• Principal's Newsletter February 19, 2021


    Principals Newsletter

    February 19, 2021



    Dear Maplewood Families,

    Today is the first day we have had power in our building!  I hope all of you have recovered from the ice/snow storm of 2021.  Crazy times!!  I received pictures of teachers teaching by candlelight and cooking outside on BBQ’s.  This truly will be a year to remember!

    Due to the weather event PPS has extended deadlines on MAP testing to March 5th for our third-fifth graders and the Hybrid survey has been extended to February 25th for families to complete. 

    I heard from many families that the survey was difficult to access.  If you are still having a hard time completing the survey please email Research PPS research@pps.net you may also continue to email me. I am trying to respond to your emails but know that if I haven’t responded I am forwarding emails to the department that is supporting this survey.


    Principal Hiring Process:

    Dear Maplewood Families, 

    I hope that you all are safe and healthy as we enter spring semester in an unprecedented school year. We will soon begin the principal hiring process by gathering your input on the skills and characteristics you desire in the next Maplewood principal. Your voice is important, and one way to share your perspective is through our Community Feedback Survey, linked here.

    The survey will be open through Friday, February 26th. We will also host sessions with the staff and community to discuss the hiring process. The community session will be on Monday, February 22nd from 6:30-7:30pm on Zoom. You can join the Zoom meeting HERE or by calling in to the number below. 

    Join Zoom Meeting
    ID: 89986380745
    Passcode: 765417
    ‪(US) +1 669-900-9128
    Passcode: 765417

    After February 26th, we will use the information from the survey to match candidates to the skills and characteristics you identify. Once we have identified interested candidates whose skill set aligns with the Maplewood school needs, I will contact you again with the next steps in the interviewing and hiring process. If we have a single candidate that directly matches the identified characteristics, that candidate may be directly appointed by the Superintendent. In cases where we have multiple candidates whose skills and experience match the identified needs, we will hold a school-based interview committee process to select candidates for recommendation to the Superintendent.

    Please look for further communication soon after February 26th. I appreciate your engagement, patience, and flexibility as we navigate through this process virtually.


    Isaac Cardona
    Area Senior Director

    It’s Toolbox Time: Pandemic Edition

    Social worker Avy Harris and school counselor Kendall Cunningham will offer a session for parents and caregivers on how to use our Toolbox tools to support ourselves and our students during this challenging time. This will be next Tuesday, February 23rd from 4:30-5:30.  Zoom link here. Zoom info: https://pps-net.zoom.us/j/85318980432  Meeting ID: 853 1898 043

    Lunch Bunches:

    I offer lunch bunches for students to socialize and play games in a relaxed, online atmosphere:

    K-1st: Mondays 11:30-12:00, 2nd-3rd grade Wednesdays 11:30-12:00, 4th-5th grade Thursdays 12:20-12:50.  Go to Google Meet, by New Meeting, enter CunninghamMW in the Enter a Code or Nickname box


     K-5 Hybrid Option Survey Deadline Extended to February 25

    Dear PPS Families,

    As we shared last week, we are continuing to offer increased in-person learning opportunities for students, with a goal of launching hybrid instruction to kindergarten to fifth grade students in April. We have a few updates for you this week:

    • We’ve extended the response deadline for the 4th Quarter Learning Modelsurvey for K-5 families. The survey gives families the opportunity to let us know if you prefer your student to participate in hybrid learning or remain in Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL). The survey will remain open through Thursday, February 25
    • If you have not already received the survey, or if you need support in filling it out, please email research@pps.net. We would be happy to assist you. 
    • PPS staff will make phone calls to individual families, ensuring you are aware of our options available as outlined in the survey, starting next week. 
    • We have posted a set of Frequently Asked Questions about hybrid learning. You can find it at net/hybridfaq. Questions and answers are available in all six of our supported languages.

    You can find more information, including health and safety measures we are taking to support in-person learning, sample student hybrid instruction schedules and more, in our February 9 presentation to the Board of Education.

    We wish all PPS families a peaceful remainder of the week as our community recovers from yet another challenge stemming from last weekend’s winter storm. We will continue to provide you with regular updates as we get closer to launching hybrid instruction at PPS. 

    Limited In Person Instruction- We will begin LIPI with small groups of students on Monday 2/22 and will add more students the following week.  Students participating have been identified by a school team based on academic needs, and barriers to participating in CDL. If you have questions regarding LIPI please contact me-email is best.

    Important survey troubleshooting 

    • There were initial problems with the survey link timing out or not reaching kindergarten students, that should be resolved for most families. If not, please send them to research@pps.net
    • Each K5 student has a unique link associated with their PPS ID that was sent to only one parent/ guardian to mitigate any response overriding or negating the other. 
    • In some cases, in households with multiple students, one parent/guardian may have received the link for one student and the other parent/ guardian may have received the link for the other student. 
    • It is very important for each parent to check all of their inboxes and junk mail inboxes for the link. 
    • The Hoonuit Admin Dashboard will be the way that schools can see how many of their families have responded and indicated each option. 
    • The Hoonuit Admin Dashboard contains the unique student links, you can access them following the steps below. 
    • There are translated forms accessible through a dropdown menu in the Qualtrics email and Q4 learning choice form itself. There are phone numbers in the Qualtrics email and pasted here for your reference to assist families in filling out the form.


    Kindergarten Connection:

    If you know of any incoming kindergarten student please share the following information with them.

    https://www.pps.net/Page/15506  - Portland Public Schools


    https://www.pps.net/domain/6441 - Maplewood Website


    Need more support? Email sriley@pps.net  


    Book bag program: 

    2/24 - A-L families

    3/03 - M-Z families

    3/10 A-L families

    3/17 M-Z families

    3/24 Spring Break No Book Bags

    3/31 -  A-L families

    4/07 -  M-Z families 

    Book Exchange is on Wednesday's (unless PPS is closed) from 7:15-9:00am and  3:00-5:30 PM.



    Students can access the Maplewood SORA for ebook and audiobook versions of the "Who was Ida B. Wells?" title.

    Of course, there are other amazing titles in the Maplewood SORA, as well as some historical fiction (5th grade?)! Biscuit, Who Would Win, mOBOB titles, Garfield, and more. Please remind students to return titles when they are done!

    Point them to look at the "Try These!" section.




    Please return Maplewood electronic devices, library books, and all other Maplewood supplies at the Book Exchange times or contact the office to arrange a time. (or a neighbor can bring your items to the Book Exchange times). 

    Remember to also update your change of address with the office please, and notify Ms. Riley of your last day at Maplewood.


    Mindful Kids Club

    Grades 3-5, Tuesdays 11:30-12

    Google Meets: AvyMWE

    In this 8-week group, we'll learn some fun and relaxing tools to manage big feelings, calm anxieties or worries, and practice compassion for others and ourselves.  There is growing evidence that mindfulness skills can help children feel more connected, calm, and capable and improve their emotional wellbeing.  Please email or call Avy Harris, school social worker (rharris@pps.net, 503-729-0634), for more information.

    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Your family may be eligible for extra food benefits. The latest federal Coronavirus Relief program includes a temporary, 15% increase in SNAP benefits for program participants. The increase lasts from January 1 through June 30, 2021.  The relief package also included approval of a “no interview” waiver for SNAP applicants and recertifications through Feb. 28, 2021. Learn more and apply online, or contact our school social worker for assistance:  https://www.oregon.gov/dhs/assistance/food-benefits/pages/about-snap.aspx

    Avy Harris, CSWA, LSSW


    School Social Worker

    Maplewood and Capitol Hill Elementary Schools


    District News:


    At-Home Learning Strategies with families linked here and translated into the supported languages. The Workshop will be on Friday, February 26, 2021.

    Nga-My Vuong, Business Operations Analyst, OTL, tvuong@pps.net


    Office of Strategic Partnerships and Engagement


    Volunteers will not be permitted inside PPS schools during 2020-21; however, volunteers are permitted virtually but a PPS staff is required to be present. Please refer to the following document for more information: 1/8/2021 Volunteer Restrictions for 2020-21

    Robyn Faraone, School Partnerships Manager, rfaraone@pps.net


    Year Books:

    You can order a yearbook online: commpe.pictavo.com. The cost is $20, plus a $1 processing fee for credit card orders. The deadline for placing orders is mid-February. Yearbooks will be available for distribution at the end of the school year. 

    Content for the book: Usually the yearbook contains class portraits, candid photos and tributes to the 5th graders. We’ll still include most, if not all of that, but we’ll rely on families and caretakers for most of the candid pictures. To submit photos for consideration, please set up an account on commpe.pictavo.com  and upload your photos directly or email pictures to maplewoodpdxyearbook@gmail.com. When submitting photos, please include the name(s) of the student(s) and grade(s).

    The deadline for submitting pictures is March 19th.

    I imagine we’ll have plenty of photos of kids during their class meetings. Other ideas are special days (pajama day, crazy hair day), showcasing art or science creations, the book exchange at the school, virtual assemblies, lunch bunch meetings, etc.  

    Dorian, the photo/yearbook company, is still determining how to handle class portraits given COVID-19 restrictions. We hope to have more information in the coming weeks.

    For the 5th grade tributes, we’ll start collecting baby photos and messages in February.

    If you have any questions, you can email:      


    We will be having another online sale of Maplewood spirit wear starting in April!  We would love your feedback if there is anything you wish to see available.   We are hoping to add a youth short option, a women's tank option,  and youth and adult sweatpants.  Let us know if there is anything you have been hoping for!    We are also looking to offer expanded sizes for many of our items.  All items will highlight Maplewood's updated logo!  Please send feedback to michellebstevens@gmail.com or familyjones5616@gmail.com

    Thank you!


    Foundation Update

    Join us for Maplewood's got Talent, March 12th, 2021. This will be a family friendly virtual auction with a talent show incorporated!

    Teachers, parents, and students are encouraged to submit videos by Feb. 4th.


    Donate to the auction:

    We are looking for Party Board ideas!! In the past we have done whiskey tastings, BBQ's, kickball, karaoke - this can be in person (outside) or online!

    Link to sign up: https://forms.gle/TcbFsbSi1CHNY3YY9

    Email us at maplewoodfoundation@gmail.com

    Website: www.maplewoodfoundation.com

    If you would like to help us – we would love your support! Do you have a vacation home? We are looking for vacation rentals for the virtual live auction. Do you have a service or an item to donate? Do you want to help plan the auction? Please contact us at maplewoodfoundation@gmail.com.

    We are excited to see you on March 12th!

    More details can be found at:



    Upcoming Dates:

    February 22:  LIPI instruction begins

    March 16:     PTA Mtg. 6:30pm

    March 22 – 26:   Spring Break

    March 29:     School Resumes