Principal's Newsletter 9.2.2022
Greetings Sellwood Community,
Thank you for a wonderful first week. It has been so great to see students and teachers, not just getting back to teaching and learning, but also smiling and laughing with lots of opportunities for positive social interaction.
Students have done a great job of learning their way around school and following their schedules, and most have learned to open their lockers successfully. Sellwood is an old building with old lockers, and they are very finicky! Every year, it takes about a week or so till students are comfortable with their lockers, and we are able to fix or replace any locks that refuse to open. Patience is key when it comes to these old lockers.
It has been very hot. Next week will be somewhat cooler, but we strongly encourage your child to bring a water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Finally, I wanted to acknowledge that busing and transportation unfortunately got off to a very bumpy start this week. Please know that we strive to share any communication about transportation and bus routes with families as soon as we have the information. Unfortunately, often that means finding out after the bell rings at the end of the day, and sometimes not even then. We will continue to press for better and more timely information, so that we can also provide accurate and timely information to you.
Sellwood MS Principal
NEW 7th/8th-GRADE ELA TEACHER MR. SHELLEY
I am pleased to introduce Mr. Shelley, our new 7th/8th grade English Language Arts teacher.
Mr. Shelley is very excited to begin working as the new 7th-8th Grade Language Arts teacher here at Sellwood Middle School. He is a passionate Language Arts teacher with an extensive background in English Literature and Writing. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara, then went on to earn a Master of Arts in English Literature and Creative Writing at California State University, Fullerton. His affinity for reading and writing makes him a dedicated educator focused on enriching his students' critical thinking and literacy skills. His goal is to create an inclusive and equitable space where students can not only grow as confident readers and writers, but as socially-conscious critical thinkers. Previously, he has taught 7th grade ELA, 9th grade ELA, and 11th grade ELA at Austin Independent School District in Austin, Texas. This is his first year at Portland Public Schools and he can't wait to build impactful relationships with our students.
FROM THE LIBRARY
Here is a link to the SMS library newsletter.
Please join the PTA!
We are excited to start a new school year and support our students and SMS community! Help us make this a great year!
Have you signed up for Konstella?
This is a great app where you can find the school directory, calendar of events and volunteer opportunities. Join with the link below!
Back to School Ice Cream Social
Mark your calendars! The PTA and SMS staff will be jointly hosting an ice cream social to celebrate the start of the new year. Please join us at SMS from 5-6:30 on 9/13.
First PTA Meeting
Our first PTA meeting will be held in person on 9/29 at 7pm. We will meet following Back To School Night as we are hoping many families will already be at SMS. Come join us and learn more about the SMS PTA!
SELLWOOD MIDDLE FOUNDATION UPDATE
Welcome! We hope everyone had a great first week back. The Foundation is already hard at work raising funds and building community- Our first event, the Pétanque Party, is coming up!
Saturday, September 17th from 2 - 6 pm, Portland Petanque Club, 7535 SE 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97202
Join us for a day of adult fun and get to know the SMS community while supporting our rockstar middle schoolers! Don't know what petanque is? No problem! Think bocce ball meets bowling in the great outdoors. Along with experts to teach us the ropes, we'll have plenty of wine and beer included, as well as plenty of waters and a snack shack (bring cash) to soak it all up. Find a friend and let's get rollin'! You do not need to be a Sellwood Middle parent to attend. This is a community event.
Visit the Sellwood Middle School Foundation page to buy tickets @ sellwoodmiddlefounda
Another quick and easy way to support the foundation is through the Blue Bags recycling program. Bags are available in the front office as well as locations throughout the neighborhood- see the foundation website for blue bag pickup locations. The bags are already labeled with our foundation stickers and QR codes so your donated bags immediately support the school. Contact Meryl Riddle at email@example.com with questions.
WHERE TO GO WHEN YOU GET TO SCHOOL
Please drop students off on SE Umatilla, SE 16th Avenue, or SE Sherrett (green). Please do not drop students off on SE 15th Avenue, which is reserved for buses (red).
General Building Entry
Students will use one of 4 entrances based on how they came to school: by bus, drop-off, walking, biking, or skating. Please refer to the everyday map below.
We have begun the process of Chromebook distribution and will finish next week. Students who kept their Chromebooks over the summer should bring them to school.
Please review the student created presentation demonstrating how students can check their own schedules in StudentVue.
PPS 2022-23 COMMUNICABLE DISEASE PROTOCOL
The health of our students and staff remains a priority, and we plan to follow all local and state rules for health services and communicable disease control, and implement best practices to mitigate impact on school communities. Please refer to the 2022-23 Communicable Disease Protocol for more detailed information regarding PPS’s plan and practices.
Like last year, all Sellwood students will eat lunch outside, at least for the first eight weeks, weather and air quality permitting. If your student does not want to sit directly on the ground, I recommend they bring a small cushion or half yoga mat to sit on. I recommend this folding camp mat, as it folds up small enough to fit in a backpack. They come in packs of two or five and can be delivered in one day. No students will be allowed to eat inside and all staff members will be supervising outdoors. Please make sure that students have sufficiently warm clothing to be comfortable outdoors.
Here is a description of Sellwood’s outdoor lunch plan.
Students bringing their own lunch will exit the courtyard doors and proceed to the field. Students eating the school lunch will line up in the cafeteria, pick up their food, and exit the cafeteria exterior doors directly to the courtyard/field. Staff members/volunteers will supervise students as they exit the building, eat lunch and take recess. Approximately 200 6th-graders have 1st lunch/recess from 11:10-11:45, and 350 7th & 8th graders will have 2nd lunch/recess from 12:10 to 12:45. Prior to 1st lunch/recess, custodial staff will check the field for dog waste and remove any found. Garbage bins will be placed outside for student use. Custodial staff will clean up as necessary between 11:45 and 12:10 as well as after 2nd lunch.
Last year, school meals were provided free of charge to all students. While many advocates tried to extend free meals for all students for the 2022-23 school year, this was not approved by Congress. Below you will find prices for school meals, and instructions for using School Café to purchase meals.
2022-23 Menu Prices
- SchoolCafé is a safe, secure online payment system that can be used to fund student and adult meal accounts with a debit or credit card. You can make one-time payments, setup autopay and low balance alerts, monitor transactions and even submit/track a free and reduced meal application for students in the household.
- Easy: Staff can provide their employee ID# (or assigned PIN) or provide their name. Students provide their 6-digit student ID#.
NOTE: Currently, SchoolCafé does not accept American Express.
- Convenient: Once the account is established, you can check balances and add funds from your computer or mobile app.
NOTE: SchoolCafé charges a 5% fee per online transaction with a $15 minimum payment.
- Able to go where you go. The mobile app can be downloaded in:
NOTE: If you have issues with the mobile app on the iPhone, try uninstalling it and reinstalling it the following day. If that doesn't work, download Google Chrome. For additional support questions, please contact SchoolCafé at 1.855.PAY-2EAT (1.855.729.2328) or email customercare@schoolcafe.
To enroll, go to www.schoolcafe.com/pps or download the SchoolCafé mobile app.
All PPS Middle Schools start at 9:15 and end at 3:45. Please follow the link to access Sellwood’s bell schedule for 2022-23.
Sellwood Middle School has an "Away all day" policy for cell phones. This means, all cell phones and personal electronic devices are to be away from 9:05 to 3:45. They are not to be used or visible at any time, including lunch. All Sellwood staff will clarify and reinforce this policy. If a student is found with their cell phone out, a Sellwood staff member will take it away and store it in the school office. The first time it is taken away, the caregiver will be called and the student can pick it up in the office at the end of the school day. If a cell phone is confiscated a second time or more, the student’s caregiver must pick it up from the office.
Student/caregiver communication during school hours can be done through the main office. Please refrain texting or calling your student’s cell phone during school hours.
Sellwood Middle School Earbud policy is that students can only use them in the classroom with educator permission. Otherwise, earbuds need to be out of ears and away-- this includes lunch time and hallway passing time.
Thank you in advance for supporting our students in making healthy and safe choices at school.
To this end, we request that families and students show their support and understanding by completing and submitting the SMS Cell Phone Agreement.
Cross Country practices will be Monday and Wednesday from 4-5:30 beginning Monday, August 22nd. We will start and finish in front of Sellwood Middle School. Also, we need parent runners to volunteer to run with us! We can use as many volunteers as are willing and there is no obligation. They can show up once or every practice throughout the season. For questions about Cross Country, contact Ronda Hall-Ramirez firstname.lastname@example.org
Students with last names A-L: Mr. KB – email@example.com
Students with last names M-Z: Ms. Katie – firstname.lastname@example.org
RACE, RACISM, & RACIAL EQUITY RESOURCES
- “What is Systemic Racism?” videos from RaceForward
- Racism Interruptions sentence frames (see PDF in folder)
- “Why Aren’t There More Black People in Oregon? A Hidden History” (Walidah Imarisha)
The best way to reach us is by email.
The Office Phone Number
- The office phone number is 503-916-5656.
- When prompted, press 4 for Melissa (“Records/Registration”) or press 3 for Claire (Principal’s Secretary)
- When prompted, press 2 for any “Attendance” matters. It’s a designated line just for attendance.
- You can also press 0 for the front counter where often students help us answer the phone and direct communication. This is not a private line and confidential messages should not be left in this voice box.
- Sellwood is a locked and secure building.
- Please ring the doorbell to the right of the main doors to reach the office. We will guide you accordingly.
- Please email both Melissa and Claire for student pick up, a student arriving late, or any other matter that may require meeting a parent/guardian at the front door or getting a message to a student. Advance notice is strongly recommended since the office is very busy throughout the day.
Guides to Help you:
- For questions about your student’s absence: Log into ParentVue.
- make changes to your student's registration in Synergy: ParentVue/StudentVue
Please email Melissa (email@example.com) for:
- Attendance: If you need to excuse your child's attendance.
- Passwords: If you have forgotten your password, have been locked out of your account, or do not have login credentials.
- Registration, Enrollment.
- ParentVue (if your account has been disabled).
Please email Claire (firstname.lastname@example.org) for:
- School Pay.
- Bookkeeping/accounting issues.
- Administrative Support: Messages or matters of support to the principal or assistant principals.
IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER
- September 5: Labor Day – No School
- September 13: SMS Ice Cream Social 5:00-6:30
- September 17: Petanque – Foundation Fundraiser 2-6PM, Petanque Club, 7535 SE 23rd
- September 29: Back to School Night 5:30-7:00PM
- September 29: PTA Meeting 7:00 PM