To: Kenneth Johnson and CSS Site Committee

From: Oliver Smith, (CSS Parent and Walk and Bike Coordinator) and Ted Walker (CSS Parent)

Date: November 13, 2015

Photos from this section can be seen SiteCouncil11.19.15.


Potential CSS Walk and Bike Improvements

The following three projects were identified as likely to have a positive impact on walking and biking comfort and safety at Creative Science School at a relatively low cost. (1) Curb ramps at SE 92nd and Taylor; (2) Covered bike parking, and; (3) New/refurbished paths between building and SE 89th Ave. More details follow. Your input is greatly appreciated!

Curb ramps at SE 92nd and Taylor


The sidewalk on the west side of 92nd is the primary infrastructure for the CSS community to access the school by foot. Often parents park on SE Taylor and then use the sidewalk to walk along 92nd. The curb is particularly high on the SW corner and unsuitable for those with certain disabilities. There are no bicycle facilities on SE 92nd and this road is particularly busy during drop-off/pickup times and feels uncomfortable to bicycle on.  

NW corner SW Corner


This project would install curb ramps at the NW and SE corners of SE 92nd at Taylor, like those below.

Curb ramps (photo: City and County of San Francisco)

Benefits include:

– Improve pedestrian access to Berrydale Park and CSS. Curb cuts would enhance the sidewalk;

– Improve access for disabled persons using wheelchairs, canes, etc. Curb ramps would bring this intersection into compliance with ADA standards;

– Improve bicycling conditions along SE 92nd by facilitating bicycle travel on/next to the sidewalk (at a walking speed) to access CSS from Taylor St


Submitted PBOT’s Curb Ramp Request form; Mentioned idea to Montavilla Neighborhood Association

2.Covered bike parking in back (west side of the kindergarten wall)


Bicycle racks in front of CSS are often full. They are also exposed to the rain, reducing the incentive to bicycle to and leave a bike at school. Furthermore, many people bicycling enter the school grounds from 89th Ave to avoid bicycling on the busier SE 92nd Ave and to use entrances on the west side of the school. Additional parking in the rear of the building is therefore needed.

Current racks in front of CSS in October 2015


This project would provide a covered structure with a set of blue staple racks beneath. PPS, in conjunction with PBOT, has a guide to assist  built (with designs, costs, material suppliers). A shelter seems slightly more appropriate in this location compared to the bike racks in the front. The racks would supplement the racks in front of the school. The shelter and racks are estimated to cost $1,000.

Proposed shelter location

Shelter example at Boise-Elliot Elementary (photo: Portland Bureau of Transportation)


Ted recently talked with Janis MacDonald, SRTS coordinator at PBOT, who said that they would like to come by for a site visit with Principal Lindholm, Vice-Principal Geisler and others. Kate Bennett offered to help coordinate a time for this.


3. Improve/build pathways from SE 89th Ave


Walk and bike access between CSS and 89th Ave, a common walk/bike corridor for the CSS community that avoids the higher traffic 92nd Ave, needs improvement. There currently is an asphalt path (in blue below) from the SW end of the school property that is deteriorating, with grass growing through cracks and encroaching on both sides. The path serves those traveling from the SW part of the CSS site, but requires uphill and out-of-direction travel for those parking/walking/bicycling for those traveling from the NW end of the CSS site. Those walking from the NW entrance have no formal pathway.

Current path entrance from SE 89th Ave at SW end (photo: Google Maps)

Entrance to CSS from 89th Ave at NW end (photo: Google Maps)

In addition, for those that want to access the front of the school, the quickest access from SE 89th Ave is to go around the north side of the building behind the gymnasium. However, the existing chain requires dismounting from a bicycle to get around safely. This discourages bicycle travel through this otherwise direct accessway.


This project would retrofit the existing path with a new surface and create a new path between the building and the NW corner of the CSS site. It would use a modern permeable surface to aid with water drainage, minimize maintenance needs, and look attractive. The path at the NW end would provide improved access to the CSS arboretum.

Existing and proposed paths between main building and SE 89th Ave (photo: Google Maps)

To further increase walk and bike access from SE 89th Ave, the cable preventing auto access on the North side of CSS (behind the gymnasium), could be retrofitted with a five foot opening that allows bicycles to pass through the center.

Proposed retrofit to north side accessway


No action yet.

  • Supplement with bike racks in the back
  1. Proposals
  • we will need to provide information on why we are a focus option school to the district
  • we need to be able to demonstrate that our kids are not only meeting but are excelling
  • December 1 is the deadline to give feedback on the DBRAC
    • how do we give grateful and gracious feedback
    • possible give a survey to hear all families perspectives
      • Kristie can put in podium
  • Beth & Kimberly will write up survey questions (start a google doc)
  • DBRAC Ideas:
    • map of communities, look at our demographics, have a presence at the meetings, having students voice, what do they love about CSS and how is it different than other schools.  Past student testimonials (after school enrichment)
  1. Pubicity
  • CSS Public Facebook Page
  • Newsletter

Site Council Minutes 10/15/15

Site CouncilbrittneyComment

Agenda Items:


Back to School Night –

  • thoughts
    • repeat of 3 questions – some repeat for ML families
    • good to meet new teachers
    • good to connect with teachers
    • stress that for Humanities there won’t be repeats as the curriculum is a 3-year rolling curriculum
    • some parents didn’t feel the need as they’d already seen syllabi
    • some teachers felt like parents already knew what to expect so didn’t feel prepared (ML)
    • need better sound system so all can hear
  • sample survey questions – added a few ideas
  • survey plan – will be a Google form and will be shared in Podium


Covered Play area –

  • PPS facts:  
    • expect to spend $100-200k
    • can use our own contractor if the plans and building meet code
    • what do we want? How should it look?
      • just covered area, or playground re-do?
      • imaginative play – open-ended play areas with new outdoor equipment
        • see new Westmoreland Park as an example
    • capitalize on the competition between Nike and Adidas
    • is there a designer or contractor who could come talk with us?  
    • any parents or Parks and Rec folks?
    • put an ask in Podium – professional playground or park designer, contractor
    • create a letter to ask for money  – need to have the project outlined well first
    • campaign?


CAP review: next meeting 11/19


Process for parents for kids who are academically behind – intervention options? – when is it Special Ed or no? – Podium 10-17-15


Student Government: what do kids want to do? Have boys do some research: ASB, PTSO, Student Council and see where their interest lies


Winter work day for inside projects  – MLK day of service! Jan 18, 2016

painting, molding and trim, vent the bathroom, wishlists from classrooms, mounting speakers and projector in cafe, fill in hole under tire swing, clean up church pkg lot, restripe games on playground  (Leah Lipscomb)

Site Council Minutes 9/14/15


Site Council Agenda 9-14-15

  • Meetings schedule – M, Th 3:30?
    • Third Thursdays
  • Plan social events
    • replace one or two staff meetings with a social event as a way to build community
    • get dates in advance so staff can come
  • Restorative listening – on hold; talk with Todd, bring up at PTA board meeting
    • October 13 – focus on school experience
    • get questions for protocol – reduce anxiety or affective filter about process
    • get those to staff
  • Community building
  • Music Ed. (Residencies vs Vibe) – teachers would be happy to have scheduled weekly music for a designated period of time rather than residencies
  • Playground: covered
    • start taking pictures of cool ones (Marysville, Buckman, Atkinson, Laurelhurst)
  • Back to school night
    • why do parents come to BTSN? What’s it for?
    • sign ups for conferences, PTA jobs
    • originally/traditionally supposed to be time for teachers to communicate with parents about:
      • expectations for learning and behavior
      • learning targets, assessments
    • survey parents after BTSN and whether it met needs
    • try to do all of it this year:
      • community storyline
      • kids showing rooms
      • teachers and parents get to talk, Q&A
      • ML runs a mock schedule for parents to follow
  • Community care day: inside version. – pick a day and make a list
  • School website: staff bios, Vlog
  • action items:
    • Communicate to the larger community the channels of communication and the role of SC as a potential ombudsman/liaison
    • Grant opportunities for covered area
    • KL – contact principals of above schools to ask about grants or partnership
    • MG – contact NClack principals to get pics
    • Jill – reach out to Nike
    • Jacinda – take pics, talk to Montavilla Neighborhood Assoc
    • Rawls talks to Poler guy


Next meeting 10/15 at 3:30 – send ideas for agendas



PTA Meeting Minutes 5/17/16



  • Explanation of positions open, PTA roles. We need a president, VP, secretary, and treasurer.
  • Upcoming meetings: Next Wednesday, PTA Board meeting, June 12 retreat. Community Care Day Aug 27, will also be welcome back picnic
  • New job that could be for someone who can’t make it to meetings: asst. treasurer. Help with sorting, filing, keeping track. Budget discussed.
  • Signing up for positions:
    • Secretary: Heather Fellers
    • Class Rep Coordinator: Beth Cantrell, Joanna Beatty
    • Assistant treasurer: Diana Marshall
  • Voting for four positions
    • Joanna Goebel is president
    • Angie Fitzpatrick is VP
    • Joanna Crump is Treasurer
    • Heather Fellers is Secretary
  • Site Council: four positions, elected two year terms alternating years so always two stay.
    • Have been talking about how to make our focus more evident. How do we increase student engagement in inquiry-based instruction?
  • Goals/wishlist:
    • Covered bike parking
    • Covered play area
    • PTA binder project-Joanne H and Heather F
    • Float in the Avenue of the Roses parade-Joanne H willing to organize
    • Keeping k-5 music
      • Instruments in kids hands
    • Multicultural night
      • More work including families from other cultures
    • Expansion of sexuality education
    • Mindfulness
    • Language instruction in k-5
    • First Lego League
    • STEM program
    • Increased constructivism awareness for families
    • Increase in volunteers/parent involvement
      • Orientation at start of year
      • Volunteer deadlines
    • Consistent teacher involvement with PTA
    • Better communication of volunteer needs
      • Possibly permanent list of ongoing jobs that always need to be done (organize lost and found…etc….)
      • Bring back the Pitch-in—sign up for small, specific jobs.
    • Involve students in PTSA
    • Website—need someone to help with transition to Square Space
    • Online parent directory
    • Window sunscreens on west side of building.
      • Possibly bamboo in livestock troughs
    • Grant-writer position

PTA Meeting Minutes 4/19/16



  • Policy in past has been to meet as a board and bring issues to the larger group; we’ve switched that so the board is not driving the agenda. The purpose of tonight is to get community input in planning for next year.
  • Introductions-around the circle
  • Todd reviewed our meetings this year-2 socials, some speakers. Want community input: What is useful and meaningful for people?
  • Montavillage: community event to foster relationship with community
    • Food, music, dunk tank (for staff), art activities, cupcake walk
    • Sunday May 15, 1-4pm
    • Help needed setting up stage, sound, supervision of bouncy castle, monitoring dunk tank, supervising art tables, sell raffle tickets at welcome table for Great Wolf Lodge stay and laser tag party package (raffle tickets will actually go on sale May 1). Need donations of cupcakes (store-bought only).
    • Suggestion to contact community schools and involve them.
  • Financial Issues:
    • Every August we determine the budget for upcoming year. We overlooked some things:
      • There is a line item for sexuality education paid to Ada Dortch, but we are not using her. We went through all of the Creative Arts money for music through Vibe. Would like to reallocate the sexuality money to pay for music.
        • PTA will bring Ada back to consult/teach as needed if the staff feels like they would like her services.
        • Brittney motioned to move $2,000 from SE to Music, was approved.
      • $2500 each which is traditionally used for 7th and 8th grade trips was overlooked back in August. We had an extra $5000 extra in the budget that can be used for that.
        • Allison moved to move the money, was approved.
      • Fundraising done this year goes to next year’s budget. We need to talk about how we raise our money, and how we spend it.
        • We haven’t been able to raise as much as usual.
        • Schoola drive is this week. Don’t forget to bring in your old clothes!
      • Survey:
        • 158 respondents.
        • Surprising how many responded, “I’m not able to give” Want to dig deeper into underlying reasons.
        • Possibility of doing a PTA membership drive. Dues include a $9.50 fee that goes to the state. Whatever we decide to charge over that goes to our community.
        • It may make people feel unwelcome if not members.
        • A lot of people may not realize what ways PTA funds enrich the school. Hard to know what is provided by PPS and what is provided by PTA.
        • We should do a drive to get as many people apply for free and reduced lunch as possible. Could we qualify for Title I funding?
        • Back to school night is well attended it is critical to get budget information out early at that point.
        • As a parent, you can come up with an idea, make a proposal and ask board to help. If you feel like something in missing and you want to start something, do!
        • Anyone is welcome to budget meeting in August.
        • Website discussion: run by parent volunteers, we are moving the parent designed 1990s website to Square Space very soon.
      • Halloween Party was the most popular event on survey.
        • There was not a lot of help planning or putting it on.
        • Next year we may have to set a date in early October and if there are not enough volunteers, the event is canceled.
        • People were also disrespectful to volunteers. We need to address how we acknowledge and celebrate the volunteers who help.
        • Suggestion to keep better records of events.
        • Suggestion to keep binders with information about all our events. Someone should be the keeper of the binders. Get everything laid out for the year early so people can commit to something at the beginning.
          • Have at an event that has teachers present for more involvement. And on that note, teachers could be helpful by communicating how the PTA supports the classroom/school.
          • Send home a backpack flyer with a list of all events throughout year at beginning.
          • Have a separate event from back to school night that explains the nuts and bolts of our school to new families. Can be overwhelming and mysterious.
          • Volunteer orientation sessions used to be helpful. They were not well attended this year. Call it orientation or information session. Have the first PTA meeting of the year be Parent Orientation.
        • Suggestion to have sign up sheets at back to school night/ice-cream social type thing. Make it safer for people who don’t usually show up for those things.
        • We were not able to fill the volunteer coordinator position, which has been integral to involvement.
      • Next Meeting we will elect the officers for next year. Site Council has two positions open we need to vote on as well. In Oregon they want SC to decide on professional development for teachers. Here it decides on budget items.
      • Question: If we are justifying our existence as a Focus Option because of our constructivist philosophy, shouldn’t we be spending our money on constructivism? Why are teachers (except kindergarten) not using Jules and Deb? Todd gave some history into Jules and Deb’s involvement through PTA and how it has diminished over time. Can we find some new constructivist consultants to come in and support teachers in that, especially someone who understands needs of mid-level students?
      • Parents were supportive of having a training about constructivism/storyline.
      • Suggestion to make YouTube videos by teachers about what is going on in school. Our new website will make this easier.

PTA Meeting Minutes 2/16/16


Called to order by Kristie at 6:30pm

  • This will be a working session. Focus is what is going on at district level and what we can do about it.
  • Presentation can be found here.
  • Unofficial DBRAC meeting. Portland PTA contacted us, asked for two reps from each SE school. Scott Bailey, member of DBRAC, led the meeting. Attended by Beth Cantrell, Joanne Havran, Joanna Goebel, Mike Boyle.
    • DBRAC is not finished with eastside plan. Will reconvene in March. Expected to have a final plan by May.
    • A lot of sharing of values, very emotional. A lot of hard feelings about FO schools. We need to listen first before trying to convince people of our value. Solutions that bring everyone up are the best.
    • Talk about K-5/MS vs remaining K-8s. Many schools want to remain K-8s. The hope is that Kellogg will be made into a MS and Harrison Park will remain K-8, allowing us to stay in our building. The plus to Kellogg is that its location can create a more balanced, diverse community as opposed to HP, which would be high poverty.
    • The group will come up with a few scenarios we can live with to propose to the district. We can also do this on our own if we feel like this group is not the right place for us.
    • Kristie pointed out that it would be helpful for CSS if EVERYONE who qualifies for F/R lunch applies. Our numbers went down this year, which does not seem right.
    • If you know families or have connections to Harrison Park, reach out. They have been silent in this process.
    • It looks like this process will take longer than they originally stated. Will take more money and intensive repairs. (Kellogg would take $20 million to reopen instead of the original $2 million estimated.)
    • Neighborhood focus idea came up. Kristie opposes this. What has happened at Sunnyside and Buckman is that the neighborhood kids took all the slots. The purpose and mission of the school can become watered down.
  • Educational Options Review
    • New board is very interested in following rules that are there but haven’t been enforced.
    • Small group discussions for parent input in the review document, a draft of which Kristie provided for everyone to read. (We spent the majority of the meeting on this, with parents collaborating in groups and writing down suggestions for Kristie to incorporate).
  • Opting In or Out of Testing
    • Last year about 1/3 of our eligible students opted out. Many reasons for opting out from political to personal. No one can make anyone take the test; you can’t be punished for opting out.
    • Kristie shared her feelings about the test: too long, but is a well-made test, asking students to think critically and support their ideas with evidence.
    • Right now it is the best way we can show we are successful to outsiders. We need a strong set of data to prove that what we do works. The worry is that if we have a high number opt out, it could be used against us by those who make assumptions about our school.
    • Kids are being taught typing and computer skills to get more comfortable taking the test, but teachers do not specifically teach to the test.

PTA Meeting Minutes 1/19/16


Meeting called to order at 6:34pm.


Ballot campaign update from teacher Allison

  • Large companies in Oregon pay fewer taxes than small businesses (currently they pay between $0-150 annually)
  • Oregon has the lowest corporate tax rate in the nation
  • Better Oregon campaign is trying to get the issue on the ballot
  • Hoping to start taxing businesses after the first 25 million dollars they make
  • It would mean 4 billion dollars in revenue for schools, social services, etc.
  • Allison would like to recruit a parent to stand at the school entrance with a sign at drop off/pick up to gather signatures – let her know if you or anyone you know are interested (this can be done on whatever days volunteers are available)
  • Big push will be in February


FUNraiser update from Lacy

  • This is the biggest money maker for the school
  • Most details are in place (venue, alcohol, games, music)
  • Donations are still being collected (get to Lacy or bring to the office by the end of this week)
  • We need one more person to run a game during the event (probably either darts or golf) – please let Lacy know if interested
  • Spread the word about ticket sales!
  • We need more people to help sell tickets at school (at least 8) – February 1, 2, and 3 (Mon-Tues-Wed) – one hour in morning and afternoon
  • If you buy a ticket you get two free drink tickets


Site Council

  • Meeting this Thursday
  • Tomorrow someone from the district is going to come out and look at where we can install a covered bicycle shelter


DBRAC update

  • Meisha attended a meeting today specifically for focus option schools. It is not under DBRAC’s purview to dictate what happens to focus option schools and alternative programs
  • We will most likely be asked to moved
  • Meisha asked if it was possible that we could get moved to a K-5 instead of a K-8 if they cannot find a suitable building and was not given a straight answer
  • DBRAC is meeting tonight
  • Any change would not happen until 2017
  • There may be another DBRAC meeting next week listening to one parent from each school instead of multiple parents per school
  • Recommendation is supposed to come out from DBRAC to the superintendant this week
  • By the end of March the board could make a decision based on the recommendations
  • There is a CSS parent group working on talking points, etc. to mobilize our community to influence the board
  • Meisha urged us to be mindful of our language when we talk about our school vs. other schools (we are not better, etc.). We need to have a positive message to the board and the community at large and also be thoughtful about how what happens to us could affect other neighborhood schools
  • We should have undergone a focus option review by the board – working on this as a parent/staff community will help to highlight our strengths
  • Parent/student testimonials are being gathered by the working group (about positive experiences at CSS) – those can be sent in via email and also brought in to the office
  • Argument has been made that moving us would be disruptive to many families at our school located in SE


PTA Board Meetings

  • Are now held the Wednesday after the community meetings
  • Everyone is always welcome – you need only RSVP and you’ll be given the location (hosted at board members’ houses)


Pool Party

  • This Sunday from 6:30-8:30pm at EPCC
  • $5 per person or $20 per family


PTA Audit

  • We need volunteers this Saturday from 10am-3pm
  • It can’t be done by check signers, so we need some additional help
  • Let Juliana know if you can help


Business portion of the meeting concluded at 6:59pm.


The rest of the meeting was dedicated to a presentation on mindfulness and the MindUp curriculum being used at CSS this year.

SOS Meeting Minutes 1/15/16


Working Plan Talking Points

Every child has the right to a quality education.

The Creative Science community believes in strong, local schools. Our hope is that all youth who’d benefit from constructivist instruction have the opportunity to attend a school with this focus near their home.

We wish to serve, grow, and diversify an inclusive K-8 community at our current central eastside location. Nearly half of the school’s community resides near Creative Science School’s SE 92nd Avenue location. Moving the school outside of the central eastside will result in family hardships.

Creative Science School and its constructivist instruction are at the forefront of education. The school demonstrates innovation every day: through the school’s use of problem-solving story lines, to helping other Portland Public schools implement successful literacy best-practices first pioneered at Creative Science School.

With the final DBRAC recommendation fast approaching — and three east-side schools left with unknown placement — we ask the committee to recognize the educational value each unique school provides.


District Component

1. Have a CSS parent on the docket at each school board meeting.

* Upcoming: January 26, February 2, and February 16

o Tuesdays at 6 p.m. Blanchard Education Service Center, 501 N. Dixon Street

o We need to sign-up for our 2 minutes

* Goal: Stay POSITIVE — stay on the board’s radar!

* Message

o Diedra Pine (January 26?): What we do, why it works, and talking points (above)

o ? (February 2)

o ? (February 16)

  1. Connection with new school board

* Goal: Stay on the board’s radar. Share what is special about CSS.

* Tactics:

o Invite CSS zone board member (and other board members) to tour CSS, join CSS at the start of the day, at a late open with mid-level students, and a storyline culmination, etc.

o Letter-writing campaign (Holly DeGrow). Include a positive tone and talking points (above)

  1. Testimonials

* Goal: 2-3 sentence statements from MULTIPLE parents — past and present. Illustrate How has CSS impacted your student’s educational experience?

* Tactics:

o Post on public-facing Facebook page

o Collect several to include in letter-writing campaign

o Retain quotes for future administrative reports and board presentations


Community Component

1. Create a public FB page

* Goal: Positive public image, strength community relations. Grow a diverse and inclusive community.

* Tactics:

o Highlight best parts of CSS

o Connect with neighboring, lower- income, and other Focus Option schools

2. Create a newsletter with Vestal, Bridger, Harrison Park for distribution in neighborhood(s)

* Goal: Spread the word that we’re all good schools. Recruit a diverse population.

* Tactics:

o Highlight celebrations, accomplishments, similarities/differences

o Post on neighborhood bulletin boards, in business windows.


Focus Option Review Component

1. Increase diversity and inclusion at the Creative Science School

* Goal: Become a diverse and inclusive school

* Tactics:

o Create a recruitment campaign

o Leverage the public-facing Facebook page

o Leverage the Vestal, Bridger, Harrison Park newsletter

  1. Opt into standardized test

* Goal: Good rating = good standing

* Tactic: Encourage all families to have child(ren) complete testing

  1. Communicate school successes

* Goal: Build credibility

* Tactics:

o Data: Compile test scores, graduation rates of high school students (Abby)

o Thought leader: Share our innovations

* 1st grade teacher Katy leading sharing literacy program/ best practice with other Portland Public schools

o Communicate testimonials