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100th day puts a personal face on the school year

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: LAUREN CARR - Lake Grove Elementary School first and second graders, from left, Santeri Martin, Romy Howell, Millie Prager, Charlie Howell, Quinn Carr Thompson, Alexis Gonzales, Joonas Martin, and Kai Dodson pose in their personalized glasses shaped like 100 as they celebrated the 100th day of school recently.  On Thursday, my elementary-aged children marked the 100th day of school with their classmates by decorating a collage poster with 100 items and wearing personalized “100” shaped glasses. At Lake Grove Elementary, the hallways are filled with creative posters celebrating achievements made so far this year and those yet to come. Howell

The Lake Oswego School Board didn’t make a poster to commemorate our first 100 days, but yet there are many things worth celebrating and looking forward to:

  • Our schools continue to offer challenging academics and high expectations combined with extensive extracurricular opportunities. We provide some of the lowest class sizes and highest caliber academic offerings in Oregon.
  • We have hired Heather Beck as our next superintendent. She is the right person to move our district forward. The superintendent is the CEO that provides vital leadership to support all of our students. Dr. Bill Korach is retiring after 27 years, and his is a tough act to follow. Dr. Beck is a data driven and forward-thinking leader, and above all she has a heart for all students.
  • Middle school world language programs were recently expanded, with seventh-grade Spanish joining the curriculum in the 2014-15 school year. Our middle school students will now have the opportunity to study a second language for six years prior to graduation, and gain valuable skills to open doors to new opportunities.
  • The successful passage of our school levy this past fall (with 78 percent of the community in support) means we will continue to receive funds to support our programs for the next five years.There are many parts to our school district that make it such a rewarding experience to represent: of course, the students, staff and administration, but I am always blown away by the strength that it derives from the dedicated volunteers. Last week I joined hundreds of supporters at the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation kickoff luncheon. Soon, more than 100 volunteers will reach out to parents, grandparents and community members in an effort to reach the foundation’s goal of $2 million, which goes to pay solely for teachers in the district. If a volunteer calls you, please give generously — and say thanks.

    This Saturday, Lake Grove Elementary will come alive for Cougar Day, the second annual walkathon. Parent volunteers have been working tirelessly for many months to make this event a success. Thanks to them, attendees will enjoy the food, prizes, entertainment, a silent auction and more. This event supports the Lake Grove PTA, another vital entity that keeps our schools strong. While the LOS Foundation supports teachers, the PTAs/PTOs/PTSOs in our district provide money for books, curriculum materials and field trips.

    Both the foundation and the parent clubs are volunteer-driven organizations. Volunteers are the glue that binds the support system together. Without their tireless efforts, our community would not be as it is. It is a pleasure to work alongside such thoughtful, informed and engaged citizens who care for our community and our students.

    Please support your parent clubs if you have a student enrolled in our schools. Whether or not you have a child or grandchild in Lake Oswego schools, please donate to the LOS Foundation to help ensure a world-class education for every child in the district. Visit LOSFoundation.org to make a tax-deductible gift today.

    Sarah Howell, Lake Oswego, is a member of the Lake Oswego School Board.

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