Cougar Tracks Newsletter

April 13-17th, 2020

Greetings Kelly Creek Community!

Kelly Creek Families,

I know last week's announcement about the closing of school for the remainder of the year left many mixed emotions including sadness and loss for both our students and teachers. Please know that we are still here to support you and your children in their learning for the remainder of the school year. The close of our building does not mean that our students stop learning. It does mean that we are shifting how and where students learn. Please reassure your students that they will still be able to go on to the next grade when school reopens. I know many parents are wondering about a process for collecting students' belongings. Once that has been determined, we will let families know.

We also recognize that this is an extremely challenging time for many of our families who may be out of work or lacking the support and resources that they need. We want to support any way that we can so please reach out if you and your family need additional resources and we can get you connected to resources to help.

As we shift to distance learning, teachers will be asking students to join them online using Google Hangouts so they can meet with groups of students “virtually”. Make sure your child understands where you want them to join Hangouts. We recommend they should be in “shared spaces” instead of bedrooms, and not moving around the house. Our youngest students are especially excited to show their friends their home! Please help them identify one space for their meetings.


Beth Fraze, Principal

Counselor's Corner

Hello, Families and Students!

I hope you are all staying well and finding some joy in our sunny weather.

As a community, we are experiencing a new reality, one that is temporary, but comes with the need to be flexible, adjust to new circumstances, and manage not only our own stress and anxiety, but our children's as well. There is a lot of information being published or posted online right now about how parents can help their children to cope with the current situation. A common theme is that parents need to take care of themselves first, so that they have the emotional resources to be there for their child. This means it's important for you, as a parent or guardian, to find positive ways of managing your own stress and fears, in order to help your child to manage theirs.

I am a parent myself, and I know that in our current situation, it's very easy to feel overwhelmed with worry, fear and stress for a good part of the day. We have to recognize that this prevents us from being at our best. Denying the feelings doesn't help. It's important to acknowledge these feelings, but also to be able to MOVE ON from them to a more positive and productive emotional place. When you feel bogged down with stress and worry, call a friend, do an activity you love, read an uplifting book, play a game, take a walk, or daydream about a vacation you'd love to take - do whatever makes you feel good that is also healthy and good for your well-being. It's not selfish to do this, it is necessary. If you can manage your worries positively, you'll be able to help your child manage theirs as well.

In future newsletters, I'm going to be adding additional resources and strategies that can help adults and kids manage anxiety and stress during difficult circumstances. I hope there will be something that you will find useful.

If you need information about food resources, mental health resources, or utility or rental assistance, please click on the link at the end of this newsletter. We've compiled over three pages of information that may be helpful to you. We'll continue to have this available in our newsletter each week. If you don't find what you need, please feel free to contact me via email or phone and I will do my best to find whatever you need. Take care and stay well.


Christine Fitch, School Counselor


Distance Learning for All

This week our instructional model in the state is shifting from Supplemental Learning to Distance Learning for All. During this time of Distance Learning for All, the Gresham-Barlow School District is committed to providing equitable access and opportunities for all students. We know this is a challenging time for our students, staff, families, and the greater community. We also have a great opportunity to provide engaging opportunities for remote learning for all.

Teachers will continue to provide weekly playlists through Google Classroom and Seesaw however the instruction will be standards-based instruction as during the regular school year along with additional supplemental opportunities to continue to support learning for all students.

As a foundation for successful Distance Learning for All of our students, our schools have a critical responsibility to:

  • Continue to focus on student belonging, care, connection, well-being and mental and social-emotional health.

  • Actively engage and nurture relationships with students, families, and community.

  • Center equity in all outreach and communication efforts with parents and caregivers.

  • Encourage, support and provide opportunities for active collaboration and communication between school leaders, teachers, and all school staff.

Below you will find documents that the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) has provided schools as guidance for planning the instructional day along with recommended instructional minutes that teachers will be using as they create weekly learning playlists for students moving forward.

Did You Know?

The 2019-2020 Kelly Creek Yearbook is available to purchase online!

To order visit the website:

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Help Us Connect and Stay Connected!

Feel free to email us with any changes to your address, phone number, and email address. Our main form of communication during this time of social distancing will be via EMAIL. Make sure to keep your email up to date with our team. Feel free to email us directly, our contact information is on the bottom of this newsletter. You can also reach us by using our staff directory located here

Help us SPREAD the word! If you know of any parents/guardians in our community not receiving school emails please advise them to reach out to us so we can help them stay CONNECTED! Thank you for your help in SPREADING the word, communication continues to be key to the success of our families and students.

To assist with communication to our families we are sending out weekly newsletters. These newsletters will hold helpful information and resources for our families, if needed feel free to share this information with other community members. We are also using SchoolMessenger to keep you knowledgable of any details and/or information important to our families.

This week your teachers will be available for questions daily between the hours of 1:00-3:00p. Please reach out to them by email and they will either email you or call you back during that time.


Last week's memo included resources for accessing food, mental health, unemployment, utility/housing support, and medical care. Please click here to reference those resources:

Contact Information

Beth Fraze, Principal

Christine Fitch, Counselor

Melanie Fitzgerald, Head Secretary

Carmy Suastez Vazquez, Elementary Secretary