Friends Summer Update

newsFriends of SW Charter Summer Update

As your PTO, the Friends of Southwest Charter School (FOSWCS), works hard (and I gotta say we have a lot of fun doing it!) to create an engaging, active, and inclusive atmosphere for our diverse community. Everyone is always welcome to our monthly meetings and community events. You can stop me in the halls, or email me at any time if you ever have concerns, or questions.

Christina Cartwright
FOSWCS President

Upcoming Events:
August weekly – Kindergarten Get-Togethers at Johnson Creek Park (exact dates to come)
August 5th – FOSWCS Meeting at Lucky Lab (SE Hawthorne location), 6:30pm
August 16th – Multnomah Days Parade & Street Fair (stop by the SWCS booth and say hi! Volunteer sign-up emailed soon)
September 5th/6th – Camp Wilkerson SWCS Camping Weekend

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Monthly Meetings
FOSWCS meets the first Tuesday of every month, at the school at 7pm. If you want time for chatting before the meeting start, social time is at 6:30pm.
*Summer meetings are held at a local pub. August 5th’s meeting will be at The Lucky Lab on 915 SE Hawthorne, at 6:30pm. Look for us in the room on your right when you enter.

Community Coffees
We host a half hour coffee & pastries in the Great Room, right after drop-off (8:30am) on the first Thursday of every month. In the past we’ve had Tazo Tea, Stumptown Coffee, & Grand Central pastries. Gluten-free options will be available. It’s fun and casual, and we welcome everyone to stop by and grab a cup before heading out for your day.

New Family Liaison
Do you have some questions about what to expect with conferences, our community events, carpooling options, or how that whole drop-off/pick-up thing works?
Rachael Steadman is our parent volunteer that acts as a liaison to our new families. She will help you get acquainted with the ins and outs of your SWCS community, and answer questions, to make your transition to SWCS as easy as possible.
Rachael Steadman –

Camp Wilkerson
For the past few years, families from our community, new and returning, have met up at Camp Wilkerson (outside Vernonia) in early September for a weekend of fun, community, and hanging out. There is plenty of open space for the kids to run and play, a creek to wade through, and a huge community fire pit for evening cooking, and relaxing. When you’re done visiting, retire to your own campsite to relax. We reserve the cabins and adirondacks and have the place to ourselves! Everyone is welcome and it’s an unforgettably fun weekend you won’t want to miss! Registration forms & info on the blog or you can also email Christina –

Parent Resource Directory & Parent Business Directory
Our Parent Resource Directory is something our teachers use to help enrich our children’s education by giving them the information about the hobbies, skills, talents, and passions of our families, to utilize in the classroom, for lesson planning or research. You’d be surprised how what you might view as your “hobby” could make a difference in our children’s education.

The Parent Business Directory offers a chance for the community to support the businesses run by SWCS families. This will go out to staff and families, so they can find your business and support our local SWCS community!
Click here to fill out our Resource & Business Directory Survey to add your info! 

Open PTO Board Position, Plus Open Volunteering & Committee Positions
Interested in being on the FOSWCS board? Never been on a board before? No worries, as this is a great opportunity to learn while giving back to your child’s education. I have made the best friendships jumping into volunteering here at SWCS. Our community really is a unique, supportive, and amazing place. We’re glad you’re here, and would love to get to know you! For more information on specific open opportunities, please email me to find out more – Christina,

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Parent Resource & Parent Business Directory Survey

survey3Friends has put together a short survey in the hope of creating two directories — a Parent Resource Directory for our teachers and Parent Business Directory for the use of the entire SW Charter Community.

We have so many talented parents at our school! For the Parent Resource Directory, our teachers would love to know about your skills and interests in order to compliment the curriculum and enhance our children’s learning experience.

Please let us know the everyday things that you do which become huge things when it comes to our teachers planning their curriculum.

Do you (or a family member/friend) attend craft fairs, have access to raw wool/sheep/animals, play in a band/teach music, knit, sew, make your own cheese, create sugar-free sweets, love to bake/cook, juggle, sword smith, crafting/jewelry/metal/furniture making, whittle, camping and/or nature enthusiast, and/or anything else under the sun?

Also included in this survey is the opportunity for your business to be included in our Parent Business Directory. We would like our SW Charter community to have the opportunity to support local businesses owned, or operated, by other SW Charter parents.  Do you have a business that you would like to list in the directory?

Please take a few moments and fill out our survey:

Thank You!

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Make Your Reservation for Camp Wilkerson Today!

wilkersonCamp Wilkerson 2014 – Join the Fun!

September 5 & 6, 2014

Adirondacks are filling up! Reserve yours today! Don’t miss out on this fun & relaxing weekend!

Come and join in the fun at this memory-making, community-building event! We have reserved the entire park at Camp Wilkerson again this year for September 5th & 6th. Hang out with old friends and make new ones, while the kids play and run or you relax at the huge community fire pit. We still have adirondacks (3-sides open structures with bunks) to reserve.

Please see the attached forms and/or the FOSWCS blog for more info:
Camp Wilkerson Info

Email Christina Cartwright regarding your reservation forms or any other questions.

Update: We will have the lodge/kitchen this year again after all! They rescheduled the maintenance and SWCS will have full access to the industrial griddle, freezer & fridge as well as the large covered table area and outdoor fireplace.


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Friends Meeting Minutes ~ June 2014

Friends of SW Charter

Summer Meeting #1

June 24, 2014

Upcoming Events:

  • August 5th – FOSWCS Meeting, 6:30 pm at Lucky Lab (Hawthorne)
  • August 16th – Multnomah Days Parade & Street Fair
  • September 5-7th —  Camp Wilkerson Family Camping Weekend


New teachers are being interviewed and hired for the 2014-2015 school year. Many of the candidates have experience in place-based education! Look for information via email from Anne later in the summer.

Open Board Position

We are seeking a Vice President for Friends for 2014-2015. This person will work with Christina and the Board to lead Friends. If you or someone you know might be interested, email Christina. No experience necessary.

New Family Liaison

Rachael Steadman will head up a new Friends position “New Family Liaison”. In this position, Rachael will be a contact person for families that are new to the school at the beginning of the school year or who join during the year in progress. She will help to ease the transition for new families by checking in with them, being available for questions, etc. Rachael will be in contact with Marlene throughout the year as new families enroll.

New families will be getting information from Marlene in early July. Rachael will look into including something from Friends in this packet.

Some present tonight stressed the importance of the school administration taking a role in welcoming new families and answering their questions, etc. as well. Rachael will remind Anne to check in with new families throughout the year.

Also, as parents, we often don’t know a new child has joined a class unless our children tell us. If this is not a on a teacher’s radar, perhaps Room Reps could alert parents to new students.

Continue reading

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Friends of SW Charter Summer Meeting Tuesday, 6/24

lucky lab logoPlease join Friends of SW Charter for our summer meeting on Tuesday, June 24th at the Lucky Labrador Hawthorne Brew Pub located at 915 SE Hawthorne. We’ll be meeting at 6:30 pm for food, drinks, and planning for the upcoming school year!

Hope to see you there!

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Another Wonderful Field Day!


Another wonderful SW Charter Field Day for the books!

Many thanks to the amazing Hanne Rousing for coordinating another successful field day! Thank you to all of the families that helped make it come together, and thank you to all the kids for just being you! Happy summer all!

Special thanks to Brittany, Caroline, Carri, Carrie, Christina, Christine, Elise, Erin, Harmony, Jeff, Jen, Jessica, JoLea, Jonathan, Juli, Kathy, Kelly, Ken, Lorien, Marc, Marlene, Melissa, Mindy, Nicki, Sarah G., and Sarah M. for helping to set up, bringing in needed items, helping with art projects, leading games and keeping the kids safe.

Thank you also to the Steadman family for taking home the bottle cap mural which they will complete over the summer. Get those power tools ready!

Have a wonderful summer everyone!



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