GOPHER Parent Newsletter

GRESHAM HIGH SCHOOL, September 15th, 2020 Edition


Welcome to the 2020-21 school year!

As we plan for a beginning like no other we have seen in the past, our focus will still be to ensure that:

  • every child, every day is finding a way to feel connected,

  • every child, every day is being challenged by new learnings and experiences,

  • and every child, every day knows they have a champion they can turn to.

Spring of 2020 has challenged staff and students to find a new normal for learning, connecting us in new ways and requiring our champions to champion from afar. What I have learned the most through this process is how much I appreciate the expertise our teachers bring to GHS, the ways in which our students continue to work hard to grow and an overall appreciation for the little things in life - giving a high five, a hug or being able to laugh out loud with many people around. What I MOST appreciate about GHS is how, even under circumstances we have never experienced, we are still a learning and caring community.

Normal is such a simple word, and it is our goal at GHS to not only find our new normal, but to use this time as a learning experience that will forever impact the learning environment of GHS. Every week there are new types of learning experiences teachers are piloting, and much of what is learned will continue to be used in the future. Our fall may not be “normal,” but our learning will not only continue, it will thrive. We cannot wait to move on to the next phase of learning under Covid-19, and we know all returning and new students to GHS will be welcomed with open arms (from 6 feet away) to our community - we will continue to grow!

Gresham High School is a school filled with opportunities, which we know is why many of you entrust us with the education of your children. We are committed to maintaining the highest standards so that there will be no shortage of opportunities for your student to feel challenged on a daily basis. Champions come in all shapes and sizes, and at any point in time. There will be champions by your student every day, with relationships built over time, but some champions just appear when you need them the most. It is our mission to make sure every child knows that when they need a champion, GHS will provide.

This year we are piloting an Advisory model. GBSD’s vision is to provide a champion for your student, starting with Advisory. Your students Advisory Teacher will be reaching out to connect with your student and you as their parental support. If you or your student is experiencing hardship and in need of support- Academic, Social/Emotional (SEL), etc.- please do not hesitate to reach out to your student’s Advisor.

Every kid needs a champion | Rita Pierson

Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, "They don't pay me to like the kids." Her response: "Kids don't learn from people they don't like.'" A rousing call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect with them on a real, human, personal level.


GHS-20-21-distance learning schedule

For 20-21 our school day has changed. The structure is being changed to adapt to new requirements from the State of Oregon. GBSD is prioritizing Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and student Academic support. The following are the definitions of the multiple blocks within the instructional window (9am-3:35pm) and supports outside of the instructional window(3:35pm & beyond)

Synchronous Instruction: Students and teachers online at the same time. This could be teachers giving a lecture, students chatting with one another with the teacher present asking questions, or small groups working together.

Asynchronous Instruction: This is when students work independently on an assignment given by the teacher. Most often, assignments will be based on the lesson that just took place.

Applied Learning: This is when students work independently on an assignment given by the teacher. They may be asked to gather information from home, work on projects, work with other students remotely to complete a project or assignment, or apply the information that has been presented in class.

SEL: Social Emotional Learning. During Advisory, a variety of topics will be covered through synchronous instruction, including managing stress and social emotional well-being, navigating online learning, and staying organized. These daily check-ins with all students will build positive relationships between students and staff while providing an opportunity for teachers to identify areas to better support students.

Student Outreach: Staff will be contacting students and families to provide additional support, answer questions, and provide updates on student progress.

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Purpose: Provide a community which allows for student discussions, academic support, social emotional learning (SEL), social interaction, and distribution of school news and important documents.

Your students advisor may change in the coming days as we work to support specialized situations such as AVID, Special Education and English Language Development as well as the balancing of advisory case loads.

Each student's advisor will be your contact person regarding celebrations, concerns or issues you, or your student may face this academic year at GHS. Of course you may always contact your student’s counselor or assistant principal.


Daily Advisory- each teacher has been assigned a student group that they will meet synchronously (live) for twenty minutes each day of the week. The advisories are assigned by grade level so 9th graders will meet with 9th graders and 12th graders will meet with a group of 12th graders as an example.

Advisories include:

  • Grade level specific

  • Lessons will be school wide and reflect specific needs / issues / interests for the a specific grade level as well as school wide initiatives

  • Fostering the development of relationships and community with all students inside their advisory and schoolwide

  • Maintenance of contact with students and families within the advisory throughout the year

  • Provide routine check-ins with advisory students in the areas of academics, attendance and social / emotional needs

  • Provide Academic and Organizational supports

  • Provide family / guardian support when needed (may involve referrals to school counselor / school administrator)

  • Provide awareness and create a safe space for students to share and discuss relevant current events

Expect to be contacted by your student's Advisor this week. Please know that all calls coming from teachers may be from a "Blocked" or "Restricted Number". I know there is quite a bit going on, but if there is a way for you to change your phone settings at this time to receive calls from these options that would help us to communicate with you more effectively. If you do not want to change those settings, please call us back and give a time that would be best to connect with you. That way, when you get the call, you will know it is us.


Schedules have been released and are available on Studentvue and Parentvue. Families can check their students schedule there and it will reflect your student’s advisory teacher for this first 9 week session of instruction. Students should also check their district provided Gmail, email account where we are certain messages have been delivered and information is being shared on how / when students should enter into their Google Classroom pages for the classes they are enrolled in.


Counselors are excited to welcome all of you back and hopefully help you navigate any questions or concerns you have during this unprecedented start to the year. Due to the last minute nature of changes to distance learning, we are working diligently as a Counseling Department to respond to schedule requests and get back to you in a timely manner. Please bear with us as we respond to students and families as quickly as possible.

If you have corrections that need to be made to your schedule, please fill out this form:

Schedule Correction Request Form

Please note: All requests must go through this form. Schedule requests must be submitted by 9/25/20 at 3pm.

Due to limitations this year, requests are limited to the following reasons:

- Missing Periods or a "See Counselor"

- Error on your schedule

- Circumstances requiring an exception

- Unfortunately, we are not making level changes this year unless your teacher recommends a switch. If you believe you are in the wrong level, please talk with your classroom teacher for that subject.

Counselor's hope you are all staying safe and healthy and please know that we are here for you and your family during this difficult time.

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This year students will earn a letter grade in each content class they take. Grades will be A-F as they have been in the past. Teachers will be discussing how that looks in each class as well as posting key information for parents so everyone knows the expectations for earning a grade. As always, students and parents will be able to monitor progress through both StudentVUE and ParentVUE.


Attendance during online learning is very important for your student’s academic success and connections with peers. In accordance with ODE guidelines, attendance will be taken on a daily basis for each scheduled class. Daily participation is expected in online synchronous class sessions.

Please contact the main office at 503-674-5519 if your student is not able to participate during a daily synchronous session.

If your student is unable to attend the synchronous session on a given day, here are other ways they can be marked as attending:

  1. Watching a recorded lesson and then completing and submitting the work that goes along with it later that same day.

  2. Communicating with the teacher via email, phone call, chat, or text message (two-way). If your student is in grades K-5 and possibly 6-8, this communication will count if it is between parent and teacher.

  3. Posting completed work online.

For a student to be marked present, they must participate in one of the above ways during the 24 hours (12:01 a.m.-11:59 p.m.) for each scheduled class.

If your student is marked absent for any single period of a day, you will receive an automated phone call the following school day. If your student is absent for more than one day, you may be contacted by a staff member to see how the school can support your student’s attendance.


Gresham High School will continue to offer several courses that earn college credit and high credit at the same time. These courses offer students a high level of rigor and help students get a jump start on earning college credit and lowering their overall financial burden when entering college. In order to meet the seat time and outcome requirements during distance learning, we are continuing to work with Mt Hood Community College and Eastern Oregon University staff to make sure our students are getting the best education possible.


It is highly recommended that all students use a District Device so that they may have better access to tech support, necessary apps, and network connectivity if and when needed in the buildings. Students who still need to checkout a Chromebook can do so on Thursday, Sept. 17 & Friday, September 18th from 9:00 am - 12:00 noon and 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Please come to the front doors which are now located on the Division St. parking lot. You will need to know your student ID#. Social distancing guidelines and protocols will be observed. Students be sure to wear masks.


Have questions about how your student logs into Clever, StudentVue, ParentVue, Google Classroom? Please use the link below to read the FAQ around these questions and how to get tech support for district devices. Tech FAQ Link


Textbook Distribution will be Tuesday, September 22nd- 3:30 pm - 6:30 pm and Wednesday, September 23rd- 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. Teachers will notify students if they need to pick up textbooks. Many classes are using online resources and may not require a physical textbook. Classes that are requiring specific supply packs will also notify those students to come pick up their supply pack. Generic school supplies may be available for students to pick up if needed. Please come to the front doors which are now located on the Division St. parking lot. You will need to know your student ID#. Social distancing guidelines and protocols will be observed. Students need to follow all state guidelines wear masks.

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We wanted to remind you that Parent Verification for the 2020-2021 School Year opened August 15, 2020.

Before the beginning of every school year, we request that parents/guardians review and/or update their family and student information.

Keeping your family's information up to date is crucial to receiving timely communication from Gresham-Barlow School District and ensures that you can be contacted in case of an emergency. This year all updates can be done online through your ParentVUE account.

After logging in to ParentVUE, click on the "Online Registration" tab in the top right-hand corner to start the verification process.

Don't have a ParentVUE account or have other questions? Please contact your child's school to obtain your activation code.


The school calendar for the 2020-21 school year has been updated to reflect the new quad schedule for the high schools. The only change that has occurred since it was approved is that the start of school was delayed from September 14th to September 21st.

Updated 2020-21 School Calendar - English

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Dear GBSD Families,

During the spring, Nutrition Services operated under an emergency summer feeding program where all children 1-18 years of age in the community qualified to receive free grab and go meals at any of our sites regardless of qualifying meal service category of free, reduced, or paid.

When we start back to school on September 14, 2020, we will still be under the emergency summer feeding program. This means we will still be able to serve kids 1-18 years of age for free at the designated school and bus route sites. (Listed below)

Grab-and-Go Meals Service

Meal service will be curbside grab-and-go, Monday - Friday from 11:00 am-12:30pm

at all designated school sites listed below.

The program permits one breakfast and one lunch per day per child.

Parents, guardians, or family members are permitted to pick up meals for students.

When coming to school sites to pick up meals, please follow signs and staff directions for social distancing and safely entering and picking up meals.

The meal service delivery model and schedules (bus routes) will continue to be evaluated based on the current instructional model.

Daily Menus

  • Each grab-and-go breakfast meal bag will include 1- breakfast entree, 1- fruit, and a milk. Students must take the complete meal.

  • Each grab-and-go lunch and dinner bag will include 1- entrée, 1-fruit, 1 vegetable and a milk.

  • Monthly meal menus will be posted on Nutrition Service website.

  • We will start the school year with an all cold breakfast, lunch dinner menu.

  • In November we will move to a menu that will include various hot and cold options and will come cold or with food safety and reheating instructions if applicable.

Free & Reduced Meal Qualification:

Students whose families receive state assistance for Basic Food Assistance, SNAP, TANF, or Medicaid automatically qualify for free and reduced meals. The Gresham Barlow Nutrition Service gets daily reports from the state to ensure we are updating and matching all family members in the household for approval. Nutrition Services staff will communicate with families of status changes and qualification by letters, emails, and phone calls.

Meal Application:

Meal applications are required at the start of each year to continue the free or reduced status from last school year. It is still important that households apply for free/reduced meal benefits.

English Application:

Spanish Application

School Serving Sites during distance learning:

Meals can be picked up in the front entrance of the schools listed below.

Gresham High School - 1200 N Main Street - Gresham, OR 97030

Sam Barlow High School - 5105 SE 302nd Avenue - Gresham, OR 97080

Clear Creek Middle School - 219 NE 219th Ave - Gresham, OR 97030

Gordon Russell Middle School - 3625 SE Powell Valley Rd - Gresham, OR 97080

East Gresham Elementary - 900 SE 5th St - Gresham, OR 97080

North Gresham Elementary - 1001 SE 217th Ave - Gresham, OR 97030

Hall Elementary - 2505 NE 23rd St - Gresham, OR 97030

Highland Elementary - 295 NE 24th St - Gresham, OR 97030

Hollydale Elementary - 505 SW Birdsdale Dr - Gresham, OR 97080

Hogan Cedars Elementary - 1770 SE Fleming Ave - Gresham, OR 97080

Buses delivering meals:

In addition to serving meals at the sites above, our buses will be dropping off meals in neighborhoods and at various locations in the more rural part of our school district. Please see the routes below for times and locations.

In-Town Meal Drop Off Sites (pdf)

Rural Meal Drop Off Sites (pdf)

Meal Pricing:

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be packaged together as one unit available daily.

Meals will be served at all sites at no cost for students 1-18 years of age.


If you have any questions or need any additional information, please contact the GBSD Nutrition Services Office at (503) 261-4590.


GHS is committed to providing academic support to all students. GHS Administration, IB Teaching Staff and Alan Simpson-IB coordinator have collaborated to develop a plan that will support all IB students. The following are the multiple options being developed my our IB team:

  • Students will be able to use the advisory time to meet and work with IB teachers throughout the year on IB related work, including test prep in the spring. Some teachers may have a special advisory section created so they can work with their IB testers during that time every day as the year progresses.

  • All IB teachers will be available for students during the Applied Learning time from 12:20 to 1:20 every day. Teachers may request that students from ANY quad log in to live meetings during this time with proper notice, or to engage with them and with the curriculum in other ways during that time.

  • An 8th period section of the class titled “IB Core” will be created so Mr. Simpson can help facilitate teacher contacts, push out practice tests, and help with test prep in other ways that IB teachers suggest. Students who will be IB testing will have the option of enrolling in this class for extra support in the weeks leading up to testing.

  • Teachers of IB quad 2/4 classes and Mr Simpson will contact students during the first 3 weeks of school about their testing intentions so we can create groups and supports for these students before they start their class in Quad 2. Testing students may/will be asked to do some reading and IA work outside of the quad for that class, including early this school year.

Teacher Planning

  • IB teachers have also been engaged through the summer in researching new ways to facilitate Internal Assessments and with IB as they have adjusted some of their testing criteria given the circumstances.

  • Parts of some IB tests have been reduced or removed to make accessing the curriculum more realistic worldwide and every affected GHS teacher has accessed that information and is making adjustments.

We don’t yet know all of the exact challenges we are facing in the IB program as we proceed into a new schedule and use distance learning to start the year. We are all committed to remaining flexible and to keeping the health and success of our students at the center of our focus. Other supports will be built as needed when new challenges arise.

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Athletics Participation

Coronavirus restrictions have changed the look and feel of athletics this fall at GHS. However, coaches are still able to create virtual workouts and team building sessions for what the OSAA is calling “Season 1”. This season will start after October 1 to ensure that all students will have the opportunity to receive a device from the school district before official workouts begin.

While these workouts and team building sessions are optional, we strongly encourage students who might want to play a sport this season to connect with the team to participate. There will be no fees to pay during Season 1.

If students want to participate, they still need to go through the following clearance process:

  1. Go to this form and fill out the Google Form.

  2. If the student athlete did not get a physical last year, they are due for a new one. Please have your doctor fill it out on this form and then email athletics secretary Tahana Young at

  3. Wait to hear from your sport’s coach about what activities will happen and when.

Participation at this time is not a guarantee of making a team when interscholastic play begins but it is a great opportunity for our student athletes to stay engaged.

More information is also available at the GHS Athletics website.

Athletics Eligibility

Due to changes in the GHS schedule for the distance learning model, eligibility (grades and athletics) will look a little different this year. Students are able to take five classes (including their advisory period) in quarters 1 and 3, so they will need to be passing four classes to be eligible for athletics. And in quarters 2 and 4, they are able to take four classes (including advisory). There, they have to pass three of four to be eligible for athletics. Here’s a sample of a schedule that would work to keep a student eligible:

Quarter 1





In that quarter, a student with this schedule would have to pass all of their classes to stay eligible. If a student also had an additional class in their schedule, they would only have to pass four of those five.

In Quarter 2, a student will only be able to be assigned three classes plus an advisory. A schedule might look like this.

Quarter 2




In this example, a student would have to pass all three courses to stay eligible for athletics. If a student also had an additional class in their schedule, they would have to pass three of the four.

There is a chance that your student could be scheduled for fewer classes in one of their quarters and wants to participate in athletics or activities in this coming year. If that is the case, please contact athletic director Ty Gonrowski ( and their counselor for assistance.


Paying for College Virtual Workshop (English & Spanish - FREE)

What: Informative session to learn more about navigating the financial aid process, covering:

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

  • Oregon Student Aid Application (ORSAA) and

  • How to search for additional FREE money to pay for college.

  • Students and families will also be given the opportunity to chat with a financial aid expert one-on-one.


  • English: Sep 16, 2020, 6 p.m.

  • Spanish: Sept 30, 2020, 6 p.m.


The office hours will be from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. If you have questions please call our main number (503-674-5500). Currently our buiilding is closed to the public. If you need to access a staff member in person please call the school first to get directions on how this can occur.





To access our school calendar please click on the Gresham High School like below this article. This will take you to our home page on our website. Our calendar is located on the left hand side of the page.