Maplewood School

Teaching and Challenging the Whole Child

7452 SW 52nd Ave.Portland, OR 97219Ph (503) 916-6308Fx (503) 916-2654

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Principal's Message

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  • Maplewood Memo October 13, 2021


    Hi Maplewood Families, 


    This past weekend I was able to find some time to enjoy the fall weather while on a hike. Such a beautiful time of year to pause and be thankful of the abundance around us and to look forward to the wide open school year ahead. 


    As we move into October, we are digging into the goals we have set for our students. This year we have a new block of time in our schedule called the  academic support block, which we have renamed FLY! (Focused Learning, Yay!) See below for more information on this systematic approach to meet every students’ needs.

    Refining Systems:
    As systems settle into place we begin to notice where there are areas which may need a bit of tweaking. See below for some systems needing fine tuning:

    Lunch time is one of those areas - specifically hot lunch where the students at the end of the line are feeling rushed to eat within the time limit. I have checked in with each lunch duty person to see how significant they feel the issue is and they have reported, as I have also observed, that the system is getting much better and there are only a handful of students across the school now who feel they have not had enough time to eat their full lunch. A handful of students is too many - and we are working on improving the system so that no one experiences this in the future. 


    I want to share about a few factors involved as to why lunch feels different this year than in the past. With hot lunch being free this year we are finding the line to be longer (which is great that so many are taking advantage of this!), also we are not able to have student helpers like we have in the past so it is one person, our amazing Amy the Lunch Lady, serving every student. Additionally, when we have lunch outside, it takes longer for students to get to the field to begin eating. (Starting next week, our lunches will be in the gym until our tents arrive.)


    We are working on multiple options to improve the issue. I promise I have looked at this issue from all angles and I have a handful of ideas I plan to put into place to hopefully rectify the problem. One area where you can support this issue from home is to help your child decide exactly what they would like to eat before they go to school. Teachers are previewing the lunch menus every morning as well, but it seems that when the students get to the front of the line, they are having trouble making their lunch choice which is significantly slowing down the lunch line. One thing we have done is to have the lunch options out for students to see before they get to the lunch window. These options are on colored paper, so students just need to ask for the color, not the lunch. We are hoping this will make the line go faster. (see photo below)

    Morning Drop Off System:
    Another system that could use some help is the morning drop off traffic. Please fine tune your drop off plan- for example: when do you leave home, what are the systems at home to make this a smooth transition out the door. Being rushed in the morning only high anxiety and sets students off on the wrong foot to start the day. If you are using the drop-of line, please say your goodbyes, masks on, lunches in hands (etc..) before your stop your car so that your child(ren) are ready to hop out quickly.  I am working with PTA to see if we can improve this system with some parent helpers. Stay tuned!

    Our Maplewood neighbors on 51st are still sharing that people are using this as a drop off zone in the mornings. Our of respect for our community, I ask that you PLEASE DO NOT USE 51ST AS A MORNING DROP OFF!

    Lastly, I know that often there are times when you have issues or concerns about things related to Maplewood. I ask that you please reach out to me when these arise. I can’t fix a problem that I don’t know about. You may email me at, text or call me at (971) 378-9596.

    Thank you, 





    Principal-Parent Coffee: 

    Wanna chat? Join me at the Parent-Principal Coffee held on the first Wednesday of every month at 10:00 - 10:30. Google Meet joining info

    • October 25th - G3-5 Return PPS computers to exchange for new chrome books on Oct. 25
    • October 28 - School Picture Day
    • November 5—Planning Day—No School
    • November 11—Veterans Day—No School
    • November 22 & 23-Conferences-No School
    • November 24 - 26-Thanksgiving Holiday-No School
    • December 18 – January 2—Winter Vacation—No School

    September School Assembly
    Click HERE to view the Virtual Assembly Slideshow 

    FLY! at Maplewood

    Hello Families!

    If you have not heard already, we started  F.L.Y. time at Maplewood this week. This is a focused learning time where all students are learning, reviewing, or extending academic skills.  This is a protected time where students can engage in academics that are tailored to them and not miss any core, whole class content.  Students might be working with their classroom teacher, Mr. Flenniken, Ms. Whitney, or even Ms. Kordahl. We are so excited to be working as a community of educators to support the needs of all students at Maplewood!

    Please reach out to Dr. Galloway,  your child’s teacher, or Ms. Whitney if you have any questions.


    Ms. Whitney, Instructional Coach

    Maplewood Mural

    Maplewood students will be working alongside local Peruvian artist, William Hernandez, and his team of artists to paint murals on the front of two portables and along the driveway side of the building. The result will be a complete transformation of our school into a bright welcoming place. The guiding principles of the art work were to embody connectedness and compassion - two much needed elements in this historical time period. In addition to the students lending a hand in the transformation, we will also have a community day on a weekend where families can also join in the painting fun. Stay tuned for more details. Please see samples of the murals below. 


    Additionally, William has made a video about himself and his work for our Maplewood students. Please view the video HERE.

     Maplewood Reads

    October Focus: Indigenous People

    Book: We Are Water Protectors

    Summary: ​​"We Are Water Protectors is a beautiful, lyrical exploration of the values, connections and wisdom of Indigenous people as it relates to water and Mother Earth. It was inspired by the many Indigenous led movements in North America to protect water as a sacred source of and for life."

    Every class at Maplewood will read this book and explore the following discussion questions found HERE. If you are interested in further exploring this topic with your child or on your own, please see the flyer below.


    Additionally, in respect to Indigenous People’s day, the Maplewood staff is collaboratively working to create our own Maplewood Land Acknowledgement. This will be used at the beginning of our staff meetings and some teachers may use it in their class as well. It is a wonderful way to pay respect to those who occupied this land before us and to help us recognize the power of our actions today on those who will occupy this land in the future. 

    From Ms. Cunningham - Maplewood's Counselor

    Maplewood staff and students use TOOLBOX in our classrooms and across our building.  TOOLBOX™ helps us all to be strong, effective, and kind. It helps us build resilience, self-mastery, and empathy for ourselves and others. As a simple metaphor, TOOLBOX enables us to use the inner “Tools” that already exist inside us. The strengths/assets-based common language of TOOLBOX is rooted in resilience, self-knowledge, self-awareness, and non-violence. When we as teachers/staff or parents/caregivers use and model TOOLBOX in our daily lives, we foster children’s abilities to manage their own emotional, social, and academic success. 

    Each month we will focus on a different tool (here is a handout with the 12 tools).  Watch this newsletter for an explanation of the tool we are focusing on.  This month’s Toolbox  tool is our personal space tool.  Our personal space tool is symbolized by a ball of yarn.  Our motion is drawing a circle around part of your body (your personal space bubble) and saying, “I have a right to my space and so do you.”  When we are in others’ personal space, they may feel uncomfortable.  We encourage students to kindly tell others when they are uncomfortable with someone being in their personal space.  Personal space is both a right and a responsibility.  We have a right to that space and we have a responsibility to respect the space of others. 

    Social Work Corner

    Maplewood Families,

    Greetings from the Social Work corner of our wonderful school! While I hope the return to school has been great for both you and your kids, I also want to recognize it has been full of challenges, and will continue to have surprises for us all. Given this unique experience and time, we understand many are grappling with challenges of anxiety, depression, and other social or emotional needs. 

    During these times, one of the most difficult things to do is actually ask for help. Songs like “Don’t Bother Me,” “Leave Me Alone,” and “Creep” remind us that when we are struggling, we often just want to wallow by ourselves. Funny thing is, we also know this is not often helpful and what we really need to do is say “Help!” Please know we are here to help you and your child. If you are feeling like your family could use some assistance, please feel free to reach out, we would love to hear from you and help in any way possible.

    Jeremy Schlott, LCSW

    From Ms. Weatherill
    Maplewood's PE Teacher

    Grades 2-5 are starting a throwing and catching unit which include skills building stations, activities and games! Be sure to have tennis shoes and layer up! We will be working outside many days. 

    Grades K-1 are working on throwing and catching along with hula hoops, scarf throwing, and dancing! We love dancing! In fact, click here to read a few reasons you'll feel better after dancing! 

    Ms. L - Maplewood Art

    Art is in full swing at Maplewood! The first few weeks in the art room we have been learning about what art is and how we use it in our everyday lives. We discuss how art can be a tool to process emotions and communicate. We have made art room agreements together that include:

    Safe Zone: in this room we practice EMPATHY. We never judge others based on color, age, socioeconomic class, race. Religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, ability/disability, or any differences between us. 
    Mutual Respect: in this room we are kind to each other, stay open minded and care about others. Listen to teachers, share openly, celebrate differences and work together to keep the space safe, kind, respectful and of course FUN!
    Protect the Earth… and its resources: in this room we share supplies, put things back where they go, use only what you need and don’t waste paper or damage supply and always help keep the room clean and organized. We love the trees, our art room and our earth. 

    Current Lesson: Students are finishing up Monochromatic Self Portraits this week and we are moving into our Frida Kahlo celebrations this month. Students will be selecting their own medium and designing an art piece inspired by Frida. 

    Stations/Art Parties: I allow students to move around the room and freely choose an ‘Art Staton' when they have completed the lesson I've asked them to do. The statons will vary depending on supplies. 
    Current stations are: Watercolor, chalk pastel, oil pastel, marker drawings, stencils, collage/cut & paste, drawing books, free draw, coloring sheets, knitting & fabric arts, wizard wand sticks, mural crew, and many more. I put 5 out a week and then change them the following week. 

    Art Parties are basically stations for the entire class period, students earn these parties, it takes 5 points to get an “art party,” points are not easy to get in the art room. Stations and parties allow the students independent creative thinking time and is often when we see the best art being created in the classroom. Stations and art parties are only offered after lessons are done and 5 points have been reached as a class.

    Library News

    Please continue to check your cars, under couch cushions, and your bookshelves for Maplewood books to return to the library. 
    Dozens of books have been returned in the last few weeks. 400+ books to go! There are many out there from the book bag program and spring of 2020!

    Help keep our library materials available for all to use and enjoy. Contact me if you have any questions:

    Library topics so far (depends on grade level): OPAC (online patron access catalog -- how to search for good books using the computer), Early Reader series, Book Care (Hug song), Battle of the Books introduction ( , decorating library cards, using shelf markers to browse for books, magazine check out (mostly for "reminders" when books are forgotten at home), keeping books in our backpacks when not reading them (the ASL sign: ), book awards (notably the Pura Belpre (LatinX) celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, and American Indian Library books awards) for Indigenous Peoples' Day and the upcoming National Native American Heritage Month, and more

    Maplewood OPAC: check out our collection here! 

    COVID OHSU Testing

    If I enroll my student in this testing program, what should I expect?

    1. Families who wish to participate in the testing program must fill out the consent forms and health authorization forms we sent with your student.
    2. Our school will receive testing kits and labels to send home every Thursday.
    3. We ask you that every Friday morning, your student spit into the test tube. We encourage you to watch this 4 minute video on how easy it is to collect a spit sample.
    4. Please return the spit samples that same morning. Dropboxes will be located in the front of the school. Samples will be collected by OHSU for transportation to the lab for testing.
    5. OHSU will share the results within 48 hours of the specimen being dropped off at school. You will receive a secure email with your child's results. Please note: PPS will not receive the results of your student’s test. 

    If it is a positive (or inconclusive) result, we ask that you keep your student home from school. Please call us immediately and we will follow the guidance provided by our partners at the Multnomah Health Department.

    Maplewood Directory

    Submit your Directory Listing to be in the school directory! - Deadline October 13th

    We are now collecting family contact information for the Maplewood directory.  

    For new families, To be listed in the Maplewood family directory, which is printed and distributed later this month, use this form to submit your entry: 

    Families who were listed in last year's directory, please use the renewal link sent to your email on Sunday. YOU MUST SUBMIT THE ONLINE FORM EACH YEAR TO BE INCLUDED. 


    PTA News

    The next PTA meeting will be on the 19th via zoom at 6:30. A link will be provided soon.

    Also, there will be a pie fundraiser. Orders will be taken from 10/15  - 10/29 and pies will be delivered on 11/16. More details will be coming.

    Please opt in to the PTA e-blasts HERE

    Heather Jones ~ 412-526-4916 ~
    Michelle Stevens ~ 949-573-7866~

    Foundation Update

    Bridge the Gap - October 25 - 29th

    Maplewood Foundation exists to bridge the gap between staffing received from Portland Public Schools (which changes every year) and what Maplewood needs (Educational Assistants, Library, Technology, Front Office Staff). During this week we will be asking for a monthly or one-time donation to help us plan for the 2022-2023 school year. To learn more about what Maplewood Foundation is, visit our website or email,
    Donation Link: here

    For every donation (one time or monthly) we have a lovely Maplewood sticker cling to give you. Every donation is important no matter the size.  But that's not all - we are hosting a Parent Mingle at Level in Multnomah Village on October 28th!! It's a great opportunity to support your child and meet other parents.

    We look forward to your participation and thank you for your support!


School News

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  • School Picture Day October 28th, 2021

    Dorian Pictures will be here October 28th, 2021 from 8 AM - 1:00 PM.

    Order forms wil arrive home in backpack's prior to this date. 

    Be ready to look your best!

  • New Principal Maplewood Community Letter

    Spring 2021
    Dear Maplewood Community,

    It is with great enthusiasm that I write this letter to you as the new Principal of Maplewood
    Elementary School. I would like to introduce myself to you, and let you know I am not only
    honored, but excited to have been named as your next principal. I look forward to working
    alongside the staff, students, and community in making 2021-2022 a great school year.

    I have held various teaching and administrative positions in my career. In my 17 years in
    education, I have taught Kindergarten, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade, and I have been an Assistant
    Principal. Almost half of my educational roles have been overseas in highly recognized
    American International schools (Shekou International School in China and Dubai American
    Academy), and the other half have been in surrounding schools and districts in and near
    Portland (Estacada, West Linn, and Centennial).

    I see myself as a life-long learner not only in exploring new places, and perspectives, but also in
    seeking higher level educational opportunities to help me learn how to best support our schools,
    teachers, and students. Currently I am working online towards my Doctorate of Education in
    Curriculum, Teaching, and Teacher Education at the University of Florida. The common thread
    woven through my work is my deep belief that all children can be successful, and that I have
    the responsibility to work with teachers and families to discover how to best support their

    I firmly believe that my role as a leader is to support the staff at Maplewood, as we put children
    at the forefront of decision making, to connect with and empower the parent community, and to
    continually work to engage all stakeholders for the benefit of student success. I look forward to
    meeting with teachers and families to learn more about how we can work together to make a
    difference in the lives of our students.

    Jill Bailey and I will be spending time together this spring to facilitate a smooth transition.
    Additionally, in my quest to familiarize myself with the school and community, I plan to connect
    with teachers, the school’s leadership team, the PTA and Foundation members, and I am
    looking forward to attending the spring Kinder-Connect meeting.

    My goal is to ensure that by the time we return to school, I have a clear understanding of Maplewood and all of its successes so
    that we can capitalize on them as we move into the 21-22 school year and beyond.
    With eager anticipation of our partnership,
    Kit Galloway

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