Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer Update

This is one long and crazy ride we’ve been on together these last two years. And, now, with four short weeks until the first day of school, the crescendo is definitely building.

I’d like to take the opportunity to give some updates on the activities around the end of construction, plans for the opening of our school year, and some important dates for your calendar.

First, though, for those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of meeting Dr. MacNamara, our new Superintendent, you are in for a treat. She is a true CEO (Chief Educational Officer) and has truly refocused our leadership team with a steady emphasis on children first. We are very lucky to have her. On a personal level, I am thrilled to have such a dynamic mentor and guide.

In a similar vein, Paula Robinson, new RHS Principal, hit the ground running with remarkable ease. She is a brilliant problem solver, and has expertise in some critically important areas. Please join me in welcoming her to our family.

Construction Related:

The regular construction updates are extremely informative, but it’s a whole different experience to walk the grounds and see the place come to life day-by-day. We are in the process of “punch-listing” the building and grounds, meaning that we identify any defect or glitch for fixing up prior to the handover. It’s an exhaustive process, but critically important to the completion of the build-out. More than anything, seeing plants go in makes the biggest difference for me; the only thing more exciting is the notion of children and teachers in the space.

It is absolutely critical that we all stay off of the field -- any delay will impinge our Fall sports seasons dramatically. Please help remind our kids (and dogs!) that, even as the fences are slowly removed, it is still a construction site, complete with all the inherent dangers and risks.

School Opening Related:

In no particular order, here are a number of answers to this summer’s faq

  • The wonderful new lunch program is up and running. (Our code is 213RGSOROR). You have until the 20th of the month to make an order, and lunch will be served on the first day of school, September 7th.
  • PTC Back-to-School packets will be emailed directly; some "hard" copies will be available, both at the New Families Welcome and in the front office. (And if you see Minnie Cooper, hug her - she's done so much to get this ready.)
  • RGS Back-to-School packets will be available, street-side, on August 25th. (We will be unpacking, but not allowed to have the public inside as of yet.) Betsy will set up a booth for distribution.
  • Some folks have inquired about the size of our new lockers. They are standard-sized lockers, 34 1/2”(h); 8 3/8”(w); 16 7/8”(d). I found a good number of organizers and accessories here, at the Container Store website. In our experience, inserting a temporary shelf can make all the difference. Some items, like musical instruments, will not fit in the lockers; these can be stored in the homeroom teacher's classroom, or in the new music storage area (in the music house).
  • Pick-up and drop-off locations will be as follows: the South parking lot will be for cars; the North lot will be for buses only. Both locations will be staffed in the morning and afternoons, as will a crossing location on Breyman. (More specific logistical details to follow nearer the start of the year.)
  • We delayed the elective offerings for 7th and 8th grade students until now, in order to ensure that all incoming students had email addresses in our list-serve. Please see the attached (to the email) pdf version of the elective forms, and mail or email the forms to Betsy Biss at Smith (8935 SW 52nd Ave.; Portland, OR 97219). Electives are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, but there is no need to rush it too much -- we will hold them in blocks of forms returned (somewhat like Southwest Airlines -- "A," "B," & "C" groups, and assign electives accordingly.
  • The new (again) bus routes are now posted online, here. For the most part, they are a return to prior routes, with some adjustments.
  • As most know, because of an unusually wet spring, we will need to stay off the field well into September, and perhaps for the entire month. We have a contingency plan for athletics practices that includes (a) morning practices at RHS, and (b) practicing at RHS during the school day while the high school is in session the first week of September. More information will be forthcoming. We anticipated the field situation and scheduled accordingly, with soccer games away for most, or all, of September.
  • Boys (6th-8th grade) interested in playing soccer should contact coach Nels Paine. There will once again be two teams.
  • Girls (6th-8th grade) interested in playing soccer should contact coach Leslie Charuhas. It is likely that there will be one large team for the lady falcons this year. The schedule was set back in April around the assumption of one team. Athletic Director Lori Peterson submitted a request in May for a second team, and there remains an outside chance we will be able to assume a second team -- we just will not know until very late in August.
  • Volleyball league game schedules have not been released yet. Any 6th-8th grade girl interested in playing volleyball should contact coach Sara Brounstein with that interest. There will be no conditioning camp or practice prior to the week of August 30th.
  • Of course, youth teams wishing to use the field will also need to wait until it is game-ready. Please make alternate arrangements, or use the fields provided by LO Youth Soccer.

Activities Calendar

  • August 22nd -- New Family Welcome @ RHS 3:00-4:30 pm
  • September 6 -- Sneak Peak @ RGS 4:00 pm
  • September 7 -- 1st-8th, 1st Day of School
  • September 7 -- RGS Back-to-School Coffee @ RGS 8:30-9:30 am
  • September 13 -- Kinder/Pre-K 1st Day
  • September 17 -- Newcomers' Coffee 9:00-11:00 am
  • September 21 -- RGS Back-t0-School Night @ RGS 6:30-8:00 pm