Arco Iris Spanish Immersion School

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Contact Name: Christa Billings Organization: Arco Iris Spanish Immersion Charter School Phone Number: 503-539-9158 Email: [email protected]

Beaverton charter school wins State grant Arco Iris Spanish Immersion school prepares its new home

Beaverton, OR: Arco Iris Spanish Immersion School announced they have been awarded a grant of more than $400,000 from the Oregon Department of Education (ODE). The school is one of the recipients of the ODE Oregon Charter School Program’s Expansion Subgrant, which will support the school’s expansion of an additional 135 students over the next 1-2 years.

Arco Iris Spanish Immersion School is a K-8 public charter school in the Beaverton School District, featuring Spanish immersion and Singapore Math, a highly acclaimed mathematics program. They opened in 2010 with a mission to foster increased academic ability that yields bilingual, bi-literate, and multi-cultural students who are prepared for college, career, and global citizenship. Arco Iris consistently ranks in the top 10% in the state and was recently named one of the top 2 charter schools in the state.

School Board President, Christa Billings, said, “We are extremely pleased and honored to win this grant from ODE. It will enable us to improve support for underserved students and help close the achievement gap.” The school moved to a new location this Spring and Billings said the funding would cover curriculum, teacher training, equipment, and other needs to support their expansion and support of student achievement. The school currently has 373 students and consistently has a wait list. Bob Kaminski, interim principal, declared, ““It's fantastic to see our efforts in developing a rigorous academic education be recognized. As a charter school, we are constantly searching for extra funding to support our students and teachers. This grant will help us to do that and much more."

Arco Iris Spanish Immersion School is a K-8 school in Beaverton. The school moved to its permanent location at 8205 SW Creekside Place, off Hall Boulevard, in March. Learn more at

Press Release/Announcement

Monday, April 22, 2019 Contact: Christa Billings, Board Chair Arco Iris Spanish Immersion School 503-539-9158; [email protected]

Arco Iris School Board Selects Michelle Herron to be next Executive Director

Completing the search for a new Executive Director, the Arco Iris Spanish Immersion School Board of Directors is pleased to announce Michelle Herron has been selected to be the School’s next Executive Director effective on June 24, 2019.

“We reviewed applications for 16 candidates from Oregon and other states across the country for the position with assistance from a team of staff and parents. After interviews and reference checks with some of the candidates, we narrowed the field to three finalists and invited them to spend a day at our School meeting with groups of staff, students and parents. Unfortunately, one of the finalists withdrew because of a family emergency and was unable to participate. We concluded the finalist school visits with a second-round interview with each one.” Board Chair Christa Billings said. “At every stage of the rigorous search process Michelle Herron emerged as an outstanding candidate and the right fit to be our next Executive Director. We’re excited to welcome her to our Arco Iris family.”

Since 2015, Michelle Herron has been Head of School for Cascade Canyon School, an independent school in Fairfax, California serving 75 students. Previously, she was Elementary Principal at The International School of Panama in Panama City, Panama for three years serving 600 students. Her prior administrative experience also includes five years as the K-8 Principal at Tumalo Community School in the Redmond School District serving 400 students and as Curriculum Coordinator for the Sisters School District for one year. She was a teacher in Alaska and Oregon for 20 years in various school districts. She is in the process of getting an Education Specialist degree in Educational Administration from Lewis & Clark College and she has a Master of Education degree from Oregon State University.

When asked to explain her philosophy of education, Herron said, “Kids only have one chance to an education and it is our obligation as adults to get it right. Getting it right requires a commitment to providing equitable access to educational opportunities. It also means creating a healthy culture built on trusting relationships with the power to shape attitudes and behaviors of everyone in the system.” She continued, “School should be a place where people genuinely care for one another, where professionalism and a deep commitment to the hard work of educating children is the norm, and where everyone expects to learn and grow together.” Herron is thrilled to join the team at Arco Iris. “I see a great fit between my educational philosophy, background and experiences and the culture at Arco Iris. I look forward to working with the staff and community to help all of our students thrive in this rich, bilingual environment.”