Charter school is win-win for all children

This is a letter advocating for increased collaboration and support between the West Linn-Wilsonville School District and Three Rivers Charter School (TRCS). 

Any study of school rankings, test scores or student/family testimony demonstrates that TRCS is doing an outstanding job of educating and preparing our children. TRCS is a school that brings immense value to the larger district and WL-WV communities as these students return to and enrich the district's high schools. 

As the district's only charter school, we consider it an honor to be part of the WL-WV community. We take great pride in the achievements of our students and believe the many successes are a result of the inputs of many caring parties. Thus, it is a bit puzzling that the relationship between the district/administration and TRCS seems to be one of loose association.

Ideally, the relationship between the district and TRCS should be celebrated.

Some may have mixed feelings about TRCS, as they may feel TRCS is exclusive. It is clearly not the desire or intent of the TRCS community to be exclusive. However, the current charter terms are moving both TRCS and the district toward greater disparity.

With receiving only 80 percent ADMw (average daily membership/weighted) per student, the situation is created in which only the highly motivated families, with sufficient financial resources, are drawn to TRCS (and away from the other district schools) in disproportionate numbers. If TRCS received closer to the full ADMw per student, this selection bias would be minimized and the student diversity at TRCS would better reflect the diversity found throughout the district. This seems extremely beneficial to all students being educated in the WL-WV school district. 

The students and families at TRCS love being part of a stimulating and successful school. We also greatly value our place in the WL-WV School District and hope that future collaboration and support will grow and benefit all. We know that the WL-WL School Board is tasked with an extremely challenging job, especially in today's economic reality. Needs always seem to outstrip resources. We appreciate the labor of love and hope the school board agrees that fully supporting all the schools in our district is ultimately a win-win for the education of all of our children.

Stephanie Cha

TRCS and Sunset Primary School parent

West Linn

City lost a good advocate

My friend Boris Piatski began working for the city of West Linn in 1993. His job as an engineering technician was to ensure that the city's infrastructure — the streets and utilities — was properly constructed. Poor construction would become costly maintenance for the city.

When Boris arrived, there were only a few farmhouses in the hilly area known as the Tanner Basin. The master plan for the area had only recently been adopted and the first subdivisions were being constructed.

When I joined Boris in the city's engineering department in 1994, he already had a reputation as a "do it right or do it over" inspector. Many contractors complained that their work should be accepted despite Boris' rejection, but they couldn't argue that they had done the work correctly.

He earned the respect of the development community as they recognized his competence and his desire to help them build efficiently.

Recognition of Boris extended into the community, where he was loved for his reading in the elementary schools and his special way with people.

When he was placed in charge of capital improvements, Boris designed and managed the construction of several projects, including the construction of sidewalks along Blankenship Road, a project that completed a long-needed pedestrian connection that he secured a grant to fund.

Last spring Boris became a casualty of the city's tight budget and, after nearly 20 years of service to the city, he was laid off.

My reason for writing this is to recognize Boris and let the people of this city know what a good advocate they've lost.

Gary Parkin

West Linn

Contract Publishing

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