Letter from the Board President

Dear Arco Iris Community,

The 2014-2015 school year has been a very eventful year. I want to take the time to personally thank each and every one of you for your contributions. I also would like to thank Principal Jan for all she has done. Jan came into the school while it was just discovering itself and helped it thrive. Our teachers and staff consistently demonstrate dedication and commitment to student success and please know we appreciate all you do. As we say goodbye to Jan, I would like to again welcome Principal Miles to the Arco Iris community. I know she will be a valuable addition to our school and expect Arco Iris to only continue in our academic excellence and strong community relationships as she takes the helm.

This year we had an extremely successful fundraising campaign that showed how dedicated our community is to the Arco Iris mission and has greatly improved our ability to pursue a permanent location. Fundraising is an essential function to keep our school viable. With the strong fundraising effort this year and conservative budget we were able to give our staff a much deserved salary increase for the 2015-2016 year, add an additional teacher to Middle School, and acquire a highly qualified Principal in a competitive market. Our search for a permanent location is our highest priority as well as our Charter Renewal. We will provide updates regularly on our progress with both.

The Board is committed to maintaining a 1st through 8th grade program, with the hope to explore adding a Kindergarten in the future. We have recently signed a lease for two more years at Beaverton Christian Church (BCC), which includes confirmed use of the playground and gym for the duration of our lease.

When our school was founded, a fundraising committee was created under the purview of the Board. As the school evolved, so did the committee and is now currently known as the PTO. At a recent Board meeting, we updated our Governance Documents and By-Laws. Upon review of these documents, it was determined that the PTO in its current form is not consistent with the Board’s policies regarding committees. The PTO and Board decided that this would be an excellent time to evaluate if it was a best practice for the PTO to remain a Board committee. We currently have a PTO Committee Workgroup of two parents, two Board members, and the new principal, working together on a proposal for next year. This is still an active discussion and will be discussed at the upcoming PTO meeting, Friday June 12th at 8:30am and Board meeting Thursday June 18th at 6:00pm. We welcome and encourage community input. Feel free to attend either or both meetings to share your thoughts during public comments.  You can also email the board and/or PTO at board@arcoirisschool.org and PTO@arcoirisschool.org respectively if you are unable to attend the meetings.

Going into next school year, the Board will be looking for highly qualified members of the community to join us as Project Manager and Treasurer. Positions will be posted in the next month on the Arco Iris website. The Arco Iris School Board resolutely believes that communication and building relationships between the Board and Arco Iris parents and staff are essential to our overall success. As such, we will be making a few changes during the next school year; including, but not limited to:

  • Board Members will wear badges specifying they are Board Members at events and when they are on school grounds. The badge indicates that they are available for questions, comments, concerns, etc. As some Board Members are parents too, when a Board Member attends an event or is on school grounds as a parent and not a Board Member, they will not wear the Board badge and speak on Board matters.
  • Quarterly the Board will hold coffee/town hall sessions that are open for the Board to have dialogue with parents and staff. Schedule to be determined.
  • The Board will rotate attendance to monthly PTO meetings to ensure the parents are able to meet multiple Board members.
  • We will publish a monthly blog post with updates to the community which will include openings on our committees, updates on committee actions, etc.
  • The community can continue to send emails to board@arcoirisschool.org with any questions, concerns, suggestions, etc. and are ensured a response. Our Communication Policy is posted on the website for your reference.

I hope that these efforts at increasing opportunities for dialogue between Board Members and parents help the Arco Iris School community foster relationships that support our continued growth.

Please feel free to reach out to myself or any other Board member during the summer as you have need. The Board email will be check regularly (board@arcoirisschool.org).

Thank you again for an amazing school year and I look forward to working together with you next year.

Sincerely,

Caitlin Jeffery

Arco Iris Spanish Immersion School Board President

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