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The Forecaster: Portland Superintendent’s Notebook: Our schools have many strengths to build on

When I first transitioned into the district in July, I committed to spending the first three months listening and learning in the community. In that time, I’ve met with more than 500 students, parents, staff, business leaders and community partners face to face, and we’ve gathered additional information through a survey that over 925 people completed. We also partnered with a national expert in school district strategic planning to visit classrooms, review student assessment and conduct a thorough organizational diagnostic of Portland Public Schools.

On Oct. 3 I shared the trends and themes from that listen-and-learn process with the board and public. I identified 10 themes highlighting that we have both amazing strengths as a school system to build on and opportunities to improve outcomes and experiences for students and support for staff. Like many organizations, we have made progress and we still have areas for continued improvement.