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
School News

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  • Winter After School Classes


    Winter 2020 After School Classes

    Here are the classes being offered for winter term (January - March). These are parent-paid classes; please register using the links below. Scholarships are available for all classes. Please contact the school counselor, Ms Lynn, at, for assistance with fees.






    Planes, Cranes & Awesomemobiles
    Offered by Mad Science

    Feb 10 - Mar 20



    or go to and search After School Programs

    Fashion Fix-it (Learn to Sew and Mend!)

    Offered by Angel O’Brien

    Jan 6 - Mar 16



    Contact to register or if you have any questions about the course. Limited to 10 students so please reserve your spot early!

    Offered by Portland Early Learning


    Jan 6 - Mar 16


    or go to and select Spanish Classes

    Ukulele and Songwriting
    Offered by VibePDX

    Jan 13 - Mar 16


    or go to and click Register

    Basketball: Hoops Enrichment
    Offered by Portland 1on1 Basketball

    Jan 8 - Mar 18



    Theater Games
    Offered by NW Children’s Theater

    Jan 15 - Mar 18


    K-4 or go to and scroll to see Chief Joseph Classes
    Scholarships available! Apply here.


    Offered by Tiny Techs Club

    Jan 16 - Mar 5



    Drawing with Smartypants

    Offered by Smartypants 


    Jan 23 - Mar 19



    *Discount available for full year registration.                 

    Contact Harmony Scofield or 503.781.2115 with questions or suggestions for future classes.

    Chief Joseph Winter Classes -- full registration info available on reverse

    Planes, Cranes & Awesomemobiles 

    Attention all Junior Engineers! Explore the fundamentals of the forces that hold our planet and buildings together in this fun series of classes that will help you both fly through the air and anchor you firmly to the ground!


    Students will start speaking in phrases from the very first class using "puzzle piece" sentences, role-plays, active book reading and more! Our instructors create an environment that fosters a natural process to using language. Students speak to each other, have opportunities to be "teacher," and build confidence in themselves as individuals.


    Students will build their understanding of music through the ukulele - this session will focus on strumming and learning chords on the instrument through a variety of genres including folk, pop, and traditional Hawaiian songs. Students will also have the opportunity to work on their own original works using skills built from learning songs on their ukulele and creating their own chord progressions and lyrics.

    Theater Games

    Zip Zap Zop your way into this fun and engaging class that’s all about exploring the world of theater through creative play!

    This introduction to theater basics uses each actor’s tools – body, voice and imagination – while getting kids up on their feet for activities they will love!

    Fashion Fix-It

    Learn to mend, repair, fix your clothes in this fun class for 3rd through 5th graders. We’ll learn how to sew on buttons, fix rips and tears, make and use cool shaped patches to give your favorite clothes a longer life. Kids will have the chance to learn about different kinds of fabrics and practice basic sewing skills. This class will be all hand sewing. Angel O’Brien (third grader Gwendolyn’s mama) has been sewing since she was 3 years old and would love to pass on these important skills to your child.


    Learn some drawing fundamentals-- from light & shadow, to different perspectives, styles and techniques. We will try our hand at realistic and imaginative subject matter, and hone the skills we have while experimenting with new methods and ideas. We will help you learn new skills and deepen your love for drawing over these fun 9 weeks! Good for beginners, or kids who have already taken Smartypants drawing classes.


    Your child will learn basketball motor-skill fundamentals through progressive drills and fun competitions as well as grow as a person through our programs’ goal of positive reinforcement, mutual respect, and cooperation. Your child will have the best experience learning, sweating, and having fun with One on One!

  • Immunization Information



    When you are registering your child to attend school, please bring immunization information with you. If your child is attending school and has received immunizations since last school year, please bring updated information as soon as possible.


    Please continue to bring in updated immunization information. This information must be provided to the school for input into the district’s immunization database so that your child’s record will reflect that they are up to date.


    Letters will be mailed this month to parents whose children have incomplete immunization information. Should you receive a letter, please provide requested information as soon as possible. The school nurse is available to address any questions you may have or to help identify a health care provider.


    If your child is still incomplete in their immunizations, please make arrangements to obtain vaccinations and to provide this information to the school. Exclusion day for state required vaccinations is Wednesday, February 19, 2020. Students who are not current will not be able to attend school until current immunization records are provided to school staff.


    Exclusion day for state required vaccinations is Wednesday, February 19, 2020. Letters will be mailed to parents whose children are not up to date or whose records are incomplete. Should you receive a letter, please provide updated information to the school as soon as possible. Children who are not current for vaccinations by February 19th will not be able to attend school until records are complete. If you need assistance in locating a health care provider or clinic site, please contact your school nurse.


    Exclusion day for state required immunizations is Wednesday, February 19th. Students who are not current will not be able to attend school until their records are complete. Please arrange for your child to receive needed immunizations so that they can remain in school. If you need assistance in locating a health care provider or clinic site, please contact your school nurse.


    Children who will be attending kindergarten in the 2020-2021 school year will need to be up to date with their immunizations to enroll. Please provide a record to your child’s school when attending any enrollment activities.


    Oregon law now requires that school districts and schools post information regarding nonmedical exemption and exclusion rates on their web page. This information is updated annually based on information provided prior to exclusion day in February.


    Please continue to provide updated immunization records if your child receives vaccinations. These records are continually updated to ensure current status. If your child will be seeing a health care provided for summer camp or a sport physical, review their immunization status and bring updated records to your child’s school.


    Students currently enrolled in grades kindergarten through 11 will need two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine by school year 2020-2021.  Please review your child’s immunization records and visit your child’s health care provider for needed vaccines. Remember to bring updated records to your child’s school when they return in September 2021.

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


District News

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  • Announcing new Chief of Schools, Dr. Shawn Bird

    Dear Colleagues,

    I am pleased to announce that Dr. Shawn Bird has accepted our offer to become Chief of Schools for Portland Public Schools. Shawn is a passionate educator with more than 20 years of experience as a teacher, administrator and executive leader in urban school districts.

  • Upcoming Mindfulness trainings from Peace in Schools

    Click "read more" below to find out about the following upcoming Mindfulness trainings: Mindfulness for Youth-Serving Professionals Weekend (March 7-8), Mindful Teaching: An Experiential 8-Week Course (April 2-May 21), and Mindful Educator Retreat (July 9-12). 
  • 2-hour late delay, buses on snow routes

    Español| Tiếng Việt| 中文| Русский| Soomaali

    Due to weather, all schools and offices will open two hours late this morning. Buses are also on snow routes and will arrive approximately two hours later than regularly scheduled.

  • PPS Pulse: January 14, 2020

    In this week's PPS Pulse: Roosevelt, Madison use support from Damian Lillard to help students take positive steps; advice for parents to help high school students cope with finals


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