Dr. A's February Principal Coffee Recap: The Legend Continues

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Miss last month’s Principal coffee with Dr. A? Here’s a little recap the event, where we chatted about the good, the bad, and the incredible here at Cedar Park.

PSAT Math Scores Soar

Big news! Cedar Park showed the most growth in math (9%) over any other comprehensive middle school in Beaverton in the recent PSAT results. BOOM, baby!  

Dr. A credits our incredible math staff, as well as Cedar Park’s transition to the accelerated math program for all three years.  We are seeing those results!

Small backstory here:  Cedar Park dropped Math 6 last year.  Most incoming students take Math 6/7, Math 7/8, AGS 1, and then AGS 2 as freshman. (AGS stands for Algebra Geometry Statistics.) A small population of students qualify for a higher math in 6th grade and end up taking AGS2 as 8th graders here at Cedar Park. We have an even smaller group taking AGS 3 that are shuttled to the high school.

The PSAT is an important assessment-- and means more to students/teachers than the SBAC (Smarter Balance).

Completely confused as to the college readiness testing schedule?  This link might help you out.  Basically, it’s as follows:

  • PSAT 8/9 (8th & 9th grade)

  • Pre-ACT (10th grade)

  • ACT (11th grade)

  • SAT (any high school student)

Next Year’s 6th Grade Wheel

Our MYP recommendations included providing students with both visual AND performing arts opportunities.  So next year’s 6th grade electives will be more of a wheel, where students will get to try a little bit of everything before commiting to an elective (drama, choir, band, art) in 7th and 8th grade.

Hmmm… now how is that gonna work with band?  Well… band might be its own wheel. The kinks are still being worked out, but incoming students can expect to see changes.

Budget Cuts Dim 2019-20

Buckle up, CPMS.  Beaverton school district is facing some SERIOUS budget woes next year.  To the tune of $35 million. Last December, all BSD principals had to return 20% of their operating budget back to the district to make up for this year’s shortfall.  For Cedar Park, that was $22,000 no longer in play this school year.

Curious about how we fell into this quicksand? Our friends over at Bonny Slope had their recent principal chat dedicated to this joyful topic (back when they only projected $23million.) All things are on the table for next year, including:

  • Increased class size in all schools

  • Reducing multilingual teaching and support staff

  • Reducing custodial staff

  • Reducing campus supervisors and crossing guard positions

  • Shortening the school year

  • Eliminating conferences (or other non-student work days)

The real question-- will the bleeding ever stop? Not until we figure out educational funding at the legislative level.  Until then, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

Cedar Park Swimming in Successful BEF Grants

The Beaverton Education Foundation, combined with our innovative staff and generous community donors, has been able to provide quite a few projects this school year here at Cedar Park, including:

Huge thanks to Cedar Park parent, Lianne Yarvis, for her help in writing these grant proposals. Bravo, lady.

Cell Phone Policy Actually Working

So… banning cell phones during school hours actually makes life easier for students and teachers alike.  WHO KNEW?! Yes, the new cell phone policy has been a success. Fewer and fewer kids are being “caught” and teachers are thrilled with the school wide, specific methodology of how to handle infractions. Everyone’s on the same page and the kids are actually adjusting just fine.

Now if we could only do something about Fortnite…

Other Interesting Nuggets of Information You’d Have Learned If You’d Been Here:

  • The next PTC meeting on Monday, 3/11 will feature Beaverton High School Principal, Anne Erwin, at 7pm here in the CPMS library.

  • Incoming 5th graders are flying up in March and current 8th graders are forecasting for high school.

  • Our next tentative coffee date will be Tuesday, 4/23.  Incoming fifth grade families will be invited so we better put our best face forward (i.e. shower).

  • Like last year, Dr. A will be visiting all of our feeder schools to say hello and answer questions about the incredible world of middle school.

  • Incoming fifth graders will be taking the math placement tests in their elementary schools this year.

  • Advisory has been moved to Thursday mornings.  Afternoons just weren’t the best choice & we’ve course corrected.

  • Student socials were a big hit!  The last social will be the end of the year parties for each grade level.

  • Due to our crazy early August start date, Wolf Day will AGAIN be earlier than we want it to be.  (sigh)

See you at the next Principal Coffee on Tuesday, 4/23. Hopefully.  We’ll let you know if that changes.