West Sylvan Middle School
August 25, 2023
Dear West Sylvan Families,
Happy Last Friday of Summer Vacation! Welcome to all of our new families who have joined us since our last family communication at the start of August! There have been a fair number of late enrollments, and our classes sure are full! Mr. Keller is working alongside School Counselors to update schedules and respond to questions related to schedules, and we thank you for your patience! If you have sent a request through the Google form, please do not resend the same request multiple times. With nearly 100 families requesting some sort of change or special personal consideration, this work takes time, and requests related to programming (incorrect Math placement, incorrect World Language, SPED services, ELL services) are the top priorities.
Middle School is a time for growth and exploration, and as a Middle School seeking IB MYP authorization this September, exploring through inquiry, being open-minded, and being balanced are all traits that we are growing in students through their varied elective exposure at WSMS! Not every elective will be a natural favorite, and that is part of growth, exposure to new learning and well-rounded development which we aim to foster in our Middle School course offerings.
Enjoy the last weekend of summer break!
Jill Hunt, Principal
Ben Keller, Assistant Principal
- Tue, AUG 29th: Jump Start at 9:15 AM for 6th graders and NEW to West Sylvan 7th/8th graders
- Wed, AUG 30th: First Day of instruction for ALL students (new and returning) begins at 9:15 AM
- Mon, SEP 4th: NO SCHOOL / Labor Day holiday
- Thu, OCT 5th: Back to School Night at West Sylvan from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
- OCT 8th ~ 13th: Outdoor School for 6th graders (*overnight stay all week with curriculum at the camps)
PPS FREE/REDUCED MEALS PROGRAM + MORE
FIRST DAYS OF SCHOOL
Tuesday, August 29th is the first day only for new 6th Grade students and any brand new 7th/8th Grade students who are joining WSMS for the first time. There will be introductory community building activities all day to get acquainted with the school expectations, meet Teachers and Staff, and have a day to settle into campus before the rest of students enter the building. There is no need to bring any school materials on the first day, August 29th (that’s right… only bring a lunch, if your student brings a sack lunch!), as we’re diving into fun and community building for our first day together.
On Wednesday, August 30th, we look forward to welcoming back our returning 7th and 8th Grade students, along with our 6th Grade and new 7th/8th Grade students! That day, we will review school wide expectations with the entire Student population, engage in even more community building activities, assign lockers, and start handing out school chromebooks.
School doors open at 9:00 AM daily. Students with Choir before school (appears as period 8 on StudentVue), start school at 8:00 AM beginning Wednesday, August 30th.
Social Media Blocked on PPS Devices:
New this year, our OTIS team is blocking all social media access on school devices. Also, WSMS has an expectation that cell phones are off and away throughout the entire school day, including lunch and passing periods.
STAFFING NEWS 2023-24
SCHOOL SUPPLIES LIST
A list of recommended school supplies are listed here. Many families prefer to wait until students meet their teachers to decide exactly what to purchase. There is no need to bring any school materials on the first two days, August 29th and 30th, as we’re diving into fun and community building for our first days together.
CHROMEBOOKS + CHARGERS
Some returning students to WSMS may have forgotten to return their charger last school year. This has resulted in nearly 300 missing chargers. If your student still has their charger at home, they will need to bring it to school. We will not be replacing lost or forgotten chargers. Students and families will be responsible for paying for replacements for lost chargers throughout the 2023-24 school year. They will be ordered through PPS OTIS and cost $67/each. Also, encourage your student to use their Chromebook case to prevent damage to Chromebooks. WSMS students had the highest number of repairs of any school in the district last year due to damage or poor treatment of Chromebooks. Families, please review how to be responsible for keeping this device safe.
Counselors are available by email. Please refer to the following list for your School Counselor by grade.
SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES
CAFETERIA / MENUS
Students are welcome to bring their own sack lunch and are encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle daily to refill throughout the school day in our water fountains. Scholars will have to pay for school lunch, and information about plans and assistance are here. We have three separate lunch times, by grade level (see bell schedule here). Menu information and pricing is available here. This will be updated throughout the year. Families needing to apply for free and reduced lunch assistance can also find details on that website.
2023-24 Menu Prices (PK-8)
BELL SCHEDULE with ADVISORY
To increase the amount of time dedicated to building connections for our scholars with adults and to increase opportunities for academic support, Social-Emotional learning, and engagement in school clubs for everyone, all Middle Schools in PPS have an Advisory class during the school day. Advisory at West Sylvan will be held at the beginning of each day and we will follow the MORNING Advisory bell schedule below.
Construction will be cleared by the first day with students on Tuesday, August 29th. Final cleanup and approvals are occurring throughout this weekend to clear the building for our students. This will be the first round of two summers of construction, as the other half of the roof is scheduled for a replacement during Summer 2024.
Interested in Volunteering and Being More Involved?
Become an approved PPS volunteer by following the information here. Once your application is approved, please contact the Main Office to see how and when you can be of service. Our Friends of West Sylvan parent organization also regularly shares ways to get involved on campus.
As we continue to plan for the upcoming school year, we are hopeful that we can have more families involved in regular school activities such as volunteering on campus, taking part in our Friends of West Sylvan organization, and serving on School Site Council and School Climate Committees. If you may be interested in having a voice in one or more of these school groups, please sign up here.
Sign up here to volunteer for Lunch recess supervision, hallway monitoring, or Office support.
Friends of West Sylvan is parent/family organization that supports Scholars and Staff and fosters community connection through fundraising and volunteer opportunities. Join the mailing list and stay connected with other families!
PORTLAND INTERSCHOLASTIC LEAGUE (PIL) YOUTH SPORTS
** After-school sports are run entirely through PIL and West Sylvan does not have any information regarding tryouts, practices, schedules, etc.
The PPS-approved calendar for the 2023-24 school year can be viewed here for your future planning.
Please familiarize your Scholar with school expectations by clicking here. The WSMS Family Handbook includes both District and school-wide expectations and will be reviewed by Educators during the first weeks of school.
Policies on instigating fights, being a bystander, plagiarism, drug possession/distribution, and social media threats/harassment are included in the PPS Handbook. Please take time to review District expectations to set your students up for success.