05-24-2018  3:52 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Attorney General Forms Hate Crime Task Force

The task force will study hate-motivated crimes and review existing legal protections for victims ...

Portland Art Museum Celebrates Art Museum Day with Free Admission on May 25

Portland Art Museum joins art museums across North America, with great works of art and public programs ...

June Key Delta Community Center Hosts May Week ’18 Health Fair May 26

Event includes vision, glucose screenings, medication disposal and car seat installation ...

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Amazon: Echo device sent conversation to family's contact

SEATTLE (AP) — An "unlikely" string of events prompted Amazon's Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family's private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle, the company said Thursday.The woman told KIRO-TV that two weeks ago an...

Portland streetcar derails in crash; 1 injury

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland streetcar derailed during an accident involving several vehicles.No major injuries have been reported, but police say one person was taken to a hospital.The crash happened early Thursday afternoon in the Central Eastside Industrial District.The streetcar's "B...

Suspect in 1986 Washington murder case pleads not guilty

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A man arrested in the killing of a 13-year-old Tacoma, Washington girl over three decades ago has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.The News Tribune reports 60-year-old Robert Washburn pleaded not guilty Thursday in Tacoma, Washington, to murder with aggravated...

Amazon: Echo device sent conversation to family's contact

SEATTLE (AP) — An "unlikely" string of events prompted Amazon's Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family's private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle, the company said Thursday.The woman told KIRO-TV that two weeks ago an...

OPINION

Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Staley settles lawsuit against Missouri athletic director

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — South Carolina coach Dawn Staley has reached a ,000 settlement in her lawsuit against Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk.Missouri is paying the ,000. One half of the settlement will go to INNERSOLE, a nonprofit foundation co-founded by Staley. The other half will...

San Francisco police not charged in black man's 2015 killing

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco prosecutors said Thursday that they will not charge officers in two shooting deaths, including the killing of a black man that led to citywide protests three years ago and federally recommended police reforms.District Attorney George Gascon declined to...

Body camera video is latest setback for Milwaukee police

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Body camera video showing police using a stun gun on an NBA player over a parking violation is just the latest setback for efforts to improve relations between Milwaukee officers and the city's black population.The confrontation involving Sterling Brown of the Milwaukee...

ENTERTAINMENT

Scenes cut from 'Show Dogs' over resemblance to sexual abuse

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two scenes are being cut from the family movie "Show Dogs" after complaints that they resemble real-life sexual abuse, the movie's distributor has announced.In the movie, a police dog goes undercover at a dog show to catch animal smugglers.In one scene, the dog is told to...

Tommy Chong reflects on pot's evolution as he turns 80

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Yeah man, Tommy Chong says he always knew he'd live to see the day marijuana legalization would be sweeping America.He knew when he and partner Cheech Marin pioneered stoner comedy 50 years ago, a time when taunting the establishment with constant reminders that they...

Paltrow: Brad Pitt threatened Harvey Weinstein

NEW YORK (AP) — Gwyneth Paltrow says ex-boyfriend Brad Pitt threatened producer Harvey Weinstein after an alleged incident of sexual misconduct.The 45-year-old actress told "The Howard Stern Show" on Wednesday she was "blindsided." Paltrow claimed she was 22 when Weinstein placed his hands...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

MLB panel says baseballs getting extra lift, cause unknown

NEW YORK (AP) — Baseballs really have been getting extra lift since 2015, and it's not from the exaggerated...

Tommy Chong reflects on pot's evolution as he turns 80

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Yeah man, Tommy Chong says he always knew he'd live to see the day marijuana...

Bus driver charged in crash that killed student, teacher

A school bus driver with a history of driver's license suspensions caused a fatal crash on a New Jersey highway...

Israel defense chief plans 2,500 new West Bank settler homes

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister said Thursday he will seek approval next week to fast-track...

Cyclone Mekunu pounds Yemen island on its path to Oman

SALALAH, Oman (AP) — Cyclone Mekunu roared over the Yemeni island of Socotra in the Arabian Sea on its way...

Saudi Arabia releases 3 women as other activists still held

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi authorities have released three prominent women's rights...

KairosPDX founders
By Helen Silvis | The Skanner News

PHOTO:Three of the five KairosPDX founders (from left):Zalika Gardner, the school’s principal teacher, is a child development expert and taught in Los Angeles and at Catlin Gabel school; Kali Ladd, has 14 years of experience in education; Jasmine Johnson is an early childhood educator.

A new charter school opening in Portland this August aims to close the racial achievement gap, and put low-income students on track for educational and career success. 

“Our focus is to create a school where children of color can thrive,” says board co-chair Kali Ladd.

“It will be a school where they are treated with respect; where they are treated with the expectation that they will succeed and that they will become the next generation of engineers and scientists and innovators.”

KairosPDX will start by opening kindergarten and first grade classes, adding classes each year until it covers kindergarten through 5th grade. The education nonprofit will include:

$1·         an Early Learning Center for children and families from birth to 5 years

$1·         Family Connections programs that support families and childcare staff in learning new skills

$1·         a K-5 Learning Academy in a culturally-relevant environment designed to nurture curiosity, creativity and success in all of its students. An important goal is to lay a foundation for excellence in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects.

“We want to cultivate confident, creative, compassionate leaders who exceed the standard at every milestone.”

KairosPDX-founders-all

PHOTO: Meet all five KairosPDX founders (from left): Kaaren Heikes has been a leader in the charter school movement for more than 20 years; Marsha Williams, a project manager with OHSU, worked with Haitian youth for six years in Boston; Zalika Gardner, the school’s principal teacher, is a child development expert and taught in Los Angeles and at Catlin Gabel school; Kali Ladd, has 14 years of experience in education; Jasmine Johnson is an early childhood educator. 

Ladd is one of five women who founded KairosPDX. The others are:  educators, Zalika Gardner, Kaaren Heikes and Jasmine Johnson; and OHSU project manager Marsha Williams.

The five are uniquely qualified to take on the project with decades of teaching and early childhood education knowledge among them. Zalika Gardner , the school’s principal is a teacher with 20 years of experience. And each one brings passion and knowledge to the school.

Four of the five founders are women of color. That’s important, Ladd says, because children need to see people who look like them as educational leaders.

Making sure that the environment reflects the culture of the students will also be a priority.

“Our curriculum will be intentionally multicultural,” she says. “If we are to empower children they need to see that they have power. To feel that they have the power to change the world around them, they need to see themselves in that world –in history, science and math: all those things.”

The school’s name, KairosPDX, comes from an ancient Greek word, Kairos, which means the right moment, the moment where something special happens. If its students go on to defy the current  statistics, that would definitely count as something special.

Statistics show that African American, Latino and Native American children start school disadvantaged, and the gap increases throughout middle and high schools.

In Oregon the achievement gap translates into an overall graduation rate of 57 percent for African American and Native American students, and 61 percent for Latinos and low-income students. Yet for White students the graduation rate is 71 percent.

Harvard-educated, with experience as a teacher, program manager and policymaker, Ladd knows what she’s doing.  She worked as education policy advisor for former Portland Mayor Sam Adams, before being elected to the board of Portland Community College.

Her goal for the school is that it will become a model for how to close the achievement gap for students of color and low-income students.

Tiffani Penson, a City of Portland employee and a volunteer at the school, says it’s time.

“I’m just very excited and I believe this will change lives,” she says. “I’m very proud of these women and I know they are going to make a difference.”

Educators will use the Reggio model, created in Italy, which is based on the science of how children learn, Ladd says.

“It’s a learning style that is student-centered and project-based, and it emphasizes higher order cognitive thinking skills. Critical thinking and problem solving are a key component.”

The school has partnered with experts in the STEM subjects, who will come in for one period a week. Other partners include Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center, Self Enhancement Inc., Mecy Corps., Friends of the Children and Oregon Department of Human Services.

Classes are filling up quickly, Ladd says. A few spots remain in the first grade class. And because so many families signed up for the kindergarten class, the board has been trying to raise funds for a second class.

The school already has raised close to $500,000 to cover its costs. Charter schools do get funding from the state, but they get far less per student than school districts. And Oregon does not yet fund full-day kindergarten classes for all children.

To sign up or for more information, call 503-567-9820, email info@kairospdx.org or visit the school’s website kairospdx.org

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