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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Principal's Message

  • Dear Families,


    Welcome to the 2022-23 school year. As a staff, we are excited for the upcoming school year and are anticipating the relationships, memories, and learning that we will build over the next nine months. 

    The first day of school for grades 1-5 is Tuesday, August 30th. School doors will open at 8:37, and school will begin at 8:45, dismissing at 3:00 pm.   Students wanting to eat breakfast, should enter through the cafeteria doors, beginning at 8:15.  Please give your students enough time to eat breakfast and be in class by 8:45.  Students in grades 1-2 will enter through the doors near the library.  Students in grades 3-4 will enter the doors near the gym.  Fifth grade students will go directly to the classroom on the first day of school.  Following that, they will drop off items in the classroom, and proceed to their 1st period specials class.

    The school day begins with a community circle, and we are making it our goal to start the school day when the bell rings at 8:45.  Please try to arrive in time for students to get to class and put away belongings, so they are ready to join the community circle at 8:45.

    Many people are curious about staffing. We have the most changes in our office staff.  Michelle Rowley is joining us as School Secretary.  Ms. Pettit is approved for a leave through the end of October, so we are currently working on filling that position.  Please direct all office questions to  Unfortunately, the School Secretary position has been reduced to .75.  

    Over the summer, the school board voted to add an educational assistant to all TSI schools.  I am in the process of filling this position, and will make this announcement when finalized.  We are also in the process of hiring a new .5 School Social Worker, and I hope to make this announcement soon.  Our PE position has also been reduced to .8, and is being filled by Julia Stevens.

    Again this year, both 4th and 5th grades will be departmentalizing, with one teacher focusing on the math, science and health portions of the content and the other teacher focusing on reading, writing and social studies. This change allows teachers to strengthen their expertise by narrowing the content bands they are required to teach. It will also allow students diversity in their teachers and begin preparing them for middle school.  

    We have had a few shifts in positions; staffing for the 2022-23 school year is as follows:

    Kindergarten:  Ms. Cooper, Ms. Larsen

    1st Grade:  Ms. Peake, Ms. Pinder

    2nd Grade:  Ms. Ferguson, Ms. Pearson

    3rd Grade:  Ms. Michels, Mr. Wolfe

    4th Grade:  Mr. Ibrahim, Ms. Shutt

    5th Grade:  Ms. Brislin, Mr. Brown

    PE: Ms. Stevens

    Music: Ms. Schrepping 

    Media: Ms. Hall (½ time)

    Art: Ms. Duncan

    Counselor: Ms. Spiers

    Reading Intervention: (½ time)

    Ms. Bush, Ms. Lopez 

    Math Intervention: Ms. Hall (½ time)

    ELL: Ms. Routtenberg

    Social Worker: TBD

    School Climate Coach: Ms. Whitaker

    Learning Center: Ms. Lopez (½ time)

    Speech Pathologist: Ms. LeMeune

    Paraeducator: Ms. DeRuiter

    Paraeducator: Ms. Thompson

    Educational Assistant: Ms. Newton, TBD

    Library Assistant: Ms. Woodward

    School Secretary: Ms. Rowley

    Principal’s Secretary: Ms. Pettit

    Custodian: Ms. DeWeese, Marc Jefferson


    School Supplies

    The supply lists for in person learning are available on our website. If you need support in getting supplies, please contact Ms. Spiers at


    School Breakfast & Lunch:

    Chief Joseph is a CEP school for the 2022-2023 school year, breakfast and lunch will be free for all students.


    After School Plan:  Please be sure to complete the attached “First Week of School After School Plan” and send it with your student on the first day of school.


    Community Care Day:

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



    Amber Gerber

    Principal, Chief Joseph Elementary School



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