Rox in Sox with Aaron Nigel Smith!

Rox in Sox with Aaron Nigel Smith

rox in sox

We are partnering with King School and Aaron Nigel Smith to participate in Rox in Sox on Saturday August 1st from 10 to 3!


Rox in Sox is an exciting festival that celebrates children’s music and literature. During this free charity event Rox in Sox will collect socks, shoes, and books for kids who need them in the USA, Kenya & Jamaica.

Since 2013 they have donated 2457 pairs of socks, 1199 books and 185 pairs of shoes to kids around the world.

This unique interactive family festival features performances by some of the country’s leading children’s musicians and authors. There are plenty of fun activities for kids and families to enjoy together, great food and a chance to exciting prizes!

To sign up:

More details here

Location: King School Park 4906 NE 6th Portland, OR 97211‎

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Friends of SW Charter Year in Review ~ You All Rock!

yearinreviewHere’s a look back at some of the amazing things that Friends of SW Charter School organized or participated in this past school year (2014-2015) to build community and support our staff.

There are so many other kindnesses and efforts that aren’t recorded here, but are very much appreciated! Thank you to all our phenomenal volunteers who help to make our school such a great place!

appreciationTeacher and Staff Support

  • Work Parties ~ August 23, November 19, May 4
  • Teacher & Staff Back to School Breakfast and Lunch~ August 25
  • Teacher & Staff Potlucks for October & March Conferences
  • Staff Holiday Party ~ December 19
  • Staff Appreciation Week ~ May 4 – 8

block_partyCommunity Building

  • Camp Wilkerson Family Camping Trip ~ September 5-7
  • Block Party at Elizabeth Caruthers Park ~ September 26
  • Black Friday Roller Skating ~ November 28
  • Community Crafternoon ~ April 12
  • SWCS T-Shirt Redesign and Sale
  • Monthly 1st Thursday Morning Coffees


  • Chinook Books ~ September & October
  • Run for the Arts ~ October 1
  • Hopworks Restaurant Night ~ February 9
  • Pizzicato Dough for Dollars ~ November 18 & March 3
  • Go Green Gala Dinner & Auction ~ February 28
  • Spring Online Auction ~ April 27 – May 4
  • Spring Plant Sale ~ May 2015
  • Box Tops, Labels for Education, Terracycle ~ throughout the year
  • Amazon Smile ~ throughout the year
  • Fred Meyer Community Rewards ~ throughout the year

farmers_marketCommunity Service

  • Girl Scouts of SW Charter School Donation Drive to Benefit NW Children’s Outreach ~ September 2014
  • After School River Clean-Up ~ October 16
  • Great Halloween Candy Exchange ~ November 3rd
  • 3rd Annual Cottonwood Bay Cleanup ~ April 18
  • Farmers Market Fundraiser for Nepal ~ May 8
  • Pennies for Patients to Benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society ~ May & June 2015
  • Chicken Caretakers ~ throughout the year

crafternoon3Fun Stuff

  • Community Crafternoon ~ April 12
  • Pizza Lunch for Students ~ May 15th
  • Field Day ~ June 12, 2015
  • Yearbooks!
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Friends Meeting Minutes ~ June 2015

Friends of Southwest Charter School

Meeting Minutes

June 23, 2015

Important Dates:

June 27: S. Waterfront Greenway Grand Opening 10 am – 2 pm

August 4: FoSWCS Meeting, 6:30 pm Elephants on Corbett

August 7: South Waterfront Art Exhibit begins

September 10: SWCS Block Party

Open Forum

Playground Concerns:

The boulder on the playground has some loose things. Anne is aware and has contacted the manufacturer and/or installer to repair.

During the school year, JoLea and Elise met with Anne about the playground. Their main concern was the sand area and how slippery it makes the surrounding area. The sand pit is too full and overflows.

At this time, there are no school funds for additions to the playground.

Some have expressed interested in purchasing free-standing basketball hoops. Kathy reports that we have had two of these in the past and they become damaged too easily. She would prefer to have a stationary hoop mounted to a pole that is sunk in cement. Friends could possibly help with the cost. Melissa will ask Dennis to follow up with Anderson Construction.

The chicken area needs a nylon sock for the drain. It continually gets clogged.

It would be nice to power wash the wall to remove the ball marks.

2015 Block Party with S. Waterfront Farmers Market

Elise and Christina met with Heather Bayles from the S. Waterfront Business Association and Farmers Market to begin planning our 2015 Block Party. Heather was very positive about working with us. The Block Party is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, September 10th.

Since the Block Party will be held during the Farmers Market, it simplifies many things for us. The Farmers Market already has food, music and port-a-potties. We can plug in our activities with the Farmers Market.

Elise is working on an electronic scavenger hunt for the Block Party. Liz will help with it too. We want to create an age-appropriate scavenger hunt that the Farmers Market would perhaps like to use too.

FoSWCS 2015/2016 Board

We hope to get new Board members in November 2015. This will allow new families time to get more involved with Friends.

Christina would like to make the Friends Board larger. In the past, the Board has been mainly composed of a President, Treasurer and Secretary.

Christina proposed a new model of 5 members, where each person is able to decide which role he or she would like to take. If you’re interested in the Friends decision making process, we encourage you to become part of the Board.

It was also suggested that we have a way to stagger terms so Board members overlap and not everyone leaves at the same time.

Field Day 2015 Recap

Kathy gave us a report from the teachers regarding their thoughts on Field Day.


  • Everybody had a blast.
  • Length of day was good.
  • The art stations and face painting were awesome.
  • Bottle cap mural was engaging.
  • Teachers and volunteers appreciated the food.
  • Ice cream distribution was great.
  • Tie-Dye t-shirts
  • All-school picture


  • Younger grades need to eat lunch earlier.
  • Boundaries seemed too spread out. Next year, put safety cones around perimeter.
  • Need more volunteers for safety patrol and provide clear guidelines to volunteers regarding boundaries and what is expected.
  • Have volunteers wear same t-shirts so they’re easy to identify.
  • Playground got a little crazy this year.
  • We need more structured activities for younger grades.
  • Difficult for teachers to keep track of kids.

Friends will talk with staff in early spring 2016 to get their ideas.

It was suggested that we send home or post online a Field Day schedule so younger kids (and parents) know what to expect.

Due to construction at Willamette Park, we may have to have Field Day at Elizabeth Caruthers.

The bottle cap mural is at school. Christina will work on it during the summer. We still need purple bottle caps. If we need certain colors, SCRAP has lots of bottle caps.

Family Camping Trip

We decided to move the Family Camp to the end of the school year 2016. We might be able to schedule Wilkerson for that time.

We have not secured a campground for early September and it might be too much at the beginning of the year.

Final Community Comments

The South Portland Neighborhood Association meets at 7pm on the first Wednesday of the month (No meeting in August) at NCNM Annex located at 2719 SW Kelly Street.

Wouldn’t it be great to form a coalition of all the schools in the S. Waterfront area including SWCS, Sunstone, International School, etc. ? We could get together quarterly to touch base with the PTOs. There’s a lot of schools in our area but we don’t communicate.

Next FOSWCS Meeting is August 4th at 6:30 pm at Elephant’s on Corbett

Get a Google Docs version  of these minutes.



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South Waterfront Greenway Grand Opening Celebration

Stop by the SW Charter booth this Saturday!


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Summer Friends Meeting This Tuesday, June 23rd

summerFriends of SW Charter will have our 1st summer meeting this Tuesday, June 23rd at 6:30 pm at close-in Elephants Deli on Corbett in Johns Landing.

We’ll be meeting upstairs in the Corbett Room at 6:30 pm. There is ample street parking as well as a parking lot with 2nd floor access.

While you are of course welcome to eat and drink, purchase of food is not necessary. Elephants closes at 8 pm, so our meetings will not go late. Hope to see you there!

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SB 819 ~ Email or Call Representative Tina Kotek

sb 819Dear families, staff, and supporters:

Southwest Charter School has been working all year to bring equitable public funding to charter schools through legislative advocacy. As you know, charter school students receive about 58 cents on the dollar in state funding as compared to students in traditional public schools. Senate Bill 819 (SB 819) was introduced in this legislative session to right that inequity in funding.

SB 819 is still in the mix, and we’re getting down to the wire as the legislative session nears an end. The decision about whether SB 819 moves forward is in the hands of a very small group of people, including Representative Tina Kotek (District 44, N/NE Portland). She is not necessarily opposed to it, by any means, she’s just extremely busy, and we want to be the squeakiest wheel (certainly squeakier than the bill’s opponents)!

We need YOU to reach out to her TODAY or TOMORROW. Here’s her contact info:,

Potential messages (please use your own words!):

I am NAME, my child(ren) is/are student(s) at XXX public charter school in CITY.

I’m writing to ask for for your support of SB 819. Children in public charter schools receive less than 60% of the public funds that children in district-run schools receive. This inequity needs to be fixed.

SB 819 would require our sponsor district to pass through 95% of the state, federal and local funds it already receives on a per-pupil basis, onto kids in charter schools, and would give us access to the state transportation reimbursement. Our district would retain at least 5% to support its charter oversight, which is a typical administrative rate in K-12.

SB 819 does not require ANY new revenue, except the $50k “study” to determine what services districts provide to the charters they sponsor.

SB 819 would shift less than 1% of PPS’ budget annually, and less than 1% of the state’s overall K-12 budget, shift public funds to support our students proportionate to our enrollment.

Charter schools have all the same rules and regulations as district-run schools, we must provide all of our own “central office” services, we are expected to produce the same student outcomes, and yet we have only 60% of the public funding. It is not right.

This is simply an issue of equity. Our kids, in public charter schools, are AS valuable as kids in district-run public schools.

Thank you!

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Last Day for Pennies for Patients ~ Wednesday, June 10th

pennies2SW Charter School is thrilled to again be participating in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s School & Youth Programs!

Donations are due Wednesday, June 10th. Bring in your collected coins and other donations and put them in your classroom’s collection box. Checks can be made out to “The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society”.

In addition, we now have a online donation site for our school:

All money we collect will go directly to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

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