Creative Science School

critical thinkers, courageous problem-solvers, compassionate community builders

PTA Meeting Minutes 9/16/14

PTA Meeting Minutesbrittney

The meeting was called to order by Chris Anderson at 6:36pm.


  • $1700 per classroom k-5, $4500 for entire midlevel
  • 10,000 for Jules and Deb, founders. Keep the original philosophy alive, helps kids for specific needs.
  • Other things in budget: money for Specials teachers, special ed, garden
  • $2200 for sexuality education to Ada Dortch
  • Afterschool enrichment needs money to pay instructors before money from students comes in
  • $3000 for storage for PTA supplies for many events throughout the year
    • Need a pod, want it secure from vandals
    • Total budget: $68,000 and something
    • Suggestion for more support for ESL parents
      • Possibly have a PTA theme for the year of being more inclusive.
      • Budget approved unanimously
      • Guest Speakers:
        • Jeremy Wright from Parents for Portland Schools
          • Ballot Initiative: Teacher’s levy renewal Ballot 161
            • 5 year
            • Currently (since passed in 2011) Funds 600 positions in the district
            • Will fund an additional 40 positions by taking advantage of a change tax law, stops $ from being siphoned to urban renewal projects
            • If it doesn’t pass, one more year left on current levy.
            • Citizen’s budget oversight committee, separate account
              • Anyone can apply to serve on committee, currently all parents
  • Jon Isaacs, Chief of communications and Public Affairs
    • Shared some materials, will attach to minutes
    • Single copies of Two long reports that are available on the website
    • Purpose of office of communication is to spread information, emergency alerts, talking to groups to inform
    • Fall budget forecast update
      • Nothing but good news, can add back investments
      • Property tax revenues up by 9 million
      • Two years ago the state shorted us 2 million that we get back
      • Expenditures came below expected numbers
      • Recommending
        •  2 million into FTE (hiring of staff)
        • 3.5 million into priorities
          • All kids reading by gr 3
          • Shrinking equity gap
          • Increasing graduation rates
        • Enrollment and Transfer and Boundaries
          • We are in the tail end of the results of closing of schools due to declining enrollment. Stop doing it community, look at it school wide
          • Numbers have dramatically shifted
          • Expecting 5,000 more student in next decade
          • SACET
            • 2 reps from each cluster, all volunteers
            • Make policies considering growth that will help with equity goals
            • 5 initial recommendations (I count six)
              • Have a strategic focus on neighborhood schools (top priority)
              • Neighborhood to neigh. Transfers done through petitions
              • Accountability for focus options
                • Not being accessed enough by underserved groups
                  • Poverty
                  • Racial minorities
                  • Special ed
                  • ELL
                  • Endorse backing dual language immersion: seen as  a program that “works”
                  • Modifications to the focus-option lottery systems
                  • Supporting students with disabilities
            • Superintendent will make the decision, these are only recommendations.
            • These are public meetings: every Wednesday minutes are posted at enrollment and transfer site at
            • PSU Center for Public Service will make recommendations too. They are doing an assessment of their own. Has no information about their recommendations yet.
            • Almost every building in district has space issues.
            • Early learning academy was opened in Clarendon, want to centralize EI.
            • Questions:
              • Based on growth plan we should fit, we just don’t have access to all our classrooms
                • A: We have to make sure we have the space to meet CSS needs. It is very likely we can stay in this building, but have to look at the whole district and the needs of all.
                • Timeline: Oct 17 recommendations will be made, changes will be put in place in 2016
                • District is trying to avoid short term solutions, but some changes may need to be made to solve immediate problems
                • Changing from lottery to petition process, but that is even harder to navigate
                  • A: families of color utilize petitions more than lottery, and clarified that the recommendation is only regarding neighborhood to neighborhood transfers
                  • PSU report is recommending a process
                  • Is anything on the table? Could we be moved?
                    • Not actively talking about anything yet. Will be based on values and projected enrollment. “Nothing is on the table right now”
                    • Is anyone advocating for focus option schools? Do we have a voice?
                      • Two parents on committee (one current, one former) who went to focus option schools
                        • Comment: quoted in Oregonian as being against focus options continuing
                        • District will sponsor a Focus option PTA for all focus option parents
                        • Madison cluster has the lowest % of students who attend neighborhood schools.
                        • Jon has personally heard positive things about focus option schools from committee members
            • Discussion
              • Clarification on process: petition vs lottery, Petitioning is simpler and more accessible
                • Kristy says there is Talk of eliminating sibling preference
                • We have more racial diversity than any other focus option
                • In the days of Piaget school there were buses
                • Idea: offer workshops and assistance in navigating the lottery system.
                • He did not answer the questions about our space issues, which is why we wrote letters last year. Kristy said she spoke recently with district people about our issues. They are aware we need a short term solution before the changes are in effect in 2016.

New Business

  • Just Give campaign
    • Last year raised 66,000. A big part was the Just Give campaign. People will be in hallways this week, also link on CSS website page.


Next Meeting

November 18