With less than a month to go before the new school year, more than 180 Portland Public School principals and administrators spent a week training and planning.
In its second year, the PPS leadership institute is the first chance for new administrators — principals, vice principals and other leadership — to meet.
Franklin High School principal Chris Frazier said time spent with his team, which includes a new vice principal, was valuable.
“It was a great opportunity for us to sit in joint sessions and walk away with a common understanding and all the time think about what choices are we going to make with regards to our policies, with regards to our practices and supporting both our students and our teachers,” Frazier said.
School leaders spent the week in sessions on school climate, curriculum and instruction. On the last day of the institute, Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero wrapped things up with a speech.
“We’re going to do everything we can to ensure that we show both incremental and accelerated growth in our student performance — that’s our promise to the community,” Guerrero said.
He highlighted things to come, including extra funding from the state and professional development for equity and social justice. But he also talked about supporting administrators.
“I want you to know that I’m here for you to serve and support you and your work and we have a lot to build off of,” Guerrero said.
One theme of the week’s training focused on the district’s racial equity plans. Speaking broadly, Guerrero said the district will integrate racial equity and social justice in everything from student support to curriculum.
“It will take place in our classrooms, our schools, and be embedded in the culture of who are,” Guerrero said. “It will at times be uncomfortable, but, my friends, we must, we must exercise the moral imperative.”
Frazier said he felt the superintendent’s words and looks forward to working with the district on a policy that will support educators after hate speech incidents.
“If hate speech does show up in our school, what do we do? What is our district’s response as opposed to one individual principal being required to identify how they’re going to respond?” Frazier asked.