News from Alfonso - 9/27

Dear Friends
Last week brought a concern from a Low K parent about the dry erase markers we use. I learned about it through an email stream that was well under way between parents. Our markers are safe and non toxic, but thanks to the parent we have been made aware of a refillable/reusable marker now on the market that is worth studying. I have asked the TIS green team to study the economics and value of the alternatives.

The main point from this story is that if you have a concern, you don’t need to test the idea on other parents first. Test it on me, the person who is charged with addressing such issues though decision making and policy. I promise I will follow up on your concern and have been diligent in doing so since I started this work awhile back. We do not make policy decisions by vote at the classroom level. And believe me, in school life everything is policy, from toilet paper to how much of the walls can be covered with paper to what kind of hand soap we buy, to….. everything. I remind everyone that according to our communication policy at TIS, if you have an issue, go directly to the source- to the teacher, to Maria, to another administrator and certainly to me. No issue is too small. It’s the small things we always think about while trying to fall asleep.

In connection with the above matter, I was reminded that “we need to walk the talk on green issues.” A valuable reminder. I think we are doing that to the best of our ability. Our strategic plan provides the talk:

Our Facilities are clean, green, safe and welcoming in the centrally located urban environment.” “Ensure that the facilities and campus are safe and healthy places.”

The walk involves an awareness of the products and equipment and materials and furnishings we use. We are very aware of that and vigilant in our choices. In some instances there are “greener” alternatives available but the astute green team members recognize that sometimes costs are still prohibitive. We make careful and sometimes difficult choices, but never at the expense of anyone’s health or well being.

In other news, this Tuesday we will Run for the Arts. Please support the arts at TIS by sponsoring runners generously, and you can also ask grandma, Uncle Charlie, your neighbor Mrs. Hoffermeyer, your boss, your co-workers, that person with the nice collie and all your facebook pals to sponsor.

The auction is coming up. Follow the announcements regarding auction and pitch in. If you know a company who would like to be a sponsor and thereby have their name put before the movers and shakers of Portland (that would be you), let us know. The auction directly benefits every single child at TIS.

Thank you for your smiles at morning drop. A few things to remember:
Please don’t stop at the Stearns main entrance to “quickly drop off” as you become an obstruction to traffic. Drop off for Stearns is at the south corner. There are nice ladies there who will shepherd children into the building.

The space right in front of the main door at Stearns was purchased at auction last year. Do not park there unless I signal you that the space owner has already come and gone and you just got lucky. (I mean in parking terms.)

If you are late, do not come steaming up the block. I would much rather see you safe and late than dangerously on time. If you are late you need to bring even your big boy or girl to the receptionist to sign in and then to the classroom.

You can make a u-turn near my corner; you needn’t go up to Grant street through all that rigmarole.

Two words: NO PHONES!

Congratulations to Masami's 2nd/3rd grade Japanese class for a great performance at Japan Festival over the weekend! Many attendees came over to express interest in our program.

Okay, I wish all of us a lovely week with the promised sunshine!.
Alfonso
AOrsini@intlschool.org, 503-226-2496 x109