Tue, February 7th - OHSU COVID Spit Test drop-off day
Thur, February 9th - CSCS School Board Meeting (open to all), 4:30-6:30pm
Sun, February 12th - BIPOC Family Brunch, 1-3pm
Thur, February 16th - BIPOC Affinity Club meeting, 3-4pm
Wed, February 15th - School Exclusion Day/State Immunization Deadline
Mon, February 20th - President's Day - No School
Import the full school calendar to your own Google calendar by clicking here
We had a total of 0 reported COVID-19 cases at Cottonwood, week ending February 3rd.
Feb 15 deadline for children to get immunizations
From the Oregon Health Authority:
All children in Oregon’s public and private schools, preschools, Head Start and certified child care facilities must have up-to-date documentation on their required immunizations or have an exemption by Feb 15th, School Exclusion Day. If parents and caregivers do not provide those records to their child’s school by Feb 15th, the child will be sent home unless they have an exemption. Reminder letters will be sent to parents by Feb 1st.
“Just a few years ago, we saw several measles cases in the Northwest, and Central Ohio just experienced a severe measles outbreak with more than 30 unvaccinated children hospitalized,” said Stacy de Assis Matthews, school law coordinator at OHA’s Public Health Division. “There also were recent polio cases in New York state. We don’t want another disease outbreak in Oregon on top of COVID-19. Immunizations are the most effective way to stop the spread of measles and other diseases, to keep kids and school communities healthy and safe.”
COVID-19 vaccinations are not required for students in Oregon schools or child care. Parents seeking immunizations for their children should contact their pediatrician or local health department, or dial 211 or visit 211info.org. No one can be turned away from a local health department because of the inability to pay for required vaccines.
In the last few weeks we have seen 2 mass shootings in the Asian American and Hispanic communities. We also saw a Black man beat to death by the police. Just recently in our own city, the Black community is mourning the shooting of a young 19-year-old kid. These violent tragedies have taken a toll on our Black and Brown communities. In addition, the context of these tragedies reminds us that Asians and Pacific Islanders cannot be taken for granted when it comes to their safety and prosperity. Sadly, Tyre Nichols is known as yet another unarmed Black man murdered by the police. Arthur Earl Jones, a 19 year old Portland native, is another victim of a senseless act of gun violence in our city.
I write to our Cottonwood community because I am hurting. I know I am not alone in my pain. It is exhausting to read about these kinds of violent incidents all the time. So how do we talk to our kids of all ages about mass shootings, police brutality, gun violence, and about why this has happened again? And again? And again? Why do we keep having this conversation over and over again? In these tragedies, the one thing that catches people off guard is that the officers who brutalized Tyre were Black men like him. The 11 victims killed at a dance studio in Monterey Park in California, and the 7 victims killed in Half Moon Bay also in California; in both incidents the shooter was of Asian descent like them. How do we make sense of that?
Our understanding starts with the recognition that people of color are not immune to the predatory acts of structural and systemic racism that make it necessary for us to insist that Black Lives Matter. That Brown Lives Matter. That Native Lives Matter. There is no doubt that police officers of color are not exempt from the policing culture that alienates and oppresses communities of color and poor.
I struggled writing this because for the past couple of weeks I have tried to block it out of my mind, I tried to stay busy so I did not have to feel it, and I tried to not be angry. I have felt a variety of emotions and I have struggled with how to communicate all of that with my children. I do not want to scare them with the reality of our world. However, unfortunately for my four Black children the reality is they could be the next Tyre Nichols or Arthur Jones.
To my BIPOC families I am here for you. I support and stand with you. We are a community and we are a family. To my non-BIPOC families you are family as well and right now we need you to check in with your Black and Brown sisters and brothers that are hurting.
For more on systemic racism in policing read here and here.
Below are a few resources to help you navigate these tough conversations with your children:
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) Coordinator
This Sunday, February 5th would have been Trayvon Martin's 28th birthday. More information of who Trayvon Martin was can be found here. In honor of his short 17 years of life, folks around the country will be participating in the Hoodies Up Movement.
If your student would like to wear a hoodie in honor of Trayvon Martin on Monday to celebrate his life, we welcome them to. We know some of our students and staff will be participating in the Hoodies Up Movement and would like to give the option for all students to participate (completely optional).
Here is a resource for talking to your student about racialized violence.
These are just some of the many events taking place in our community in honor of Black History Month. Click on any of these graphics to find more information.
BIPOC Affinity Group Dates
Starting in February, we will meet twice a month until the end of the school year. See below for the dates and times. We are hoping to go on some field trips and will give at least a two week notice to families beforehand.
The BIPOC affinity club will meet after school (on the school patio) for a light snack followed by greetings, games and activities from 3:00-4:00 on the following dates:
Thursday, February 16, 2023
Thursday, March 2, 2023
Friday, March 24, 2023 (12:30pm-1:30pm)
Thursday, April 6, 2023
Thursday, April 27, 2023
Thursday, May 4, 2023
Thursday, May 18, 2023
Thursday, June 8, 2023
Our team is looking for a few parent volunteers of color, especially men of color to join the affinity group leaders. Please let us know if you are interested.
We invite all students of color to participate in the affinity space and encourage parents to talk with their children about participating.
Please RSVP and send any questions to email@example.com. If your student(s) have any food allergies and sensitivities please add that when you RSVP. We want to make sure we accommodate and honor any food allergies or preferences.
More information on Affinity spaces can be found below:
This year's curated festival collection of 20 films by African Directors from over 16 nations, brings live interviews with filmmakers, community conversations and more!
As always, the festival remains free and open to the public. Aside from viewing films virtually, in-person events will be held at the Hollywood Theatre and Portland Community College Moriarty Auditorium. As we are all aware circumstances can shift rapidly, we encourage you to continue to check the website for any updates regarding the in-person events and to familiarize yourself with the safety protocols.
Opening night is Friday, February 3rd at 7pm, hosted at the Hollywood Theatre, 4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd.
"As this year’s festival theme focuses on Beauty and Complexities: the human experience; we hope that our curated films, which not only connect the African continent and the diaspora experience, also remind us that we are not alone in this human journey of change, healing, growth, loving, and celebrating our identities."
Cottonwood School Open House for Perspective Students
Do you know a family who might be interested in joining the Cottonwood community for the 2023-2024 school year? Let them know about our Open House on March 1st! Families of students entering all grades K-8 are welcome. Feel free to share this flier and this link for more information.
Cottonwood School Adventure Play Summer Camp
February Plant Teaching
An Easy Support Opportunity
Every quarter, Cottonwood can receive a donation from Fred Meyer based on your family's Freddie's spending, through their Community Rewards program. Information on how to sign up here.
The Cottonwood School 2022-23 Calendar
Did you know you can import the school calendar to your own Google calendar by clicking here? No more wondering if there is school, or when something is due!