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May 18, 2009

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Here is the note I sent out to the listservs and all the usual suspects...

Hi all, we have been dealing with aftermath of death in our family, so Steve and I did not attend the forum yesterday. I am still unclear as to why there is no music teacher at Jefferson, no band, Spanish only and no other foreign languages (other than French at Tubman only), no AP classes or IB program. I, too, do not understand why Jefferson Dancers are allowed to attend just the dance program without being enrolled at Jeff.

(These are all are things my community has been "promised." None are things that we should have to "fight" for.)

We should not have to start at square one with every single discussion. It is exhausting, depressing and a waste of all of our valuable time. In the meantime, I am being told by my children's school that our 4th & 5th graders will attend Starbase next year.

http://www.mil.state.or.us/StarbaseOR/StarbasePDX/starbase.html

Its intent is "to raise the interest and improve the knowledge and skills of at-risk youth in math, science, and technology by exposing them to the technological environment and positive role models found on military bases and installations."

I told our principal that I am aware that my oldest child and her friends will be 18 in 8 years -- prime age for military recruitment. I am sure that the U.S. military is also aware of this. The college center at Jeff is littered with literature from the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines.

By denying our students the free K-12 education they are entitled to, PPS may be forcing them down paths they might not otherwise take. What can we do to change things? Immediately, and not in that elusive "sometime down the road"?

Best,

Nancy Rawley

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