Friday, August 28, 2009

Principal Newsletter -- August 28, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to opening week of the best show this side of I-5! Our three ring circus is nearly ready.

In the first tent -- the primary pod -- K-2 teachers busied themselves this last week putting name-cards on tables and prettying the place up. The five classrooms in this area, as well as the computer lab and resource room, surround the library.

In the second tent -- on the long hall -- each locker is adorned with the name of a 5-8 student, and the coat-hooks await our 3rd and 4th graders. Art and k-4 music are also located along this hall.

In the final tent, churning out registration paperwork like cotton candy, Betsy, Karen and I are ready to help anybody with just about anything. The place looks great, especially relative to a few weeks ago. (Tammy Sutter took it upon herself to adorn our front entrance with flower containers.)

What follows is a bit of last-minute logistical information.

  • Bus routes are posted on the web here.
  • Here in the office we do not know which bus your child is taking, or which stop on that route is most appropriate. In previous years we have known this information, but because the routes changed this year we do not. Our most critical role this week -- in terms of student safety -- is to compile an accurate list. We have two methods for tracking this information. One will take place here at school; the other is home-based. When children exit the bus they will be given a colored sticker, which will be handed to the teacher. It will be very helpful if you will also email Betsy with the route and stop information for your child, regardless of whether they ride during the first few days. (We anticipate that some families with younger kids will want to drive for the first few days. The neighborhood association folks know this and absolutely understand we will have more of an impact in the first week or so of school.
  • The activity bus will leave Smith at 5:15 to accommodate our athletic teams. This is a change (from 5:00) and is reflected on the route schedule here.

Driving to Smith

The simple version of the parent driving directions are:

Terwilliger across I-5
Left on Barbur
Veer Right on Taylor's Ferry
Right on 50th
Left on Marigold
Left on 52nd

(Now you'll be in "The Drop Zone." Pull all the way forward, up to the last sign, and unload your car. Airport rules apply here. If you'd like to stop and get out of the vehicle, please pull much farther forward.)

Left on Orchid (first left)
Left on 45th (at the T)
Right on Multnomah.


We are very much aware of the potential this fall for global concerns around what has been termed "swine flu." In the coming weeks we will be issuing a series of reminders -- around the importance of hand-washing, making decisions about staying home vs. coming to school -- in order to keep our community informed and healthy. At school, our emphasis will be on healthy living habits most directly, especially for younger children.

I'd like to close by issuing a simple note of thanks to the faculty and support staff. It is no exaggeration to say that everybody pitched in to get us to this point, and the pride I feel around the amount of work they accomplished in a short period of time is unsurpassed in my experience. This group of professionals is truly exceptional, the best I've had the privilege to know.

Here we go! This is a grand adventure, and we're all feeling grateful that your children will be here soon to share it with us.