• Principal's Newsletter 9.11.20

    Sellwood Principal’s Newsletter – September 11, 2020

    Greetings Sellwood Community,

    Wow, that was a week.  Thank you all for your support, patience, and words of encouragement during the soft start to the 2020-21 school year.  It is always challenging to do things for the first time, but in the midst of a global pandemic, social unrest/change, and a storm of fires unlike any Oregon has seen, it has been a stretch.  To quote Winston Churchill, “If you are going through hell, keep going!” The Sellwood community has shown true grit, and the many conversations I have had with parents, teachers, and students give me great hope. 

    My heart goes out to everyone on the West Coast impacted by the fires: power outages, Internet loss, hazardous air quality, stress, evacuation orders, loss of property, and even loss of life.  The tragedy continues and I am truly grateful for everything I have.

    You will find lots of information in this newsletter, including an outline of the bell schedule, PTA news, some helpful links for parent "observer" access to thier child's Canvas courses, and more.

    Finally, I would like to welcome new math teacher Harland Robison the Sellwood staff.  We are very excited to have Mr. Robison on our team; he brings a wealth of experience, skills, and good vibes to our school.  Some of you may have met Mr. Robison when he was helping out with our materials distribution to 7th-graders on Wednesday. We are very happy he will be starting with his classes on Monday. Please help me welcome Mr. Robison! 

    I hope the week goes well,


    Jeandré Carbone

    Sellwood MS Principal



    Important Dates to Remember

    Reschedule TBD – 8th-grade: 1-4PM – Special Materials & Chromebook/Hotspot Distribution

    September 14: Regular distance learning schedule begins

    September 23: Virtual Back-to-School Meeting 6:30 to 8:00

    October 9: No school

    November 6: End of 1st quarter

    November 11: No school – Veterans Day

    November 23 &24: Parent/Teacher conferences

    December 21-January 1: Winter Break


    For Attendance – Please email Mellissa Whiteside mwhitesi@pps.net - no need to email Ms. Carbone :-)

    For Email/password assistance – Please email Mellissa Whiteside mwhitesi@pps.net - no need to email Ms. Carbone :-)


    PPS Middle School Bell Schedule – Starting Monday, September 14th

    Below is an outline of the general schedule. I also wanted to provide a short description of a few elements in the schedule that may help you better understand what to expect next week.  In the attached schedule, you will see “small groups” mentioned between 1:00 and 1:45 and also during class periods on Wednesday, Thursday on Friday.  Small groups during class periods are intended to allow teachers the flexibility to work with smaller groups of students and to ensure support for students identified as needing additional or more individualized instruction.  As we are just starting the school year, we do not yet have “small groups” identified.  The small groups from 1 to 1:45 may also be used for clubs and affinity groups such as GSA, chess club, math club, leadership, or other groups.  Right now we do not yet have clubs or activities designated for those 1-1:45 times, with the exception of jazz band, which will be Monday and Wednesday.   In short, please ignore the term “small groups” for now.  Also, zero period is for advanced band that would have been meeting before school if we were doing in-person learning.   Most of you can ignore zero period as well.

    During afternoon applied learning, students will work independently on projects assigned.  Examples include, watching a math video, writing an essay, reading a story, creating art, making a video, or doing PE activities.  Live classes will not be scheduled during afternoon applied learning times; it is meant to be as flexible or structured as each family needs.  Attendance will not be taken for applied learning in the afternoon.

    During class periods from Wednesday through Friday, teachers will hold office hours, assign applied learning activities, or hold live classes.  Teachers will keep students informed of the planned activities/format by discussing the agenda for the week with students during the Monday or Tuesday Google Meet, and also in written form in a weekly agenda in Canvas.  Attendance will be taken for each class period Wednesday through Friday.  Attendance will be taken synchronously for attending a live class/participating in office hours, or asynchronously for submitting an applied learning assignment, taking a quiz, submitting a Google form, or communicating with the teacher in another way such as email or Remind text. 

    Finally, we have decided to say good morning and welcome to the day, along with any brief announcements we may have, with a brief LiveStream from 9:20 to 9:25.  I will send the link to students in an email.  The link will be the same every day.

    Monday, Sept 14

    • 9:20- 9:25 Good Morning Livestream and Announcements (optional)
    • 9:30 - 10:15 – Period 1 (live)
    • 10:30 - 11:15 - Period 2 (live)
    • 11:30 - 12:15 - Period 3 (live)
    • 1:45 – 4:00 – Applied Learning (self-paced, independent work on projects/activities)

    Tuesday, Sept 15

    • 9:20- 9:25 Good Morning Livestream and Announcements (optional)
    • 9:30 - 10:15 – Period 4 (live)
    • 10:30 - 11:15 - Period 5 (live)
    • 11:30 - 12:15 - Period 6 (live)
    • 1:00 – 1:45 Zero Period (live) (if applicable)
    • 1:45 – 4:00 – Applied Learning (self-paced, independent work on projects/activities)

    Wednesday, Sept 16

    • 9:20- 9:25 Good Morning LiveStream and Announcements (optional)
    • 9:30 - 10:15 – Period 1 (Office hours, applied learning, or live class)
    • 10:30 - 11:15 - Period 2 (OH, AL, or LC)
    • 11:30 - 12:15 - Period 3 (OH, AL, or LC)
    • 1:45 – 4:00 – Applied Learning (self-paced, independent work on projects/activities)

    Thursday, Sept 17

    • 9:20- 9:25 Good Morning LiveStream and Announcements (optional)
    • 9:30 - 10:15 – Period 4 (OH, AL, or LC)
    • 10:30 - 11:15 - Period 5 (OH, AL, or LC)
    • 11:30 - 12:15 - Period 6 (OH, AL, or LC)
    • 1:00 – 1:45 - Zero Period (OH, AL, or LC) (if applicable)
    • 1:45 – 4:00 – Applied Learning (self-paced, independent work on projects/activities)

    Friday, Sept 18

    • 9:20- 9:25 Good Morning LiveStream and Announcements (optional)
    • 9:30 - 10:15 – Period 1 (OH, AL, or LC)
    • 10:30 - 11:15 - Period 2 (OH, AL, or LC)
    • 11:30 - 12:15 - Period 3 (OH, AL, or LC)
    • 1:00 – 1:45 – Period 4 (OH, AL, or LC)
    • 1:45 – 2:30 – Period 5 (OH, AL, or LC)
    • 2:30 – 3:15 – Period 6 (OH, AL, or LC)
    • 3:15 – 4:00 – Zero period (OH, AL, or LC) (if applicable)

    Canvas Parent Access
    Parents can join their student’s canvas course as an “observer” but will first need to get a “join code” from their student. This helpful document will walk parents through this process. 

    Canvas Community

    Helpful Canvas resource for teachers, parents, students

    PTA NEWS: 

    Thank you to the volunteers that helped get chrome books and school supplies to our students!

    Although this year is extremely different, the PTA's priorities and commitment to the Sellwood Middle School community remain the same! There are still several ways to help:

    Join the PTA

    Everyone is welcome, we encourage family members, friends and neighbors to join.

    Membership for one year is $20.00/person.

    You can join online at  https://sites.google.com/view/sellwoodpta  and pay your dues online too with schoolpay https://www.schoolpay.com. Click on Non-profit groups.  


    Attend a Sellwood PTA Meeting

    Meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 7pm.

    Our first meeting will be Wednesday, October 14th at 7:00pm on Zoom. 

    Join us at the Virtual Back-to-School Meeting on Wednesday, September 23 at 6:30 to hear about the upcoming year!

    Volunteer to help organize a PTA sponsored event or fundraiser!

    Please fill out a Volunteer Interest form on the PTA website  https://sites.google.com/view/sellwoodpta to let us know which events/fundraisers best fit your interests and schedule.  We are in need the following committee chairs:

    PEAK Coordinator, Sellwood Dines Out, Book Fair, and Meals on Wheels. Email sellwoodpta@gmail.com if interested!



    Information on Sellwood Web Page

    The Sellwood web page is also a great place to get information about the school start up.  Just look for the banner at the top where it says, “Here is all the information you need to start the school year!

    Special Material Distribution

    We held a few special materials distribution events at Sellwood for a few essential and hard to find materials. Due to poor air quality we had to postpone the 8th-grade distribution.  Please stay tuned for the new date(s).  Your optional donations to the SchoolPay math account and art account will help offset the cost of these materials to the school.  Finally, below the information about materials distribution, I have posted a general back-to-school supply shopping list.

    Let’s Get Reading

    Q:  What is the “Let’s Get Reading!” program? 

    A:  A PPS ELA supported program to make sure students have access to physical books during distance learning. 

    Q: How will we get books?

    A: Pick up a bag of books from Ms. Beverly, SMS Library Assistant, at the side door by bus shelters on Thursday afternoons 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.  

    Q:  How do we return books?  We still have some from last year! 

    A:  You may return books at the same time as book bag pick-up on Thursday afternoons 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.  

    Q:  How many books will we get?

    A:  About 5 books at a time.

    Q:  What kind of books will be in the book bag?

    A:  The books will be grouped by genres, such as Fiction, Graphic Novels, Book Series, Non-Fiction, etc.  

    Q:  Should we wait to return all the books at the same time? 

    A:  That would be great.  However, if you want to get a new bag of books but have one you want to finish, it’s okay to keep that book and bring back the others to trade for another bag.

    Q.  What should we do with the bag the books came in?

    A:  Please save the book bag to return your books so we can reuse the book bag!

    Q:  Can I request a specific title?

    A:  We are not taking holds, or requests, on books at this time.  We will let you know if that changes.  

    Q:  How will I know if there are any changes or new information?

    A:  For changes or new information, please watch for school-wide announcements - or - check on SMS Library webpage which can be accessed through the SMS main website.  It’s right next to the Teachers/Staff. 

    Q:  We lost a book, can we still get new books?

    A:  Yes. There will be no penalties or fees during distance learning. If you find it later, bringit back!  We love putting lost books back into circulation!

    Q:  Does this mean the building will be open on pick-up/drop-off days?

    A:  No. The building is still closed. 

    Q:  What is this program doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19? 

    A:  We will be using the following guidelines to prevent spreading COVID-19:

    1. Everyone in the pick-up/drop-off area must wear a mask covering their mouth and nose. 

    2. Only one family at a time may approach the pick-up area. Waiting families should maintain at minimum of 6 feet of distance from other families. 

    3. Returned books and book bags will be isolated for a full 4 day “rest” period between circulations. 

    4. Increasing the number of books students can take home limits trips to school. 

    Q:  I have more questions or need more information...

    A:  Visit Ms. Beverly on pick-up/drop-off day:  Thursdays 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM 

    Or, email either one of the SMS Library team:

    Ms. Beverly at Bmangold@pps.net - or - Ms. Laura at Laxon@pps.net


    Main Office: Just a friendly reminder the office is working remotely from home. Email is the best way to reach us. mwhitesi@pps.net or choward1@pps.net .While phone messages are being checked periodically, there will be a delayed response.

    I hope everyone had a smooth "soft start". I want to thank parents for your patience while getting your students set up with email and passwords.  If by chance your student is having trouble logging in, please let me know so I can take care of it.

    Parents if you are having trouble logging into ParentVue or you don't know your login credentials, please email me Melissa Whiteside.

    If you need to excuse your child's attendance, please email Melissa Whiteside. (mwhitesi@pps.net) I will be more than happy to assist you. 

    For matters concerning registration, enrollment, and ParentVue send emails to mwhitesi@pps.net .

    The best way to enroll your student is by going to the PPS website: https://www.pps.net/Domain/182 .

    To make changes to your student's registration in Synergy please log-in and use ParentVue.

    If your ParentVue account has been disabled please email Melissa Whiteside mwhitesi@pps.net

    Re: Student Activity Fee

    Re: Student Activity Fee: These fees are collected yearly to provide necessary support to all Sellwood students

    $20.00 Suggested Donation. 


    Go on-line to School Pay, Select: School Activity Fee

    How to get to School pay?  Go to Sellwood Middle School website, under "Quick Links" select School Pay.  Follow the directions.  

    School pay accepts credit/debit cards or electronic checks.  No cash at this time please.   

    In School Pay, you'll also notice that you can donate to additional school funds such as:

    • Math account: Will offset some of the cost of graph paper and whiteboards distributed.
    • Art account:  Will help offset the cost of art material kits distributed.
    • Principal's Discretionary Account:  To help students as the principal sees fit.
    • Chrome Books - Technology:  We can always use more!
    • Marimba:  Great program.  Help keep with tuning or repair of instruments and more!
    • Band:  Great program:  Help keep it amazing! 
    • Library:  Love to Read?  The Library can always use support.

    Browse the list... there are more ways to help!  


    Families have the opportunity to view PPS curriculum in Atlas by visiting https://pps-public.rubiconatlas.org/Atlas/Public/View/Default

    Race, Racism, and Racial Equity Resources

    Race, Racism, & Racial Equity Resources