Tumwater News

December 9, 2022

Principal 's Message

As 2022 draws to a close and we prepare for winter break, I'm looking forward to a few of my favorite things . . . spending time with my family, skiing, and losing myself in good books. While students might take a break from school work during winter break, please encourage your child to check out a few books to read over break and to consider turning their reading into a Service as Action project - see the reading promotion later in the newsletter.

Thank you to all who are working together to build a vibrant learning community at Tumwater Middle School! Wishing all our students, families, and staff a safe and healthy break!


Jill O'Neill


Upcoming Events

Dec 16 Spirit Day: Wear cozy clothing

Dec 19 - Jan 2 Winter Vacation - Schools closed

Jan 12 Winter Social

Jan 13 Staff Development Day - No School for Students

Jan 16 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day - No School

Jan. 19 Band Concerts, 6:15 and 7:15 pm

Jan. 24 PTO Board Meeting, 6:30 pm

Jan. 25 Sunset High School 8th Grade Night

Jan. 26 Choir Concert, 6:30 pm

Jan. 27-28 TMS Theatre Performances

Be sure to check the calendars on ParentSquare and our school website (scroll to the bottom of the home page) for the school all school events.

Learner Profile Corner

This month, the learner profile focuses on being thinkers.

Definition: We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyze and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.

A thinker is able to:

• work to solve problems independently.

• imagine many solutions to a question or challenge.

• make good decisions and can predict the outcomes of their actions.

• think creatively and critically.

Students, reflect on the questions below:

  • Do you try to think of solutions to problems?

  • Do you think about the impact your actions will have?

  • Do you try to make good decisions?

  • As we finish off the first semester of school, what thinking skills do you need to develop to make your second semester a success?

Pre-Order Yearbook Now

Our student-created yearbook is now available for pre-order! Yearbooks feature student school photos and candid pictures of student life. Yearbooks will be distributed the last week of school and students will have an opportunity to sign one another's book.

Pre-orders are the only way to guarantee that your child will receive a yearbook and is perfect for a holiday gift. Click the link below to pre-order a yearbook for $21 through Jan. 31st. Pre-orders will continue to be available in February through March for $23. If there are any yearbooks still remaining in June, they will be sold for $25.

Art Literacy

Nearly all students have had the opportunity to learn about still life artist Wayne Thiebaud and create their own watercolor artwork inspired by his work. A few more classes are scheduled for their Art Lit sessions this week. The presentation and project gave students a chance to tap into their creativity, while also be inquirers and risk-takers. We are very grateful to PTO, the Art Lit Chairperson, and our amazing team of volunteers who have shared their time and talents in support of our students!

TMS Student Essay selected for Oregon Blue Book

Congratulations to 7th grader Anuva Shah whose essay has been selected to be published in the 2023-2024 Oregon Blue Book. The Oregon Blue book is the state's official almanac and fact book and is produced by the Oregon State Archives. The book is scheduled to be released in March. Congratulations Anuva, we are looking forward to reading your published essay!

Speech & Debate Competition

This weekend, nine TMS Speech and Debate Club members enjoyed participating in the Lake Oswego Junior High School Speech and Debate Tournament. Eleven metro area schools were represented and out of 80 competitor, 4 Tumwater students won recognition. Congrats to all our Rapids competitors and kudos to those who placed: Shreya Chopra, Lesa Maurer, Samhita Nalamalpu, and Jai Shah.

Last Week to Sign Up for Oregon Battle of the Books!

Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB) is an exciting quiz style tournament of reading based on questions from the official list of 16 book titles selected by the Oregon Battle of the Books Committee. At TMS the competition is open to all students who form a team and submit their permission slips to Ms. Gillespie by Friday, December 16th. Teams are made up of 4 members, with the option of a 5th person as an alternate.

Battles will take place during the school day. Each team will participate in at least two battles and the two top-scoring teams will be entered into a single-elimination tournament. The tournament winners will then move on to compete in the regional battle against other schools in our area.

Team entry forms are available from Ms. Bell in the Library and Ms. Gillespie in Room C222. Only one entry form is needed for each team, but an individual permission slip from each team member must be attached.

OBOB books are available for check out in the library now. For more OBOB events and practice questions, please visit the Cedar Mill Library

Big picture

Cozy Dress Up Day - Friday, December 16th

Congrats to all our grade levels for their active participation in Class Competition activities such as Spirit Days and supply drives. Students are encouraged to help their class move into the lead by dressing up in "cozy" clothes. With only 1 point separating first and second places, every participant counts!
Big picture

Parking Lot Safety

We appreciate all drivers being mindful and courteous in the parking lot. Our oldest students are less than a year away from eligibility for driver's permits - what we model for our children is especially important!

When dropping off your student on school grounds, be sure to follow the school’s arrival/departure procedure to help ensure safety and efficiency for all. Find the TMS map here.

● Know the plan, follow directional arrows and volunteers

● Pull forward as far as possible before dropping off in the zone marked by yellow curb

● Students MUST enter/exit vehicle onto/from the sidewalk (not driver's side)

● Students must cross at intersections: DO NOT wave students across travel lanes

● 5 mph/maximum speed on school property

● When dropping students off, driver must stay at the wheel

Please park the car if you need to: walk your student to the door; watch your student enter the building; get supplies from the trunk; help with a coat or backpack; or send your student off with anything more than a wave or good-bye.

Thank you for being courteous to staff who are helping direct traffic and ensuring students are safe. We appreciate drivers keeping the parking lot flow smoothly so everyone can stay safe and be where they need to be in a timely fashion.

Too Sick for School?

We would like to remind families about our guidelines for determining whether or not a child should come to school if they're ill. Please visit our COVID-19 Protocols Information and Too Sick for School webpage for information about when to keep kids home from school.

If your child will be absent, please call our Attendance Line at 503-356-2721. Please leave a message indicating your student's first and last name, grade, ID number if known, the date(s) they will be absent, and the reason for the absence (i.e. illness, appointments, travel, etc).

Picking Students Up Early From School

Our hope is that most appointments for students can be scheduled outside of the school day, but occasionally some families need to pick up their student during the school day. When this happens, please send a note to school with your student. They should show it to their teacher or lunch/recess supervisor and will be sent to the office. A parent/guardian will need to check them out of the office. This process will help us reduce interruptions to learning in progress!

Dropping off student materials or lunches

If you need to drop something off for your student, please bring it to the office. To avoid disrupting classroom learning, items will not be delivered to the classroom, but ask that students check in the office during passing periods or their lunch/recess if they're expecting a notebook, lunch etc. It may be helpful for you to email your student that you've dropped the item off and it's ready for them to pick up.

Winter Walk and Bike Preparation

Don’t let the cold weather keep you inside all season! Time spent being active outside can boost mood and mental health and keep kids focused on learning better. With some simple preparation, your children can still be active and stay safe and warm during our winter months.

  • Wear a raincoat or poncho, and/or carry an umbrella.

  • Carry a plastic bag to store wet gear during the day.

  • Wear gloves and waterproof shoes. Carry (or store at school) extra shoes and socks to change into.

  • Find an under-cover area to park your bike if possible. If not, bring a plastic bag to cover the seat.

  • Wear reflective gear and/or bright colors and use a light on your bicycle.

  • Only walk or bike in the rain if you’re comfortable, as roads are slick and visibility may be reduced. Always remember to stop at the curb or edge of the street, look in all directions before crossing and keep looking for traffic until you have finished crossing.

Preparación para caminar y andar en bicicleta durante el invierno

¡No deje que el clima frío lo mantenga dentro de su casa toda la temporada! El practicar actividades al aire libre puede mejorar el estado de ánimo y la salud y mantener a los niños concentrados y aprendiendo mejor. Con una simple preparación, sus hijos pueden seguir activos y mantenerse seguros y abrigados durante nuestros meses de invierno.

● Use un impermeable o poncho y/o lleve un paraguas.

● Lleve una bolsa de plástico si necesita guardar ropa impermeable.

● Use guantes y zapatos impermeables.

Lleve (o cargue) zapatos y calcetines adicionales para cambiarse.

● Busque un área cubierta para estacionar su bicicleta si es posible. Si no, traiga una bolsa de plástico para cubrir el asiento.

● Use equipo reflectante y/o colores brillantes y use una luz en su bicicleta.

● Solo camine o ande en bicicleta bajo la lluvia si se siente cómodo, ya que las calles están resbaladizas y la visibilidad puede ser reducida.

4th Annual Walk + Roll Art Contest

Safe Routes to School invites all BSD elementary and middle school students to participate in their January Art Contest. Students may enter to win fun prizes including a new scooter and helmet.

Middle school students are encouraged to visit the Safe Routes to School website for the full contest details.

Entries are due January 31. Visit www.beaverton.k12.or.us/safe-routes for more information.

Big picture

BEF Building STEAM 4 All Program

Help career and technical lab students spark a creative interest in tech and learn more about what the future of automation might hold.

Someone once said that "if you're not moving forward, you're falling back."

We would like to offer an automation module to continue preparing our 8th-grade students for an ever-evolving future workplace. The main components of this experience (robotic arm, a VR-ready desktop PC and circuit-building tools and supplies). will teach students to design automation tasks that will approximate real-life career tasks.

Students will also research the field of automation and ponder on its impact both in the present and into the future. Several studies have estimated that machines complete almost half of all tasks in the workforce and that number is growing along with growth in complex automation software in almost every industry.

The direct link to the project is:

Spark Creativity with Automation Exploration

We're asking for your help in 2 ways:

  1. Share the link above on your social media to help us reach more supporters
  2. Consider donating to our project

Thank you for your support!

Community Input Sought for Computer Science Ed

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) hopes to hear from students, parents, families, and community members to contribute their voices about experiences with, and hopes for, computer science education.

Session registration links, invitation translations (Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, and Somali), as well as printable and digital fliers are available at ODE’s Computer Science Implementation Website


The deadline for Intel employees to submit 2022 volunteer hours or monetary donations for Matching Funds is Thursday, December 15, 2022 at 3:00pm. If you work for another company that matches hours and donations, please check for their deadline!

To log your hours, you will need the dates that you volunteered, which can be found in the district’s volunteer system. Just log in to myimpactpage.com, and click on the Hours tab at the top of the page to see your most recent volunteer activity.

If you’d like a more detailed report, click on the Reports tab (along the top) and enter your date range in the Detailed Hours Report section at the bottom of the page. Email Katia & Kristi with questions regarding downloading your volunteer report (volunteer@tumwaterpto.org).

Head to https://intel.benevity.org/ to submit.

To log monetary donations, you will need to submit a copy of your donation receipt.

Questions? Hannah (president@tumwaterpto.org).


Bakers or buyers needed! Our inaugural staff appreciation cookie buffet is next week & we’re hoping that all 70 staff members can take home a dozen.

Sign up here to drop off two dozen cookies (homemade or store-bought) on Thursday morning, 12/15.

Thanks for considering!

Questions? Breanna (staffappreciation@tumwaterpto.org)


The November Community Meeting included updates from Principal Jill O’Neill and your Tumwater PTO Board. Highlights include:

  • Information about student clubs and upcoming school events

  • A report on the first round of grants of this school year that your support funded

  • PTO Committee updates, including Art Literacy and OBOB

  • An update on the Rising Tides fundraising campaign

  • A discussion of volunteer opportunities and how to sign up, including for next year’s PTO Board

  • The Treasurer’s Report

Read the full minutes & click through the slideshow to learn more. Remember to check out the action items for parents/guardians.

We look forward to seeing you at our next Community Meeting on Thursday, February 9, when Sunset Principal Elisa Schorr will answer questions posed by our community members.

Also, save the date for a Parent Presentation on Internet Safety on Thursday, February 23.

Questions? Email the PTO Board (board@tumwaterpto.org)

Dear BSD Families,

We understand that it can be challenging to access current information regarding your child’s schooling in your own language. We do our best to send out messages about important updates, especially during these challenging times. However, you can access the BSD website — and specifically, our return-to-school page — at any time. Below, we’ve included a link that will take you to our website, where you’ll find it already translated into your language. Please know, the translation is generated by Google Translate. It’s not perfect, but we do hope it’s helpful.

If you need additional assistance, please contact our Multilingual Department at 503-356-3755.

View the BSD website in Arabic قم بزيارة الموقع الإلكتروني للقطاع التعليمي لمدارس بيفرتون باللغة العربية

View the BSD website in Chinese 请浏览中文版的BSD网站

View the BSD website Japanese BSDウェブサイトを日本語で見る

View the BSD website in Korean. 한국어로 BSD 웹사이트를 보십시오.

View the BSD website in Russian Посмотрите веб-сайт школьного округа Бивертон на русском

View the BSD website in Somali Ka fiiri bogga BSD ee ku qoran af-Soomaali

View the BSD website in Spanish Vea la página web del Distrito Escolar de Beaverton en español

View the BSD website in Vietnamese. Xem trang mạng BSD bằng tiếng Việt