News from Alfonso - 6/1

Dear Friends,
Yes, it really is June, and life seems to be accelerating. After today only 12 days of class remain. One of the highlights of last week was the appearance by Grade 5 Chinese class at the Portland Suzhou Sister City Gala. The students had the opportunity to present an imagistic recollection of their time at the Blue Tassel Boarding School in Suzhou, and they were rightly very well received by the audience, including the Assistant Consul General from San Francisco who was beaming as the students spoke in Chinese. Once again, I was very proud of our students.

If you happen to be in school, please stop down near Grade 5 Spanish (near the music room in Stearns) to see their exhibit on Ann Frank, the holocaust, and World War II. The students will be going to share their research findings with their sister class at Aloha High School this coming Thursday. The high school students have also just completed reading The Diary of Ann Frank in Spanish.

This morning you may have noted some signs up in back of Mod 3 stating “Notice of Public Hearing.” Remember last spring when the school initiated plans to build another modular in case we need it? Well those plans finally got done. The chance that we will ever build another modular is awfully slim, but the board had the foresight last year to get an approval which will last three years…. just in case. As you know, the Buildings and Grounds Committee of the board has a study underway to either find a new and better site or to create a master plan for the current site. Please don’t let me hear a rumor that a modular is being built.

Speaking of rumors, one mini rumor circulating last week was that I was interested in increasing class sizes. Well, yes and no. There is no consideration being given to increasing maximum class size beyond 19. However, I may have been correctly quoted as saying that we need to reach a better economy of scale in classrooms. Imagine if each of our classes of 10 or 11 or 12 were increased by just two students! That would be a lot of extra revenue to devote to education and to teacher pay. Through working harder and being better we are losing fewer irreplaceable students. We are getting there.

Kelsey told me this morning that we have reached 75% in Annual giving. Eleven classrooms have reached 100% participation. That’s great, but we are not finished yet. We need 100%! I am grateful to all those who have given, whatever the amount. My assumption is that many people have been too busy or preoccupied to get around to making a gift. Take a moment. Contribute.

Take care and have a good week,
Head of School,, 503-226-2496 x109