Chief Joseph Elementary

A strong, diverse and respectful community
where we make learning creative and fun

2409 N. Saratoga St.Portland, OR 97217Ph (503) 916-6255Fx (503) 916-2618

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Chief Joseph
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  • Will your student be 5 by Sept. 1? Register for Kindergarten NOW!

    Register for Kindergarten Online!
    If you have a child who will be 5 years old by September 1, please register for kindergarten! To register, go to The process takes 20-30 minutes and we will follow up with you later in the summer. With schools closed, online registration is the easiest option, but paper options will be available soon. You don’t need to register if your child attends a PPS Head Start or Pre-Kindergarten program. Please register as soon as possible! 

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Principal's Message


    Dear Families,

    Welcome to the 2019-20 school year.   As a staff, we are extremely excited for students and families to join us and embark upon another amazing school year filled with forming connections and growing as thinkers and citizens.  It is our hope that your summer was filled with joy, and you were able to spend precious time with loved ones. I look forward to seeing you at Community Care Day, Saturday, August 24th from 9:00-12:00.

    Unfortunately, as we listen to the news, we are continually bombarded with hate and violence, which is disheartening and overwhelming.  Fortunately, as a school, we have the opportunity to make a difference for our students and the future. Now more than ever, there is a critical need to create a more connected, responsive, and socially just community. As a staff, we will advance our work in creating cohesive classroom communities through the implementation of Caring School Communities.  Caring School Communities is a social emotional learning program that expands our work in PBIS, mindfulness, Restorative Justice, and community circles. It is my goal that our school community is inclusive and our students gain the necessary skills to be responsive, connected global citizens. As the principal of Chief Joseph, I am committed to creating a community that promotes equity and social justice.

    Many people are curious about staffing. I am excited to welcome Elsa Bush, who will be teaching reading intervention.  

    We have had a few shifts in positions; staffing for the 2019-20 school year is as follows:

    Kindergarten:  Ms. Larsen, Ms. Pinder, Ms. Brislin

    1st Grade:  Ms. Janson, Ms. Peake

    2nd Grade:  Ms. Ferguson, Ms. Nguyen

    3rd Grade:  Ms. Michels, Mr. Wolfe

    4th Grade:  Ms. Shutt, Ms. Strozinsky-Hassart

    5th Grade:  Ms. Martinez, Ms. Pearson

    PE: Ms. Earl

    Music: Ms. Schrepping

    Media: Ms. Hall

    Counselor: Ms. Spiers

    Learning Center: Ms. Lopez

    Speech Pathologist:  Ms. LeMeune

    ELL: Ms. Routtenberg

    Paraeducator: Ms. DeRuiter, Ms. Wilson

    Educational Assistant: Andrea Newton

    Library Assistant: TBD

    I’d also like to fill you in on other information that is important to know for the beginning of school:

    School Start Times & Dates

    For grades 1-5, school begins on Wednesday, August 28th.  Doors open at 8:39 and school begins at 8:45. Please help teachers make the most of the instructional day by ensuring your student is in class by the 8:45 bell.  If the occasional circumstance causes you get to school after 8:45, be sure to have your student sign in at the office and get a tardy slip before going to class. School entry will continue to be through the doors on the North side of the building.  These doors will be shut and locked at 8:45; after 8:45, enter through the front doors.

    The first day of kindergarten will be Tuesday, September 3th.  This day will be a ½ day, with the am session running from 9:00-11:30 and the afternoon session running from 12:15-2:45  After all students have completed the initial interview and testing, teachers will develop class lists and contact you to let you know if your student will be attending the am or pm session.  Teachers work very hard to balance class lists based on student demographics, needs, strengths, and personalities. As you can imagine this process is complicated, and we are unable to accommodate requests for specific class placements.  We will also be having a kindergarten social on Thursday, August 29th at 6:00 pm. We hope to see all our incoming kindergarten families; class placement will be shared at the social. The first full day of kindergarten will be Wednesday, September 4th from 8:45-3:00. 


    Bus Routes

    Please see the most updated schedules online at:  You can also contact transportation at 503-916-6901.

    Opening Day Packets

    You will be receiving the traditional opening day packets with lots of important information, when they come, please take special care to look over the following forms:

    • Publicity Denial Form: If there is information you do not want included in the student directory, please be sure to note that on this form.

    • Student Verification Form:  Please double check this form carefully.  If there are mistakes, please note them on the form and we update our information system. As mentioned above, please take care to ensure all adults picking up your student from school are on this list.  All forms, even those without mistakes, need to be signed, dated, and returned to school.


    This year, breakfast is no longer free for all students.  Students receiving free or reduced meals and those wishing to purchase breakfast, may enter the cafeteria at 8:15.  There will be supervision, so families can drop their students off at the cafeteria doors on the South side of the building.  We will be dismissing students at 8:37, so please ensure students get there in time to finish their breakfast.

    Free and Reduced Lunch

    Families that were on free and reduced meals last year should have received information from Nutrition Services about necessary steps to renew.  If you did not receive this information, please contact Nutrition Services. If interested in applying for free or reduced meals, you can apply online by going to:  If you’re having difficulty with the process don’t hesitate to call nutrition services at (503) 916-3399, or call us.

    Supply List

    In June, we mailed supply lists with report cards, and they are available on our website.  If you need support with providing supplies for your student, please contact our counselor, Ms. Spiers.  Her email is  

    Upcoming Dates

    These dates will all be on the Calendar in the Opening Day packet, but I know some of you can’t wait...

    Saturday, August 24th Project Community Care 9:00am-Noon

    Wednesday, August 28th First Day of School (1-5) 8:45 am

    Thursday, August 29th Kindergarten Social 6:00 pm

    Monday, September 2nd Labor Day No School

    Tuesday, September 3rd First Day of School (K) ½ Day

    Wednesday, September 18th PTA/PTO Meeting 6:00 pm

    Thursday, September 19th Back to School Night 5:30-7:00 pm

    Friday, September 20th Principal’s Coffee 9:00 am

    Thursday, September 26th Picture Day TBD

    I am extremely excited for the upcoming year and look forward to continuing to build community, advance social justice issues, and improve learning.


    Amber Gerber

    Principal, Chief Joseph Elementary School


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