Principal's Newsletter 10.20.2023

Sellwood Principal’s Newsletter – October 20, 2023

Greetings Sellwood Community,

As you may heard from PPS Communications and/or read in the news today, the Portland Association of Teachers has voted to authorize a strike, potentially starting November 1st.  I expect families have many questions about how a teacher strike would impact you and your children.  PPS has put together the following resource to help answer some of your questions.  Family Resources During a Strike.  The document contains information regarding: Resources to Support Learning, Full or Partial Closures, Student Supports, and Discussing Closures with Your Children.  There is also an FAQ with answers to general questions, and a link where you can submit your own questions.

Please know that I understand and appreciate that there will be challenges for families going forward in the event of school closures.  I will do my best to make sure that you have the most up-to-date information as November 1st approaches.


Jeandré Carbone

Sellwood MS Principal


  1. PTA meeting: Tuesday, 10/24, 7pm, SMS library 

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



Dr. Craigan Usher

Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, OHSU


This will be an interactive session for parents to give practical advice on managing screen time, tech dilemmas, social media, phone distraction etc. 


Principal Carbone will also be at the meeting for school updates and address parent questions.


  1. Pre PTA meeting parent get together; 10/24 5-6:30pm 

Smitty’s Taphouse, 7718 SE 13th 


Come join us for a casual parent meet up prior to our PTA meeting!

  1. PTA Fruit Pick Up; 10/25

Fruit pick-up will be on Wednesday 10/25 from 2:30 to 5:00 pm at the Sellwood Middle School parking lot (located at the intersection of SE 15th and SE Harney). 

  1. Important links

Join the PTA: 

Join Konstella:

Instagram: @sellwoodmiddlePTA



Sellwood PEAK New Classes! Babysitter Training, First Aid, Chess Club

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. 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: The scholarship request deadline for Red Cross classes was Wednesday, October 18th. Please feel free to submit for other classes.

Please email with any questions.

Classes open for registration

  • Chess Club (NEW)
    • We play chess after school on Mondays! We improve our chess skills by playing as much as possible, solving puzzles, and learning basic strategies. Our after-school program focuses on basics but we hope to develop a more competitive program. We meet on Mondays that school is in session. Note that this is a year-long club.
  • Red Cross Babysitter Training - One Day Course (NEW)
    • One-day training offered on 11/3/23, 4/5/24 and 4/8/24, 9am-4:30pm (no school days)
    • Registration will open Sat, 10/21/23 at 9am
    • The scholarship request deadline for Red Cross classes was Wednesday, October 18th.
    • Designed for young people to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and responsibly give care to infants and children in a residential setting. 
    • Participants receive a certificate of completion for Babysitter’s Training
  • Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED Red Cross - One Day Course (NEW)
    • One-day training offered on 1/26/24, 9am-2pm (no school day)
    • Registration will open Sat, 10/21/23 at 9am
    • The scholarship request deadline for Red Cross classes was Wednesday, October 18th.
    • The Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED course equips students with the knowledge necessary to recognize and care for a variety of first aid, breathing, and cardiac emergencies involving children and babies.
    • Students will receive a Red Cross Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED Certificate.
  • 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.
  • FULL - Speech and Debate
  • FULL - Python Coding


Last year, our Blue Bag program generated an astonishing $6,000 for our school, all thanks to your incredible support. With your help, we hope to beat that number this year!

What's Blue Bags? Blue Bags is an easy and impactful way to contribute to our school's success. Simply fill the bags with cans, bottles, or any deposit-marked containers. These versatile bags can be used at home, in the office, at sports events, or any gathering where beverages are served.

Effortless Drop-Offs Forget about waiting in long lines for payment slips. Drop off your filled Blue Bags hassle-free at numerous local BottleDrop locations, including convenient spots like New Seasons, Trader Joe's, and QFC.

Grab Your Blue Bag You can pick up your Blue Bags at the Main Office or from select neighborhood locations.

Let's make this year's Blue Bags program an even bigger success! Your continued support means the world to us and enables us to provide enriching experiences for our students.



Benson HS overview video

If your 8th grader is interested in Career & Technical programs like: 

  • Health sciences 
  • Automotive
  • Manufacturing/Engineering 
  • Digital media 

Benson might be the perfect fit!  Come to the 8th grade information night to learn more.  

November 7th, 6:00-7:30, 

Benson @ Marshall Campus in the Gym

3905 SE 91st Ave

Portland, OR 97266

2024-25 High School Lottery window is open from November 15, 2023 - December 15, 2023. 

Students from across Portland Public Schools can apply to lottery slots at our three focus options high schools:

  • Benson Polytechnic High School
  • Jefferson High School-Middle College for Advanced Studies
  • Metropolitan Learning Center


Now is time to think about joining Sellwood's wrestling team.  This team is open to all students who attend Sellwood.  All experience levels and sizes are welcome.  Anybody can wrestle because you practice and compete with wrestlers your size.  We will have a student interest meeting on November 1st after school in the gymnasium.  Practice will begin on November 7.  Get signed up on family ID as soon as you can and we will see you at the student meeting on Wednesday November 1st in the gymnasium.

Sellwood Wrestling 2023


Saturday, November 4th, from 10 am to 12 pm in the CHS Library. 

The design committee is especially interested in input from families with prospective Cleveland students.

Current design concepts can be found here:

For more details, visit the official Cleveland Modernization website:


We have collected 57 pairs of socks to donate to those in need. Our goal is 150 pairs by the end of October! The Leadership class knows that students will need help to reach this goal, so thank you, parents and caregivers. We're increasing the number of drop-off locations, and still rocking our FUN SOCK FRIDAY!


PIL sports registration, schedules and calendar found HERE. Sellwood falls under the "Cleveland Cluster". If your student is playing a sport or any extracurricular activity outside of the PIL, we would love to support them as well. Send an email to Mr. KB ( including the schedule, including playoff information, and team pictures. Thank you 


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.


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.



  • October 25: Cleveland Arts Assembly, 10:00 AM
  • 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


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