Principal's Newsletter 9.29.2023

Sellwood Principal’s Newsletter – September 29, 2023

Greetings Sellwood Community,

We enjoyed hosting all of you at Back-to-School night on Tuesday evening.  It is such a pleasure to have families in the school building again, and seeing many new and returning faces.  The PTA meeting was also well-attended and it is wonderful that so many parents are choosing to become involved.

I want to make sure that everyone knows that Wednesday, October 4th will be a two-hour late opening for all PPS middle schools.  Staff will be engaging in Social Emotion Learning professional development that morning.  The building entry bell will ring at 11:05 and period 1 will begin at 11:15.  Buses will run on the two-hour late opening schedule.

I also would like to alert you to the TAG Parent meeting which will take place on October 3rd, from 6:30 to 7:15 PM.  The meeting will be virtual on Google Meets.

I hope you all enjoy the return of sunshine and crisp fall weather this weekend :-)


Jeandré Carbone

Sellwood MS Principal



Mark your October calendar!

  1. Fruit Sale starting next week!

Our annual fall fundraiser starts soon.  We will be selling apples and pears from Kiyokawa Orchard.  This delicious healthy fundraiser raises important funds to support our school. 


  1. Sellwood Dines Outs; October 17th.

Our first Sellwood Dines Out will be with Portland Bottle Shop!  Great day for lunch or dinner, grab a gift, or stock up for the holidays!

  1. Next PTA meeting; October 24th; 7pm.

We are excited to welcome a guest speaker at our October meeting.

                ‘Navigating social media for the middle school parent’

Dr. Craigan Usher

Professor of Child Psychiatry, OHSU


This will be an interactive session for parents to give practical advice to support your child to a safe and supportive use of social media.

  1. Important links

Join the PTA: 

Join Konstella:

Instagram: @sellwoodmiddlePTA



Sellwood PEAK Classes Start Soon! Registration Still Open

The PEAK Program is a series of in-person after school classes open to all Sellwood students.  The PEAK program is totally independent of Sellwood Middle School and is under the jurisdiction of PTA. Most classes run on a 8-10 week session schedule in the fall, winter, and spring, and require a fee. Partial scholarships are available as the PEAK goal is to include every SMS student.  

Register for classes at  If you are a first-time user you will need to create an account for your student.  

Scholarship request form is here: 

Please email with any questions.

Classes open for registration now:

  • Clowning and Physical Comedy
    • We will explore multiple clown characters through games and physical comedy exercises. Each student will develop their own unique clown character. Together we will observe and learn current and traditional physical theater practices and stage combat skills like falls, bonks and safely slamming into walls with no physical repercussions! We will develop individual and group composition pieces to perform for an invited audience at the culmination of the class. Come play with us and discover your inner clown!
  • Choir
    • This is a student-led choir class provided by the Cleveland Choir Department, and the Cleveland Youth Choir (CYC) team. With the support of the Cleveland Choir director, Cleveland Choir students will lead a class filled with fun singing activities, practicing musicality skills, and learning about other cultures and stories through song! It is not only an educational opportunity, but a performance opportunity. Students who participate will have an opportunity to perform with the Cleveland Choir at one of our events. 
  • Speech and Debate
    • The Cleveland High Speech and Debate team is one the largest and most successful programs at the school. Find out why these students love it so much, and build your own debate skills. You will practice speaking and debating skills in preparation for local middle school competitions The Sellwood team will be coached by team captains from Cleveland. 
  • Python Coding - FULL
    • Python is versatile, easy-to-learn, and one of the world's most powerful programming languages! Widely used by software developers, scientists, and data analysts, Python can be used for everything from medical research to rocket engineering. The Python pathway teaches students core programming concepts and how to build interactive games using this popular coding language.


We invite you to join our year-long fundraising initiative --**Blue Bag BottleDrop**! Last year, Blue Bag BottleDrop contributed over $6,000 to our school, making a significant impact on our programs.

 **What's Blue Bag BottleDrop?** 
Blue Bag BottleDrop is a simple and effective way to support our school. Collect cans, bottles, or any deposit-marked containers in the Blue Bags provided. These bags are convenient and versatile – use them at home, the office, sports events, or any gathering with bottled or canned beverages.

 **Easy Drop-Off Locations** 
No more waiting in line for payment slips! You can drop off your filled Blue Bags hassle-free at various local BottleDrop locations, including New Season's, Trader Joe's, and QFC.

 **Get Your Blue Bag** 
Pick up your Blue Bags at the Main Office or designated locations within the neighborhood ( Look out for the SMS Foundation Board at the upcoming Back to School Night – we will be distributing Blue Bags and answering any questions you might have.

Let's make this year's Blue Bag BottleDrop program an even greater success! Thank you for your continued support in enhancing our school's opportunities and experiences.


Leadership, taught by Ms. Souther, is collecting sock donations for Blanchet House, which is a non-profit organization that distributes meals and clothes to the un-housed. October 1-27, please donate new (in the packaging) adult socks, one of the most requested items on their website. Warm, plain socks are great! 

Collection boxes will be available around the school every morning.

We’ll also incorporate Fun Sock Fridays!  Each Friday (and one Thursday) in October, students will be challenged to wear their most FUN socks. 


Who wants a yearbook at the end of the year?  It turns out, pretty much everybody wants one!  Each year, we set aside some time for students to commemorate the end of the school year with a yearbook signing ritual.  However, not everyone orders a yearbook, often because they are busy and don’t realize until after the ordering deadline.  Sometimes students don’t think they want a yearbook, but when they see them, they realize they really do want one.  The truth is, there are many reasons why families don’t order yearbooks, and we never have enough yearbooks for everyone who wants one.  We do not like to disappoint students and families.  So, what if we ordered yearbooks for every student?    In fact, if we order more yearbooks, the price per book will go down.  We envision the last day of school when every student has a yearbook to sign!  However, we will need your support in order to make this sustainable.  We are requesting a suggested $20 donation to our Sellwood Yearbook Donation account in School Pay (the price for a yearbook was $25 last year).  You can donate more, especially if you have more than one child at Sellwood.  We hope that our “Yearbooks for All” plan will make for a more enjoyable and equitable end of the year experience for all.  Thank you for your support.

Here's the link to SchoolPay.  If you need assistance with SchoolPay, the SchoolPay parent help phone number is 833-731-2600.

Youth Cheer Clinic October 2nd-5th, with a half time performance at the Homecoming Football game on the 6th. Practices will be held at the Cleveland track. 

Students will learn a dance and some cheers that they will perform at halftime of the homecoming game. We are also asking all the participants to cheer with us down on the track, for the first half of the game. 

Grades: 4th - 8th

Fee:  $50 - it includes a t-shirt and a bow.

Registration: Sign up is located on the Cleveland High School Athletic website under fall sports - cheer. Below is the google doc form.



Parents, if you would like to support your student by logging into Canvas, here is a link and a step-by-step guide.


  • You will need to create a Canvas account using a student pairing code. 
  • Accounts can be created by going to
  • Review this guide to learn more.


Students with last names A-L: Mr. KB –

Students with last names M-Z:  Ms. Katie –


The best way to reach us is by email.  

  • Melissa Whiteside ( is our school secretary and registrar.  
  • Claire Howard ( is our principal’s secretary and bookkeeper.
  • Our Sellwood website ( has many “Quick Links” to help you immediately.   

The Office Phone Number

The office phone number is 503-916-5656.  

When prompted:

  • press 4 for Melissa;
  • press 3 for Claire 
  • press 2 for all Attendance matters. 
  • press 5 for Records, Registration.
  • press 0 for the front counter; however, students may answer this line.  Do not discuss anything confidential or leave any confidential messages.  

Secured Building 

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.

Parent/Student Requests:  

Please email both Melissa and Claire for student pick up or if you must get a message to a student.  For student pickup, advance notice is strongly recommended to minimize classroom interruptions. No pickups/dismissals will be allowed after 3:30 pm.

Guides to Help you:

To access your student’s attendance in Synergy: Log into ParentVue. 

To make changes to your student’s registration in Synergy:  ParentVue/StudentVue

Please email Melissa Whiteside ( for:

  • Passwords:  If you have forgotten your password, have been locked out of your account, or do not have login credentials
  • ParentVue (if your account has been disabled).   

Please email Claire Howard ( for:

  • School Pay/Bookkeeping/accounting issues.
  • Administrative Support:  Messages or matters of support to the principal or assistant principal.


  • September 26: TAG Parent Meeting 6:30 - 7PM (Virtual)
  • October 3: Picture Day
  • October 4: Two-hour late opening.  Entry bell rings at 11:05 AM
  • October 13: No School – State In-service Day
  • October 25: Cleveland Arts Assembly
  • November 2: End of Quarter 2
  • November 3: No School for Students
  • November 8: Picture Retakes
  • November 10: No School – Veteran’s Day
  • November 20-21: Parent Teacher Conferences
  • November 22-24:  Fall Break
  • December 12: Band Winter Concert
  • December 18-22: Winter Break


, ; (Last Modified about a minute ago)