Winterhaven Weekly - 3/15/18

posted Mar 15, 2018, 5:27 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Apr 26, 2018, 5:34 PM by Admin at Winterhaven ]

Upcoming Events:

  • March 21 – Two Hour Late Start – School starts at 10:45 am
  • March 26 – 30 – Spring Break – No School
  • April 12 – MAC Attack
  • April 13 – No School – Teacher Planning Day

Update on Staffing for the 2018-19 school year – We received our staffing information for next year and due to a change in how PPS does it’s staffing for K-5 students and 6-8 students, we are required to cut 1.25 FTE for next year.  We will be cutting our 2 educational assistant positions, as well as reducing our school secretary position down to 0.5 FTE.  We are also cutting our Literacy Coach position.  This year, Ms. Ferguson was ½ time 8th grade language arts/7th grade health and ½ time Literacy Coach.  Ms. Connelly was ½ time 7th grade language arts and ½ time 7th and 8th grade Spanish.  Next year, Ms. Ferguson will be back in the classroom full time and Ms. Connelly will be teaching Spanish half time to our 7th and 8th grade students.

We are also making a change on how we use our 0.5 FTE Arts tax funds.  As you know, we have had an art coordinator position for the past several years that has been paid for out of PTSA funds.  As the PTSA can no longer fund the position in the same manner as it has over the past few years due to district and PTA rules, and PPS is requiring that we have a certified Art teacher teach art, we will be using the Arts tax funds to hire a 0.5 FTE visual arts teacher.  This means that we will no longer be able to offer K-5 music.  As for visual arts for students in grades 6-8, we are still working on those details and we will share this information with our community once we have the details finalized.

Counselor’s Corner - Hi everybody,

With Spring Break just around the corner, here is where we are going in counseling this week and next.  I’m a bit bad at predicting the future, so think of this as more setting the course of a sailboat in a storm than a roadmap.  I have to adapt to the winds of the school and they sometimes take me in new places that I wasn’t expecting.

One such place was brought up in last week’s lesson about secrets.  A very wise second grader brought up that there are secrets that need to be told, especially if it involves someone touching them in ways that make them uncomfortable.  We ended up talking about this briefly in all of the K-4 classes with some having more awareness of this than others. Please take the time to have that conversation with your kids.  None of us want to have that be anything to worry about, but it is something we, as parents, need to be proactive about. To their credit, all of them handled it with maturity and seriousness. I used the phrases “where your swimsuit covers” and “private parts” to illustrate what I was talking about and was pretty brief.  This took a bit more time and in most classes, we didn’t get to communication styles so that is the plan for the next couple weeks. Fourth and fifth grade rocked it. It’s good to see them remember something from last year so clearly. If you wanted to support this at home, we broke it down to Aggressive, Passive, Passive-Aggressive (aka Portland Normal) and Assertive. Perhaps observing when people around us are communicating in those styles, and letting kids see how they work and how others feel when those happen could be a good exercise? We will watch the video by Lexie Wilson about it as well as a couple other options of learning with it, including some role-playing.  

In 6th grade we are continuing our Suicide Prevention stuff, looking at Depression this week and making a sheet of warning signs so that the kids can have it to help them recognize depression in themselves and their peers.  Next week we start our Sex Ed unit from the state curriculum My Future, My Choice  There’s ten lessons. I’ll be giving them in order, for the most part. We will be doing this until the end of the year. Expect worksheets to come home and discuss with you every week.  The goal is one lesson per week, but reality is some lessons will take longer than that. Scary to think that the end of the year is planned out and approaching that fast!

8th graders should be done forecasting their classes for next year!  Woo hoo! Cleveland’s counselor should have met with everyone today and confirmed their schedule hopes.  Also, if you could let me know if your student is accepted into private school or another PPS school such as Benson, that would help us know where to send the paperwork at the end of the year and how I can support them until then. 

Marisha Childs and another community member visited us at our staff meeting last week to educate us on the Persian/Zoroastrian New Year’s celebration called Norooz.  You hopefully saw Nancy’s invitation for Oaks Park around that as well.   I’ve been spending some time thinking about all the different ways people of the world celebrate the new year and how wrapped up in tradition each celebration is, including our own.  I think we tend to think about January 1st as “The New Year” and the others as “Chinese New Year” or “Russian New Year” and think that our Gregorian Calendar is the only one with merit and the others are quaint traditions, unrooted in modern times. Especially so when they are so far chronologically removed from the time we celebrate the same thing in the US.  Here’s link to the Wikipedia rabbit hole of worldwide New Year celebrations:  There are plenty of world traditions for us to be aware of and, if appropriate, celebrate.  As the Wade Davis quote goes: “The world you were born into is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you.  They are unique manifestations of the human spirit.”

Which brings us to our question:  With our ideas of “normal” for celebrations, how can we make sure that we kindly accept people from all over the world and value their traditions also?  What work do we have to do within ourselves to allow that?

Cliff Shaw
School Counselor
Winterhaven School

MAC ATTACK Info - (Make Art Count) school wide jog-a-thon fundraiser. It is time for MAC ATTACK! Winterhaven will be participating to raise funds to enrich our curriculum. Your child will be bringing home their sponsor sheet by Friday March 16.

Please read all the information on the MAC ATTACK sponsor sheet.

  1. parent signature is required in order for your child to participate. See front of form.
  2. Please fill in a T-shirt size for your child as well. Your children may earn a T-shirt. The students must earn a total of 30 points. 2 points for each paid sponsor and 1 point for each lap completed. There will be other participant awards, grand prize winner awards, as well as class awards.
  3. Sponsors can be collected immediately. Your child should ask for sponsorships only from family, friends and neighbors with whom they are familiar. Do not permit your child to sponsor another child.


Help your child follow the timeline listed below, so deadlines are not missed. Eligibility for prizes is affected by the deadlines

1ST DEADLINE:  Monday, April 9   (end of pledge period.  Sponsor sheets must be turned into child’s teacher on this date. This determines final count of points for sponsors collected.)

DATE FOR THE RUN:  Thursday, April 12 (students run on this date, rain or shine. Sponsor sheets will be returned, after the run and then the collection period begins)

             times for the run:




 2ND DEADLINE:  Friday, April 27  (end of the collection period. Funds and Sponsors sheets MUST be turned into your child’s teacher by this date so student can be eligible for prizes that they have earned.)

Thank you for all your help and support. Here’s to another outstanding MAC ATTACK!

Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns--

Colleen Dixon
PE Specialist

School Year 2018-19 Calendar – The calendar for the school year 2018-19 has been approved by the School Board.  It can be found by following the prompts on the following link: It is also attached to this email (as an attachment).

Chess for Success - The Wizards chess club had another successful run at the 2018 Chess for Success State tournament this weekend. On Friday, with schools competing from all over Oregon, our elementary team took 4th place, On Friday, with schools competing from all over Oregon, our elementary team took 4th place, and our middle school team took 3rd place.  On Saturday, 8 club members competed in the Individuals tournament.  We had two 2nd place winners (who then automatically qualify for the 2019 CFS State Individual Championships).  We also had one 3rd, and one 4th place winner.  All of our team members scored at least 2 points, which is a great job at an all-state tournament.  Go Wizards!  And special thanks to John Shepski and Robert Wentzel for coaching the kids throughout the tournament.   - Dean & Diane Ehnes

2018 Winterhaven Chess Academy -This is a great opportunity for beginning students to learn the fundamentals of chess and quickly improve their play.  It's primarily geared for K-3rd graders, but anyone can attend.  They will learn how the pieces move, basic strategic ideas, and the principles of opening and endgame play.

The Chess Academy starts April 4th and will be held 4 weeks (April 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th) for an hour (3-4 PM).  We will meet in room #25. Please use the link to register:  There is a $10 suggested donation per student:

If you have any questions, please email Dean at