• Coronavirus update: Schools will be closed through April 28

    Under an executive order from Oregon Gov. Kate Brown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Portland Public Schools and other districts in Oregon will be closed through April 28 More information and updates

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Capitol Hill School

A Great Place to Grow

8401 SW 17th AvePortland, OR 97219Ph 503-916-6303Fx 503-916-2616

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Capitol Hill
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  • Capitol Hill Vision and Mission Statement

    Vision: The vision of Capitol Hill Elementary is to provide an inclusive community for students, families and staff where everyone is safe supported and respected. Together we will foster a love for life-long learning. 

    Mission: Our collective mission at Capital Hill is to foster a growth mindset that supports both academic and social-emotional growth. Through rigorous instruction and building meaningful relationships we will instill confidence in our students to take risks and overcome challenges. 



    Mark Your Calendars 📆
    2/11/20 Music Residency Begins

    2/12/20 PTA / Foundation Meeting 6:30-8:30

    2/17/20 No School

    2/19/20 Immunization Exclusion Day (see below)

    2/20/20 Connect to Kindergarten 6:00pm (spread the word)

    2/26/20 OMSI K-2

    2/27/20 OMSI 3-5

    2/29/20 PTA Auction 


    School News 🐟

    Black History Month

    In honor of Black History Month, students will be learning about important African Americans. Teachers are planning to make their learning visible in the hallways by the end of the month. For specific details about what your teacher is planning to cover, please contact them. 


    Hot Lunch Update
    We got GREAT news today. Our brand new ovens that were delivered at the end of last week, are being hooked up and prepared for use this week. Nutrition Services believes we should be prepared to serve hot items at breakfast and lunch very soon. When we get final confirmation, we will let you know. 


    Update on Community Circles

    One of the major goals of introducing community circles this year has been to move toward schoolwide implementation using the Restorative Justice Framework which focuses on community building, social emotional learning, and problem-solving skills. We started this work with our counselor facilitating circles. However, it is now time to move toward teacher-directed circles. Moving forward, we will be working with our Restorative Justice Coach to support teachers as they transition into the role of facilitator. 


    In order to ensure that our community circles are responsive to the needs and developmental stages of our students, we will be pausing our implementation as more robust professional development is provided to our staff. When we resume this work, we will be using lesson plans from the Circle Forward curriculum. This is a nationally recognized, research-based curriculum that is based on the following 7 Core Assumptions: 

    1. We are all good, wise and powerful.
    2. We are interconnected. 
    3. We desire to be in good relationships. 
    4. We all have gifts that are needed by others. 
    5. We have everything we need to make a positive change. 
    6. We are holistic. 
    7. We need practices that help us learn about ourselves. 


    We will send a list of topics to families through our monthly newsletter to keep you apprised of the direction of these discussions.  


    School Traffic 

    Lately, we have had some close calls where drivers have not been safe during drop off and pick up. We need to work together to ensure that each of our children has a safe way to arrive and leave school. We know how frustrating being stuck in the drop off line can be so we have a committee of parents looking for solutions to the traffic issues we face. No matter the level of frustration felt while waiting in the line, it is imperative to drive in a way that keeps our children safe. Please be sure you are driving safely in our school zone and following the traffic pattern for drop off and pick up. The detailed plan is below.  



    Pets at School 

    Please do not bring or leave pets unattended on school property. A child was bitten after school by an unattended dog after school recently. Though most of the animals that are brought to campus are very well-behaved, we can’t predict how an animal will react to a child it does not know.

    The school board policy about pet on campus can be found at this link: https://www.pps.net/cms/lib/OR01913224/Centricity/Domain/4814/3.80.011-AD.pdf


    Kindergarten Connect 

    On February 20 from 6:00pm-7:00pm, Capitol Hill will be hosting Kindergarten Connect, which is an event geared toward the parents of incoming Kindergarteners. Parents will learn about Capitol Hill, meet the Kindergarten Teachers, Principal, and other Important Staff, and register their children for school next year. If you know any families with children old enough to start Kindergarten in August, please encourage them to attend!   

    Informational Attendance Report Cards 

    We are planning a new attendance program that reinforces positive attendance behaviors. As part of this program, your child will be given an informational attendance report card. The report card will show you what your child’s attendance rate for this school year is so far. It also tells you what your child’s attendance rate means. The categories for attendance used nationally are: 

    • Severe Absence -- less than 80% (more than 4 absences in a month)
    • Chronic Absence -- 80 - 89% (up to 4 absences  in a month)
    • Acceptable Attendance -- 90-94% (up to two absences  in a month)
    • Good Attendance -- 95% or better (one day  in a month)

    It’s important for children to learn good attendance habits now! Students who attend school regularly have better academic outcomes. Attendance has such an important impact on schooling that students who attend regularly are 4 times more likely to graduate than students with chronic attendance issues. 

    Immunization Resources
    February 19 is the exclusion day for immunizations. Please make sure your child is up to date and we have record confirming their immunizations. Please click on the links below for more information and immunization resources: 

    Immunization Family Outreach 

    Immunizations Resource Flier (English) 

    Immunizations Resource Flier (Spanish)




    Special Thanks ❤️

    •  A huge thanks to Mrs. Caron for facilitating the Leadership Group. While we support her decision to end the group, we want her to know how valued her contribution to the students in Leadership has been since it began last year. As we look to the future, we are hopeful that we might be able to use her model to establish Student Leadership opportunities that include all interested students in this unique opportunity. 

    • Thanks to Mrs. Gilchrist and all of the volunteers for their commitment to running the OBOB tournament at Capitol Hill. There was a huge jump in participation this year and we have a very excited group of students going to the Mini-Regionals at the end of the month.

    • A big shout out to Karen, our Kitchen Manager, for doing an amazing job for our students while we have had no ovens. Not only has she worked hard to make sure they have a variety of options for a breakfast and lunch, she has also comforted more than a few students who are missing Pizza Day.

    PTA News 📬

    Please visit the PTA Website for PTA News = https://capitolhillpta.membershiptoolkit.com/


    Foundation News 📬

    Please visit the Foundation Web Page for Foundation News  = https://capitolhillfoundation.com/


    Something to Think About 💡 

    A message for our children:  

    Mark Your Calendars 📆
    Jan 23 OBOB begins 

    Jan 27 No School - Teacher Planning Day 

    Feb 3 Counselor Appreciation Week

    Feb 4 Music Residency Begins 


    School News 🐟

    Hot Lunch Update
    Since our kitchen fire, our Head Custodian, Jeremy, and I have been working with various departments at the District Office to determine the best next steps to get an operating oven for Capitol Hill. This week, Nutrition Services purchased a new oven for our kitchen. We were very excited about this news. However, the wait for our oven delivery will be at least a month and maybe longer. Nutrition Services is working on a temporary solution to bring us hot food but does not know when they will be able to do so. In the meantime, they have provided us with a menu of cold food options available to our children. Please click here to see the menu. 


    If they find a way to get a temporary oven in our kitchen, we will go back to the regular hot lunch menu. If this happens, or there are any other developments, I will be in touch with you.  


    Thank you for your patience with this situation. We have heard from many families that children can’t wait to have another pizza day! We hope that will happen soon. 


    State Testing
    State testing is on its way. Practice tests for Language Arts and Math will take place in March. The state test for Science will be given to grades 3-5 the week before Spring Break. Language Arts and Math testing is scheduled for April. Schedules will be sent home by each teacher. 


    CHE Green Team Update 

    After Winter Break, the Capitol Hill Green Team replaced disposable utensils reusable, metal ones. They worked with students and teachers over the past two weeks where to put the utensils after use. This project has been very well-received so far. Students are learning new ways to contribute to a cleaner, sustainable world. I am very proud of our Green Team, students, and staff for working to make this a success. 

    Sign Up for PPS Inclement Weather Notifications
    Be sure that you are notified when schools are on a late start or canceled.  Sign up to receive text messages. Text message “YES” to 68453.

    Attendance Matters
    Happy New Year!  If attendance has been a challenge for your child this fall, now is a great time to make a new year’s attendance resolution to help your child get on track for success in school and life. 


    This year….

    • I will talk to my child about how going to school every day will help them do well in school and achieve their hopes and dreams
    • I will keep an attendance chart at home. At the end of the week, I will recognize my child for attending school every day with (i.e. a visit to the park, a new book, a break from doing chores, a special treat).
    • I will make sure my child is in bed by p.m. and the alarm clock is set for a.m.
    • If my child complains of a stomach ache or headache, and medical concerns have been ruled out, I will send him/her to school anyway and call so that he/she can check in with my child during the day. 
    • If my child has a cold but no fever (less than 100 degrees), I will send him/her to school anyway. If I don’t have a thermometer, I will purchase or borrow one. 
    • I will find a relative, friend or neighbor who can take my child to school if I can’t make it.
    • If my child is absent, I will contact his/her teacher to find out what he/she missed. 
    • I will set up medical and dental appointments for weekdays after school.


    Asbestos Notification 

    Portland Public Schools have asbestos presents in some places. If you want more information, it is available in our main office. 


    Special Thanks ❤️

    • Thanks to the PTA for sponsoring our classroom trips to OMSI. We heard from teachers, students and families that these field trips were the best one we have ever had. Thanks to PTA for making this trip possible.

    PTA News 📬

    Please visit the PTA Website for PTA News = https://capitolhillpta.membershiptoolkit.com/


    Foundation News 📬

    Please visit the Foundation Web Page for Foundation News  = https://capitolhillfoundation.com/


    Something to Think About 💡 

    At the last PTA meeting, there was a presentation about Growth Mindset.


     If you would like to see the presentation, click here


    If you would like to take the mindset survey, click here. 

     Mark Your Calendars 📆

    October 8 - 2:30 First Site Council Meeting

    October 9 - 5:30 Volunteer Training

                         6:00 State of the School Presentation (free child care available)

                         6:30 PTA Meeting 

                         7:30 Foundation Meeting 

    October 11 - No School: State-wide Inservice

    October 15 - Picture makeup day

    October 17 - Great American Shake Out (Earthquake and Fire Drill)

    October 18 - Grand Friend Day - Reception in the cafeteria ends at 10:30. The Book Fair and the Garden will be open throughout the event.

    8:15-8:45     2nd

    8:30-9:00    K

    8:45-9:15     1st

    9:00-9:30    5th

    9:45-10:15   3rd

    10:15-10:45  4th

    October 25 - 6:00 The Big Boo 

    Week of October 28 - Spirit Week 

    Monday:  Backwards Day

    Tuesday: Sports Day

    Wednesday:  Crazy Sock Day

    Thursday: Wear your grade color (Either Capitol Hill or anything in your color)

    Friday: NO SCHOOL 

    November 1 - No School: Teacher Planning Day 

    November 11 - No School: Veteran’s Day 


    Equity Team Invitation 🌎

    The focus of the Equity Team is to address issues of equity and inclusion at Capitol Hill by providing a space for families with diverse perspectives and backgrounds to connect as we work toward an inclusive community for all of our students. If you have not already done so, please complete this short form if you are interested so I can schedule these meetings when it is most convenient for those who are interested. I will be in touch soon with a meeting date and time. 


    Site Council Election 📩

    Site Council is an Advisory Team that includes staff and families.  We meet one Tuesday a month from 2:30-3:30. The Site Council helps develop the School Improvement Plan which guides the school's work each year. They also make recommendations about the professional development needs of staff  that make it possible for the School Improvement Plan to be carried out. Anyone is welcome to attend but only three parents can be elected by other parents to be voting members of Site Council. 


    Please vote for parents interested in being on Site Council by clicking this link. The ballot will be open until 3:00 pm on Monday, October 7. The first Site Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 8 at 2:30 pm. 

    School News 🐟

    1. This year, all of our licensed staff have joined committees that are focused on special areas related to developing more supports for our students. Committees will be focused on one of the following topics  throughout this school year: the culture and climate of the school, developing positive attendance behaviors, creating a more safe and inclusive school community, curriculum development, and overall school improvement efforts.

    2. The district has purchased a new sign in system that requires us to scan your license or state photo id each time you visit the school. If you are coming to volunteer or visit, please make sure you have your id with you!!


    Traffic in Front of School 🚗

    If you drop your child off in the morning, you probably have noticed that we have signs and cones out that require cars to move forward for drop off. We started doing this because cars stopping far back on 17th was creating a backup. As a result, some cars started pulling around others and created two lanes. Children getting out of cars in the outside lane began walking to the sidewalk while the cars in the inside lanes were still moving forward. This created a serious safety issue where some of our children were were nearly hit. Moving cars forward has helped the line move quicker and has stopped the double line of traffic in front of the school so each of our children have a safe way to get to the front of the school.. 


    We have asked the city for a 4-way stop light on Spring Garden to help move traffic out quicker. Since the city has said no to our request, we now have a staff member who is pushing the crosswalk button regularly in order to safely cross our students AND to stop traffic so our cars can more efficiently get across Spring Garden. 


    We know traffic is tough to deal with but we urge you NOT to make illegal u-turns on 17th. If you must come down 17th from Spring Garden, you can let you child out near a crosswalk so our crossing guards can help them safely across the street. U-turns in front of the school are especially dangerous. Otherwise, turning on 14th and coming up Hume to the front of the school will help you avoid a need to make a U-turn. Please work with us to ensure all of our children are safe as the arrive and leave school. 


    Special Thanks ❤️

    Thank you to all of our parents who are volunteering in our school! We are lucky to have so many of you coming into classrooms to work with children, supervising in the lunchroom and on the playground, and doing things (like making copies and laminating materials) to free up teachers time.


    Also, a special thanks to all of our hard working teachers for all of the time they are collaborating together as they plan lessons, look at assessments scores, and make sure they are meeting students' needs every day. 


    I also want to thank Reading Results for providing an extra reading tutor to our school for the first half of the year. Reading Results is a non-profit organization that brings retired teachers and adults trained to tutor in reading into the building to work with students who need a little extra help to meet grade level expectations. A Capitol Hill  alumnus has funded one tutor from the program for Capitol Hill for several years. This year, Reading Results is also offering an extra tutor temporarily to work with our children. We are very grateful for the extra support!!!

    EBBL Newsletter 📚

    Do you want to learn more about the district literacy program and ways you can help your child? Please click on this link for more information. 

    PTA News 📬

    Foundation News 📬

    September 20, 2019

    Greetings, Capitol Hill Families!

    Please help me welcome Ms. Keira Havner to Capitol Hill Elementary. Ms. Havner will be teaching art to our Kindergarten and first grade students one day each week for the rest of this year. Ms. Havner comes highly recommended by the other school that she currently teaches at, Sitton Elementary. She joins us having a wealth of experience and we hope to make her transition seamless.

    We ran into a critical need to hire an art teacher for one additional day because our art schedule ended up being 25 minutes two days per week and 40 minutes 3 days per week in order to accommodate adding professional collaboration to the teachers’ week. The shortened days made teaching art unmanageable. Bringing Ms. Havner aboard allows the art schedule to mimic the PE schedule so students will get to do art 2 times per week for 40 minutes each.  

    As we make this change, I want to thank Ms. Helmsworth for all of her dedication and hard work to serve each of your children despite a challenging schedule she had while we searched for a solution. Her deep commitment to the school and to each of our students was very apparent and appreciated.

    I also want to thank the Foundation for providing the funds that allowed us to hire Ms. Havner and PTA for making a contribution to the Foundation so that we had adequate funding for the positions we have been able to hire this year. While Foundation funding is dedicated to staffing needs and PTA funds are dedicated to providing curriculum extensions and supplies for classrooms, both of these organizations provide vital supports to our school that we would not otherwise be able to afford. If you have not become involved in these organizations, I encourage you to join. They offer great ways to get involved in our school and meet other families.

    Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions, and thank you for your patience while we made these adjustments.



    Aimee Alexander-Shea



    Dear Capitol Hill Families,


    I am very excited to welcome you back to the ‘19-‘20 school year. I hope that you have had an amazing summer. At Capitol Hill, we have been hard at work finishing construction, getting classrooms ready, and planning for our first days back with students. Please help me in thanking Ms. Reichelt and Mr. Eskew for setting up materials, Mr. McCauley and his custodial team for preparing the building and grounds, and our teachers for planning and attending trainings about our new reading curriculum during these last summer days.  

    Here are a few important dates to add to your calendar:

     August 24: Community Care Day (9:00-1:00)                    t-shirts, snacks, and water provided 

     August 28: First Day of School for 1st – 5th grades

     September 3: First Day of School for Kindergarten

     September 5: Ice Cream Social (5:30 – 6:30)

     September 12: Picture Day

    September 26: Back to School Night (5:30 – 7:00)


    Please review the attached drop off and dismissal procedures for the ‘19-‘20 school year. Help us make safety a priority by following these guidelines. Here are a few very important things to remember about drop off and pick up. Our building opens at 7:45am so please wait until that time to drop your child off at school. Please remember to return your After School Plan on the first day of school so we know how your child is getting home. I encourage your to visit our school website at www.pps.net/capitolhill for school supply lists, upcoming events, student/parent handbook, important reminders, and classroom updates.

    As your new Principal, I am honored to join the Capitol Hill Community. The high level of dedication, care, and support each family and staff member shows at our school has already become apparent in the short time I have been here. If you volunteer at our school, thank you! If you don’t, please consider signing up. The first step is filling out the background check at www.pps.net/Page/149. It takes a village to raise children and we would love to have you join ours. I am committed to working with each of you to create a nurturing school environment that meets your needs and expectations.

    Thank you for entrusting us with your precious child. We are committed to ensuring that Capitol Hill is a safe and loving place that truly is a great place to learn and grow. Please drop by, call or email me if you ever you have a question, concern, or would simply like to introduce yourself.



    Aimee Alexander-Shea





             I also want to encourage you to follow our Capitol Hill Traffic Plan. Remember that you are welcome to park in any available space in the parking lot and that you're welcom to come early to school. The drop-off is not busy at 7:45. Here are some general suggestions from our traffic plan:


    • Pedestrians and bikes only on Carson 7:30 - 8:15; 2:00 - 2:30
    • Cross only at crosswalks
    • Drop students off school curbside only
    • Keep 17th One Way - south during drop-off times
    • Be mindful of students crossing at 16th and Carson

    Please Don't: 

    • Make U turns in front of the school (it's unsafe and illegal)
    • Load/unload students at the crosswalk/yellow curbs
    • Block the parking lot entrance/exit
    • Park in the wrong direction


     Pick up and drop off on 17th in the designated Drop Off Only Zone in front of school

    • Drop students school curbside
    • Do NOT drop at yellow curbs
      • Limit vehicle traffic on Carson 7:45 – 8:05; 2:05 – 2:30


    • Please no U-Turns
    • Please park the correct direction

    traffic pattern









District News

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  • PPS: Planning for Home-based Learning

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     Computer learning collage

    Dear PPS Families and Staff,

    After much urgent collaboration and planning, today leadership from Portland Public Schools and the Portland Association of Teachers shared with all of our PPS educators the outline for how teachers will begin working online next week. This outline represents our upcoming efforts to most effectively phase in supports for our students and teachers during the extended closure of our schools. We appreciate your patience while we, like other school districts, adapt our instructional delivery model virtually overnight. Next week we will share with you a detailed, multi-week plan for home-based learning for your students. Please stay tuned for that.

  • PPS Coronavirus Update: March 18

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    Dear PPS Families and Staff,

    We want to continue to provide you with the latest updates and information. Work continues around the clock to provide academic and social emotional supports as well as meals to students during the statewide school closure, which per Governor Brown’s Executive Order, will extend through April 28.  

  • Need to borrow a computer for your PPS student? Fill out this form!

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    Families of PPS,

    As the coronavirus situation continues to develop, we are looking at a number of ways to deliver the best possible experiences for students during the extended break, and we want to make sure all of our students can remain connected to their peers, teachers, and schools and have regular access to learning opportunities and curriculum materials. 

  • PPS Coronavirus Update: Governor Orders Schools Closed Through April 28

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    Dear PPS Families and Staff,
    This afternoon Gov. Kate Brown, as part of an Executive Order in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus situation in our state, announced an extension of Oregon’s statewide school closure. This includes the announcement that: 
    All Oregon and all PPS schools will be closed through April 28. Per this executive order, students would return to schools on Wednesday, April 29.