Please Email the PPS Administrators and copy the PPS Board
Dear families, In early October, the PPS Administration denied permission for the 2024 Taiwan Research Residency, despite last year's success. We reached out repeatedly for a meeting, but never got a response. We stepped back during the strike, but began reaching out again in early December. Two Jin Ren 8th Graders, one 8th and one 9th graders from Oya No Kai testified at last week's PPS Board Meeting, but we still have no response. You can read more details below.
Could you take a few minutes to email the Administration and copy the Board with a short note? All you need to write is:
Who you are and your connection to the Mandarin Immersion Program either from Woodstock/Harrison Park MIP, or from the previous Harrison Park K-8/Harrison Park MIP.
Why the opportunity to do research in Mandarin, embedded in the culture, is important to your student and the program. For example, how does it align with PPS's equity goals or expand our students' capabilities?
Ask they urgently reconsider their decision to deny the trip.
We know that this is a hard time to ask for advocacy - we're all exhausted after a very hard fall. A short, simple email will do wonders. Here's who to send it to:
PPS School Board:
Gary Hollands (Chair) - email@example.com
Herman Greene (Vice-Chair) - Hermangreene@pps.net
Julia Brim-Edwards - firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle DePass - email@example.com
Andrew Scott - firstname.lastname@example.org
Francesca (Frankie) Silverstein - email@example.com
Patte Sullivan - firstname.lastname@example.org
Edward (Eddie) Wang - email@example.com
Here are their emails in a single line to paste into your email:
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Hermangreene@pps.net ;email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a joint call to action from all 4 asian language DLI programs in Portland- We have worked together with Jin Ren (Mandarin), Oya No Kai (Japanese) and families in Hoi Phu Hyun (Vietnamese). We need to flood their inboxes with requests of support to continue these very valuable Research Residencies, and we need your help to do so. Please also talk to other families to help get the word out, so we can reach all families in all 3 of our schools.
Below is additional information that the Japanese DLI program shared with their families last week.
Thanks for taking some time this week to continue to advocate that the SE Portland Mandarin Immersion program live up to its full potential, closing the opportunity gap and delivering Mandarin immersion from Woodstock and Clark through graduation from Cleveland High School.
Shu Ren Board
The information below was shared by Oya No Kai, to Japanese Immersion families, please review this additional information for your background knowledge:
Who made the decision and who can reverse it?
The 10/3/2023 decision to deny the 10-day research residencies was made by PPS administrators, specifically:
Christyn McCloskey, Senior Director of Schools for Mt. Tabor Middle School
Chris Frazier, Senior Director of Schools for Harrison Park Middle School and Roseway Heights Middle School
Lorna Fast Buffalo Horse, Senior Director of Schools for Harriet Tubman Middle School
Margaret Calvert, Assistant Superintendent for Schools, 6-12 and Multiple Pathways to Graduation
There is no clear process for appeal, but it will likely have to be overturned by the superintendent himself. As a point of interest, since that decision was issued, the DLI parent groups and teachers have had no communication from the superintendent's office in response to our many requests for an explanation and/or meeting.
Is there a way to keep the research residency within the 5-day limit? For example, could students travel over spring break?
The parent organizations and the trip directors have explored a number of different options to reduce the out-of-classroom days, but there are a number of constraints. These have been explained to the Administration, however they did not consult with our school staffs prior to the denial. The Japanese school year starts April 1, and schools are closed during our spring break. For an academic exchange program, this is a non-starter. While there are several holidays and teacher planning days that (in a typical year) could help reduce the number of out-of-classroom days, none of them fall into a time frame that works with our Japanese host schools' calendars. (And this year, most of those days have been eliminated.)
We typically schedule the JRR for mid- to late April, which accommodates our hosts' schedules and allows students enough time after their return to complete their research projects, which they present at the end of the school year. (Shu Ren note: If programs are required to travel during spring break, the Japanese program would never be able to have a trip. For this reason, Shu Ren supports NOT traveling over spring break in solidarity with our other DLI partners. Additionally, this is an unfair burden for our DLI teachers who also deserve spring break as a time to relax and recharge, and the rigorous academic research residency does not allow for any relaxation!)
What can families and students do now to help?
Send an email to PPS Superintendent Guerrero, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Proctor, and Regional Superintendent Calvert asking for two things:
To immediately reverse the decision made by the Superintendent's office on 10/3.
Barring an immediate decision, to meet with DLI parent group leaders before the start of winter break to review the decision and ideally to reverse it. (Airfare is already going up!)
Send an email to the PPS School Board asking them to push for an immediate response to the Joint DLI Research Residency Reconsideration Request sent to Superintendent Guerrero, Dr. Cheryl Proctor, and Dr. Margaret Calvert on December 11. Attach the letter to your email so they can see what we are asking for!
Send an email to PublicComment@pps.net asking for this issue to be added to the January agenda. The more people who make the request, the more likely it is to get on the agenda.
Students: did you know there is a student representative on the PPS school board? Her name is Frankie Silverstein, and her role is to speak for all PPS students. Please email her directly at email@example.com, explain who you are and what the JRR is (and what it means to you), and ask her to help get this topic on the January board meeting agenda.