Principal's Newsletter 10.22.2022
Sellwood Principal’s Newsletter – October 21, 2022
Greetings Sellwood Community,
This year, during the first few months of school, we have been able to continue with our practice of eating lunch outside, thanks to the warm weather. This week, the Pacific Northwest experienced very unhealthy air due to fires in the region, and we had our first few days of indoor lunch and recess. As our weather turns cold and rainy, we will be transitioning to indoor lunch/outdoor recess starting next week. When the weather is particularly harsh or with heavy rain, we will have indoor lunch and indoor recess (in the gym).
As we transition to eating lunch in the cafeteria, we expect that students will clean up after themselves and not leave garbage and leftover food on or under their tables. While most students are great at leaving their spaces reasonably clean, there are unfortunately still several students who leave all of their food mess on or under the table. We have revisited expectations about disposing of waste in the trash, but would also appreciate if parents would provide a reminder about the importance of cleaning up after oneself.
Next week is School Spirit Week, with our Halloween Dance on Friday. Below, read about Halloween costume guidance as well as information and expectations for the dance. You can also review the student announcement slides.
Finally, the Sellwood Foundation is starting their annual fundraising campaign. I would like to share a bit how the funds provided by the Sellwood Foundation enrich the middle school experience for all Sellwood MS students. As a public school that is not a Title 1 school and does not receive staffing support though Equity Grants or additional equity staff subsidies, Sellwood has a staffing formula that is the bare minimum that can be provided to a PPS school. The result of this bare-bones staffing formula means that Sellwood is unable to hire many of the professionals on staff that other schools have, for example: instructional coach, math or reading intervention specialists, restorative justice coordinator, social worker, school management specialist, instructional assistants, etc. We also have large class sizes and have had fewer elective options than other middle schools. Fortunately, we have the support of the Sellwood MS Foundation!
This year, the foundation partially funds the following electives: French, Technology, and Cooking. Our instructional assistant is 100% funded by the Foundation. However, even if your child does not take French, Technology, or Cooking, they still benefit. School staffing is like an ecosystem, where every staffing resource has an impact on other staffing resources. For example, due to learning loss during the pandemic, I have prioritized keeping common core math classes smaller, under 30 students. Having additional elective classes and also allowing elective classes to be slightly larger, allows us to provide smaller math classes. We have also been able to give one of our math teachers a release period to catch up students who have fallen behind. Our instructional assistant, funded by the Sellwood Foundation, provides support to some of these larger classes, such as art, which has an average class size of 35. You can see how, used strategically, the generous support of parents through the Sellwood foundation helps everyone.
Below, you can learn how you can support the Sellwood MS Foundation fundraising campaign.
Sellwood MS Principal
SELLWOOD MIDDLE FOUNDATION UPDATE
Annual Giving Campaign
Today kicks off Sellwood Middle School's largest and most important fundraiser of the year- The Annual Giving Campaign. This fundraising effort is crucial to provide programs and staffing at our school, and with the help of a generous donor, every donation made during this fundraising campaign will be matched 100%! Our goal is to raise $50,000 in the next three weeks to pay for more teachers, more course variety and smaller class sizes. Our middle schoolers deserve the very best, so let’s show some Panther Pride and do this for them!
We invite all families to donate at the level they are comfortable. No amount is too small, as together we can make a difference!
Please use the provided QR code:
or visit the Foundation donation website at Donate — Sellwood Middle School Foundation
SPIRIT WEEK, HALLOWEEN AND THE HALLOWEEN DANCE
10/24-10/28, Spirit Week is coming this next week!!
Our Sellwood AVID Student Leaders are excited about hosting and promoting these school wide events.
- 10/24 Monday: Pajama day
- 10/25 Tuesday: Twin day
- 10/26 Wednesday: Color out day by grade ***Cleveland Band Concert***
- 6th - yellow
- 7th - gray
- 8th - blue
- 10/27 Thursday: Neon day
- 10/28 Friday: Halloween costume day ***School Dance***
Guidance regarding Halloween Costumes on Friday 10/28:
- No masks or costumes that cover the face, including full face paint.
- No props/toys/accessories - especially no fake weapons.
- No large, bulky, or inflatable costumes.
- No costumes that perpetuate a stereotype of someone's culture, gender, heritage, or religion.
- No wheels
- Please, leave candy at home.
Our School dance is happening from 3:00 - 3:45 on Friday. Students will head to the dance with their 7th grade class, and there will be teachers and a few parents chaperoning. For students that need a quieter space, there will be a quiet room and a video room where students can go; students will need to let an adult at the school know that they want to go to the alternative space, and once they are there, they must stay there.
- Fruit Sale Ends in 6 days; Please Order!
Please order freshly picked, healthy, and amazing tasting boxes of apples and pears from Kiyokawa Family Orchards. Share with family and friends! This is one of the PTA’s largest fundraisers and last year the PTA raised close to $4,000. Get your order in today! https://www.schoolpay.com/
- Portland Bottle Shop Tuesday 10/25
Our first Sellwood Dines Out is next week!
The Bottle Shop in Sellwood is generously donating 10% of ALL sales on Tuesday. Go stock up for the holidays!!
- Join the Sellwood Middle School PTA!
Help us reach our goal of 100 members! The annual $20 membership dues can be paid on SchoolPay. Dues are used by the PTA for teacher supply reimbursements, arts and music programs, community events, and school support. A portion of your dues also helps the Oregon and National PTA organizations further their missions. Thanks for your support!
- Send in a Snack on Wednesdays for the Staff Lounge
Find snack sign up spots on Konstella! Granola bars, fruit, nuts, anything works! Your student can bring the snack into the office at the start of the school day and that’s it!
CLEVELAND YOUTH WRESTLING
We would like to invite you to participate in Cleveland’s Middle School Youth Wrestling Program this season.
Our middle school wrestling team is available to anyone in grades in 6th through 8th grade who resides in the Cleveland boundary area. Our practices take place at Sellwood and Hosford but if your student attends another school then they are welcome to join one of our teams as well.
Anybody can wrestle. It doesn't matter what size you are like in other sports because you will compete and practice with people around the same size as you. Also, wrestling is open to all genders. Cleveland has one of the biggest girls wrestling teams in the state of Oregon. Our high school girls’ team is coached by the only women’s coach in the city. All our youth matches have a girl’s division where girls can compete against each other and we also have a girls only practice every week that our female athletes have the option to attend.
We practice 2X a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 400-545. Our practices are held at Sellwood and Hosford Middle Schools. If you attend one of those schools you will just report to practice right after your school day. We have a full wrestling schedule where we compete against other middle schools. Bus transportation is provided to almost all meets. We usually compete on Mondays but also attend one weekend tournament a month,
If you are interested in learning more about our wrestling program there are a couple of opportunities for you to check it out before our season begins. We have a student meeting at each middle school after school where students can come meet the coaches and see what wrestling is all about. The student Interest meeting will happen at Hosford Middle school on Wednesday November 2nd at 4:00 PM and at Sellwood MIddle School on Thursday November 3rd at 4:00 PM. These meetings will take place in the school gymnasiums and will take about 45 minutes.
Our Parent Meeting will be on the evening of November 3rd at 7:00 PM and it will take place through google meets. You can access this meeting through the following link.
If your student wants to join our wrestling program they must get signed up and cleared on Family ID. All athletes must have a sports physical within the past two years to be cleared to begin. You can get this from your family health provider but also can get one for free from one of our student health centers.
Our first practice wrestling will be on Tuesday November 8th. You can contact me with any further questions.
EARLY DISMISSAL REQUESTS
- 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. (firstname.lastname@example.org; choward1@
- Advance notice expedites the process for you, your student, our teachers and the main office.
- No early pickups permitted after 3:30 pm.
FROM OUR TAG FACILITATOR
TAG Referral Forms available now
If your student already qualifies for TAG, you do not need to refer again. That TAG designation will stay with them throughout their time in PPS. If you wish to refer your student for TAG (in a new area or for the first time), please follow these directions:
- Go to https://www.pps.net/
- Use the Academics tab, then select Talented and Gifted
- Links to referral forms are at the bottom of the page by language
- The deadline for this form is November 29
If you have questions, please contact our TAG Facilitator, Lisa Souther (email@example.com).
FROM THE SELLWOOD COMMUNITY HOUSE
The Monster March Parade and Halloween Spooktacular return Saturday, Oct. 29th! The Monster March will once again be led by the Sellwood Middle School band, with participation from the Sellwood Stars Dance Team! Parade is 3-4, Spooktacular is 4-7pm. Both events take place at Sellwood Community House.
The Monster March is FREE. Spooktacular tickets can be purchased online. Any SMS youth who would like to volunteer can sign up here! https://www.
Session 2 of Scene Study: Acting for the Camera begins next Thursday, Oct. 27th, taught by "Wild" and "Grimm" actor Randy Schulman. All participants will have the chance to audition for a silent film, to be screened at the Moreland Theater next year! Register at sellwoodcommunityhouse.org
RACIAL EQUITY AND CONSCIOUSNESS DEVELOPMENT:
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced”
- James Baldwin
- Read: Being Black in Portland: This article was written in 2015 and it is as real and relevant in 2022. Take a few minutes out of your day to read Dear White Portland … Racial injustice in the City of Roses, from the perspectives of young black men who live here. Their powerful true-life experiences and perspectives are essential for our understanding of how race shows up in Portland
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 (email@example.com) for:
- School Pay.
- Bookkeeping/accounting issues.
- Administrative Support: Messages or matters of support to the principal or assistant principals.
IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER
November 3: End of 1st Quarter
November 3: Pick-up PTA Fruit Fundraiser 2:30-5:30 SMS Parking Lot
November 4: No school for students – Teacher planning day
November 9: Picture retakes
November 11: No school - Veteran’s Day
November 19: Sellwood Foundation & PTA Meetings
November 21 & 22: Parent Teacher Conferences
November 23-25: Fall Break
December 12: Winter Band Concert 7:00 PM (new date)
December 19 – January 2: Winter Break
January 16: No school - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
January 26 – End of 1st semester
January 27 – No school for students - Teacher planning day
February 17 – No school for students – Teacher planning day
February 20 – No school – President’s Day (potential snow day make-up day)
March 27 – 31 – Spring Break
April 7 – End of 3rd Quarter
April 10th – No school for students – Teacher planning day
May 16: Spring Band Concert 7:00 PM
May 29: No school – Memorial Day
June 13 – Last day of school
June 14, 15, 16 – Potential snow day make-up days