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School Notes: PPS boundary effort draws thousands; Morton joins Meyer trust; Local schools get $350,000; Tech grants announced

School Notes is a collection of education news around Portland. E-mail tips to shasta@portlandtribune.com.

Thousands participate in school balancing effort

As Portland Public Schools wound up its community outreach campaign for its enrollment balancing efforts, the head of the committee and the superintendent offered a summary of the conversation.

“We want to thank you for creating a powerful cross-school and cross-community conversation in recent weeks about how we plan for growth and support strong schools in every neighborhood,” wrote committee chairman Jason Trombley and Superintendent Carole Smith in a joint email to the school community.

After more than 2,000 survey responses, 1,500 emails and 16 meetings attended by a total of more than 3,000 people — parents, teachers, principals and students — the District-wide Boundary Review Advisory Committee proposed revised scenarios Dec. 5 and continues to advise staff on refining the plan.

Smith will use the scenarios and the debate to craft her own recommendations to the board in early 2016.

Matt Morton to join Meyer Memorial Trust

The executive director of the Native American Youth and Family Center and a former Portland Public Schools board member recently accepted a position at one of the largest Oregon philanthropic organizations.

Matt Morton, who finished his four-year term on PPS’ board in June, will become the Meyer Memorial Trust’s Director of Equitable Education on Jan. 4. He has been the head of NAYA since July 2012.

The NAYA board of directors will search for Morton’s replacement in the new year.

Chevron donates $350,000 to area schools

An oil company and its customers generated $350,000 for public schools in the Portland metro region last month.

The Chevron Fuel Your School program donated a portion of the gas purchases in Multnomah and Washington counties, which helped fund 402 classroom projects at 160 public schools.

According to Chevron, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teachers were most likely to request motors, owl pellets, science and math magazines, calculators, safety goggles and tablet or laptop computers. The average project cost was $872.

Roosevelt book drive on now

Broadway Books will again pitch in an extra 20 percent when people buy gift certificates for a Roosevelt High School librarian.

Betsy Fogelman Tighe, an educational media specialist at Roosevelt High School, has partnered with the Northeast Portland bookstore for a number of years to boost the school library’s resources during this holiday book drive.

Tech grants announced

A Beaverton educational technology company is accepting applications for its 2016 Engineering Contest. Winning applicants will show how they are using Vernier Software & Technology’s sensors in their classroom engineering project.

A panel of Vernier experts will select one middle school teacher, one high school teacher, and one college instructor to each receive prizes valued at $5,500. Learn more or apply online at www.vernier.com/grants/engineering/.