Astor Connection

September 2021

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Thank you to Rather Severe, our Astor PTSO and the Astor community members who have worked hard on this lovely new mural on our playground! We appreciate all of their efforts!!

In This Issue

Principal's Message

Important Dates

Welcome Ms. Sarah Alvarado, Assistant Principal

Astor Handbook & Calendar

Back To School Night (Virtual)

School Meals

Lunch Update

Traffic Safety

School Supplies

School Pay

Principal's Coffee Chat

Run For Astor Jog-a-thon

Fall Picture Day

Community Partner: Latino Network

Rental Assistance

EBT and Ways to Donate

Student Health Center COVID Weekly Vaccine Clinics

Around Astor

Principal's Message

Dear Astor Families,


Today is the day! All of our kinder through 8th grade students are officially back in person! It's been about 18 months since our building has hosted a full day for all our students. Thank you parents and teachers for your incredible support. Our community may continue face hurdles, but I know that we'll be able to overcome them together for our kids.


A huge thank you to the PTSO, as well. The mural (pictured above) is an incredible addition to our playground. It's also a wonderful community response to the hate speech that was graffitied in the space last school year. We strive to meet our vision of "We all belong at Astor and together we are stronger." This collective piece is another step in that direction. You can find out more about our PTSO and ways you can join this wonderful group here - https://www.astorptso.org/


Last school year, our Astor staff was relentless in their work to support students and families. I see the same approach this year. Please join me in thanking our staff. I'm so appreciative of their commitment to all our kids at Astor. If you have any questions about anything going on at school, then please don't hesitate to reach out to your teacher. They are here to help and happy to answer any questions. Thank you staff!


This month, we'll continue to solidify all out routines of being back in-person, but we'll also have the return of a few Astor traditions. Coming this month is the Run for Astor, picture day, and back to school night! Read below and stay tuned for more information regarding all these happenings.


We'll also celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15 throughout the school. Teachers will be weaving the works of Hispanic and Latino authors, artists, and more into the classroom. We are also fortunate to have the Latino Network on campus, and they be starting work soon with some of our middle schoolers in a program called S.O.L. You can find more info below about this program.


One of the biggest changes to our day has been eating outside. This will continue throughout September and into the first part of October. Check out the lunch selection below if you're interested in helping with lunch set up or in being a part of our inside lunch planning team.


I also want to officially welcome Sarah Alvarado (Ms. Sarah) to our community as our new Assistant Principal! I'm excited to have her as a teammate at Astor. You'll be able to meet her around the grounds before and after school. She'll also be joining us at our first Principal Coffee Chat as well.


Finally, reach out to us if your family is in need of any support. Mr. Knoblich (jknoblic@pps.net) and Ms. Theresa (tscottmerrion@pps.net) are here to support with accessing resources. Our student support team has a new member, Ms. Shoshana Oswald (soswald@pps.net) who is supporting many of our MS students.


Again, thanks for all your support. Here's to a wonderful first month of school at Astor K-8!


Warmly,


Mr. Robertson

Principal @ Astor

Important Dates

September


1 - First day of School for 2nd - 8th Grades

2 - First Day of School for 1st Grade

8 - First Day of School for Kindergarten

15 - Principal's Coffee Chat at 8:05

17 - Run For Astor Jog-a-thon

22 - Run For Astor (rain delay day, if needed)

23 - Back To School Night 5:30-7:00 pm

29 - Fall Picture Day

Meet Sarah Alvarado, Assistant Principal!

We are pleased to welcome Sarah Alvarado to our Astor Staff as our new Assistant Principal. Ms. Sarah, as she is known, tells us this about herself:


"This will be my 15th year in public education. I have taught in Portland, Estacada, and Oregon City. In Oregon City I co-created and led a successful in-house high school support program that included credit recovery, dropout prevention, and advocacy. Most recently I spent 3 years as Dean of Students at Tualatin High School, where I worked to promote restorative practices across the school and built strong partnerships with teachers and families in support of students. Over the years, my students have taught me that every student will succeed when we remove the barriers. I am passionate about culturally responsive education and building strong partnerships with students, families and community partners. I am also a long-time Portland resident, and I am so excited to be joining the wonderful Astor community!"


We are so happy to have Ms. Sarah at Astor!

Astor Handbook & Calendar

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We are excited to offer you a great resource: The Astor Digital Handbook and Calendar for the 21-22 school year. In this document, you will find information about our school and staff, important district and school guidelines, information about our community partners and so much more!


For quick access, bookmark the Handbook/Calendar link!


While we make every effort to ensure that this information is up-to-date, changes to this resource may change based upon policy changes, health and safety updates and other factors.

This is a live document so when changes occur, we will update the Handbook/Calendar.


If you would like a printed copy of the Handbook/Calendar, please contact the school office.

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Back to School Night for K-8 grades will be held on Thursday, September 23rd from 5:30-7:00 pm. This will be now be virtual.


Here you can:


  • Meet your child's teachers
  • Meet your Principals, Mr. Robertson and Ms. Sarah
  • Review the curriculum
  • Find out about programs offered at Astor
  • Learn about ParentVue


More information about the night will be coming.

School Meals

Did you know that both breakfast and lunch are FREE for all students this school year?!


Breakfast will be served beginning at 7:45 a.m.


The lunch schedule is as follows:


Grades K-1 10:30 am

Grades 2-3 11:30 am

Grades 4-5 11:00 am

Grades 6-7 12:12 pm

Grade 8 12:25 pm




Per PPS policy, at this time all meals will be eaten outside for at least six weeks at the beginning of the school year. We will have chairs and stools set up on the playground for students to eat their meals. On rainy days, students will eat under the covered area on the playground.


  • Students who eat breakfast at school will receive a grab-and-go breakfast inside, then go outside to eat
  • If a student arrives late and needs breakfast, we will have a small number of grab-and-go meals available at the office. Students will eat outside the front door with staff to ensure that they get to their classroom
  • Students who have hot lunch will get their tray inside, then go outside and eat
  • Students who bring their lunch from home will go directly outside to eat


We will update you on policy changes as they occur.

Lunch Update

Our students are doing wonderful learning the new procedures for outside lunch. Students are eating on blue chairs, and we anticipate the arrival of stools next week. The weather looks to be somewhat nice the next week. However, be sure to send your student with a jacket to wear if it's cooler. We will be under the overhang if the sun is too hot or it's raining.


If you'd like to either help with lunch set up, take down, or planning for inside lunch, then please complete the interest form here. At this time, students are sitting on chairs and not directly on the ground. Stools are expected to arrive soon and that will allow students to use another space for eating. Again, we anticipate to move inside for lunch in October. Our team will provide the plan to you in advance.


We appreciate any input and help, too! Thanks again for support!

Traffic Safety

Thank you parents for your help in following the traffic flow around the school (link here) and dropping off away from the school when possible. You might have seen that the front street (Yale St) of our school is closed to through traffic. This is part of a pilot program with PBOT called School Streets. We have also put out cones and curb markings. All in an effort to increase traffic safety around the building.


PBOT will also be sending a traffic engineer to count the number of pedestrians using the crossing at Monteith and Amherst. If we are at 100 or more during arrival (7:40 to 8:10), then they'll identify the space as needing a painted crosswalk. More info about this will be coming, including the day the engineer will be onsite.

School Supplies

Astor provides basic school supplies for our students. We want ALL of our Astor students to have supplies on their first day of school and throughout the year!


In order to offset the cost of these supplies, we request a suggested $25 donation per child. This is NOT a requirement for your student(s) to receive school supplies. Each student will receive their basic supplies on their first day.


If you would like to make a donation for supplies, you may pay by:


  • cash
  • check made payable to Astor School
  • credit/debit card payments can be made in the school office or with SchoolPay (information about SchoolPay and how to set up your account is below)


Please contact the office if you have questions about supplies or payment. Thank you!!

SchoolPay

SchoolPay is an online web tool that allows families to pay for items such as registration fees, athletic fees, event tickets, uniforms, library fees and donations without having to make a special trip to the school or send a check with their students. It also provides the convenience of paying by Visa, MasterCard or Discover Card online or onsite.

Parents and guardians are able to use one log-in at SchoolPay to see all items available to them. They will also be able to see the payment history for each of their students.


If you are a PPS parent or guardian who has provided your email address to the school district, you should already have an account set up on SchoolPay. You simply need to activate it.


To activate:

    1. Go to pps.schoolpay.com
    2. Click the Find my Account icon
    3. Enter your email address in the box provided and click the Find button.
    4. You’ll receive an email with a link in it to reset your password. Click it.
    5. Your browser will open a SchoolPay page entitled “Welcome Back” that provides a place to update your password.
    6. After you’ve updated your password, return to the login screen, and you’re all set.


For more information about SchoolPay, please visit https://www.pps.net/Page/3528

Principal's Coffee Chat

Wednesday, September 15th at 8:05am on the Astor Playground

Join Mr. Robertson, special guests, and Astor Parents as we discuss happenings in our community, provide information, and build community. This is a monthly meeting is typically on the third Friday at 8:05am (just after arrival) that will have a central topic and space for open questions, as well. This month it will be on the third Wednesday.


This month's topics...

Health and Safety Protocols

Traffic Safety

Run For Astor Jog-a-thon

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Historically, Astor holds a jog-a-thon each fall and we're doing it again this year! This event is held on the playground and students jog for approximately 20 minutes.


Our Run for Astor jog-a-thon will be held on Friday, September 17th. (rain delay date is Wednesday, Sept. 22nd, if necessary)


The funds you raise help us provide enrichment programs for students, pay for field trips and buses, purchase school supplies and assist with other school needs.


Students collect pledges from family and friends and those raising $10 or more receive an original Run for Astor t-shirt! Look for your student's pledge sheet in their homework folders soon!


This will be a closed campus event.


Thank you for your support!

Fall Picture Day

Our Fall Picture Day will be Wednesday, September 29th. Please read the following IMPORTANT information:



  • School pictures will be taken in the cafeteria to allow for distance
  • Students will wear their masks as they wait their turn for their photo
  • Students will be allowed to take their masks off only for the very brief period that their photo will be taken
  • Lifetouch photographers and other adult staff and volunteers will be wearing masks while in our building


Please fill out this Google survey to let us know YES or NO for your student to wear their mask during their school picture.


Picture Day order forms will be sent home with our student(s) shortly. You may also order your school pictures online. See our flyers below to find out how!

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Community Partner: Latino Network

Calling all Latino Students!! We are excited to announce that our community partner, Latino Network, will be holding groups at Astor for our Latino students.


Check out their flyers below and scan the QR code to join!

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Rental Assistance

We want to share with you some important dates and resources available to you:

If you or someone you know needs assistance to pay their rent, mortgage or utility bills, please call 2-1-1 or visit https://www.211info.org/. There are many programs available and 2-1-1 can provide information and referrals. You may also contact your school counselor or social worker if you need more information or resources.

Additional resources for renters:

Oregon’s Eviction Moratorium ended on June 30, 2021. We want to share with you some important dates and resources available to your family.

Important dates:

  • Renters are required to pay current month’s rent (July 2021 to current month)

  • Renters have until February 28, 2022 to pay overdue rent (April 2020 - June 2021)

  • Provide proof of application for rental assistance to your landlord to avoid eviction for 90 days while you wait for the rental assistance (Multnomah County).

Resources available to families:

  1. If you are behind on rent you may qualify for rental assistance. Call 2-1-1 or visit: https://www.211info.org/multco-rent

  2. To apply directly for rental assistance online visit: https://www.oregonrentalassistance.org/ (Application is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Russian)

  3. If you receive an eviction notice, call the Eviction Defense Project at 888-585-9638 to understand your rights and receive free legal assistance.

As always, you can contact your school for questions or assistance. We are here to support our students and their families during these challenging times.

Thank you.

EBT and Ways to Donate

As we shared in a previous communication, our families received EBT cards as Astor is a CEP school. This is a great resource for our families and we are appreciative of this support, especially during this time.


We have had questions from families about donating these funds to others. It's not possible to transfer these funds to others. However, if you'd like to find ways to contribute the funds, then you could consider the following things options...



  • Contributing snacks to class! Drop off individually wrapped goldfish, granola bars, popcorn, fruit leather, fruit snacks, and/or cereal to the classroom. Teachers will be incredibly appreciative and students will too!
  • Consider donating the funds saved by the use of this card to the PTSO. The organization has a few ways it directly supports families throughout the school year. You can find more info here - https://www.astorptso.org/
  • The PTSO is exploring the creation of a pantry at Astor. More info about how to support this effort will be coming when available.

Student Health Centers COVID Weekly Vaccine Clinics

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Around Astor

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