Astor Connection

March 2023

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In This Issue

Principal's Message

Important Dates

Classified Staff and Social Worker Appreciation Week

Staffing Update - 2023-2024 School Year

NWEA - MAPs Results

Women's History Month

National Disabilities Awareness Month

Grade 2-3 After School Art Classes

SAVE THE DATE - For the Astor School Benefit - April 15th!

Register for Kindergarten! Online Registration Now Open

Opportunities for Families

Opportunity at UP

Celebrating Black History Month in Photos

Around Astor

Principal's Message

Hello Astor Families,

Our weather continues to be cold, but hopefully snow is out of the forecast! I'm ready for spring to arrive with its sun and longer days. As that time nears, so do a lot of the typical traditions including field trips, Astor PTSO events, and the AAPI celebration.

One of those events is our Astor PTSO benefit! It will be on April 15th and I hope you'll join other Astor Parents and Teachers as they raise money to support a variety of programs including classroom materials, field trips, and culturally specific events and activities.

Thank you for your help with the Successful School Survey. We surpassed our goal of 200 parent responses with 218 total! We will be reviewing the data later this month and sharing out as soon as possible to you all. Thanks again for your input and feedback, it helps us improve our school for everyone!

This month is Women's History Month! As a school wide celebration, we have organized a "drop everything and write" event on the morning of March 8th, which is International Women's Day. Students K-8, will write (or tell in younger grades) "about an important woman from their own family history. What is/was their influence on their family? What are they remembered for?" You can help with this event by having this conversation at home today or tomorrow with your child.

While we sent out a staffing update last month. You can find that information below, too. Our budget has a reduction for next year. Our PTSO has also created a resource page here for parents and community partners interested in advocating for our wonderful school.

Finally, the Astor Allstars and Word Warriors will battle in the final Oregon Battle of the Books competition this Monday, March 6th. The winner will go on to complete in the regionals on March 18th at Capitol Hill. Thank you Ms. Torain, Ms. B, and of course parents for your support of this exciting program. UPDATE: Word Warriors have won!

We hope that the rest of your month is great and that your spring break later in the month is restful, as well.


Blake Robertson

Principal @ Astor

Important Dates

March - National Women's History Month and National Disability Awareness Month

6th - Beginning of Classified Staff Appreciation and National Social Worker Week

8th - International Women's Day School-Wide Write Day

12th - Day Light Savings - Spring Forward!

17th - Astor Drama Club performance | 6:30 pm

20th - Spirit Week begins!

21st - Astor Site Council Meeting | 5:00 pm

22nd - Principal Community Chat | 5:30 pm

23rd - Ramadan begins

27th-31st - No School - Spring Break


4th - Spring & 8th Grade Promotion Pictures

7th - End of 3rd Qtr

10th - No School - Teacher Planning Day

13th - Virtual Connect to Kindergarten here

Classified Staff Appreciation and National Social Worker Week

This week is Classified Staff Appreciation and Social Worker Appreciation! It's evident each and every day the work that educators in these work groups do for our kids. From family supports, feeding our students, and transportation to ensuring that the building is safe and student/staff supports, these team members have created a joyful, inclusive, and safe childhood for our kids.

Theresa is our social worker at Astor! Each day she supports students in and out of the classroom. Her work doesn't end when the bell rings! You'll often find connecting families to resources and supporting teacher teams in their planning for creating a welcoming and healthy school community. Theresa is kind, funny, dedicated, caring, and so much more. Thank you Ms. Theresa for all you do!

Below (In no particular order) are our incredible classified staff! These educators are high skilled and provide an invaluable continuum of educational and support program. Feel free to use the page here to send them a positive note via email. And, our PTSO and staff have contributed to special gifts and treats for the week! Thank you classified staff!

Chris (Secretary)

Debra (Secretary)

Maddie (EA)

Cord (EA)

Sheila (EA)

Shiwaye (Custodian)

Jesus (Custodian)

Adriana (Custodian)

Sarah (Paraeducator)

Margaret (Paraeducator)

Ruth. (Paraeducator)

Sharla (Paraeducator)

Susan (Cafeteria)

Will (Cafeteria)

Jackie (Student advocate)

Ava (SHA)

Laurelei (Nurse)

And, our incredible Bus drivers!!!

Staffing Update - 2023-2024 School Year

Last month, we shared with you the reduction in overall staffing for the 2023-2024 school year. For an explanation of staffing and the ongoing process to develop Astor's program for next year, please see the document here. We will be sharing the teacher assignments for each grade level in the spring.

NWEA - MAPs Results

Our district uses an adaptive standardized test called MAP. This assessment is given to students in 3rd through 8th grade two times a year (fall and winter). These tests are in reading and math and provide teachers detailed information about student skills and how to support them in the classroom.

Last week, your child brought home a paper copy of the parent report for their results in the MAP during the winter assessment. This report provides great information and good questions for you to ask your teacher, as well. Our hope is that this information will help you understand your child's present academic level and lead to conversations around how instruction supports them in growth and achievement.

You can find more information about this parent report here. The report is in Spanish here.

State testing is in the spring. We'll provide more information about this when the time nears.

Please see the Family Guides to MAP Growth (in English and Spanish) to find out more about these assessments.

Family Guide to MAP Growth - English

Una guía familiar para MAP Growth

Women's History Month

March is Women's History Month. As a school wide celebration, we have organized a "drop everything and write" event on the morning of March 8th, which is International Women's Day. Students K-8, will write (or tell in younger grades) "about an important woman from your own family history. What was their influence on you or your family? What are they remembered for?" You can help with this event by having this conversation at home prior to this day.

Women's contributions throughout history are remembered and celebrated this month. Women's History month was established in 1987 and since then, the month each year has a theme. This year, the theme is "Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories". The National Women's History Alliance "will encourage the recognition of women, past and present, who have been active in all forms of media and storytelling including print, radio, TV, stage, screen, blogs, podcasts, news, and social media."

Did you know that the Wyoming Territorial Legislature gave women the right to vote in 1869 and elected the country's first governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross, in 1924?

The 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, was passed in 1920 but it wasn't until 1965 that all women, including Native American, African American, Asian American and Latinx women, could legally vote.

Let's celebrate the accomplishments of women, big and small, this month!

March is National Disability Awareness Month

This is the 28th Year the United States has recognized and celebrated March as National Disability Awareness Month!

On February 26, 1987, the March officially declared National Disabilities Awareness Month. The proclamation called for people to provide understanding, encouragement and opportunities to help persons with disabilities to lead productive and fulfilling lives.

At Astor, our teachers will engage in specific professional development to better support inclusion for our students and lessons that build empathy and understanding. We are also partnering with Incight of Portland. We'll be sending out a specific note about this partnership later this week.

After School Art Classes (fee) with Ms. Keira!

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Online Registration now open for 2023-24 School Year

Parents with students new to PPS may now register their student online for the 23-24 school year. If you, or a family you know, have an upcoming Kindergarten student, we encourage you to register now.

Click HERE to find information and register. And, you can find our Connect to Kindergarten information here.

Note: For current students returning to Astor, there is no need to re-register your child.

Multilingual THE LIVING LEGACY Family Conference

This event will take place on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at Leodis Mc.Daniel High School. Doors will open at 8:00am and the program starts at 9:00am.

Our keynote speakers are Paul F. Chavez and Anthony P. Chavez who are the son and grandson of Cesar E. Chavez. They will bring a message of “Yes, We Can '' or “Si, Se Puede”, the importance of service to others and civic engagement/participation, and faith in an entire community of people's sense of purpose to give back and create greater good.

See the flyers below for information. (Click on image to enlarge.)

Portland Parks Early Registration

Astor families have the opportunity to register early for Portland Parks classes. Please see the attached fliers below for more information.

Fact the IEP Workshop

If your student receives special education services consider attending this upcoming workshop offered by FACT OREGON. (see flyer below for more information)

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Opportunity at UP

One of our campus partners, the University of Portland, is advertising for several positions. The University of Portland seeks a Dispatcher in Campus Safety and a Campus Safety Officer. See the link below and the list of benefits, too!

 Comprehensive, affordable medical and dental insurance plans for you and your dependents which

include vision and alternative care options

 403(b) retirement plan which includes employer contribution after two years of full-time service

 Tuition Remission for employees after 90 days of full-time service; spouses and dependents eligible

after two years of full-time service

 13 Paid Holidays in 2022 calendar year along with a 10-day vacation accrual upon hire

 Home Loan Benefit Program

 Access to Beauchamp Recreational & Wellness Fitness Center and Clark Library at no cost

 Discounts across University of Portland campus including Bookstore, Athletics events, Outdoor

Pursuits/Bike Shop and Performing & Fine Art productions

Celebrating Black History Month in February

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Black History Month in the Library

Projects in the library last month focused on the ways in which Black Americans have lived out Resistance over the decades.

Reflects K/1 exploring self love as an act of resistance

2nd grade debating unjust laws and disobeying them as an act of resistance

3rd history of Black hair and hair as a display of resistance

4/5 explored The Green Book and created a green zine to explore creativity, ingenuity, and entrepreneurship as an act of resistance.

Students create a Nick Cave Soundsuit Parade in Art Class with Ms. Keira - Black Artist Study

3rd Graders attend a Portland Youth Philharmonic concert!

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