Principal's Newsletter 12.1.2023

Sellwood Principal’s Newsletter – December 1, 2023

Greetings Sellwood Community,

I cannot overstate how happy we are to have students here in school and getting back to their learning.

As you know, the school calendar has changed a bit in order for make up for days missed during the recent strike. Please note that the calendar changes were negotiated at the end of the strike and are district-wide; I cannot diverge from the changes. One of the more controversial changes was converting five days that had been previously part of winter break to school days. We realize that there are families and staff members who have previously made plans that cannot be changed. We also recognize that there are many families who have altered their plans in order for their children to attend school from December 18th to the 22nd to make up for missed instruction.  We appreciate that changing plans at the last minute is a sacrifice, and we will do our best to honor your efforts by providing quality instruction on those make-up days. This will be a bit of a challenge because we expect to have high numbers of student absences; students who will be missing instruction through no fault of their own. Rather than providing instruction on new topics that 25-33% of students will miss, we will use the opportunity to go deeper in content learning and provide opportunities for practice and enrichment. Through Canvas, we will do our best to make the learning accessible for those who are not able to be here. Although teachers will provide some fun and engagement on the winter break make-up days, students will not be watching movies and having parties all week.

In order to plan for these make-up days, we are polling families and students to gather information about expected attendance. I sent the Google Form to families earlier today, but in case you missed it I will include the link below.

In addition, we need to reschedule evening parent/teacher conferences, so I have included some questions about whether you are able to do virtual conferences or if you need to attend in-person.  Conferences will be offered on four separate evenings for three-hour blocks. One of the dates will be January 11th, so we will be selecting three additional dates.

Thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback, as it will be very helpful to us. Please complete one survey for each of your children.


Jeandré Carbone

Sellwood MS Principal


Sellwood Dines Out: Sunday 12/3 - Monday 12/4

Our Sellwood Dines Out event for December is at Fire Eats!, a pizza, rotini, and Italian ice pop-up owned by Lynn and Erik, who have two kids attending SMS. A perfect spot for lunch or dinner with family and friends! 

Fire Eats! is located in the Relish Gastropub space at 6637 SE Milwaukie Ave. They are open from 10:00-7:30ish on Sunday and 11:30-7:30ish on Monday.

Important links:


Dear Sellwood Families,

Community support in past year's Annual Giving Campaigns made an incredible impact on Sellwood Middle School. Your contributions have made a real difference, enabling us to provide:

1. Smaller Classes: Your support allowed us to create smaller class sizes, providing better learning environments for our students.

2. Expanded Courses: Exciting new courses, including Culinary, Technology, and French, have been introduced, giving our students more options to explore their interests.

3. Teacher Support: We've funded two teacher's aides, crucial in enhancing the learning experience for our students.

Please consider contributing to our 2023 Annual Giving Campaign to help us maintain and build upon the progress we've made. Your support is an investment in the success and growth of Sellwood Middle School.

To donate or learn more, visit Every contribution, regardless of size, brings us closer to our goals. Your donation will be matched- doubling your impact!

Thank you for being a vital part of Sellwood Middle School. Together, we can shape an even brighter future.


The Sellwood Middle School Foundation Board


Cleveland High School Open House “Bridging the Gap” event, will be in-person the evening of THURSDAY, DEC. 14 at 6:30 p.m.

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


Hello families,

We were able to reschedule picture retakes! Retake day is Wednesday, December 6th. Below you will find a digital flyer. Hopefully, you have received a paper copy. If not please see the digital flyer attached.  As a reminder, the event code to preorder deactivates on picture day and parents will need to wait for their order sheet with the access code to arrive. If you have any issues or concerns that arise please contact customer service. Here is their phone number if you have packet questions: (866) 955-8342. There is a text option over the phone and a chat feature on the website. MyLifeTouch


Oregon Battle of the Books is coming back to Sellwood Middle School and will be organized by parent volunteers for the 2023/24 school year.   Now is the time to start organizing a team.  Once you have a team, you can register them here.  If your student would like help finding a team or an additional team member, fill out this form.  If you have questions, email

OBOB is a program where teams of students read an amazing selection of books and then compete with other teams in Battles to recall details from the stories.  Battles will be organized at the school level in February 2024.  Teams are usually made up of two to four members, with one optional alternate, for a total of no more than five members. 


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.



  • December 6: Picture Retakes
  • December 12: Art Show & Band Winter Concert
  • December 18-22: Make up days (previously week 1 of winter break)
  • December 25-January 1: Winter Break
  • January 15: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – NO SCHOOL
  • January 26: Make-up Day (previously not a school day for students)
  • February 19: Make-up day (President’s Day – previously not a school day)
  • Spring Break: March 25 to March 29
  • April 8: Make-up Day (Previously not a school day for students)
  • May 27: Memorial Day – NO SCHOOL
  • June 12-14: Make-up Days
  • June 14: Last Day of School


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