News from Alfonso - Nov 9

Dear Friends,
Amazingly we are entering the tenth week of this school year. I have been at a number of summer events, pizza evenings, morning meetings, and curriculum evenings, but I fear there are still some of you I have not met. I look forward to seeing many of you at the forthcoming PTO meeting on November 11, or at the auction event on the 14th. As always, I invite you to stop by in the morning or afternoon to say hello while I am on traffic duty (or shortly after). I also encourage you to email me with any questions or issues you have at or to call me on my mobile phone (I'm not going to put the number on the web site, but please get it from Jhoanna at

I would like to understand your level of interest in a TIS middle school. Please go to to complete a short survey - it will take 5- 10 minutes.

I have asked that by Monday, all teachers send an email survey to their classroom parents asking for feedback on such issues as communication, homework, class work, and the learning program generally. While we do an extensive spring survey, it is better to get feedback now so we can learn and improve earlier rather than later. This is true for me as well. If you have any issue with my leadership or decisions, you can send them directly to me or send them to my assistant Jhoanna Co who will forward them directly to the board.

On days when I am at Arthur Street or at morning assembly, taking my place will likely be our new part time employee in the facilities department, Mr. Michael Kelly. I’d ask that you practice with Michael the same cheerful cooperation which you have exhibited with me. Michael is a terrific person who has been a great addition to TIS.

With regards to lice treatments, you might be interested to know that in a 5/1/07 article in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a study showed that “treatment with matlthion has favorable efficacy and safety profiles and enables the immediate safe return to school.” In the past twenty years head lice in the US have developed resistance to almost all first line pharmacotherapy. The article sites malthion as preferable to lindane or pyrethroids. Again, there are no other proven folk remedies!


Our best wishes go out to our Japanese students who are in the middle of their Capstone trip as I write this. You can check Mr Taka’s blog at

Congratulations to Mei Zhang and the Chinese dance troupe on their excellent performance at the Portland Museum’s family day yesterday afternoon. They were a big hit with the audience and were clearly having fun. Based on that performance, the older girls were invited to perform for a dress up cocktail party to celebrate the China Design Now exhibit at the Art Museum this Friday evening!

Sincere thanks to Joan Francis who organized the Run for The Arts, and to the many volunteers who helped make the day possible. This year the event raised a record breaking amount of 14,149.52! From the smallest student to the biggest, they all ran with a lot of heart and determination.

Finally, once again, I ask that you please support the auction and the special appeal for Books, Learning Resources and Technology. Even if you can’t be in attendance at the auction, you can donate on line..

Have a good week and see you soon,

503-226-2496 x109