Turnaround Arts & King School in DC

In case you just missed this a few minutes ago: Five King students performed with Sarah Jessica Parker at the White House for First Lady Michelle Obama in the first Turnaround Arts Talent Show! PPS is grateful for the Turnaround Arts grant that has funded the project and made a huge, positive impact at King.  As SJP just said about King, “The hallways are brimming with pride.” Congrats, young ladies for making PPS proud! Turnaround Arts & King School   Sarah Jessica Parker & Paula Boggs also tweeted about it here: https://twitter.com/SJP/status/468867589046018048
SJP and King School

Buy your King Dinner Theater tickets today!

large_69959a06-7c0a-4d60-b2c0-ebd2f2b30c6cOur first annual King Dinner Theater is just one of the many events at King that demonstrate the progress of our program and give parents and community an opportunity to support it at the same time. See the fruits of the students’ hard work in a relaxing atmosphere and keep a good thing going! Buy your tickets online: http://www.kingpta.org/theater-program/ or in the school office–the sooner the better so we can anticipate the catering needs. We hope to see you all there!

Connect to Kindergarten at King

20121024_115416 (2)3King School is growing and you will want to grow with us!  Do have child who will be an incoming kindergartener (5 years in September) or an incoming Pre-kindergartener (4 in September)?  We will have our annual winter open house for incoming or prospective parents on Friday, March 1st at 10:00 am.  Learn about our integrated arts and International Baccalaureate programs.  King school has the best academic achievement in the area and more enrichments like Spanish, art, dance, drama.  We are currently negotiating partnerships with a Portland State University Fine Arts Program and a renown local jazz band instructor.  Get all the details and tour the school on March 1st or simply call and set up a time to visit when it fits your schedule.  We look forward to seeing you.

The King School office can be reached at: 503-916-6456 or kbrooks@pps.net


December King PTA News

141_4116_r1It has been another frenetic month as usual here at King. Here’s just a few of the details from this month’s meeting:

Enrollment Balancing
Last week, Principal Patterson and Io Eltagonde presented a plan by King School staff to Enrollment and Transfer Director, Judy Brennan to achieve a sustainable student population for King School. This plan proposes changing King’s boundary to include the entire King Neighborhood boundary (part of which now feeds to Sabin) and to gain part of the former Humboldt School area furthest from Boise-Eliot. An alternative plan is to close Sabin school and divide its enrollment area between the two other International Baccalaureate schools, King and Vernon, and to have Sabin be the permanent home for the ACCESS program for gifted students which currently shares space there. This was also discussed at Site Council last week.

Latino parents expressed their concerns that PPS has been separating Spanish-speaking and English-speaking parents in their outreach on this issue and that weakens the voices of parents by keeping them divided. The PTA overall expressed the sentiment that parent perspectives and concerns can only represent the individual parents that express them, and that the district is misguided in habitually looking at the public as monolithic socio-economic and racial groups. There was agreement that parents all have very similar needs educationally and that education should be delivered equitably without regard to race or income. Therefore, parents want the district to not reorganize schools along demographic lines.

Budget/Teacher Grants
The King PTA budget was amended to fix an accounting error and to move more money into the teacher grant account to fund more projects. As a result, the budget for grants to teachers and staff was increased by $1300 to $6300 for the year.
Following adoption of the amended budget, the PTA agreed to fund all five grant requests that have been received. They are:

  • $2000 for portable, durable video cameras for digital media production, social science and art projects.
  • $1382.90 for an online literacy program that rewards reading in and out of school and engages students and their parents in reading while allowing tracking of comprehension and progress toward reading goals.
  • $1085.96 for “wiggle seats” to provide all first and second graders with a means to move while keeping focused on learning in the classroom. Research has shown these to have a positive effect especially with students with attention deficits.
  • $100 for interactive classroom supplies in the ESL classroom.
  • $150 for food costs in the three kindergarten classes for cooking projects throughout the year.

ACCESS Academy
Anna Kulgren, parent and Kristen Sheeran, PTA President of the ACCESS Academy attended our PTA meeting. They were on hand to answer King parents’ questions about what ACCESS is and to get a sense of our community’s opinion of the school district’s proposals to co-locate ACCESS in the King building. They said that ACCESS is being explicitly made an option to all qualifying families and that since this change was implemented, the diversity of the program is increasing rapidly. They feel that ACCESS, if moved to King, would be a benefit for both programs. Discussion was cut short due to the performance of “Armannie” immediately following PTA.

SMART Event at King Celebrates Giving 2 Million Books to Oregon Children

smart2MFrom SMART:

Start Making A Reader Today, SMART, is celebrating putting 2 million books in the hands of more than 152,000 children who need them most across Oregon.

SMART has operated in the Portland metro area since 1992; in that time, more than 2,000 SMART volunteers have given away nearly 475,000 books to 46,971 children.

SMART is holding a special event to celebrate this milestone on Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at King Elementary School, 4906 NE 6th Ave., Portland, Ore.

At the event, small groups of policy makers, educators and donors will experience the SMART program firsthand by reading with SMART students, and participate in giving a book to a child. In addition, there will be remarks from SMART’s executive director, Chris Otis, and King principal, Kim Patterson.

The event is part of a statewide campaign, 2 Million and Still Reading, which brings attention to the importance of access to books in the home in a child’s literacy development.

For more information about the event, visit www.getSMARToregon.org or call 971-634-1605.

About SMART®
SMART, Start Making A Reader Today, is a statewide nonprofit organization that envisions an Oregon where every child can read and is empowered to succeed. We partner with schools around the state and engage community volunteers to read one-on-one with PreK through third-grade children, helping strengthen literacy skills and encourage a love of reading. Since 1992, SMART has steadily grown to become Oregon’s largest volunteer literacy program. Children in the program receive 14 new books throughout the school year to keep and read with their families. Visit www.getSMARToregon.org or call 877-598-4633 to learn more about SMART.

Start Making a Reader Today–Volunteer for SMART

Hello SMART volunteers,

It’s that time of year again! We are busy getting ready for another year of SMART at King School. We have two bits of big news. The first is that we have a new co-coordinator, Di Carroll! Di has been a reader for many years, and has agreed to step up to the co-coordinator position. Bob Belcher, who has been my co-coordinator for the last few years, has decided to drop the coordination role and be a regular reader. I’m thrilled to have Di joining me, and also so pleased that Bob will continue to participate in SMART. Thanks, Bob, for your very hard work these last years.

My other bit of news is that we have three kindergarten classes this year, rather than two! That means we will need lots of volunteers. So if you have friends who might be interested, please encourage them to apply online at www.getsmartoregon.org .

We do not yet know our schedule, but should in the next week or two. We will be reading twice a week, for three hours each day. Of course, you can select to read only one hour, or as much as you want!

I’ll send you another email as soon as I know our schedule. Meanwhile, I hope you are planning to join us at King again this year!

Best regards,


SMART coordinator at King School:
Joan Levers
em: king@getsmartoregon.org
vm: 971-634-1569

City of Portland to discuss possible school zoning changes

Agenda: September 17, 2012 Education and Youth Success PEG Meeting
September 17, 2012 from 4:00 to 6:00 PM
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Portland, Conference Room 7A

Welcome and Reflections from Last Meeting (10 minutes)
Description: Quick round-table introductions and opportunity for PEG members to share impressions and/or follow-up thoughts from the August 20 meeting

Overview of Today’s Meeting (5 minutes)
Presenter: Clark Worth, Facilitator
Description: Following up on challenges identified at the August 20 PEG meeting by Parkrose School District and Portland Public Schools representatives as they upgrade and build new school facilities, this meeting will explore possible alternatives to the city’s current regulatory structure related to schools. This discussion is designed to help inform policy direction in the Comprehensive Plan related to building 21st century school facilities that flexibly accommodate multiple functions and serve Portlanders of all generations, cultures and abilities.

Background: Conditional Use 101 (10 minutes)
Presenter: Douglas Hardy, Bureau of Development Services
Description: Brief presentation on Portland’s current Conditional Use Review for schools.

Quick “Tour” of School Types in Portland (15 minutes)
Presenter: Chris Scarzello, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Description: School profiles will be presented that exemplify the range of types, characteristics and locations of schools across Portland’s six public school districts.

Group Exercise (45 minutes)
Facilitator: Clark Worth
Description: PEG members will work in small groups to brainstorm: what could a more flexible “school zone” look like? PEG members will take on the roles of school district representatives, community members and immediate neighbors to explore and test possible concepts for a new school zone from different perspectives. Issues to consider will include practicality; equity; flexibility to respond to changes in demographics, technology and educational trends; and responsiveness to neighborhood concerns such as traffic.

Report Back and General Discussion (20 minutes)

Public Comment (10 minutes)

Next Steps (5 minutes)

For more information, please contact either Deborah Stein, Bureau of Planning & Sustainability at 503-823-6991 or deborah.stein@portlandoregon.gov, or Clark Worth, Facilitator, at 503-222-0146 or clark@barneyandworth.com.

Turnaround Arts Initiative Update

August 7, 2012

Dear King Families, Students, Staff and Community Members:

Thank you again to all of the families that supported their students through an Extended School Year in July. At the end of July, Tommy Allen 1st/2nd grade teacher, Lisa Collins, our School Improvement Specialist, and I had the opportunity to attend a week of training with the seven other Turnaround Arts Initiative Schools at The Aspen Institute in Maryland.

At the training we were saturated with compelling research and data that confirm that students who receive arts instruction are more successful academically at every grade level as well as more likely to graduate from high school and college. The President’s Council report on Reinvesting in Arts Education from May 2011 specifically calls out the cuts in arts education for students in poverty and students of color that have exacerbated student failure across our nation and in Portland.

The teachers and principals from the seven Turnaround Arts Schools in Louisiana, Iowa, Montana, Massachusetts, District of Columbia, Connecticut, and Colorado have all had similar experiences to ours at King; all eight of our schools were chosen for the Turnaround Arts Initiative because we know that students must have more than the mechanical skills of reading and numeracy to become high achieving students who can synthesize complex information and complete difficult academic challenges that take higher order thinking skills. We all had placed the arts as a key improvement strategy in our School Improvement Grants to transform our schools. In our week together we practiced using arts enhancement and integration strategies ourselves and clearly saw the difference it made in our own growth and understanding as teachers and leaders. We were graced with an incredible poetry performance by the amazing actress Alfre Woodard; Ms. Woodard exemplifies the intellect and achievement that come with arts exposure.

There is an increasing disparity in educational excellence across our country that equates to lowered achievement and results for students of color and students that come from lower income homes; our schools are more segregated now than they were when most of us parents were children and many of the enrichments that engage students in school have been cut. At King School, our investment in a well-rounded education for our students, with IB, the Arts, Extended Summer Learning and a community of parents who support their school is fast producing results. In our first year of implementing our School Improvement Grant at King School we produced dramatic student growth – including 80 percent of 3rd graders meeting reading benchmarks – which elevated us to a Level 4 rating. This is phenomenal growth and achievement for the students at our school. You can read the full report at: http://www.pps.k12.or.us/news/7807.htm.

We are on the right track! We are a diverse learning community with committed families striving together to give our students the world class education they deserve and need to reach their full human potential. Turnaround Arts will provide us with Crayola supplies for our teachers and new Fine Arts teacher to use, along with instruments and more teacher training to make sure we continue to grow and lead the effort to bring a well-rounded education that includes the arts to all students in Portland. I will update you as we progress and ask you to stay involved in supporting our school. We are expecting a visit from actress Sarah Jessica Parker this fall and are hopeful that it will coincide with a Theater Showcase performance. King students will have in-class instruction from actors and directors at the Portland Playhouse and access to after school Theater as well. Reading, Writing, Mathematics, IB Planners that focus on Social Studies and Science, and a rich exposure to Dance, Theater, Visual Arts, and SUN activities are all part of our plan to continue to improve our school! You can read a profile of our school and the other seven schools that attended the training with us at: http://turnaroundarts.pcah.gov/.

There is so much to look forward to when your students return to King School in September!

Principal Kim Patterson

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