The Hectorcampbell NDA meets the second Monday of every month at 6:30pm in the Community Room of the Public Safety Building: 3200 SE Harrison Street, Milwaukie, OR

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Letter to North Clackamas School Dist. from our Neighborhood Leadership, concerning the future of Campbell School

Thank you to everyone who turned out to our Monthly Neighborhood meeting last night. It was refreshing to see so many people interested in our neighborhood.

Below is a letter from our neighborhood leadership to the North Clackamas School District concerning their proposal to close our neighborhood elementary school. We encourage our neighbors to attend the School Board meeting this Thursday, March 17th.
March 1, 2011

Superintendent Tim Mills
North Clackamas School District
4444 SE Lake Road
Milwaukie OR 97222

Dear Dr. Mills:
I am the Chair of the Hector Campbell Neighborhood Association and am writing on behalf of our association with regard to (1) the pending decision to close Hector Campbell Elementary School, and (2) our desire to improve communication between our association and the school district.

First, we understand that the decision to close any school is difficult for everyone and that many factors are considered before a final decision is made. I’m sure you are aware that our children are happy at Campbell and that Principal Curtis Long’s leadership has been a major factor in the marked improvements to children’s test scores and the safe and supportive environment at Campbell. Our association has worked hard to support school events, we have joined the PTA, and we have spent many hours researching pedestrian, biking, and vehicle traffic and school zone safety issues and a variety of projects to improve those concerns with funds that have been made available by the City of Milwaukie’s new Walk Safely Milwaukie Program.

Often, people express their desires to smaller groups but may feel it is hopeless or too difficult for them to communicate individually with the district. Therefore, as Chair of the Neighborhood Association, I want to share with you that many neighbors have expressed a strong desire for Campbell to remain open even though we understand the issues that have made closing a possibility. In this case, history and community play a big part in our desire to keep Campbell open, as well as the necessity for moving so many children in three different directions (four, if you count the change placing 6th graders in middle school) – even some who just came to Campbell last year due to boundary changes.

Second, we are disappointed in the lack of communication between the school district and Hector Campbell Neighborhood Association, and want to take whatever steps we can to improve our relationship. Many were disappointed that the meeting notice to talk about closing Campbell was to parents only, and felt that the Neighborhood Association officers should have been informed and invited.

Our goal is to work harder to establish better communication with the district in the future, and hopefully, to be more involved earlier in the discussions of any changes that affect our neighborhood. This would include plans relating to maintenance of the building and grounds, and future plans to lease the use of the building and/or grounds. We are also very interested in the future transportation plan for the children of our neighborhood and intend to continue looking at safe routes to school(s) and other traffic related issues which need addressing. Better communication with you about these and any other shared neighborhood issues will allow us to (a) provide accurate and timely information to the neighbors who do not have school age children, (b) anticipate needs which we may be able to assist in meeting through neighborhood resources, and (c) support a variety of school and district activities in the future.

Our association would appreciate your suggestions for how we can improve communication with the district in the future. We already receive the district email letter and list of highlighted activities. This year we purchased a membership in the HC PTA in an attempt to connect more closely with the activities and needs of the school. We are concerned that approach is not going to work very well if our children are divided among 3 new schools.

We welcome your comments and suggestions either in a written reply or by attending one of our association meetings the second Monday of each month at 7 PM. Please contact Linda Hedges ( to be added to our agenda anytime it is convenient for you or your representative.

We are looking forward to your response.

Mary Weaver, Chairperson
Hector Campbell Neighborhood Association

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