Category Archives: Education

Help King Students Play Math

Dear neighbors:

Schools are the heart of our communities and children are the heart of our schools.  King School needs your help in supporting our children’s academic growth and success.  Almost no one would deny that a college education and a strong foundation in academic fundamentals is mandatory in our increasingly knowledge-based economy.  Growing industries like science, technology, math and engineering rely on not only our students’ proficiency in language, but also a strong foundation in mathematical concepts.

Test results show that, upon graduation, fewer than half of Portland students are ready for college math.  For many students the achievement gap starts early.  At King Elementary School only 8 percent of students in 3rd grade are meeting or exceeding state standards in math.  The district average is 56 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards for math in 3rd grade.

In an attempt to increase young children’s comfort with and exposure to foundational mathematical concepts, a parent group in collaboration with King School administration, teachers and the SUN community schools program is looking to offer a twice weekly two hour after school program called “Play Math!”  The curriculum introduces progressively more challenging math concepts the same way that a video game provides more fun, stimulation and challenge with each level a player reaches.

We would like to involve King neighbors. 

Can you share everyday problems you have that the children can help you to solve using math, or, talk about a career or hobby that you have that uses math?  Do you ever have to do any of the following?

  • Create a budget? For example: for a home remodel or grocery shopping.
  • Are you a business owner who has to price products, make sales and track inventory?
  • Are you a computer programmer who ‘teaches’ computers to perform complex mathematical functions quickly?
  • Are you an engineers who designs electronics, roads, bridges, make buildings stand, etc.?
  • Are you a contractor, baker, chef who must measure parts in order to make a whole?
  • Do you play bridge, or, a sport that requires you make basic arithmetic concepts?

We need your stories and problems for the children to solve.  Our class will be every Tuesday and Thursday in March from 3:30-5:00 p.m. Even if you cannot attend we would love to use your picture, story and problem for the students so that they can make the connection between what they are leaning, their neighbors and real world problems solved by math.   If you are interested in being involved please send a quick email to tanyabarham{at}

Thanks for helping King students find fun and success in math.  Go Lions!


Tadpole Tales for Tykes

57_20130115_102725Children aged 3-5 with their parents are invited to a short story and guided nature walk. Watch birds fly overhead, search for hidden animal homes, and learn about local trees and flowers. Topics will vary each week at each location. Topics include: pond life, birds, dirt and worms, and mammals. Routes are accessible to strollers. Families are welcome to bring a snack. Advanced registration required by emailing or calling 503-281-1132

Appropriate for what ages? 3-5
Day/Date: Wednesdays, March-May

Time: 10 -11 AM

Cost: $3 admission/donation per child, no charge for adults.

Location/Address: Locations change each month…
• March: Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, 7040 NE 47th Ave, Portland
• April: Columbia Children’s Arboretum, 300 NE Meadow Ln., Portland 97211
• May: Columbia Slough Water Quality Facility, 19595 NE Sandy, Portland

Phone Number (for general public for more information): 503 281-1132

Web site:

School Change Scenarios Released, Feedback Sought

scenPortland Public Schools has released six scenarios of suggested changes to schools in parts of North and Northeast Portland that have priority enrollment to Jefferson Middle College for Advanced Studies. This enrollment balancing process is tasked with resolving issues due to overcrowding at some schools and underenrollment at others.

King PreK-8, with 290 students in grades K-8 is the second smallest school in the cluster now that Humboldt was merged with Boise-Eliot and Tubman Young Women’s Academy was closed. A major consideration is whether to convert some schools back from K-8 to K-5 and add one or two middle schools. Some schools may be closed or merged, or be converted to split campuses, with different elementary grades in different buildings. While not necessarily intended as final options, the six scenarios were distributed to garner feedback from the public to help craft the final solutions. These, more refined proposals will be mailed to parents over winter break and posted to the PPS Enrollment Balancing page.

The deadline for feedback is this Wednesday, December 12th. The feedback form is available on the PPS site and can be returned to any PPS school or feedback can be emailed to

After winter break, public comment will be taken in January. Then, the Superintendent will make a recommendation to the school board who must approve the changes. If there is not a delay, the changes will take effect in fall of 2013.

A facebook group was begun to give parents, community members, and some school board members a forum to discuss the proposals and the larger issue of educational quality, programming, leadership, and transfer policy in the Jefferson Cluster. You can join in at:

Community Meetings Dec.3rd, 4th, to Collect Responses to Schools Concept Plans

Proposed changes to North and Northeast Portland schools were released last week in the form of  six scenarios.  These are available here:

There are two meetings this week that are important, but something everyone can do (even if you cannot attend the meeting) is to give your input. The best way to give input is by filling out the feedback form at this web link:
Please, share this with community members. They do not have to have children at the schools to have an opinion or valid ideas.   Specific points to think about were mentioned at the school board meeting last night:

  • how do you feel about the timeline being proposed (final decision by February, implementation Fall 2013)?
  • how do you feel about middle schools vs. K-8?
  • how do you feel about neighborhood schools (defined as 20 minutes walking or less)?
  • would you/do you send your child to your neighborhood school? Why? If not, why not?
  • do you believe that re-balancing efforts will solve the capture rate problem that PPS is trying to address?

The last two community input meetings will be held tonight at Beach School,  1710 North Humboldt Street 6-7:30 (in Spanish), or on Wednesday at Faubion School, 3039 Northeast Rosa Parks Way 6-7:30.  Many people of the general community, families with young kids who are not yet in school, etc., are not included in this conversation.

SMART Event at King Celebrates Giving 2 Million Books to Oregon Children

smart2MFrom SMART:

Start Making A Reader Today, SMART, is celebrating putting 2 million books in the hands of more than 152,000 children who need them most across Oregon.

SMART has operated in the Portland metro area since 1992; in that time, more than 2,000 SMART volunteers have given away nearly 475,000 books to 46,971 children.

SMART is holding a special event to celebrate this milestone on Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at King Elementary School, 4906 NE 6th Ave., Portland, Ore.

At the event, small groups of policy makers, educators and donors will experience the SMART program firsthand by reading with SMART students, and participate in giving a book to a child. In addition, there will be remarks from SMART’s executive director, Chris Otis, and King principal, Kim Patterson.

The event is part of a statewide campaign, 2 Million and Still Reading, which brings attention to the importance of access to books in the home in a child’s literacy development.

For more information about the event, visit or call 971-634-1605.

About SMART®
SMART, Start Making A Reader Today, is a statewide nonprofit organization that envisions an Oregon where every child can read and is empowered to succeed. We partner with schools around the state and engage community volunteers to read one-on-one with PreK through third-grade children, helping strengthen literacy skills and encourage a love of reading. Since 1992, SMART has steadily grown to become Oregon’s largest volunteer literacy program. Children in the program receive 14 new books throughout the school year to keep and read with their families. Visit or call 877-598-4633 to learn more about SMART.