4/26: News from Alfonso

Greetings Friends,

Soon you may observe signs on classroom doors which indicate those who have already donated to the Annual Giving Campaign. This has been done in the past and the Fundraising Planning Committee and Kelsey Cleveland believe it is an effective method to remind people to donate. I agree. This is not meant to unduly pressure people, but rather to remind and encourage them. As we have stated repeatedly, if you can give a few dollars, that will be extremely helpful in reaching the crucial goal of 100% participation. I suppose I am pressuring you to give $3 (or more if you can). If there is some issue or problem with the school that would make you not want to give that minimum amount, I wish you would let me know. We can work on it.

Unfortunately we won’t be able to invite students from other tracks to view the Latino Festival at the Gerding Theater. As was pointed out to me last Friday, the theater only holds 600 and with 200 students in the Spanish track, we will just barely fit in all their parents. Students from other tracks will be able to view rehearsals of their peers in the Spanish track on Thursday. Next year we will probably have to consider two shows for Spanish and two for Chinese if numbers warrant.

I know some of you are eager to know who teachers will be in each grade next year. I ask that you give us time to determine that. Some of the classes are on the borderline between one and two sections, so we will know more as contracts of new and returning students come in. Thank you to everyone who turned in contracts already. If you haven’t yet told us your plans for next year, please get your contracts in or speak to Jan Williams asap. We cannot plan well for next year until we know everyone’s plans. On a related note we had an extremely successful open house last Friday so that bodes well for next year.

I think word is out by now that Señor Ferran Ribo will be returning to Spain next year after an outstanding three years at the International School (he had also been here for two years earlier on). We will miss him.

A parent recently (and kindly) sent me a new piece about Cryptococcus gattii, an airborne fungus that has found its way to the Northwest. According to Oregon Public Health officials, "the fungus is extremely rare and severe disease occurs primarily in people who already have immune-compromising conditions such as HIV, or who have had organ transplants." We will continue to monitor the situation.

Thanks very much to all 299 of you who filled out the on line school evaluation. Board Chair Michelle Kerin will soon share with you results of the evaluation of me by teachers, parents, administrators and local inhabitants who pass the school each day and are familiar with my traffic expertise.  I will share results of the evaluation of the school as well as a review of this year’s progress toward strategic plan goals.

As you may remember, we have done a lot of research this year on the opportunity to open a TIS middle school. The research does indicate quite a bit of interest. Based on the feedback, I am outlining the specifics of what a TIS middle school would entail and will be discussing it with the board in May. I will keep you updated.

As always, I wish you a peaceful week.

Alfonso
Head of School, AOrsini@intlschool.org, 503-226-2496 x109