Community Meeting Update - 2/12/2018

posted Feb 15, 2018, 1:47 PM by Admin at Winterhaven   [ updated Feb 15, 2018, 1:48 PM ]

Thanks very much to those of you able to attend our Community Meeting on 2/12/2018.

We are grateful to both of our speakers for giving us their time and for providing so much information. Below is a summary:

Susan Zundel from OregonASK provided an informative presentation on Being a Parent Ally of your STEM child, including promoting a workbook for hosting STEM events and some STEM information attached below as PDFs. She distributed a take-home STEM game for students and information about how the PTSA can build STEM-based community events at the school, whether as Community STEM nights, Electives, or through at-home or classroom support. If you are interested in becoming our very first Community STEM Coordinator, in charge of hosting or promoting a few STEM events a year, please notify Tam Boleyn (, our new Volunteer Chair. OregonASK is happy to help provide the resources and support needed to get this program going.

Principal Sandilands provided a community update and held a Q&A on the Arts Program and High School Science Credits:

  • Arts Program: Principal Sandilands worked very hard with PPS to find ways to retain our current Arts Program, as it runs now, beyond the 2017-18 school year in a way that satisfies district policies and regulations. However, he learned that there is no way to keep this program going as is after the 2017-18 school year, and is looking at other ways to provide Art to our students. He has discussed this with Sharon Hatrak, our K-8 Arts Coordinator, and she is aware of PPS’ stance.

  • High School Science Credits: As many of you have seen through various community channels, our community was alerted in January that the class of 2018 might not be receiving a High School science credit for Winterhaven 8th grade science, unlike previous years. Cleveland High School (where over 50% of Winterhaven students track) plans to provide an elective credit, other district high schools plan to determine Winterhaven 2018 graduates' credit individually.

This stems from a district-wide change from teaching Freshman Biology (which Mr. Dyer provides) to Pattern Physics starting Autumn 2017. Winterhaven was not engaged by the district during the Freshman Physics decision-making process. Further, Sarah Davis, Assistant Director of Instruction, Curriculum and Assessment and acting Science Curriculum TOSA, informed Mark on Jan 25 of this year that the district’s recommendation is that all PPS High Schools cease to grant a High School science credit to any Middle School graduates (even if Winterhaven were to replace 8th grade Biology with Physics) for the class of 2019 forward. 

There has been significant turnover in PPS’ Department of Instruction, Curriculum, and Assessment. Current administration in that department are either on special assignment, new to their roles (within the past year), or have recently vacated, and the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) position is currently being filled. This has led to a lack of consistency and oversight.

Principal Sandilands' current plan is to address this matter and advocate for our program with the incoming permanent CAO once they are hired (2nd interviews currently underway). Hopefully he can provide more information to us by mid-spring.

Principal Sandilands emphasized his commitment to our program, our faculty, and our students. He reiterated how seriously he takes this matter, and engaged with attendees about what this challenge means to our science program and for our students. 

Attendees at the meeting shared with the principal how invested we are in providing input (to him and to the district) about what being a Math / Science Focus school means to us, in ensuring that our students be treated fairly by the district, and that our children continue to be provided with rigorous academic opportunities once they leave Winterhaven.

Budget: The community approved a revised 2017-18 PTSA budget. The only changed item is a voluntary $7,000 payment to All Hands Raised to cover our Parent Equity Fund donation for the Art Coordinator contract this year. This amount was covered through cuts and strategic planning, and did not raise the overall budget nor cut into planned funding.

Board elections:

The following board members were elected into new positions (and one added board member) for the remainder of the 2017-18 school year, with many thanks:

  • Rebekah Folsom - President

  • Vice President - Still Vacant

  • Kim Brater - Communications Chair

  • Nicole Cordan - Fundraising Chair

  • Tam Boleyn - Volunteer Chair

  • Rebekah Cole - At Large Chair: new board member

Admin at Winterhaven,
Feb 15, 2018, 1:47 PM
Admin at Winterhaven,
Feb 15, 2018, 1:47 PM