Principal's Newsletter January 5, 2024

Sellwood Principal’s Newsletter – January 5, 2024

Greetings Sellwood Community,

Welcome back!  I hope you all had a fun and restful Winter Break.  My husband and I were able to take a quick trip to Hawaii for some sun and sea, and the break was much needed :-)

Please don’t forget to sign up for parent-teacher conferences which will start next week.  There are still appointment slots available and the instructions can be found below.

Also, next Friday we will have Coffee with the Principal from 9:30 to 10:30 AM.  I hope to see you there.

Have a great weekend.


Jeandré Carbone

Sellwood MS Principal


If you plan to sign-up for parent/teacher conferences and have not yet done so, please see the linked conference sign-up Google Doc, which contains all you need to sign up.  Please note that there are fewer hours available for conferences this year.  Conferences are not required but encouraged, especially when students and families need support or would like additional communication with the teacher.  There are written instructions, as well as a video Screencast tutorial, and links to all Sellwood teachers and counselors’ appointment calendar.

Please keep in mind that you will need to use desk or laptop computer to sign up, as the Google appointment calendar does not seem to work properly with cell phone or iPads.

As a reminder, these are the dates and times for conferences.

  • January 11: 5:00-8:00 PM – Virtual only
  • January 16: 5:00-8:00 PM – Virtual only
  • January 17: 5:30-8:30 PM – Virtual only
  • January 25: 5:00-8:00 PM - In-person only

Here is the link to the conference sign-up document.  If you have trouble with that link, copy and paste the following url into your browser.


Cleveland Forecasting & GPA Lesson in Science on 1/9 and 1/10

Ms. Katie will be in science classes next week on Tuesday 1/9 (Ms. Thomas) and Wednesday 1/10 (Mr. Larson) to present on high school forecasting.   Students will submit their course selections through StudentVue by January 22.  Cleveland counselors will come to Sellwood on Friday 1/26 to review and finalize course selections with students. We ask ALL 8th grade students to forecast for Cleveland even if they plan on attending a different high school.  The forecasting presentation will be sent out to families next week on Wednesday and in the Friday newsletter. 

If your student is planning on attending a different PPS school please reach out to their school counselor for forecasting support. 


January 23rd PTA meeting; Cleveland High School Principal will attend

Join us January 23rd at 7:00 pm for our next PTA meeting.  CHS Principal Jo Ann Wadkins will be joining us to talk about CHS and answer questions from parents. 

Important links:


We need a few more students in some classes to have enough - Marimba, Playwriting and Performance, Web Dev: My first website.

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.  **If you are already taking a class in the fall you DO need to register again for Winter Session**

Scholarship request form is here: 

Please email with any questions.

Classes open for registration:

  • Red Cross Babysitter Training - One Day Course 
    • One-day training offered on 1/15/24, 4/5/24 9am-4:30pm (no school days)
    • 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
  • Marimba 
    • PEAK marimba is a once a week class (Thursdays from 4-5PM) that teaches students the basics of playing in a marimba ensemble. No experience is necessary. Instruments are provided. Students will learn to play music in a group setting.
  • Playwriting & Performance - Rogue Theater Collective
    • This class will teach all the skills necessary for writing a notebook’s worth of monologues and one-act plays! You will learn the fundamentals of playwriting from characters and dialogue, to dramatic structure and stage directions. You will also learn about basic stagecraft: from set design and props to directing. We’ll explore writing exercises and discuss plays by genre, from tragedy to comedy to contemporary realism. In this fun and encouraging environment, you will learn tools and tips on how to construct a short play. Each playwright will select one piece for a dramatic reading, followed by a critique and performance. *BONUS: everyone will get a free Moleskin Notebook to write in and keep!
  • Web Dev: My First Website
    • Designed for beginners, this course introduces students to the basics of web technologies (HTML, CSS, and Javascript). Students learn concepts, such as HTML tags, CSS properties, and Javascript Functions and Event listeners. They build simple but beautiful static websites and fun browser games, such as the Meme Spinner and Cookie Clicker. By the end of the course, students know how to design a web page, write codes to display and style web content, and add Javascript codes to add interactivity to the website.
  • 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.
  • Chess Club (FULL)


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.


  • January 11: Parent Teacher Conferences – Virtual – 5-8PM
  • January 12: Coffee with the Principal – 9:30 AM in the Faculty Lounge
  • January 15: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – NO SCHOOL
  • January 16: Parent Teacher Conferences – Virtual – 5-8PM
  • January 17: Parent Teacher Conferences – Virtual – 5:30-8:30PM
  • January 25: 2 Hour Late Start
  • January 25: Parent Teacher Conferences – in-person – 5-8PM
  • January 26: Make-up Day (previously not a school day for students)
  • January 29: No School for Students – Teacher Planning Day
  • February 19: Make-up day (President’s Day – previously not a school day)
  • March 12: 5th-grade Parent Info Night
  • March 25 to March 29: Spring Break
  • April 5: No School for Students – Teacher Planning Day
  • April 8: Make-up Day (Previously not a school day for students)
  • May 27: Memorial Day – NO SCHOOL
  • June 6: Showcase Night
  • June 12-14: Make-up Days
  • June 14: Last Day of School
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