Eagle's Edge

St. Therese Family Newsletter - December 9

Bitter and Sweet

As I made my way into the church for mass on Tuesday, I noticed an odd looking shrub peeking out from behind others I recognized and had seen before. This shrub was a strange combination of bright, almost false-looking berry clusters, and bare, twig-like branches - if not for the berries, the plant would appear to be dormant, or even dead.

I texted my brother, who is an expert in plants, and he told me the name of the shrub: Callicarpa. I did my own research, because I was intrigued by the barrenness of its stems, in sharp contrast to the vivid purple of its berries. I learned that the berries are astringent, meaning they will make your lips pucker from the dry, bitter, tartness - but it is sometimes used to make wine. I also learned that birds will eat its berries in winter - but only if all other food sources are depleted.

What an appropriate lesson for me, on the the day that we celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception; the day that we celebrate the birth of Our Lady - a glorious blessing to her parents and the whole world! She is the beauty of the berries, hanging at the ends of those barren branches, as is the fruit of her womb, Jesus. She is sustenance in the dead of winter, when all else fails us. She lived a life of joy, but also had to bear the bitter harshness of watching her son suffer and die for all mankind.

The parallels continued, as I considered Elizabeth, who had been barren and then was able to bear John, who sustained hundreds and thousands of others through his baptisms. And the Angel Gabriel, who sustained Mary with his wisdom and strength by reminding her that God is with her, and that He will provide. He will provide - and he does.

Things can be bitter and sweet, our last option can be our best hope, and even in the cold of winter, when all seems dark and lost, we can offer sustenance to each other with gentle reminders that God is with us. As we approach the celebration of Christmas, know that you are in our prayers - may God sustain your hearts and give you the grace to share sustenance with others.

God bless you all,

Rosemarie El Youssef

Principal, St. Therese School


Photo Release Authorization - REMINDER

Thank you to all who have filled out this form so far!

We would love to include photos of our students on our website, newsletter, and on social media. Please complete the photo release letting us know if this is OK or NOT OK. We will keep these permissions on file for the rest of the school year and renew each fall. Please know that this also includes the YEARBOOK - we need your permission for students to be pictured there aw well.

Click here to complete the Photo Release Authorization Form for 2020-2021 school year.

12/11 2-4:30 Special Drive-thru hosted by our Eagle mascot

This Friday, bring your family through to pick up supplies and wave our our Eagle! We have special treats for the kids - Snowman Soup to make at home.

We love to see you and look forward to our Friday drive-thrus.

8th graders have a lot of materials waiting to be picked up, and next week we will be making more no-sew blankets, so please email elyoussefr@stthereseschool.org if you want some blanket materials to be reserved for your student and pick it up on Friday.

25 Days of the Christmas Story

Join us each day for a new chapter in the Christmas story as we count down to Christmas together. You can find the link on our website, and also in the FACTS Family Portal. This one link will take you to the folder in our Vimeo account where ALL of the videos will be stored - it's the only link you need!

Click here to access the 25 Days of the Christmas Story

Merry Christmas!

How to access your new FACTS account - view grades, attendance, and access important family information!

Please watch this video to learn how to create your family portal login:


The password to view the video is: Portal (P must be capitalized)

You will need to use the email address that we have on file for you in order to setup your FACTS Family Portal account.

Many families have a FACTS financial login already for financial aid - this will not work for the family portal. You will need to setup a new login.

The district code is: STS-OR (all caps)

Please give us a call if we can be of assistance!

FACTS Financial Aid - open for applications now!

The other portal you have access to in FACTS is the financial portal, where you will apply for financial aid. In order to be considered to grants and aid for next school year, you are required to have a completed financial aid application. You can find the application by clicking on this link:


The sooner you apply the better - don't wait until the last minute! The deadline for applications is March 1, 2021.

Jack Success Story | Portland Rescue Mission

Portland Rescue Mission - Food and Coat Drive!

Thank you all for your generous donations so far!

St. Therese School is collaborating with the Portland Rescue Mission to collect new or gently used adult coats, hats, gloves, and scarves for those in need. Please bring your donations to the school anytime during regular office hours, or drop off during our drive-thru supply times on Fridays from 2-4:30.

We are also collecting new or gently used warm blankets for their emergency shelter downtown.

If you'd like to purchase something directly off of their amazon wishlist, you can find the link here:


St. Vincent de Paul

Shasta sent this message for us to share with you:

St Vincent de Paul thanks St Therese students, parents, and staff for their generosity during the November food drive. We collected approximately 350 pounds of food. Thank you.

We are still looking for cans of cranberry sauce for the holidays - 60 more cans would round out their holiday food boxes. You can bring them to the office at any time, or hand them to us when you come through the drive-thru on Fridays.

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please contact Shasta Hatter at the SVdP office 503-253-7566.

Middle School Service: No-Sew Blanket Making Project

Thank you to Addisen Lee, Waverly Johnson, Daniel Pham, and Heremela Solomon for attending the no-sew blanket making workshop yesterday. We each made a blanket, and Miss Rosanna joined us to make one more! We had such a good time, we are going to have another session next week and make even more warm blankets for the Portland Rescue Mission.

If you'd like to donate more fleece, or your middle schooler would like to pick up a set of fleece from school during the drive-thru 12/11, please email Mrs. El Youssef at elyoussefr@stthereseschool.org today so we can have it ready.

Thank you!

EPIC Unlimited - Available to Parents Now!

Epic is a reading app that is free to students and teachers during school hours - if you would like your child to have unlimited access, they are currently offering a promotion to parents. Unfortunately, there isn't a promotion for schools to subscribe at this time.

This is not a requirement, simply an option for you and your young readers.

Click here to learn more and sign up today!

Catholic Counseling Services

These are challenging times, and our children are dealing with more than they ever had to before. The benefits of talking to someone are tremendous! Please consider reaching out to Northwest Catholic Counseling Center for assistance and to schedule an intake appointment.

Attached are some holiday tips from NCC in both English and Spanish.

Not sure what to do, or how to do it? Call us and we will be more than happy to help you through the process.

Catholic High Schools - Applications have started!

Can you believe it's that time already? My email inbox is full of recommendation and records requests - it's amazing!

I'm so proud of all the 8th graders, and we are here to support all of our 8th grade families through this process. My own two eldest boys are at La Salle, so I'm very familiar with all that needs to be done - please reach out to us here at the office if there is anything we can do to support you all.

God bless our Eagles as their journey takes them closer to high school, whatever school they choose!

St. Mary's Girls Night In

A message from Jen Bash at St. Mary's Academy:

The SMA admissions team has been busy working with our student ambassadors to plan a fun virtual event for 8th grade girls in January called Girls Night In. This is purely a social event, and a great opportunity for girls to connect with other 8th graders throughout Portland. They will also have an opportunity to learn more about high school life at SMA. In this unusual year, I believe that providing space for expanding social connections is so important.

We would be grateful if you could share the information below with your 8th grade girl families or include it in your school newsletter before the winter break. I have attached a PDF flyer if that is easier for you to send/include.

Girls Night In with St. Mary’s Academy

Calling all 8th grade girls!

You’re invited to Girls Night In, a fun virtual event with your friends and the SMA student ambassadors on January 6, 4:00 – 5:15pm. Choose what rooms to visit or how you want to connect with others during the event. There will be virtual games (including Among us) along with space to chat with friends online! RSVP early to receive a custom gift box mailed directly to your door with sweet treats to enjoy during the event. The event is open to all 8th grade girls. Click here to RSVP on the St. Mary’s website

Thank you so much for your help supporting St. Mary’s events, and please feel free to contact me for questions or more information.

Blessings for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Jennifer Bash

Director of Admissions

Job Opportunity

If you, or someone you know, is looking for work, my brother Jason is looking to hire two full-time employees at the SE Foster location of C & J Nursery. Some of the work is outdoors, but most of it is indoors preparing root cuttings, potting rooted cuttings, and other similar duties. This work is not seasonal, and they are observing all social-distancing and mask safety guidelines. For more information, or to inquire about the position, please email cjnursery@live.com or call Rouah at 971-222-4599.

If you have a job opportunity you'd like us to share within the community, we are happy to help! Times are tough, and we all need to do our part to help sustain our brothers and sisters. Email Rosemarie at elyoussefr@stthereseschool.org.

Click on the image to view our Year at a glance

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BottleDrop Thursdays

We are so grateful for your generosity! With your donations we purchased a Distance Learning T-shirt for each student and staff member to wear on Fridays, prizes for spirit week, and the pumpkins for our St. Therese Pumpkin Patch. We recently purchased an eagle mascot costume and our new mascot will soon be visiting classrooms to learn what it means to be a St. Therese Eagle!

The school budget is tight this year, but there are some things that we believe students shouldn't go without - your can and bottle donations make this happen!

Parents' Club Corner

Here is the Parents' Club schedule of meetings for the rest of the school year. We will meet on the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 6-7pm via Zoom. Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, December 16, and we will be discussing future fundraisers. The zoom link for that meeting will be sent to you via email on Monday, December 14.







Please contact Melanie Reyna at 503-467-1805 or via email at melanie.reyna@usbank.com with any questions.

Please see the attachment below for the meeting minutes from 11/18.

Parent Obligations for the Year - Fair Share and Fundraising

We know that this is a difficult time, so we worked with Parents' Club to make it simple.

If we all work together, we can make this happen!

Rather than having MANY events with specific obligations, we have one financial obligation for each family.

Dual-parent household - $500 (fundraised or donated)

Single-parent household - $300 (fundraised or donated)

This replaces the auction basket obligation, auction project obligation, jog-a-thon, and raffle.

If we make our goal of $36,000 and everyone pitches in, there is no reason to bill people for what they aren't able to fundraise.

Our goal is to have one BIG fundraiser in the spring - if we can generate enough money to fulfill our obligation to the school our tuition won't go up. Jog-a-thon seems doable with the changing of the metrics and there are MANY ways we can get creative to make it happen.

The key to making this happen is ALL of us working together!

You are not expected to figure out how to fundraise on your own - but come to Parents' Club meetings and share your ideas. We are always better together!


Just as a reminder, all Catholic schools are required to follow the metrics and guidelines set forth by the state of Oregon and the Oregon Department of Education. There are no exceptions.

Our count in Multnomah County has decreased slightly since last week, now hovering at 537/100,000. Our two-week case count is down 13/100,000 from last week. We need to be at 100 or less in order to reopen for K-6 students. In the image below, this is the yellow section of the chart. We need to be at 50 or less in order to return as a whole school, K-8. In the image below, this is the green section of the chart.

Thank you for your continued patience, and your partnership through this challenging time. The best we can do is keep our community healthy, and do our part to bring the case count down in our county. And keep the prayers coming!

New ODE Dashboard

ODE’s Ready Schools Safe Learners Page

COVID-19 Rates by County

Oregon Health Authority – epi curve

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We have PHONES!

You can find a list of phone extensions on our website: www.stthereseschool.org or by downloading the pdf attached here.

Thank you for your patience!

School Office Hours - changes in procedure due to COVID-19 safety measures

The school office is open from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m each day. We love it when families drop by, but when the school-year begins we will need to be more careful about how we meet with you.

Effective Monday, August 31st please call ahead if:

* You need to meet with a staff member (Rosemarie, Penny, teachers, etc.)

* You need to pick something up, or drop something off (materials, payment, etc.)

If you are in the parking lot, please just call us from your cell phone, if you can and we will accommodate you if we can safely do so. We will do our very best to meet your needs and appreciate your cooperation as we work to keep our students and staff safe.