2017 Stakeholder Surveys
Because we value input from our families and our students, you and your child will be invited to participate in our annual confidential survey. (I believe that all families received a link to the survey this morning.) As a parent of a child in our school district, you are an important partner as we work to improve our communication, academic program and overall experience for our families and we will be asking for your feedback via a survey link that you will be receiving. (At the same time, students will also be participating in their own school-based and developmentally appropriate survey at their own school.)
The questions that you are asked on the survey are designed to measure topics that include school climate, family engagement and school fit.
- Family Engagement: The degree to which families become involved with and interact with their child’s school.
- School Fit: Families’ perceptions of how well a school matches their child's developmental needs.
- School Safety: Perceptions of student physical and psychological safety at school.
Please know that the survey results are important to us. Certainly, we will be using the results to inform and prioritize our district initiatives. In the past, principals and school climate teams have used the results to set school priorities, and I have used them to guide administrator professional goals for the year.
We look forward to sharing survey results and the subsequent initiatives with you and the rest of the community (including members of the Board of Education) in the near future.
How can I take the survey?
- When: The survey will be available from Monday April 17th through Friday, April 28, 2017.
- How: If you have an email address on file with the district, yesterday, you should have received an email with a survey link embedded. (You will receive one survey for each child who attends a different building.) Computers will also be available at your child’s schools if you need one.
We thank you in advance for your thoughtful responses. If you have any questions about the survey, please don’t hesitate to contact Holly Russo in the Central Office or your child’s principal.
From the Director of Curriculum Instruction and Technology, Dr. Karch
The Portland School District has embarked on the initiative of embracing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in an effort to begin a scaffold implementation during the 2017-18 school year. Specifically, in the upcoming school year, grades K, 1, 2, 3, 6, and 9 will be experiencing the new approach to science that supports the need for learners to understand the big ideas in the content area and apply them in practical ways.
Students who grow up in classrooms organized by the NGSS will see a natural phenomenon that sparks their curiosity and will then be guided along a path of inquiry where they engage in the activities that mirror the work of real scientists. This new national science framework, encourages teachers to help their students build upon prior knowledge and draw connections across science disciplines, including engineering, which allows grade levels to deepen their understanding from one year to the next.
Each standard in the NGSS framework combines three dimensions: practices, cross cutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas and serves as the foundation for multi-dimensional learning; practices refer to behaviors in which scientists and engineers engage; cross cutting concepts describe links across disciplines that help students create a coherent view of the world based on science; disciplinary core ideas are the fundamental ideas students must know to understand certain disciplines.
In grade three, Mrs. Bankoski's class has been delving into the NGSS concepts through the inquiry lens of: Do Mountains Last Forever and The Ring of Fire where they began discussing volcanoes and exploring the question of whether or not a volcano could pop up in our backyards. Students worked in collaborative groups where they plotted volcanoes around the world and saw the patterns and analyzed the ring of fire. The level of engagement was palpable and the depth of conversation and understandings achieved the vision of developing our students as thinkers.
While the NGSS implementation will be an evolving process, it is the goal of the Portland School District teachers to incorporate all three dimensions into every lesson and assessment. The complete NGSS implementation roll out plan for the Portland Public School District, by grade level, is as follows:
2017-18: Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 6. 9
2018-19 Grades: 4, 7, 10
2019-20 Grades 5, 8, 11
Sarah Harris is 2017 National Geographic Grosvenor Fellow
Congratulation to PMS social studies teacher and curriculum specialist, Sarah Harris, who has recently been notified that she is one of thirty-five “highly respected” teachers from the United States and Canada who has been selected as National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellows. She and her colleagues will embark on a global expedition onboard one of three expedition ships for a 10-17 day expedition to locations including the Canadian High Artic, Antarctica, Southwest Alaska, Artic Svalbard, Iceland, Greenland and the Galápagos Islands. (Ms. Harris will be going to Antarctica in late fall.)
Accompanied by National Geographic experts, Ms. Harris will explore Antarctic landscapes, cultures and wildlife; new learning that she undoubtedly will bring back to Portland. Of course with her adept knowledge of technology, she hopes our students will “virtually” accompany her on this voyage. Please follow the link for more information about this very distinguished opportunity for one of Portland’s very own and stay tuned for updates.
The LittleBits are Here!
Recently at Brownstone Intermediate School, interested students took advantage of the opportunity to expand on learning from their computer classes, and explore their creative and inventive sides with LittleBits. Similar to snap circuits, LittleBits allow students to design and build functioning interactive circuits and machines in an approachable and fun way.
Many students took part during their academic skills classes and were able to create a multitude of inventions, from cars and aliens, to polling stations and welcome signs! Students took the challenge head on, learned about electronics, troubleshooting, and had fun along the way! We thank the members of the Gildersleeve-Wheeler Education Fund for their financial support for this project and to Mrs. DesRosiers-Berman for seeking the grant and to Mike Peck who has worked with Mrs. DesRosiers-Berman to begin the rollout of LittleBits.