SE Guiding Coalition Feedback
Dear Japanese Dual Language Immersion Families, Teachers, and Administrators,
Thank you for your continued support of the JDLI program and commitment to shaping our future in the Portland Public Schools (PPS).
We would like to call your attention to an important opportunity to provide feedback to the district in its multi-year effort to balance student enrollment and programs, including this fall in Southeast Portland.
As you may have heard, the Southeast Guiding Coalition, a community group charged with reviewing proposed changes, is holding an Online Open House at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19 to review and discuss its recommendations.
Proposed Changes to JDLI
The scenario now under consideration (Scenario 10) would not impact Richmond Elementary or its feed into Mt. Tabor Middle School. However, it would send JDLI students to Madison High School instead of Grant High School starting in fall 2022.
We appreciate the efforts by PPS to engage the community in developing a balanced solution that is consistent with the principles of successful schools, balanced enrollment, equity, and diversity. We support the district’s racial equity and social justice goals and are committed to ensuring equal access and opportunity for students of all backgrounds to benefit from the JDLI program and PPS language programs in general.
In light of those principles and goals, we would like PPS to reconsider the timing, scope, and degree of the proposed changes, particularly in a time when students are not in school and parents are struggling to both support virtual school and pay the bills in this tough economic situation. We recommend holding off on any recommendations regarding Grant and Madison high schools until the district can conduct a full study of Northeast enrollment and programs, address high school boundaries throughout the district, and ensure all voices are heard.
Grant has offered Japanese classes to neighborhood students since 1969, became home to the JDLI high school program in 1998, and is the only PPS high school with Japanese language study. We want to ensure that the appropriate stakeholders across PPS are properly engaged to ensure that the potential impacts to schools, the JDLI program, and families who commit to it from kindergarten through 12th grade are properly considered.
Tell Us What You Think
The Oya No Kai Board and Richmond PTA would like to gather more feedback from our families, teachers, and administrators to help guide our advocacy for the program. Here’s how you can share your thoughts with us:
- Attend our virtual JDLI community meeting on Zoom at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 24.
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Look for a survey of JDLI families after Thursday’s district open house.
We will use your feedback to communicate with the Southeast Guiding Coalition, PPS Board of Education and others. The voice of each individual family is also important in this process and we encourage you to share your own questions, comments and concerns directly with us, the district’s leaders, or on the PPS survey.
The Coalition is scheduled to finalize its proposal in December, and the Board of Education plans to consider it in January. We will continue to track the progress and let you know of further opportunities to advocate for the JDLI program.
Thank you for your help in providing feedback to PPS to ensure the future success of the JDLI program.
Co-presidents, Oya No Kai
President, Richmond PTA