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« Hello & Thank You to Metro Parent | Main | Townhall Meeting with State Reps ~ 1.9.08 »


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With one kiddo potentially entering the PPS system, I will definitely be there! I'm looking forward to the discussion and any help in navigating the options.

Tony at Milagros


I may be able to join on the panelist side (schedule permitting). We went through the school choice dance last year:

All the best,



What a wonderful thing! I'll be there.


It my hope that as a panelist you also include a parent/family who cannot benefit from school choice as much ethnic diversity, single parent families, carless (as opposed to car-free) families, lower income families. School choice doesn't serve for families who already impacted by the serious disparities in PPS.

I would be happy to come talk about my experience as a single parent of color that has done "Special focus", Neighborhood school, private school, school choice and now back to neighborhood school. All with the same kid.


I'm very interested in this and would love to attend. Count this mama in as a yes if I can find childcare (assuming it would be OK to come a little late). Along with the ins and outs of navigating the system I am also interested in experiences folks with older kids have as far as going to schools that are not in their neighborhood - I'm wondering how much of trucking my kids around to another part of the city to see their friends, do sports, etc. I am looking at if I choose a school that's not near our home.


I would love to attend but wont be able to since I do not work in downtown portland. Is there any way to recap this online? (does that sound cumbersome? Sorry)

Just wondering it is a great topic.


Any and all attendees and/or panelists are welcome and encouraged to recap the discussion. if no-one else does, we will! Good point! Also, if it proves to be a wildly popular event, perhaps another one (at a different time & place) will be in order - if we are up for it, that is!


I hope to attend if I can find childcare


I'm going to try to come. I'm eager to talk to other mamas about the PPS maze and options.


We have a panel of 5 ready to go: a few moms, a few dads. Some with kids in neighborhood schools, some with kids in magnets, some with kids in charters, some in N/NE Portland, some in SE. All with experience understanding and navigating the system to find what works best for their chilren and family. And, importantly, all willing to share their experiences with you!


I am a product of School of Choice, and I have to attest, it saved my life. I was bored and frustrated at a terrible small high school in N. Wisconsin. After I got my drivers license I transferred to a school 40 miles away, and it was well worth the commute. Now I am finishing my Masters at Columbia rather than having lost my mind. While I was at my small highschool, extracurriculars, basketball in particular, was my only motivation to go to school. I am still a firm believer that many kids live for their extracurriculars. Even if the schools you consider transferring to don't have every activity your child may be interested in, feel free to look outside the school. Many metro areas have club programs or activity centers. The New York Kids Club in NYC has a variety of activities not normally offered in schools that your kids may be interested in, such as martial arts, innovative music and dance classes, a climbing wall, ect. ect. It is open for kids of all ages (6 months to 12 yrs.) at 4 Manhattan locations. If any of you New Yorkers are out there in bloggerland, feel free to come to NY Kids Club's Free Friday event for bloggers and their kids on Jan. 18 to enjoy free food and drink as well as have run of the facilities. More info at

Parents should weigh school of choice very carefully, and definitely discuss with their kids, but choice of school can really make all the difference in a kid's future-so can outside activities. so good luck!


Also, a belated thanks to Protest Mama for offering to be a panelist. We hope you'll be there to add your experiences to the mix, though we agreed that a panel of 5 is large enough. We hope that they will offer a wide variety of voices/experiences for those in attendance.


um, not surprised I wasn't "picked", as I am a bit too uh, strident, on this issue. We have exercised every option available in Portland, but charter. It isn't too far from work so I'll probably still stop by.

Wacky Mommy

I would love to attend and will plan on being there.


We hope that PPS parents in the audience will answer questions, too, when relevant, not just the panelists. The more experience shared, the better, so Protest Mama, we hope you're ready to assist!


Thanks for the opportunity. I plan to attend.


I won't be able to attend, but a little insight from my 5th grader, for whom we're looking at middle school choices:

"Mom, can't I just be regular and go to the school down the street? That way, I can walk to school, we won't have to leave so early so you can drive me to school on time, I can make some friends in the neighborhood, stuff like that."

Out of the mouths of babes...

Nancy Hauth

For those of you interested in learning more about kindergarten at Portland Public School, don't miss the kindergarten room at Celebrate! PPS, Saturday, February 2nd from 1 -5. Kindergarten teachers will be available to answer your questions and will read aloud from their favorite books every 30 minutes -- so bring your pre-k students. Student work will be on display, as well as hands-on activities for pre-k students. Parents will have a chance to peruse the newly adopted curriculum materials and take home popular curriculum-related give-aways. It's a great opportunity to get oriented to the wonderful world of kindergarten! Vermont Hills will provide childcare to children ages 4 and older.

melissa s.

Thanks for offerring this! I plan on attending with a friend.

Wacky Mommy

Wherein I (sorta) apologize:


A reminder that this event is not an evaluation of the existing transfer policy, as we said in the initial post, just a way to help parents understand how it works and where they fit into it. We won't be discussing the merits of the current system on 1.30. We realize that it is controversial for many but nonetheless, parents entering PPS would like to understand how it functions so they can best navigate it for their families. its wider social impacts can be(and have been) discussed elsewhere. Thanks!

Let you husband do the blogging...

Wow, shocking. Wacky Mommy continues to alienate people from an otherwise worthy issue by leveling insults and displaying her own prejudices.


umm, yeah. I probably will not be attending as I am moving and dealing with my own school issues. My falling to the floor of the conference room and sobbing about high school probably won't helpful to anyone.

Angela Crow

wow. Just discovered this site-- very cool. Since my kiddo is older now, I've been a bit remiss in keeping up on these things. Also, I simply don't have the time-! But seeing the panelist discussion thing coming up, I was moved to chime in: I would looove to talk about my son's school, but can't make the meeting. I'm guessing there's some kind of forum on the site, or--? Perhaps there'll be more meetings growing out of this one-? So, I'll look around your admirable site, and maybe you can answer some of these questions-? Thanks! More power to ya, Mamas! xoxo ~Angela


would any of you that attended be willing to post some cliff notes here? i'd soooo appreciate it - specifically in regards to magnet & charter schools.


I'll be there


I'll be there


We plan to share info from this event here (may take a few days to find the time to summarize), as best we can! We'll ask those who attend toi add comments here, too, so the summarizing comes from many. Also, we'll add a post soon after specifically to continue the dialog and, if the panelsits are willing and ahve the time (?), they could reply - and of course the rest of the world can, too! We chose this location and time b/c it is geographically central for PPS and working people in the downtown area can get there. If it's wildly successful and we have the energy, it can surely be replicated.


Just heard about this & I am planning to go, too. Looking forward to learning from those who've navigated thru the system.


I couldn't go due to moving, illness and various forms of mama drama. I offered to be a panelist as the original post said that people with kids in PPS could. No one ever contacted me to even discuss it. It was posted here that the powers that be decided that there would only be five panelists.

Apparently, that wasn't true as I understand there were more than five today.

I don't know how you have an Activista panel and purposefully exclude people with relevant experience both as a parent and activist for children because they're not in the "club". But I guess it's your sandbox and you can decide whose views are allowed panel time.

not cool. not inclusive.


Hello again, protest mama! I believe that I replied to you here in the comments section on 1.12.08: "Also, a belated thanks to Protest Mama for offering to be a panelist. We hope you'll be there to add your experiences to the mix, though we agreed that a panel of 5 is large enough. We hope that they will offer a wide variety of voices/experiences for those in attendance." As I noted in my reply to your Guestivista comment, we do the best we can in the time we have. if we do not function as you wish, my apologies. and again, thansk for taking the time to comment and share your perspective. Sorry that you couldn't be there today. If you would like to share your experiences in PPS, please do! The comments section is there exactly for that. You'll reach more people that way than you would have in today's discussion! So jump in - let readers know how the PPS system vis-a-vis choosing schools has worked for you and your family.

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