Creative Science School

critical thinkers, courageous problem-solvers, compassionate community builders

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.