• Principal's Newsletter November 18, 2020

    Principal’s Newsletter

    November 18, 2020


    Dear Maplewood Families,

    I hope you all are holding up in this “Groundhog” world that is our current reality.  Now that the sun is gone for a while, the days seem long and gray.  If you find that you or your children are struggling to stay engaged with their school community, please reach out to our teachers, Kendall or Avy.  We are all here to help get through these difficult times.

    Please check your emails for updates regarding changes in services during the state and county “lockdown”, we will keep you posted as we get information.

    Thank you to all of you who have signed up for conferences.  We are close to having 100% participation!  Conferences will be the week of the 23rd.  As usual, we will have no school that week.

    Childcare Options - Spaces and Funding Still Available

    Portland Public School has partnered with providers to offer child care sites that follow best health and safety practices and can support your student with comprehensive distance learning.  You may qualify for financial assistance.  For help finding affordable childcare, you can call or text 211, find information about PPS providers here, or email our school social worker (Avy Harris, rharris@pps.net) to discuss options.  

    Talented and Gifted (TAG):

    The process for identification is completely online now. Postcards are being mailed out to families of students who may qualify based on last winter's MAP assessment (while we were in the building).  Testing for newly nominated students will happen in the spring, and details of how the testing will be done are still in the works.  For new nominations, talk with your child's current teacher now, or at conferences to ask their perspective.

    If you want to proceed with nominating your child, please contact Maplewood's TAG Facilitator, Christy Caton at ccaton@pps.net. She will send you a Google form to complete. The deadline for submitting a request for testing during the 20-21 school year is December 4, 2020.

    Testing - We still do not have any news on when or how testing will take place for students who are nominated. The district testing coordinator will share more information in January once the state has made its recommendations.    

    NWEA Math MAP Accelerator - Teachers in grades 3 - 8 will receive an email from Khan Academy welcoming them to MAP Accelerator.  Teachers will need to sign up and will have access to this differentiated learning experience for math.  It does not take the place of instruction, but rather a tool/resource to support our students.  It is not mandatory but something new to offer our TAG students in Math. Here are the login instructions if you would like more information on how this resource works check out this tutorial. The welcome email will have an email for tech support if needed.  

    1. Go to nwea.org
    2. Click on Register New Account
    3. Type first and last name and PPS email and click Create Account
    4. Follow instructions to activate account
    5. Once logged in, click on Courses tile
    6. Click on My Courses and find the MAP Accelerator courses (there's one for teachers - 20 mins and one for school and district leaders - 12 mins)

    Stress Busters Group, 3rd-5th graders

    Mondays 12:30-1, beginning Nov. 30

    If you have a 3-5th grader who struggles managing stress or anxiety, we would love to have them join our group!  This 7-week series will focus on building community and friends while also identifying stress and anxiety, and finding individualized strategies to manage it in healthy ways.  Please email school social worker, Avy Harris (rharris@pps.net), to sign up or for more details.  

    Avy Harris (she/her/hers)

    School Social Worker

    Maplewood and Capitol Hill Elementary Schools



    Maplewood Elementary: Student Support Request Form


    PTA Fundraiser:

    Get a family photo, support a local mama and support our PTA! Rebecca Hicks of Rebecca Hicks Photography is donating 50% of the proceeds from all photo sessions of Maplewood families back to PTA through Dec. 23rd!  Check out the attached flyer for more details and go to her website or FB page and schedule your portrait session just in the for the holidays!



    Foundation Update

    Looking for ways to keep your kiddos entertained over Thanksgiving? Want to get your local holiday shopping started?

    Maplewood Foundation has you covered!

    Dairy Hill has build your own sundae kits (today - Nov.22), Thinker Toys has a Maplewood Shopping Day (Nov 24), and Ms. Amy has a cooking class (free!) for our Maplewood Community!
    For details and links visit www.maplewoodfoundation.com


    Auction Update

    March 12th will be our live virtual auction! Thanks to all that have donated their vacation rentals and items! Keep them coming!!

    If you have a vacation home, service, or item to donate - contact us! If you want to help us plan - contact us! maplewodfoundation@gmail.com


    Book pick-up dates:

    11/18 (WEDNESDAY),  7:15-9 & 3-5:30 Families M-Z


    District News:


    The Humanities Department is offering a virtual workshop in collaboration with Read by 4th, Drexel University School of Education, and AIM Institute designed to help parents grow their grade K-3 students into strong readers. This workshop will have ideas for making reading fun with the ultimate goal of reading by 4th grade. Parents will receive a workbook to use during and after this workshop.

    Sessions will be offered in both Spanish and English with translation available during the English session. Sessions will be recorded.

    • Friday, December 11, 2020 (4:00 pm-6:00 pm) - English with translation
    • Saturday, December 12, 2020 (10:00 am - 12:00 pm) - Spanish

    Registration link English flyer Spanish flyer

    Jennifer Hernandez, Assistant Director, Humanities, OTL, jhernandez1@pps.net


    Due to the upcoming Fall Break for conferences and Thanksgiving, the Nutrition Services department will be providing extra meals each day to help keep our students with access to food. Each service day through November 20, we will be providing 3 days worth of meals for each child. We will not be serving or delivering meals on Monday, Nov 23, and Wednesday, Nov 25 (the District is closed Friday, Nov 27). More updates about our services in December will be provided later. Thank you for sharing updates with your school community. Please feel free to visit our website or contact us at nutritionservices@pps.net with any questions and requests for home meal delivery.

    *The Governor’s issued 2week “freeze” does not change our services or any of our original plans for services (the announcement does not impact K-12).

    Whitney Ellersick, Senior Director, Nutrition Services, wellersi@pps.net 


    Since the number of requests for home meal delivery have slowed, we are no longer going to be using the form we had previously used.

    For PPS families not near a meal pickup location or who need assistance accessing meals and would like to request home meal delivery, please contact nutritionservices@pps.net with:

    • Family name
    • Address (where meals should be delivered)
    • Contact phone number
    • Number of children in the household
    • School(s) attended

    Requests submitted by end of day Monday, will begin receiving meal deliveries on the following Monday. For cancellations, changes or updates, please contact nutritionservices@pps.net.

    Whitney Ellersick, Senior Director, Nutrition Services, wellersi@pps.net

    Chrome Books and IT support

    • When:Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
    • Where:PPS district office (501 N. Dixon St). Please go to the lower level parking lot, which has an entrance on N. Larrabee Ave.
    • Please bring:Your student’s school ID or ID number. If you are exchanging or returning a device, please bring the device and charger with you.
    • Please be aware:We are asking everyone to use recommended social distancing practices, keeping at least 6 feet of space between groups and wearing a facemask or face covering, if possible.

    Please note that if you have a technical issue and are not sure if you should exchange a computer, you can also:


    Upcoming events/dates:        

    Nov. 23-24    Conferences

    Nov. 25   No School

    Nov. 26   Thanksgiving

    Nov. 27   No School

    Nov. 30   Classes Resume