Dear MLC Community:
Happy fall! Here's your monthly PTSA update.
Thanks to all who came out for our Family Dance Party. We were overwhelmed with the attendance AND the dance moves of our students! Also, big thanks to parents and teachers who made our Halloween celebration a truly special event for our kiddos to express themselves.
The PTSA is working to address the basic needs of our school community. Starting this month, the PTSA will gather new and used coats, shoes, and clothing as well as food and essentials to stock our *NEW* MLC Clothing Center and Food Pantry. This awkwardly-titled new resource--CCFP--will be housed in MLC's former book room. All MLC families and students will have access to the clothing and food in the CCFP.
We've also set up an AmazonSmile wishlist so that community members can purchase specific items such as nutritious snacks for high school classrooms. Thank you to our counselors, Genie and Jeanette for their guidance on how the PTSA can assist our students and families. The link for this list is at MLCPTSA.org
Please email Alisa if you are interested in helping launch the CCFP!
Used Book Sale
Monday-Friday, November 4-6, 8 AM – 3:30 PM
Fall Social and PTSA Meeting—ALL ARE WELCOME!
McMenamins Kennedy School
Wednesday, November 13, 6-7:30 PM
SPED Parent Affinity Group
Friday, November 15, 8:45-10 AM
Fall Craft Fair
Thursday, November 21, 3:30-5:30 PM
Within our school, there are students experiencing homelessness and/or financial hardships that affect their education. According to our counselors Jeanette and Genie, the most immediate MLC student needs are for food and clothing. Right now teachers spend their own funds to have snacks in their classrooms, especially in high school. Granola bars, cup-of-noodles, crackers and cheese are all needed to feed student brains. Consider adding an item or two to your cart : https://smile.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/3CA7FI74GYBTI
Dear MLC Families:
Thanks to all who came to our first meeting of the year! We had a great turn-out--even with the Climate Strike! (Sorry we had to miss it!) Many teachers and parents mentioned they appreciated the noon meeting time, and of course the delicious Escape From New York pizza. There are some super exciting initiatives starting at MLC including a new SPED parent support group chaired by parent Jamie Wilkinson, partnerships with Feed the Mass, EcoSchools Network, and renewed energy for our electives program.
Here's more PTSA news for October:
Green Team: Members of the HS Green Team are taking over BottleDrop for the month of October. With funds from returning beverage containers, they will purchase more metal utensils for the cafeteria. Hopefully this will lead to school-wide systems to reduce waste in the cafeteria, including reusable trays, metal utensils, recycling and composting food waste.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Bring your beverage containers to school. There is a barrel outside the office to drop them in!
Field Trip Scholarship Fund: Imperfect Produce is a grocery delivery company on a mission to eliminate food waste and create a more accessible food system for everyone. For every person that signs up using our special promo code, our PTA will receive a $10 donation from Imperfect Foods.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Go to imperfectproduce.com/join and enter promo code MLC10 to support our school. **They have discounts for low-income members as well.**
Used Book Sale: Replacing the twice-yearly Scholastic Book fair was a dream of both Kiva and Tini's. Wish granted! PTSA is heading up a used book sale November 4-8 that more closely follows our school values. In other words, more focus on reading and less on plastic toys and movie tie-ins. All profits will benefit the MLC Library.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Donate quality used books that we can sell at the sale. Look for bins in the hallways coming soon!
PTSA Meeting, Wednesday, October 16 @ 6PM
All-School Dance Party! Friday, October 18 @ 5-7 PM
As MLC's Parents Talk Racial Equity group finalizes meeting dates for the school year, MLC parent Erica suggests some reading to get you thinking: "How to Be an Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi and the website EmbraceRace https://www.embracerace.org/talking-race--kids.html
I just ordered Kendi's book and am looking forward to discussing it with other parents.
If you are interested in helping with MLC's PTRE programming, please email Alisa: email@example.com
If you're new to MLC, you might be a bit overwhelmed by the parking lot madness at drop-off and pick-up. It might be of little comfort to you that there's never been an physical injury reported in our lot. There have been plenty of bumps and scratches to cars, however. To make the lot a bit less frenzied, check out our flyer on MLC parking etiquette and tips:
Everyone, please welcome our new principal, Mark Van Hoomissen! Here's what he wrote to the community last week. "A big ’thank you’ to all of the students, families, faculty and staff for warm welcome as I’m transitioning into the MLC Principal position. Thursday afternoon and Friday morning I had the opportunity to visit several classrooms and introduce myself to many students, families, faculty and staff. Students asked me about my favorite color, food, and sports. Green, pizza, soccer. One of the older students asked if I had any pets. Bandit, a dog. The student asked if I could bring the dog into school. Not sure if I can bring pets into school, but I’ll be sure to bring a photo. I had the opportunity to learn about the importance of the right kind of voting system in a sixth grade classroom. I got some overall advice from stu-dents in terms of making sure I knew that everybody goes by first names. That sounds good to me. I also heard about some of important questions that come up for kindergartners when they are losing more than one tooth at a time. Will share more later..."
Dear MLC Families,
I hope this letter finds you enjoying warm summer days and savoring each delicious moment of this time with your children. My family just returned from a special trip to Norway to visit dear friends and spend time together as a family before my oldest goes to college. This time as a family was especially important as this spring one of my children experienced a significant mental health crisis. Although my family is doing well now, this event caused me to reflect on my ability to balance being a principal and a mom. I spent most of June and July reflecting on what it means to be a building administrator.
I have always led my life by looking for signs and listening to my heart, and during this time of reflection, I was contacted by the Oregon Department of Education about a Director position in the area of Teaching and Learning. At first I did not imagine myself leaving a school district for a state agency; however, with all that is happening in the national landscape right now, I realized that I have an opportunity to influence education on a whole different level. The job was offered to me while we were in Norway and we had a long family discussion about this transition and opportunity, and ultimately I accepted the position. Honestly, this is a frightening leap for me because I have always felt most myself in a school building; however, I also know that Oregon needs leaders who will prioritize equity, social emotional learning, and relevant, authentic learning experiences. I have learned so much from MLC’s model and what happens when we tend to both the hearts and minds of young people, and engage them in meaningful work. This model is what all children deserve and I will bring this perspective to my new role.
I realize my departure may take many of you by surprise. I planned to be at MLC for many years as I truly adore the staff, students, and families at MLC. It is such a unique and special program. MLC is a strong community with an outstanding staff that will continue to put students first. I will genuinely miss working with the children and families at MLC. It has been a true honor to serve as your principal. Your dedication to an alternative educational experience for your children and your engagement in our community made the decision to leave incredibly challenging, yet it is the best decision for my family at this time.
I feel very fortunate that Margarita Wilson will continue to serve as the AP for MLC. Margarita will enter her fourth year at MLC and she has a deep understanding of the uniqueness of MLC as well as the goals for 2019-2020. I feel confident that the school will be in good hands and that the opening of school will be successful.
The process for selecting a new principal will begin immediately. The first step will be a community meeting. Staff, parents, and the community are invited to meet with Korinna Wolfe, the senior director of MLC, who want to hear about the characteristics and challenges that make MLC unique. She will also be prepared to explain the full hiring process in more detail and to gather input on the desired characteristics of the new principal.
The MLC community meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday, August 6th from 5:00 - 6:00 pm in the MLC auditorium. The information from the input session is used throughout the process and will be shared with the selected candidate to provide them a sense of the community’s priorities and values. If you are unable to attend, you will still be able to provide feedback through a survey that we will be sending out through School Messenger following the meeting.
Thank you for all of your support and for the honor of serving as your principal. I look forward to hearing about all the amazing and innovative things happening at MLC. I am still a PPS parent, so I hope to see you in the community.
With gratitude and respect,
In order to grow attendance at our monthly meetings, we're gathering MLC PTSA member opinions regarding our meeting dates, times, and venues for the 2019-20 school year.
Here's our central question: Will more members attend PTSA meetings if they are not held in the evenings at MLC?
We're considering many options including:
-- Holding most PTSA meetings next year at a centrally-located community center in NE with childcare and a potluck.
-- Holding a few meetings at MLC while also utilizing community spaces in SE, St. Johns, and North Portland.
When we asked community members (PTSA members, parents, and MLC's Facebook group) about specifics, here's some of the feedback we received:
Other feedback included having meetings during school so that students could participate. I was thinking that we could have each class elect a representative and that student comes to a monthly meeting held at MLC so that we are truly hearing student voices. (Putting the "S" in PTSA!)
As we get closer to next school year's meeting schedule, we welcome your voice! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts!
MLC Community: Please plan to attend the PTSA meeting on December 14, 2017 at 6pm in the library. Portland Bureau of Transportation representative Scott Cohen (503-823-5345 or email@example.com) will explain proposed changes to NW 20th and Glisan. It's important that the MLC Community attends and voices our collective desire to avoid any delays in the rebuilding of Couch Park. (More details about the project: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/75103)
Hello! We had a another great week at MLC filled with going on field trips, reading, preparing for the book fair, and learning new skills through electives. Don't forget that this week is a four-day school week and there is no school tomorrow for Friday 10/13. On Sunday our 6th-graders will be meeting at MLC and they are heading to a full week of Outdoor School. I'll be here on Sunday to help load busses. I am hoping to go visit our 6th graders on Tuesday at their camps.
Please fill out the volunteer and interest Survey. It is so helpful to have this information. The PTSA is hoping to cater to community interests for their information evenings, so please fill out the survey to let us know what you'd like to learn on those information nights. The first PTSA information night is on Wednesday October 18th at 6:30pm. More information will be coming soon about the topics, but we plan on having a few sessions such as the history of the MLC neighborhood and school and information about the timeline for the recreation of the MLC symbol.
The Wild West Book Fair is coming to the MLC Library next week from October 16th to October 20th. Thank you to Prairie Lily for helping to organize and lead this school-wide event! Check out all the details and how to volunteer at http://www.scholastic.com/bf/mlcpdx. If you have questions, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Can't make it to the book fair? Here is the link for buying a book gift card that your child can use at the book fair: On-line book purchase link .The Book Fair raises money for the MLC Library to buy books and other supplies. Kiva, Tim and MLC students depend on this twice yearly fundraiser to keep the shelves stocked with current book titles.
We also have the MLC Pizza Night coming up on Thursday Oct. 26th 5:00-7:30pm. The PTSA is proud to announce that the pizza is being served up hot, ON-SITE by MLC family owned, Via Chicago! http://viachicagopizza.com. Pizza will be served out on our blacktop and the main floor of the building will be open for socializing. All families are welcome.
Have a wonderful weekend,