Principal's Newsletter 10.27.2023

Sellwood Principal’s Newsletter – October 27, 2023

Greetings Sellwood Community,

Next Tuesday is Halloween, and while we love seeing students in their costumes, we want to make sure that all costumes are safe and appropriate.

Guidance regarding Halloween Costumes. 

  • 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.

As you know, the Portland Association of Teachers has notified the district of its intent to strike starting Nov. 1. We have no way to know how long a strike would last. While we all sincerely hope this is averted, a strike would mean Sellwood’s building is closed. PPS will continue to support limited services, and has provided some remote learning materials: . The district has also provided some guidance for discussing a strike with your children. Whether you do so or not, I would encourage you to familiarize yourself with the issues and process. The district has provided resources on its bargaining website, which link to content developed by both the district and the union.

We will be conducting a locker clean-out just before dismissal on October 31st.  Students should remove any food items and any clothing or other supplies they might need in the near future.  In the case of a teacher strike and school closure, they will not be able to retrieve any items from the school for the duration of the closure.  If there is no strike, student lockers will be that much cleaner.

Finally, Parent/Teacher conferences will be happening in less than a month.  The conference formats available are both virtual and in person. Next week, we will be sharing the schedule and all of the details for sign-ups, so keep an eye out for that communication.


Jeandré Carbone

Sellwood MS Principal



  1. Many thanks to all who supported the PTA in October!
  • Thank you to Dr. Craigan Usher who gave a great, engaging talk at our PTA meeting about teens and technology.
  • Thank you to Portland Bottle Shop for donating a portion of sales to Sellwood on Sellwood Dines Out!
  • Thank you to Amy Columbo for organizing another great fruit sale.  She has organized this fundraiser for years and we are so thankful.
  • Thank you to Allison Eshel for organizing a very appreciated staff crock pot lunch! 
  1. Sellwood Spirit Wear Sale to start in November
  • Help with community pride!  Grab a holiday gift!  We will be selling SMS gear soon.  T-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants and more.  Stay tuned!  
  1. Important links


Dear SMS Families,

The Annual Giving Campaign has been instrumental in our journey to enhance the learning environment and your contributions have helped us in the following ways:

1. Smaller Classrooms:  Research consistently shows that smaller classes lead to better student outcomes and individualized attention.

2. Expanded Courses:  Our contribution allowed us to introduce exciting new courses: Culinary Arts, Technology, and French.

3. Support for Teachers:  We've been funding two dedicated teacher's aides.

We invite you to donate generously and be part of improving the educational experience for all our students.

To make your contribution or to learn more, please visit: 

Every contribution, big or small, counts and brings us one step closer to our goals. Every donation will be matched up to $50,000, doubling your impact. 

With gratitude and determination,

The Sellwood Middle School Foundation Board


Hello families.  Hopefully by today you have received your student's school photos. If you have any issues or questions, please contact LifeTouch studio directly as the office has no information with regard to photos. Their contact information is below:

Their website is or call them directly at 1.800.736.4753

Also, a reminder that photo retakes are Nov. 8th.




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


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.


  • 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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