Cleveland High School

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3400 SE 26th AvePortland, OR 97202Ph (503) 916-5120Fx (503) 916-2692

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Cleveland News

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Principal's Messages

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  • Principal's Message 5/3

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    Dear Cleveland Families,

    As we work to support our students in the last few weeks of school, I want to remind you of some of our school policies.
    First, I have heard from parents and staff about the use of cell phones on campus and how that use is distracting from the learning environment. Our staff have been engaged in work to address this issue by reviewing our current policy and drafting modifications to that policy for next school year to give more structure and guidance to students and families. Currently, students are supposed to have their cell phones on silent and put away while in class. Please remind your students of that expectation.
    While we have reminded students that the parking lot on SE 26th across from the main entrance of the school is for PPS staff and visitors only, students continue to park there. We added signage to designate the parking lot and have done random sweeps to have students move their cars. We will now be affixing a warning sticker to the rear passenger window on the driver's side that will serve as a tow warning. If a student parks again after the sticker warning, we will have the car towed. PPS does not provide student parking at any high school campus. While our parking lot may look empty in the morning, we have staff, contractors and visitors who come to the school after the first period of the day who cannot find parking. Please remind your young drivers to find appropriate street parking.
    Finally, we have quarter 4 progress reports being submitted by teachers on May 9. We want to support all of our students to be successful and to earn credit. Attendance in classes is essential to finish the year strong and to access the academic supports in the classroom with the teacher and peers. Attendance includes being in class on time. If a student misses the first 15 minutes of a class every time that class meets, they can be missing up to 45 minutes of instructional time in a week where the class meets three times. In particular, we see students late in the morning and late coming back from lunch. Please emphasize the importance of attendance with your student.
    Please feel free to reach out to teachers, counselors or administration with any concerns or questions you have about your student's progress in these final few weeks. 
    Jo Ann Wadkins,
    Cleveland HS
  • Principal's Update 4/19

    Dear Cleveland Families,

    I hope you are enjoying this spring weather! We have three important events happening at Cleveland next week that each address school wide improvement. They have been promoted in a variety of ways, but I want you to have information about them in one place. I also would like to encourage you to participate in any way that you can. 

    April 24 4:00 PM - Cleveland Modernization, Auditorium

    The office of school modernization is hosting an Open House at Cleveland with the design team to review the final comprehensive planning information that is going to the PPS school board for approval at their May 7th Board meeting. The team will be set up giving presentations on the hour from 4-8pm with general Q&A and discussion between sessions. The last presentation is at 7pm. We hope to see you there.

    We're entering the design phase of work now and have opened applications for the Design Advisory Group (DAG). Similar to the CPC (whose effort is now complete), the DAG will meet every 4-6 weeks throughout the design process. Meetings are already scheduled for the remainder of 2024. Please apply if you are interested in participating, and please forward to others who you recommend to participate. The CHS Modernization web page has been updated with information about the Design Advisory Group. Here is a link to the application and a link to the project page for your reference. Please let me know if you have any questions. 

    DAG Application:

    DAG Meeting Schedule: All meetings are 6-8pm in the CHS Library.

    Thursday 5/9/24
    Thursday 6/6/24
    Thursday 8/1/24
    Thursday 9/12/24
    Tuesday 10/15/24
    Thursday 12/5/24

    CHS Bond Webpage:

    April 25 5:30 PM - Healthy Masculinity Community Event, Auditorium

    I want to invite you to a very important event. The Cleveland High School Healthy Masculinity Club, advised by Brian Fain and Neil Gibson, and Building Consent Culture Class, taught by Gaye Chapman, are hosting a moderated panel conversation “The Boys Are Not Alright: Building A Culture of Healthy Masculinity.” This event is free for all ages and light food and refreshments will be provided. The link below shares specifics of the panelists and how to register. I highly encourage you to attend with your student. I would like to thank the teachers, staff and students who have planned this event since the beginning of the school year.

    April 26 5:00 PM - Cleveland School Foundation SQUAD Fundraising event, GYM

    I am sure that many of you are aware that PPS is facing budget cuts across the entire system for the next school year. Cleveland High School is no exception. While I can assure you that our core program and electives will still be supported next year, the reduction in staff means that the number of electives available will be reduced. Dollars raised by the foundation will be put into place to broaden the course offerings for next year and support the programs we have in place.

    Register to Attend

    Also, a reminder: the Vacation Raffle is now live! Don't miss your chance to grab a ticket.  

    Purchase a Raffle Ticket

    Thank you as always for your support of Cleveland High School. I look forward to seeing you at one of these events next week!

    Jo Ann Wadkins,
    Cleveland High School

  • Principal's Update 12/20/2023

    Dear Cleveland Families,

    We are getting close to the break, and we continue to engage students in class this week to include working on projects, refining and catching up on assignments, learning new skills and topics as well as engaging in community building activities. This Friday is an all eight period day where students will be attending all of their classes. This day is a great opportunity for students to connect with teachers about being on track to finish strong this first semester. When we return in January, we will have three weeks of classes before finals. Each of those weeks will feature flex periods where students can make-up work and get extra help from their teachers. Please encourage your student to take advantage of those flex periods.

    In my last update, I shared information about the dates and times of our conferences. Today, you will receive an email from Amanda Shwetzer that will detail how to sign-up for our first set of virtual conferences on January 3. That email will list every one of your student’s teachers and a link for each of them to schedule a conference. You will get a separate email for the in-person conferences.

    I wish everyone a peaceful winter break. It is an honor to work with the Cleveland community of parents, students, teachers and support staff. Best wishes for the New Year!

    Jo Ann Wadkins


    Cleveland High School

  • Principal's Update 12/8/2023

    Dear Cleveland Families,

    It is great to have all of our staff and students back together at Cleveland. We have published the updated schedule for the rest of the semester on our website and Trivory. I have received emails with questions about the week of December 18-22. Our teachers have been working together to plan for those added days that will include opportunities for enrichment and additional practice. Our teaching staff is a talented and creative group of educators who support our students as well as each other, and they have collectively worked to compact curriculum and adjust lessons for a semester that is now shorter than it would have been. We know that students will be absent that week as well as educators. Please know that our substitute teachers will have meaningful lesson plans for students. Our teachers are balancing designing lessons to engage all students as well as be readily accessible to be made up by students who may be gone that week.

    Another change to the calendar are the dates for parent teacher conferences. These conferences will now be held over four evenings in January. Each evening conference date will run from 5:00 - 8:00 PM. In deciding on the dates, we had to avoid evening events that had been previously planned as well as having them early enough so that plans of support for students can be developed with families. The date of our conferences will be:

    • Wednesday, January 3 (virtual)
    • Thursday, January 4 (in-person)
    • Monday, January 8 (virtual)
    • Thursday, January 11 (in-person) 

    We will send another email with instructions for signing up for conferences. In total, we will have 12 hours to meet with families across those four days which is not enough time for every teacher to meet with every student’s family. Please think about which teachers you need to see to best support your student so that you can prioritize your time.

    The final adjustment to the semester calendar is that finals will now be held on January 24, 25, and 26. Teachers will have January 29 as a grading day to finish and submit semester grades. These grades will be posted to student transcripts. There are three weeks that contain Flex periods in January to support students with their academic work. Encourage your student to see teachers during Flex to get extra support, make-up work or simply to work on assignments.


    Jo Ann Wadkins


    Cleveland High School

  • Welcome Back Cleveland Families and Students

    Dear Cleveland Families,

    I am grateful to be reaching out to you today with the news that PPS and the Portland Association of Teachers have reached a tentative agreement. With this, we are pleased to welcome our students and PAT staff back to school. We’ve missed seeing everyone. The vibrancy of our school is centered on students working with their teachers, counselors and other support staff to learn and grow. It was heartwarming to see the friend groups around campus eating lunch.

    Below you will find information that will be helpful for you as you map out the rest of the school year.

    Changes to school calendar: The District and the Union have agreed to make up our 11 lost instructional days as follows:

    • Dec 18-22 (previously week 1 of the winter break)
    • January 26 (previously a professional development day for staff)
    • February 19 (President’s Day holiday)
    • April 8 (previously a professional development day for staff)
    • May 30 is a full school day for seniors
    • June 12-14 (the dates set aside for inclement weather)

    Quarter grading and conferences: Quarter 1 report cards will be available no later than Friday, December 8th. There will be 4 evenings of conferences each three hours in length to be held during the first semester. Information about the rescheduled conference dates will be provided soon.

    Rescheduled events: The fall play, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, will be rescheduled for later this week. Please be on the lookout for the updated showtimes.

    6-12: Athletics and Extracurriculars: All athletics and extracurricular activities will resume as normal. High school and PIL Youth Sports schedules can be found here

    We want to express our gratitude for your patience, understanding, and support during this challenging time. We are all eager to return to a focused and productive educational environment that ensures the best outcomes for our students.

    Thank you for being an essential part of our school community. If you have any questions or need further information, please feel free to reach out to me at


    Jo Ann Wadkins

  • Principal's Update 9/22

    Dear Cleveland Families,

    We are almost finished with the first month of school and are in the full swing of our academic year. We have had a smooth start to the school year which included all class assemblies in the first week. Fall sports are fully engaged in PIL competition, tryouts have happened for the first play, the music department is hosting Playathon next week and IB exam registration is set to start next week. You can keep apprised of our school schedule and events using the Trivory App. Our school website also features a school calendar.

    Back to School Night (BTSN)

    We will be hosting our back to school night on Wednesday, September 27 and are excited to have you meet teachers and learn more about the academic programs offered at CHS. We will have information tables set up in the main hallway so that you can learn more about the parent organizations that provide vital support for our school community. You will be following your student’s schedule to meet their teachers. Please make sure you have access to ParentVue or a copy of your student’s schedule. We will have maps and guides available to assist you in finding your student’s classrooms. 

    BTSN Schedule:

    TAG Information in Library - This session is for parents/guardians of students who are identified as Talented and Gifted (TAG)

    • 5:40 PM - 6:00 PM

    Principal’s Welcome Address in Auditorium 

    • 6:00 PM - 6:25 PM

    Classroom Visits

    • Period 1: 6:30 PM - 6:38 PM
    • Period 2: 6:43 PM - 6:51 PM
    • Period 3: 6:56 PM - 7:04 PM
    • Period 4: 7:09 PM - 7:17 PM
    • Period 5: 7:22 PM - 7:30 PM
    • Period 6: 7:35 PM - 7:43 PM
    • Period 7: 7:48 PM - 7:56 PM
    • Period 8: 8:01 PM - 8:09 PM



    The fall tradition of homecoming is being celebrated at the Warrior stadium on October 6 where our football team will be facing off against McDaniel HS. The festivities will include a parade around the track with cavalcades led by students from each class - freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. The theme this year is disco. The festivities will continue on Saturday, October 7 at the Homecoming dance - Saturday Night Fever. Tickets will go on sale next week for students. The dance will take place in our very own gym with NO ticket sales at the door and is only for CHS students. Please reach out to Jessica Sawyer (, our activities director, if you would like to volunteer to help at the dance. Students will also get a behavior pledge that both they and you will need to sign before being able to attend. 


    School Policies

    I shared in my welcome back letter one of the recommendations made by the Superintendent’s Security and School Safety Taskforce that students display their student ID while on campus. All students should now have a physical school ID card that they need to bring to school every day. We also provided CHS lanyards and a plastic sleeve to hold the ID to each student. Adults check these IDs at every entrance to the school. In addition, students need to have their IDs visible when they are out in the hall with a hall pass. Students may get a replacement ID at school should they lose their ID. It is important that our students develop this habit of having their ID with them and visible during the school day.

    Cell phones are permitted at school but need to be put on silent and put away during class time. Each classroom has a sign that reiterates this rule. Where the students put their phone away is up to the teacher with many teachers using numbered pouches to hold cell phones. We want our students fully engaged with their peers and their teacher in class.

    Students will be receiving a physical copy of the PPS Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook. This handbook outlines the policies and practices surrounding student behavior. It includes information about our multi-tiered systems of support, the behavior matrix we use to assess student behavior and address it with appropriate actions, the district drug and alcohol policy, and guidance about suspensions and expulsions. 

    School Modernization

    Applications have been accepted for the Comprehensive Planning Committee, and committee membership will be decided by the Office of School Modernization. Our website includes a link to our modernization website - CHS Modernization Project. This site contains updates on the process and information on how you can send in questions. I am excited to participate in this process with all of our stakeholders and look forward to sharing more information as we engage with each other to envision a new CHS.


    Jo Ann Wadkins


    Cleveland HS

  • Welcome Back Message from Principal Wadkins

    Dear Cleveland Community,

    We are so excited to welcome students to the 2023-24 school year. Our custodians have been working non-stop to make our classrooms and hallways shine. Kudos to Rob Ryan, Corey Beck and the fantastic custodial crew for all of their hard work. I am happy to be returning with most of my wonderful administrative team for another year of learning together. Alaina Langdahl is now the principal at Creston Elementary. We wish her the greatest success and thank her for her tireless support of Cleveland students, staff and families during her tenure as a Vice Principal. We look forward to building on our work to realize our vision of an inclusive school where students are empowered, inspired and honored.

    Please take a few moments and review all the important details of this letter that is packed with what we hope is useful information that you may want to reference all year long.

    Gear-up Days

    Gear-up is your students’ opportunity to get ready for the new school year by getting their photo IDs and HOP passes, and for families to donate to programs at the school that support your student. The dates for our Gear-up days are as follows:

    August 16th:  8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. - Seniors

              12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. - Juniors


    August 17th:  8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. - Freshmen

              12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. - Sophomores

    For more information on Gear-up, please check out our FAQ for Gear-up Days.It is important that students prioritize coming on their assigned day. We will have a photo make-up day on September 6th which is the next available date to get a Photo ID card/Trimet hop pass.

    Families who can are asked to help contribute funds to classes and programs each year. Our operational budget does not cover all course supplies and costs, so we rely on contributions from families to enhance the classroom experience for students. Classes that have volunteer contributions associated with them are listed on our CHS Gear-up form accessed in SchoolPay

    Donations and payments for PE shirts, athletic fees, event tickets, uniforms, library fees, sports passes, etc. can be made through each student grade level section on SchoolPay.

    First Days of School

    Tuesday, August 29th - Freshman and Seniors Only

    The school year starts on August 29 for freshmen and seniors only. Seniors will attend from 8:30 - 11:30 a.m. and will meet in the cafeteria for breakfast, get a preview of their senior year and celebrate with one another and staff. Seniors will rotate through two half hour sessions with Counselors and College & Career Coordinators to talk through post-secondary options, Maia learning, College Applications, and more!

    Freshmen will attend from 12:30 - 3:30 p.m. where they will connect with academy teachers for community building and orientation. They will have the building to themselves all afternoon  and we cannot wait to meet them all!

    This is a required day of school which comprises some of the instructional minutes for the school year. We like that we are able to have designated time to build community with our freshmen and to get our seniors off to a great start for their final high school year!

    Wednesday, August 30th - First full day for all grades 

    It will be an A Day (periods 1-4) from 8:30-3:30 p.m.

    School Communication

    We use a variety of communication means to help keep families, staff and students aware of what is happening at school. The school calendar is updated regularly and posted on our website. Email is one primary way we communicate, and when we email students, we use their PPS email address. Please remind your student to develop a habit of checking their PPS email on a regular basis. Other electronic tools we use to communicate include the following:

    Academic Schedule

    Students and parents will be able to view schedules in Student/ParentVue starting on August 16th. Counselors will be available for schedule FIXES for the following reasons:

    • A student did not get a class that they need for graduation
    • A student is in the wrong level of a class (i.e. scheduled for Spanish 1-2, but should be in Spanish 3-4)
    • A student has a hole in their schedule

    You may see changes to schedules before school starts as we also seek to balance classes. Schedules should be finalized before the school year starts. 


    Class attendance with on time arrival is critical for your student to access the experiences in person to succeed academically. The first few minutes of class sets the tone as the students and teachers build community. As the school year progresses, this time is used to tap into prior learning that sets the foundation for the learning outcomes for the day’s lesson. Rich conversations with their peers and facilitation of learning by their teachers are experiences that are impossible to replicate for students. Should a student need to be absent from school, a parent or guardian needs to clear the absence within 3 days. Email is the best way to communicate with our wonderful attendance support staff: ( Students are considered absent if they miss more than 25% of a class period. Families will receive an automated call whenever a student is absent without an excuse. 

    School Safety

    The safety of our students and staff is paramount for us to be able to achieve our primary mission of teaching and learning. Students and staff will participate in monthly safety drills. The purpose of these drills is to have students and staff practice how to evacuate the building efficiently as well as keeping spaces clear for emergency response personnel.
    At the beginning of the school day, our front doors are open and staff members welcome students to school. Students must show their student IDs to come into the building at our designated doors: main entrance, east wing and gate between the gym and the main building. Once the school day begins, the exterior doors are locked and everyone entering the building must use the front entrance. Students will need to show their ID cards. Upon the recommendation of the Safety and Security Task Force that was commissioned by Superintendent Guadalupe Guerro last school year, PPS is implementing a practice of having students wear their school ID cards visibly while on campus just like employees must wear their PPS badges while on campus. Last year we distributed lanyards and plastic sleeves to hold the ID cards. If your student still has it, they can use it this year. We will provide lanyards and sleeves for students for this school year as well. You and your student can expect a communication from PPS about this new practice. 

    Visitors to campus will need to sign in at the main office. Our Campus Safety Agents (CSAs) work with the admin team and staff to help support a safe school environment during the day and at school events.

    Electronic Devices

    Students will be expected to put their cell phones away during class time and teachers will have places designated for putting them away. We want each and every student engaged in class and making healthy decisions around cell phone use. Students should bring their personal or PPS issued Chromebook to school, fully charged each day.

    Student Supports

    We want each of our students to feel that they have a trusted adult at the school to talk to, that they know where they can access the support they need to be successful, and where they find the space to be themselves. Students can go to the Student Success Center where they can work with their counselor, our social worker, our student success advocate, administrative support staff and school psychologists. Our College and Career Center is home to our career coordinator and our college coordinator who are aided by a wonderful group of parent volunteers to help students explore options for life after graduation. Our community partners support the mental health and well being of our students and are vital in our work with students and families. In the main office, students can find our vice principals as well as our student attendance coach. Each of our vice principals supports programs at the school that directly impacts students such as student equity council, school climate and community team, and student leadership and activities. 

    Student Handbook

    Our school climate team has been working on a document that outlines practices to support students. The document is grounded in our belief statements around student success and agency. The discipline section emphasizes that our actions are rooted in restorative practices. We are aligned with the PPS Drug and Alcohol policies that promote intervention and education.  The student handbook will be linked on our website and ready for students and families to access by the first day of school.

    Parent Groups

    We have parent groups that play a vital role in the success of our students. These groups welcome the participation of all parents. 

    The CHS Parent Equity Group

    The Parent Teacher Association (PTA)

    The CHS Foundation

    The CHS Booster Club

    Cafeteria, Nutrition Services and Lunch Options

    PPS Nutrition Services provides meals at school with breakfast costing $1.60 and lunch costing $3.50. There is no charge for meals for students who qualify for free and reduced meals. SchoolCafe is a safe, secure online payment system that can be used to fund student meal accounts. Meals provided by PPS nutrition services are served in our cafeteria. Students are free to bring their own meals and eat in the cafeteria. Conversely, students purchasing school meals may take their food and eat anywhere they like. Outdoor seating is limited to benches around the campus. Cleveland is an open campus at lunch and while students may leave campus, they should be cognizant that the exterior doors are locked again after lunch and getting back in time for class should be a priority. Regardless of where students choose to eat, they are responsible for cleaning up after themselves and keeping our hallways, cafeteria and campus clean and welcoming.

    We hope you share in our excitement about the start of the new school year. We look forward to building community with you, working alongside you to support our students, and celebrating our students with you.

    With kind regards,

    Your CHS administrative team

    Jo Ann Wadkins, Principal

    Sean Murray, Vice Principal

    Danielle Cota, Vice Principal

Social Media

District News

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  • McDaniel Junior Takes Top Honors in State Solo Music Contest

    When Beckham Weatherby picks up his tuba, the rest of the world falls away. 

    “I don’t get that nervous and I don’t get stage fright at all,” he said. “I guess I got lucky with how my body reacts to performing in front of crowds.”

    Which is something the McDaniel High School junior has done quite a bit of lately. Not only is he a member of the prestigious Portland Youth Philharmonic (PYP) and the PYP conservatory orchestra, but he recently earned first prize in the tuba solo performance category at the Oregon State Solo Music Championships.

    Read More
  • Bon Voyage, Miss Ellie: Teacher Retires After 50 Years at PPS

    Miss Ellie helps students hold a chick.

    The first things you notice when you walk into Ellie Jensen’s classroom at Boise-Eliot/Humboldt Elementary School are peace and warmth. Then you hear the laughter of children. Then you just might see two posters hanging on the walls that tell you a great deal about the kind of teacher she has been for the past 50 years. The posters simply say, “Leave a little sparkle wherever you go” and “Be a friend.”

    Jensen, known as “Miss Ellie” to the hundreds of students she has taught in her half a century as a Portland Public Schools educator, can’t help but light up a room. And she is a friend to all children. 

    Read More
  • Food Pantry Gets a Makeover, Courtesy of McDaniel’s CTE Art Students

    We dare you to drive by the Mainspring Food Pantry on the corner of 82nd Avenue and Fremont and not do a double take. Or a triple take. 

    Students from McDaniel High School’s art-focused Career Technical Education (CTE) class have spent the last four weeks turning the exterior walls of the pantry into one, huge, joyful mural as part of the course’s exploration of climate justice and community engagement.

    Read More
  • Earthstock Brings the Joy to the Crystal Ballroom

     Two students dance at Earthstock 2024.

    A little over 30 years ago, a Madison High School student named Joseph Janson had a simple wish. He wanted to go to a dance. But nothing was simple for Joseph, who was born with Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy and was confined to a wheelchair. 

    He confided his wish to Tony Nitz, who at that time was an educational assistant at Madison (now Leodis V. McDaniel High School). Tony had been working one-on-one with Joseph for months and he immediately went about making the young man’s dream come true.

    “The truth is, I would have done anything for Joseph,” Nitz said. “He was a unique person, and we had a very special bond.”

    Read More

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