Cascade Heights Public Charter School

Falcon Flash: Week of May 14, 2015

14 May 2015 Written by   Debra Dietch, Communication Coordinator

In this issue: Director's Letter / Thank You for Supporting CHPCS PTA Spring Gala Dinner & Auction / Annual Perception Surveys / Library Work Parties / China Trip 2016 / Spring Music Concerts /  Campus Safety / 2015-16 Kindergarten Class / Charter School Funding Equity / Fun Run Fundraiser / ODE Focus Groups / Community Events

Dear Falcon Families,

By now, if you have a 3rd through 8th grader, you have heard about the "Smarter Balanced" assessments your child may have participated in as part of the new state testing requirements. Some were nervous about the new tests, but many students actually reported them to be more interesting than OAKS; more variety and different types of questions which kept them interested.

As parents, you are the primary educators of your children and as educators we have the opportunity to help shape their experiences at school. These tests are just one event in a series of a lifetime of teachable moments. Our goal is to provide students with feedback regarding their results, but not create angst about them. Yes, we want them to do their best, but a test score taken at a "moment in time" is not the only representation of their academic achievement and "teaching to the test" is never the answer.

The true teachable moment is not about demonstrating academic skills on a test (only 35% of North Clackamas high school juniors are predicted to "pass" these tests this first year), but rather, how do we respond to situations which are unfamiliar? Our students are resilient and should receive credit for being able to persevere through challenging experiences. We are proud because they persevered and completed something that seemed difficult regardless of the outcome. That alone can be a great growth experience. Think about it yourself. Can you remember a time when you accomplished something difficult and how it felt?

Many students will continue to be faced with tests as they go through school and enter young adulthood. From getting a driver’s license, taking the SAT or ACT, earning certification in a trade, to applying to graduate school, tests do play a role in achieving some goals. Smarter Balanced results are meant to be a check point near the end of the year to describe where students are on a journey to attain skills which will be useful the rest of their lives. Skills like the ability to think critically and solve problems creatively are as important as being a "culturally literate" adult. Content is the way we teach thinking.

At Cascade Heights, we place more emphasis on growth over time (which is what MAP measures) and even more importance on the character and integrity of our students and their development as well rounded individuals. Based on the new benchmarks, we, like most Oregon schools and districts, expect that the number of our students achieving "proficiency" will drop this year. The panic that ensues may motivate some to make further cuts to programs that give children skills and experiences that are not measured by summative tests like Smarter Balanced in favor of more reading and arithmetic. We will continue in our mission to teach the whole child and to value Art, Physical Education, Music and World Languages. Test scores will be forgotten in years to come, but learning to learn and to think, how to respond to the world and treat other people will be with each one of our students forever. That’s what truly counts.

Holly Denman, Founding Director


Thank you for your support!

Thank you for supporting the CHPCS PTA Spring Gala Auction and Dinner! Without the generosity of everyone who came and participated, donated, solicited donations, and volunteered, this wonderful event could not have happened.

A special thank you to Mrs. Wrenn, Mrs. and Mr. Schroedl, Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Novatny, Mrs. Dorr, Mrs. Burn, Mrs. Agard, Mrs. Bradbury and everyone who had any part in the success of this event.

It appears that the PTA raised about $22,000 and that is huge accomplishment. So save the date for NEXT year’s auction which will be on May 7, 2016 at Camp Withycombe!

If you have ideas, suggestions or would like to be a part of our wonderful group of parents please leave your name in the office and we will pass it on to them! Every family here should have a voice on the PTA.

Thank you, everyone!


We want to know what you think. We really do!

(But we need to hear it from you by May 21)

"We do not act differently from what we value, believe, or perceive." Every year, we give students, staff, and parents a chance to anonymously share perceptions about our strengths and challenges. Trends that emerge from these honest responses help us understand what we are doing well and where we need to improve. Please take the time to share your feedback through these surveys.

Students will be given time in school to complete the survey. For parents, the link is below. We ask that all parents/guardians of students at Cascade Heights complete a parent survey by May 21. There are also computers available outside the office for you to use to complete the survey. Thank you for helping us with our Continuous School Improvement efforts!

PARENT SURVEY (Please complete by Thursday, May 21 )


May 16th cancelled - please join us Saturday, May 30th, 9am - 1pm

Thanks to everyone who has helped with our library project; we are getting very close to opening. It is now time to label the picture books and the NON-Fiction books. Training is provided and so is lunch and child care. "Many hands make light work;" parents, friends, middle school students, high school students, grandparents… everyone is welcome! The children ask everyday, "when will the library be open?"

RSVP so we know how many to plan for for lunch and child care:


Register your interest by May 20th!

At least 10 committed students are needed to make this trip happen. Please email Wenny Laoshi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by May 20th, 2015 if you are seriously interested in this opportunity. We will decide if we can move forward based on the number of students interested. A second planning meeting will be announced if it looks like there are enough participants.

Thank you again for your support of the Chinese program at Cascade Heights!!


Save the dates: May 21 and 28

The students are so excited that our Spring Concerts are coming up! Each class has been working very hard on their portion of the concert. I think they are all sounding fantastic and I am impressed with their musicality!

K-4 Performance: Thursday, May 21 - 6:30pm @ Cascade Heights Gymnasium
Arrival Time: Students will gather by class in the gym at 6:15pm.

6-8 Performance: Thursday, May 28 - 6:30pm @ Cascade Heights Gymnasium
Arrival Time: Students will gather by ensemble at 6:15pm as follows:

  • 5/6 Orchestra - Library
  • 5/6 Band - Science Room
  • 7/8 Orchestra - Art Room
  • 7/8 Band - Music Room

Dress Code: Concerts are a very special occasion. Children always perform better and sing more confidently when they know they look the part! Please see the guidelines below:

  • Girls - Dress pants and blouse or dresses are acceptable. Shoulders must be covered and dresses must reach knee length. Uniforms are also acceptable.
  • Boys - Dress slacks and a collared shirt are acceptable. Ties are welcome but not required. Uniforms are also acceptable.

Parking: Please arrive early to assure a parking space. If you need handicap access please park at the breezeway entrance and ring the bell to get to the ramp.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding our upcoming performances. Thank you for your support of your child's musical endeavors. I am looking forward to seeing all of you in the audience!

Mrs. Waroff


Pedestrians and cars… cars always win

While we understand everyone's eagerness to quickly get through carline and on with their lives, thank you for remembering that everyone's child is important, everyone's time is limited, and safety is of the utmost concern. When we all observe the rules of the road and the expectations of being part of the Falcon Family, not only does it prevent ruffled feathers, carline is safer and goes more quickly for everyone.

If you have any questions about how carline works, please review pages 14 and 15 in your child's homework planner, or talk to any staff member.

Here are a couple of issues we have seen crop up recently:


Church is the first street after carline (at the church!). If you want to turn left onto 82nd, please drive farther up 92nd and use Clackamas. Left hand turns onto 82nd Drive usually take longer than right hand turns, and Church is a short street. If Church gets backed up, it backs up carline, which makes dangerous start-and-stop conditions with children eagerly wanting to load up before it is time. Thank you for keeping carline safe and smooth for those behind you!


Carline starts by turning off of 82nd Drive onto Jansen, then left onto 90th, left on Tolbert, and finally right onto 92nd and into the loading zone in front of the school. Please do not turn onto Tolbert from 82nd Drive and expect to cut in front of other families patiently waiting along Tolbert and 90th. Children don’t get to "cut" in line at school; there’s no reason you should get to! Besides modeling positive social behavior, trying to get into the line in front of the school by turning onto Tolbert instead of Jansen backs up neighborhood traffic and creates occasion for frustration and ill-will. Being good neighbors is a continuous endeavor. Please help us make sure Cascade Heights is welcome in the neighborhood for years to come.

Thank you for your cooperation!


Mark your calendars!

Come to Kindergarten Camp: August 24-27, 8:30 to noon

This camp is not required but is highly recommended.

Download Flyer

For more information about Parent Orientation or Kindergarten Camp , contact Mrs. Ketel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Riggs Training for Parents (required): August 25, choose am or pm*

Love & Logic Parenting Class (required): August 27, choose am or pm*

* Both Riggs Training and Love & Logic are required classes. Two sessions are offered for each class: 8:30-10:30am OR 6:30-8:30pm. Choose one (morning or evening) for Riggs Training and one (morning or evening) for Love & Logic Training. If you did not sign up at the Parent Orientation Meeting, or need more information regarding these classes, please contact Mrs. Denman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Senate Bill 819 referred to Ways and Means Committee

This senate bill would require school districts or other sponsors of charter schools to transfer federal, state, and local moneys to public charter schools on the same basis as moneys are transferred to traditional public schools. This would mean approximately $400,000 in additional funds for Cascade Heights, annually!

Our Charter School leaders have been working tirelessly​,​ meeting with all our Senators and Representatives and our cause is being heard. It is becoming very clear that Charter School families and communities mobilize like no other parent group. Politicians are taking notice so let​'​s not let up until every single charter school student gets the funding they deserve! ​Here is what you can do​:​

1. Contact your Legislators. If you have already contacted the Legislators in the district in which you live, focus your efforts on the Senators and Representatives on the Joint Committee On Ways and Means Subcommittee On Education​. Find a list of these committee members​ here:

Remember that Senator Roblan is the sponsor of this bill and is on this committee. It would be great if parents took the time to write him a thank you letter for sponsoring this bill (with the understanding we already have his support). He is being a great advocate for our cause.

Legislators need to hear from charter school parents, staff, and board members how important this issue is to us. Here are some "talking points" you can use when writing/contacting Legislators. But remember, use your own words and stories. That makes our advocacy efforts much more powerful.

Senate Bill 819 talking points:

  • is about equity; students in public charter schools are as valuable and as worthy of our public investment as students in district-run schools.
  • charter schools receive nearly $5,000 less per student in public funding, which is 42% less than their district-run school counterparts.
  • would NOT require any new revenue; it would shift about 1% of the statewide K-12 budget to "follow the students for whom those funds are intended".
  • would ensure that students in public charter schools receive 95% of all local, federal and state funds.
  • would enable us to attract and retain the best educators, have safer, more comfortable facilities and would allow us to better invest in our students’ overall education.

2. Be ready to go to Salem. We are not sure the date of the next hearing on our bill and these things happen fast. We will keep you posted and hopefully get enough advanced notice that would allow everyone to attend the hearing. We want to pack the room, the hall and the steps of the capital with parents and supporters.

No one can do this for us, only we can do this for us.

You can follow the bill here:

Contact Mrs. Denman for more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


And raises your cardio fitness, too!

Date: June 7, 2015
Time: TBA
Location: Audi Wilsonville
Wilsonville OR, 97070

  • 5K Run/Walk ($37)
  • 10K Run/Walk ($47)
  • Kids 5K ($16) (14 and under)
  • Kids 10K ($16) (14 and under)
  • ½ Marathon ($57)

The Tonkin Family of Dealerships is putting on their 4th Annual For the Love of Schools Race on June 7th, 2015 to raise money for local schools. Each registrant chooses the particular school they wish their entry fee dollars to support. 100% of your entry fee will go toward your school!

You can register online or via registration form. Hard copies of the registration form have been sent home. You can fill the form out and send it in yourself, or bring it back, with payment, to the school and we can send it in for you. The registration deadline is June 5th, 2015. We have included a box on the back of the form already checked for Cascade Heights Public Charter School.

If you would like to "Honor a Teacher" here at CHPCS, you can find the forms on the After School Activities Bulletin Board. You can find extra registration forms here, too.

If you would like to register online, to make sure 100% of your entry fee goes to Cascade Heights, please follow the registration procedure below:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on "2015 Online Race Registration"
  3. Click on "Register"
  4. Choose your event, then "next"
  5. Log in or join Athlete Path
  6. Enter Registration Information:
    • In field for Select a School, select "Share the Love"
    • In Comment box, type in "Cascade Heights Public Charter School." (This is the most important step to ensure that 100% of the money comes back to CHPCS.)
  7. Enter payment information
  8. Place order

We are also looking for some volunteers for the event. If you are willing to help out at the event, please let Mr. Weaver know. Thank you so much for your continued support, Cascade Heights families!

For more information or to volunteer, please contact Mr. Weaver at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


As part of their Smarter Balanced assessment feedback collection efforts, the state will be conducting focus groups with students to learn more about their experiences with our new state tests.

They need 5-7 students from the same grade per focus group. Each focus group will last roughly 30-60 minutes. Since the few days we have left in the school year at Cascade Heights are so full, students would need to be willing to stay after school to participate.

If you are willing/interested in having your child participate in this endeavor, please contact Mrs. Dietch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If we have enough students from a given grade, we will set up a meeting time with the contact person at ODE.


Support the "LOVE MY REFLECTION" Campaign

The Love My Reflection Campaign was started by the Destination ImagiNation team from North Clackamas/Cascade Heights and they invite you to join them for their last fundraiser of the school year!

  • Who: Genae Vanek, Avery Burn, Andrea Reeves
  • Where: Burgerville in Gladstone on McLoughlin
  • When: May 27th starting at 5pm
  • Why: Burgerville will donate 10 percent of all proceeds to the campaign
  • Why else: The local news has been contacted and will most likely be there.

The mission of Love My Reflection is to help develop positive self-esteem and body images in middle school girls by engaging in peer to peer interaction and giving out mirrors with encouraging statements written on them.

The campaign has been very successful. Because of the outpouring of support and interest, the LMR project has been in several online publications, created a website, been on Australian and local Oregon TV, was invited to participate at Girls World Expo, and is working on becoming a non-profit. They are currently developing a national campaign to partner with other girls, schools, and organizations to distribute mirrors and all the materials needed for a successful, local peer to peer campaign. See more at:

Please visit our website at
Interested in volunteer opportunities? Click here! Or contact the volunteer coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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