Cascade Heights Public Charter School


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Falcon Flash: Week of Sept. 25, 2014

25 September 2014 Written by  

In this issue: Library Update / Health Alert / Chinese Teacher / PTA Jog-a-Thon / Harvest Festival / Parenting Community Book Club / Fall Conferences

Happy Thursday, Falcon Families

I have to tell you about one of the most interesting school meetings I have ever attended.

Many of you know that our new board Chair, Jesse Layton, brought forth an idea of a "culture committee." No one really knew what he meant; I thought we "already did that part." Yet he persevered and encouraged me to read about corporate cultures. I started with the story of Umpqua Bank and moved to the story of IKEA. There is an old saying among anthropologists that fish would be the last creatures to discover water (Kluckholn, 1949) even though it is the most ubiquitous and influential aspect of a fish’s existence. So it is with school culture and teaching. Just as water surrounds and envelops fish shaping their perspectives and determining their courses of action, culture surrounds and envelops teachers forming their perspectives and influencing their decisions and actions. Cascade Heights has a mission which is at the center of everything we do. IF we were doing everything our mission says at the highest level possible, what would each classroom look like, feel like and sound like? That’s our culture.

Jesse posted some announcements and spoke briefly at Back to School night. On September 17th seven of us sat together discussing school culture and it was clear that things are about to change. "What we need is a good shot of positive thinking. I think we forget how fortunate we are to be able to bring our children to a school like Cascade Heights."

Culture and community go together. That is what we are all about. Thanks to the people who joined us; the excitement and energy were palpable. Please join us at our next meeting on October 1st at 6:30 p.m. You’ll love what you hear. And thank you to Mr. Steve Sutton for being the chair of our new Culture Committee.


Holly Denman,
Founding Director




Our GofundMe campaign has raised $125 so far! Our goal of $5000 will fund a part time librarian and check out software to get our school library up and running as soon as possible.

Please share our link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, wherever you can. People raise a lot of money doing this; we can, too!




You may have heard the recent national news alerting us that 1,000 children have been affected by a virus which has now spread through 14 states. The "Human Enterovirus 68" is a relative of the common cold, or "Rhinovirus." It can quickly turn from cold-like symptoms to an upper respiratory illness which can affect the breathing of children 5 and under and those with asthma.

We are on alert here at the school where the opportunity to spread germs is, quite literally, all around us! We look to our county health department for guidance when cases like this appear and we will provide communication to parents to help manage illness and minimize the spread of disease. If you have a child with any respiratory concerns, they are more at risk. Any child with asthma or other respiratory concerns should have an action plan on file with the school. The form is available in the office or at

Please help by teaching your children how to keep viruses like this from spreading:

  • Washing hands often with soap and water. Hand washing has been shown to be the most effective way to reduce the likelihood of receiving or spreading illness. Show young children how to do it effectively.
  • For enteroviruses, alcohol hand sanitizer is not a replacement for washing with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. If you don't have a tissue, cover your mouth with your sleeve.
  • Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
  • Do not share food or water bottles at school.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home to avoid exposing others at school or in the workplace.

We also ask that you be proactive by reporting your child's symptoms when you make those sick calls to the school office.

The Oregon Public Health Department statement on Enterovirus D68:

Enteroviruses are common causes of illness, especially among infants and children. Many cases are mild or asymptomatic. Initial reports suggest that those at increased risk for severe illness include children under the age of 5 and those with chronic lung disease, including asthma.

Information from:

For more information about hand washing and hand sanitizer:




We need volunteers to help cover the front office! The ideal would be to have someone here for a half day, each day of the week. This could be several people sharing the shifts or one person who just loves to be here every day.

Grateful thanks to Mrs. Elkins (grandma of Samantha and Jackson), Mrs. Wrenn (Katherine and Drew) and Mrs. Dodson (Kate and Rachel) who were our office angels last year. We would not have survived without them!

Duties are:

  • Answering the phone and taking messages
  • Answering the door and directing visitors
  • Applying ice packs and taking head injury/accident reports
  • Helping children call home
  • Receiving packages
  • Filing, shredding and small office or teacher projects (when the door and phone don't keep you too busy)
  • Late arrival slips and helping families sign in and out

Applicant must:


If you can help this year, we would be very, very grateful.



Confucius Classroom Chinese teacher on campus

Wange Cao arrived from China on Wednesday, September 17, and will be with us for the rest of the school year. We are very excited to have her on campus, enriching our Chinese program. Many thanks to the families who have offered to host her: the Schroedls, Erbes, and McDonalds. So far we have all of 2014 covered. If you are interested in opening your home to an international visitor, please contact Wenny Laoshi: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



8th Annual PTA Jog-a-thon

It's that time of year again! The 8th annual CHPCS Jog-A-Thon is on Thursday October 9, 2014. Students will run, walk, or skip as many laps as they can in a 30 minute window. The schedule is as follows:

  • K-2nd 9:00-9:30 am
  • 3rd-5th 10:00-10:30 am
  • 6th-8th 11:00-11:30 am

The Jog-A-Thon is one of our major fundraisers of the year. We are hoping every family will participate and are aiming for each child to try to collect a minimum of $75 in pledges. Pledge sheets are due to teachers on Monday, October 6, 2014. Pledge money will be due on Thursday, October 23, 2014. Have fun collecting pledges!  Remember that the money raised goes to Teacher Stipends. The stipend funds ALL activities and supplies that provide for a successful classroom environment for our children.

Please check with your employer to see if they have a matching gifts program and make a pledge that your employer will match dollar for dollar. A partial list of major companies that make matching gifts is attached.

If you can help for any amount of time on Jog-A-Thon day, or have any questions, just send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thanks in advance for helping to make our 8th Annual Jog-A-Thon a huge success!


A side note: Some families have asked about the difference between teacher stipends and activity fees.

Activity Fees are restricted funds. They can be used for:

  • Field trips and busses
  • Materials (only) for Music, Art, PE, World languages and Science

Teacher Stipends are also restricted funds and they can be used for:

  • Classroom supplies
  • Materials for classroom projects (any type from baking to crafts)
  • Visiting speakers or exhibits for any subject
  • Up to 25% may be used for Professional Development by the teacher



9th Annual CHPCS Harvest Festival: Thursday, October 16, 6:30 to dusk

Join the CHPCS community for a fun filled evening of FREE family frivolity.

The Harvest Festival is a chance for CHPCS families and friends to get together and celebrate the turning of the season with music, games, and a baking contest. Activities like hayrides, pumpkin decorating, tug o war, and needle in a haystack will entertain both young and old. The fun begins at 6:30 p.m. and ends at dusk or 7:30 p.m., whichever is first!

Are you a baker? Are you the keeper of Great Granny’s apple pie recipe? Now’s the time to put on your chef hat, dust off your apron, and whip up your favorite apple or pumpkin themed recipe! The baking contest is open to all adult/child pairs. Baking with children is not only fun, but is great math practice and provides one on one time that encourages open communication. All baking entries are due on October 16th no later than 3:30 p.m. for judging. After ribbons are awarded, the baked goods will be sold at the Harvest Festival for $1.00 a piece.

For more information about the Harvest Festival, contact Mrs. Adams at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Parenting Community Book Club

Exciting News!!!! Please join us for a new PTA sponsored Parenting Community Book Club starting Wednesday, October 8 (following the PTA meeting). To begin, we are reading:

Raising Our Sons & Raising Our Daughters:
The Ultimate Parenting Guide for Healthy Children and Thriving Families
by Kathy Masarie.

We will have our first informational meeting on October 8 at 7:30 pm (directly following PTA meeting).  

All who are interested are invited to attend.

We want to create meaningful, connected, supportive discussion groups as an opportunity for parents to come together and have productive conversations about relevant articles that will help us do the best job raising our kids. 

Kathy Masarie, MD, and co-authors, have created these two guidebooks (one focusing on sons and the other focusing on daughters) to be utilized in discussion groups. Each chapter includes carefully selected articles, discussion questions, and guidance to help you put your new knowledge into practice.

This first meeting is an opportunity to learn more about the books and the format of the groups. Group meeting dates and book purchases will be discussed at the meeting. The "Sons" and "Daughters" groups will then meet separately as they work their way through the books. 

If you have questions, or would like to participate, but cannot attend the informational meeting, please contact Jena Novotny (503)453-0725 or Emily Sanborn (503)936-4798.




Schedule your time with classroom teachers if you did not already do it at Back to School Night. Specialists will be on site Friday to conference with you as well. Stop by and talk to them, too!

Here are some resources you may find informative:

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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