Spring Online Auction Starting Monday, April 27th ~ Help Spread the Word!

online_auction2015Website: http://j.mp/springonline2015 or go to http://swcharter.org and click on the online auction link.

Bidding begins Monday, April 27, 8:00am and ends Monday, May 4, 9-10:00pm

Score huge deals on 100+ Portland area gift cards for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduation, date night restaurants and local adventures with the kids when you hop online to support SWCS!

We need help spreading the word about our auction and what’s for sale (a few examples):

One Week Rental of a Four Bedroom Home in Lovely Laurelhurst


$500 adidas Gift Card (including an adidas employee store pass)


Private Lunch with Portland Radio Host Lars Larson


$100 Gift Card to SWCS Family Owned Verde Cocina


Cloud City Ice Cream – Tour for 10 and 10 Ice Cream Cones


Use this sample Facebook post/email to invite your family and friends to score great deals and support SWCS! Just copy and paste and sign your name:

Dear Friends/Family/Neighbors:

Our kids’ school (Southwest Charter School) is hosting our annual online auction April 27 – May 4 where you can shop for amazing bargains on Mother’s Day/Father’s Day/graduation gifts and gift certificates to local hot spots. Some items go for just 20% of their value. If you win, SWCS will mail your items to you for free! It couldn’t be easier, and it supports our school’s place-based educational programs.

Please mark your calendar (April 27 – May 4), bookmark the website and check out what’s up for bidding (most items are available to be previewed now!).

Website: http://j.mp/springonline2015

At the very least you’ll be entertained by bidding someone else up!


You, SWCS Parent

Thank you to our generous event sponsors:


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Spring Online Auction Starts Monday, April 27th!


Score great deals on over 100 Portland-area gift certificates for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, date night restaurants and local adventures when you shop online at Southwest Charter School’s Spring Online Auction.

Bidding starts at 8:00am on Monday, April 27 and closes in increments between 9:00 and 10:00pm on Monday, May 4.


Many items are available for preview now! Start planinng your bidding strategy today!

Practical shoppers can bid on items like laser hair removal at Pearl MedSpa, doggie daycare at Central Bark and a superior car detail at Freeman Motors. Foodies can steal bargain gift cards to local restaurants like Verde Cocina and hot spots like the Portland Saturday Market. Adventurers can bid on standup paddle-boarding, kayaking and Bike Pedal tours, plus local winery and distillery tastings. Parents can grab deals on kids camps, parties and classes. All at just a percentage of their full value!

Click on the “Catalog” tab to see what’s going up for bid.

Top bidders will be mailed their gift certificates for free (within the Continental US) the week of May 4.

Questions? Email swcsonlineauction@gmail.com.

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Staff Appreciation Week is Coming! ~ May 4 – 8

appreciationThe Friends of Southwest Charter School presents…

Staff Appreciation Week 2015

Teacher & Staff Appreciation Week is almost here. We’ll be celebrating and thanking our staff for that they do May 4 – 8.  That means that we need your help to show our out-of-this-world SWCS teachers and staff some love!

Here’s what we have in store for teachers and staff:

Mon 5/4: After School Work Party

Tue 5/5:  Make Flower Bouquets and Love Notes

Wed 5/6:  Coffee Cart and Pastries

Thu 5/7:  Chocolate Delivery

Fri 5/8:  Lunch Delivery from Cha Cha Cha!

Help make this week special for our teachers and staff by signing up at http://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080e49a9ad29a46-teacher1 – several will take 30 minutes or less of your time.

Absolutely zero time to help out?  Here are three ways for you to contribute without even setting foot in the school:

  1.  Make a donation to the Cha Cha Cha! lunch.  Donations can be placed in the silver bin on the outside of Kathy’s desk. Donations accepted now through 5/6.
  2.  Bring in flowers at drop off on 5/5– cut from your garden, or pick up from the store, no need to go to the flower shop, volunteers will make assemble a bouquet for each teacher and staff member.  Accepted at drop off on 5/5 only.
  3. 3.  Pick up some delicious Chocolate for Chocolate Love day when you go to the store anyway  – Chocolate can be dropped off at the box on Kathy’s desk from now through 5/5
  4. Remind your child to sign the Thank You posters on each classroom door, and you sign it as well!

Thank you in advance for helping out!

On behalf of Friends of SWCS,

Melissa Allen melissaallen7@yahoo.com

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Turning Waste Into Art

Field Day 2014 Bottle Cap Mural

Field Day 2014 Bottle Cap Mural

Turning Waste Into Art

Last year, we collected plastic bottle caps to create a one-of-a-kind mural for our school. SWCS families kept 1440 bottle caps out of the landfill with this project, and this year we want to do it again!

During Field Day last year, students & parent volunteers glued and attached bottle caps to create our water-themed mural, and we want to create one more recycled art project to complete our cycle, but this time with an Earth theme.

We will create our Earth-themed bottle cap mural on Field Day!

Mural 3Please start collecting bottle caps!

  • Collect at home
  • Ask neighbors, friends, family and maybe even a restaurant in your neighborhood
  • We’ll have a box set up where you can drop off your bottle caps, near Kathy’s desk. Look for the sign!

Who wants to design the mural?

If you are a student artist, give us your ideas for what the mural should look like:

  • Draw your idea on paper
  • The theme is Earth
  • Your idea should be in color
  • Simple drawings are better
  • Give your drawing to Kathy no later than May 5th
  • On May 5th a group of parents will select one or more
  • You can enter more than one drawing
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Our 3rd Annual Cottonwood Bay Cleanup Tomorrow! ~ Saturday, April 18th 10 am – 1 pm

cottonwoodAlong with SOLVE, Southwest Charter School will be hosting our 3rd annual Cottonwood Bay Cleanup! Please join us in the South Waterfront tomorrow Saturday, April 18th at 10 am for a great morning cleaning up our little bay!

Bring along a water bottle. Gloves and tools provided! Activities include: Litter Cleanup, treats and merriment provided!

If you can help with set-up and take-down, sign-up here:  http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090b44afa72aa75-cottonwood

solvMeet at Cottonwood Bay along the bike path near the Aquariva restaurant and the Rivers Edge Hotel & Spa.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

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Cottonwood Bay Cleanup Tomorrow, April 18th from 10 am – 1 pm!

cottonwoodAlong with SOLVE, Southwest Charter School will be hosting our 3rd annual Cottonwood Bay Cleanup on Saturday, April 18th from 10 am – 1 pm. Please join us in the South Waterfront at 10 am for a great morning cleaning up of our little bay!

Bring along a water bottle. Gloves and tools provided! Activities include: Litter Cleanup, treats and merriment provided!

If you can help with set-up and take-down, sign-up here:  http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090b44afa72aa75-cottonwood

solvMeet at Cottonwood Bay along the bike path near the Aquariva restaurant and the Rivers Edge Hotel & Spa.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

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Friends of SW Charter School Meeting Minutes ~ April 2015

Friends of SW Charter School

Monthly Meeting

April 7, 2015

6:30 pm

Dates to Remember

  • April 9th Yearbook orders due! No exceptions.
  • April 11th SWCS New Student Lottery 10 am
  • April 12th Community Crafternoon 3-5 pm, Great Room
  • April 13-15th OMSI Trip for 5/6 students
  • April 18th SOLVE Cleanup at Cottonwood Bay 10 am – 1 pm
  • May 5th FoSWCS Meeting 6:30 pm @ Elephants on Corbett & 2015/2016 FoSWCS Board Elections


Open Forum Community Comments

Crafternoon planning is going well.

Plant Sale order forms are due Thursday, April 16th

Yearbook order forms are due Thursday, April 9th

Bike to School 2015 Co-Event with Sunstone Montessori (Eric Wilhelm)

Eric Wilhelm, a Sunstone Montessori parent, attended our meeting to discuss working together on the Walk + Bike Challenge in May. The Walk + Bike Challenge is aimed at encouraging more kids and families to walk and bike to and from school and throughout their neighborhoods. The Challenge is hosted by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) with support from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, and others.

Like SWCS, Sunstone’s students are geographically dispersed throughout the city. Sunstone is organizing a kickoff event on Sunday, May 3rd from 10am – 12pm at Willamette Park. They will bike and walk from the park to the OHSU tram. Sunstone is also holding a bike rodeo Sunday, April 12th from 10 am – 12 pm on the blacktop behind their school. We can come get ideas if we’d like to do a bike rodeo too. They are going to identify volunteers to do bike trains at least once a week during May and would like us to do the same. We could have a bike train down Corbett together.

Sarah Anderson will register our school for the Walk + Bike Challenge. Wednesday, May 6th is the official Walk + Bike Challenge day. Christina will talk to Sarah Anderson about any ideas she may have. We might be able to manage some small groups to bike together. We can put this out on the blog and have people self-organize. Hanne and JoLea would be happy to have people ride along with them. We should offer the option for parents to drop kids off at Willamette Park and then more kids can bike to school with parent volunteers. Parking at Willamette Park is free on weekdays before 9am.

Wilkerson/Annual Camping Trip Update (Hanne)

Camp Wilkerson is officially out for 2015. They are completely booked.

The weekends we are looking at are: 8/28-8/30, 9/11-9/13, or 9/18-9/20

Hanne is getting quotes from several campgrounds:

  • Camp Adams (Molalla) similar to Wilkerson with a mix of campgrounds and cabins
  • Camp Namanu (Sandy) – upper campground with just tents
  • Camp Magruder (Rockaway Beach)
  • Camp Twin Rocks (Rockaway Beach) – Probably out of our price range. Facility is more like a conference center and not in the spirit of Wilkerson. We’re more in the $1500 range.
  • Hornings Hideout (North Plains) off 26

25-30 families usually attend our family camp weekend.

Looking for a place that has food storage like we had at Wilkerson, but it’s not a deal-breaker.

Hanne feels confident that we will have a place and date set in the next week.

Staff Appreciation Update (Melissa)

Staff Appreciation Week is May 4th – 8th

Each day of the week we’ll provide something different to staff similar to what we have done in the past — flowers, coffee cart, work party, chocolate, and lunch.

We will cover staff lunches on Friday. We could order from Elephant’s, Zupan’s or Verde Cocina.

Last year’s work party meant a lot to the teachers; they really appreciated it. This year, we hope to plan a work party for Monday or Tuesday of Staff Appreciation Week.

SW Charter School has been invited to participate in the South Waterfront Art Exhibit. The South Waterfront Art Exhibit is held annually in August and includes juried artwork produced by artists living and working in the South Waterfront neighborhoods. Melissa will be working on doing something to exhibit with Mike’s class. They are giving us a 100 ft. long wall to display our art. Many of the sponsors of the art exhibit are our auction sponsors as well.

At this point in the school year, our teachers are feeling pretty stretched. But interested parents could get involved. Melissa has forwarded all the information to Anne. Melissa is meeting with the organizer of the exhibit tomorrow to look at the event space. She will ask him if there is space for another smaller exhibit. Maybe we could display the Andy Goldsworthy inspired photos that Jen Downer took of the 5th and 6th graders work.

JoLea and Elise continue to work on the Room Parent Folders that will include general guidelines for new room parents. The folder will include an overview of room parent duties. We will get them done toward the end of this year and then distribute them at the beginning of next school year.

Online Auction (Christina)

The Spring Online Auction will be April 27-May 4.

Chris Beckley has done new artwork for the event.

There will be over 100 gift certificates to restaurants and local adventures up for bid.

Winning bidders can pick up their items at school on May 6th at 3 pm. If winners are not local, we will ship items for free.

Liz will send Sarah Mutal a list of places where we have advertised the auction previously.

Field Day 2015

Field Day is Friday, June 12th at Willamette Park.

We need to get Willamette Park booked. Kate will call Portland Parks & Rec to check on availability. She will work with Karen and Anna in the office.

There is a chance that part of Willamette Park might be closed in June due to the construction of the Hannah Mason Pump Station. This would affect access to the playing fields and bathrooms. If we needed a backup, we could probably make Caruthers Park work.

At this year’s field day, we’d like to do another collaborative art project like the bottle cap mural. One idea is milk jug igloos, but they would be difficult to transport back to school. We could do another bottle cap mural representing another theme. We can start collecting bottle caps now.

We brainstormed activity/station ideas:

  • Hula hoops
  • Large beach balls
  • Parachute for younger kids
  • Marbles in kiddie pool
  • Dodgeball
  • Badminton
  • Chess and other board games
  • Face painting
  • Sponges
  • Art a La Carte (Melissa) – a variety of crafts such as clay, beads, pipe cleaners, easels, etc.

Need a mix of volunteer-led stations and self-led stations. It gets exhausting for parent volunteers to continually try to draw kids in.

Volunteers should be responsible for the set-up and tear-down of their own stations.

We will definitely provide a dairy-free frozen treat option this year.

Dismissal went a lot better last year. Everyone was in their group with ice cream distributed by teachers. JoLea will be responsible for planning dismissal and treats this year.

Financial Update (Christina)


Final Community Comments


Google Docs version of April 2015 Minutes

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