February 11, 2024

Ventura Park Families,

Happy Lunar New Year! 

This month, families are also invited to the 2024 Black Excellence Showcase.  It will be  Friday, February 16th, from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm at Floyd Light Middle School, in partnership with SUN, David Douglas High School Black Student Union, and Elevate Oregon.  Please see the flier at the end of this newsletter for more information.  All are welcome to attend.

Mural Completion

Thanks to Helen Nesburg, we have a beautiful new mural in our main lobby.  Please come in and take a look at it when you have a moment.  For those of you who remember the previous mural, it isn’t gone, it’s being moved around the corner to brighten up another one of our other hallways.  

PTO Updates

PTO has made a connections with Eco School Network, which is a non profit that works with schools, parents/families, and students to implement sustainable practices and projects in the school and community

  • PTO is interested in learning more and will have another meeting with Jeanne to learn about the training process and how to participate – we are looking for more volunteers so please contact Ventura Park PTO via email if you would like to be included!

Upcoming Events:

  • Garden Work Party on Tuesday 2/27 after school from 3:30 – 4:30
    • Our garden teacher Ileana is looking for volunteers – students and parents/caregivers – to come and help move some mulch that the garden has acquired! PTO will provide some snacks. Come join us! 
  • PTO is hoping to put on a movie night Friday April 12th for students and families in the cafeteria. Free for all, PTO will have popcorn to sell to support our fundraising. More details to come soon! Let us know if you are interested in helping out!
  • Classified Staff Appreciation March 3rd/4th – PTO to help with potluck, any volunteers welcome!
  • Teacher conferences are March 20/21 – PTO to organize potluck, look for Sign-Up Genius email to contribute to support our wonderful staff!
  • PTO will be working on organizing some spring events – stay tuned for more information on these:
    • Spring Plant Sale
    • Student Jog-a-thon
    • Scholastic Book Fair
      • Our wonderful Librarian, Maryann Dunbar, is putting on a Scholastic Book Fair in the library during March conferences. Students can come shop for a book and support our school fundraising. Be on the lookout for ways to help out with this event!
  • Our next PTO meeting is March 6th at 6pm in the library or virtually

Bell of the Ball – DDSD Father Daughter Banquet

David Douglas is excited to host a father and daughter banquet on Friday, February 23rd at 6:30pm at Ron Russell Middle School.  This event costs $5 to attend and seating is limited.  Please see the flier at the end of this newsletter for more information and to get signed up.

Tax Preparation Assistance 

As tax season approaches, IRCO is excited to share that they are now accepting referrals for our tax clinics located at IRCO Main, Africa House, SEEC, and Ontario. Please find the schedule for each location below:

  • Africa House: Mondays from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • IRCO Main: Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • SEEC (Pop-up Clinic): Wednesdays on February 7, March 6, and April 5, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Ontario: Thursdays from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM

They are proud to offer this complimentary service, thanks to their dedicated volunteers who have received certification and comprehensive training from the IRS in income tax return preparation. Interpretation and translation services will be provided at each location to accommodate our diverse community. Both IRCO employees and clients are welcome to take advantage of this opportunity.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment or if you have any inquiries regarding your tax situation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing or calling us at (971) 275-0524 or (971) 427-3993. (Please see fliers at the end of this newsletter for more information).  

Zenger Farms Opportunity

If you’d like to, Zenger Farms wants to invite everyone for an evening of community building and interactive activities at Zenger Farm! Open Farm Nights (OFNs) is a monthly event series for kids and their families to participate in fun seasonal activities, crafts, and more! We will be kicking off OFNs on February 27th from 5:30-7:30pm. This month we will be focusing on seed crafting!

The program is designed to be welcoming, fun, and educational to families and people of all ages. These events are loosely structured and mostly self-guided. Educators are on site to help facilitate activities. Participants are welcome to drop in throughout the evening. The final check-in is at 6:45 pm. February 27th | 5:30-7:30pm

11741 SE Foster Rd. Portland, OR 97266  There is a fee for all of these events, but there is also a sliding scale.  For more  information and to see the sliding scale payment you can go here.

Read Alouds

Ms. Tryon has made another fun read aloud.  This one is called My First Trip to the Philippines.  You can view this read aloud here.  

Have a great week!!

Principal Smith 

“Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” 

~Marian Wright Edelman

Important Dates

Late Opening Wednesdays – Every Wednesday is a late opening.  On Wednesdays, the school doors open at 9:55am.  

ESL Classes on Tuesdays – FREE Adult English Language Classes for any adult within the Ventura Park Community occur every Tuesday from 1:30-3:30 PM at Ventura Park Elementary. To reserve your spot, please call Jazmin Caliman at (971) 227- 4480 or email

Juntos Aprendemos on Wednesdays – Juntos Aprendemos is a free program run completely in Spanish for families with children between 3-5 years old.  It is every Wednesday at Ventura Park from 4-6pm in room 12. For more information or to get registered, call or text Cecilia Diaz at 503- 885-4748 or Anita Carabantes at 503- 754-0494.

February 16th – No School for students – Teacher Professional Development Day

February 16th – Black Excellence Showcase – 5:30 – 7:30 pm at Floyd Light Middle School.  All are welcome.

February 19th – No School – Presidents Day

March 6th – VP PTO Meeting from 6-7 pm in the library or virtually at

March 15th – No School – Teacher Grading Day

March 20th – Half Day of School for Students – School ends at 1:40pm, so teachers can prepare of evening conferences

March 20th & 21st – Family conferences (by phone, over the computer or in person) Conferences run until 8:00 pm each evening – signups will be coming out soon.

March 20th & 21st – Scholastic Book Fair – Come in to browse the books you can buy. 

March 21st – March 29th – No School for Students.  This is due to conferences and Spring Break. School will Resume on April 1st.

April 1st – School resumes 

Important Links

Monday Morning Announcements – Here are the latest morning announcements: 01.29.24 Monday Morning Announcements02.05.24 Monday Morning Announcements.  

K-5 Meal Menus – Jan. & Feb. 2024 ES Breakfast MenuFeb. 2024 ES Lunch Menu.  You can find nutrition information and more district wide meal information at this link

Pre-K Meal Menus – Feb. 2024 Preschool Breakfast & Lunch Menu,  Jan. & Feb. 2024 Preschool Snack Menu. You can find nutrition information and more district wide meal information at this link

2023-24 School Calendars – 2023-24 Elementary School Calendar.  To see all of the district calendars, please use this link: 

PTO Links

PTO Meetings: PTO meetings currently occur the first Wednesday evening of each month.  Stay tuned for more information about how to attend them.  If these dates and times change, we will send out family communication.

Friends of Ventura Park meetings are 1st Wednesday of each month 6-7pm in the school library or Google meet:

The remaining dates are: Mar 6, Apr 3, May 1, Jun 6

Looking to connect?  If you have questions about the PTO or would like to chat about how you can help, please email us at

If you are on Facebook, we have an active group that is a great resource for the entire school community:

Our mission is to support our school, enrich our children’s education, and strengthen our sense of community. There are many ways to support Friends of Ventura Park PTO and contribute to our goal of creating community.  See the attached flyer for details

Ventura Park Partners

Portrait of Jazmin Caliman
SUN Site Manager

Jazmin Caliman (she/her/hers)
Want to talk to Jazmin?
C: (971) 227 – 4480
Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN)
Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)

Portrait of Jacqui McDougal
Family Coordinator

Jacqui McDougal
Want to talk to Jacqui? 
C: (503) 984 – 2812
Building New Beginnings