Stephan Grasmuck's Update

North Macadam traffic meeting
On behalf of this school community, I extend our thanks to the many parents who attended the City's open house last Tuesday evening.  The City clearly heard your concerns.

Again, I must thank Lynda Wannamaker for her talent, expertise, and time in guiding us all through this process.  Lynda reports that the City has become very aware of the school's great concern over many aspects of the North Macadam proposal.  Through Lynda, who also helped everyone present on Tuesday to work through the details of the plan, the City expressed its strong desire to work closely with The International School henceforth.

A number of parents also wrote to the City expressing well our collective concerns. Those letters further enhanced the City's awareness of the school's position on several key points in the proposal. 

Please refer to our school website to read a letter from Art Pearce.  Art addresses our community about this project.

In sum, it is "mission accomplished."  Well done and thank you to all.

Sloped terrain at the modular building
Now that the trees have been cleared at the playground area, the school has undertaken a review of the exposed slope between the playground below and the modular classroom atop the slope.  Our facilities manager, Frank Bojanowski, has met with geo techs regarding the short term and long term stability of that ground, including from a seismic perspective. Frank is joined by members of our Facilities Committee, parents Mike Andrews and Kim Marcus, both of whom are professionals in areas related to this research.

We know that the slope is stable now based on the analysis of the geo techs. We will now undertake specific measures to stabilize the surface soil for the winter months, and will replant the area in the spring. We shall take further action toward ensuring the continued safety of this area for the long term as well. More details will be available shortly. 

Tree Removal
The black walnut tree was removed from the area above the upper playground over the weekend. The pieces are now in a cordoned off area in the lower playground and will be removed shortly. Once that is done we will have the big canopy re-installed to provide a covered play area in the lower playground.

Int'l Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program (PYP) consultant's visit
On Thursday and Friday of last week, our PYP consultant Larry Rankin visited the school. Guided by our PYP co-ordinator Erika Kohn, Larry toured the facilities and visited with all of our teachers by grade level.  In meetings with Principal Maria Abad, Erika, and me, Larry reviewed his observations and his recommendations for the school as we move forward with the PYP program.

Larry is most impressed by the school, its mission, and the obvious passion for excellence as demonstrated by the staff.  With the work already done by the faculty and with Erika's guidance, we continue to make important strides toward implementation of the PYP.  

As with any school moving into the rigours of the PYP program, of course, challenges lay ahead.  The end result will be most worthwhile, however, and we shall embrace those challenges with the end goal in mind.

I also wish to acknowledge parent Peter Boghossian for his presentation with the faculty on Friday with our professional development day.  Peter presented workshops on Strategies for Inquiry. Thank you, Peter!

Ride/walk to school day
Thanks to the organizational efforts of parent Jessica Duke, several students participated in the early morning cycling/walking journey to school on Wednesday.  Congratulations to participants  Thea - Spanish 1st,  Shea - Spanish 3rd, Leeland - Chinese K, Mackenzie - Spanish 1st, and Clara - Chinese 2nd.   Approximately ten other students also rode their bicycles to school but could not join the "official" brigade.  Jessica reports that all these early birds had a great view of the sun rising over the Willamette river!

Congratulations, and thanks to all the students and the families who participated on that day. We know, too, of course that many other families also find such "alternate" means of transportation to school each day.  Well done.

Stephan Grasmuck
SGrasmuck@intlschool.org