Principal's Newsletter

Sam Barlow High School ~ September 4, 2021

FROM PRINCIPAL BRUCE C. SCHMIDT, JR.

I can't tell you all how excited I am to be sending this last message prior to the start of the school year knowing that students will be entering our building next week to begin the 2021-22 school year. I know your student will be experiencing some of those traditional start of the school year jitters, trust me, I still get them after 29 years as an educator. I always pick out that first day of school outfit the night before, have dreams, or should I say nightmares, about getting to school on time, and wonder how the day is going to go. Even after all these years I still can't shake those jitters. Of course there are also the worries I have as a parent who is sending a junior in high school back to school. Hoping that his first week goes smoothly, that he connects with friends, makes good choices, and comes home happy. Even though I have those jitters, I am confident that things are going to all work out and the anxiety was just that, start of the year nerves.


Based on what you are hearing in the news about case rates there may be some concerns about sending your student back to school. While I can't predict the future, Barlow staff have been diligently working through safety guidelines that will be in place to provide layers of protection while your student is in the building. These include sanitizing the building, hand sanitizing stations at entires and in classrooms, mandatory mask use while inside, and of course vaccinations for all staff per the Governor's most recent orders. While there are many opinions on vaccines, it has been shown that those who are vaccinated are unlikely to contract Covid. Additionally, if there is an exposure at school, students who are fully vaccinated will not miss school or athletics and activities due to a quarantine. If you have not done so already, consider this as another key layer of protection for both your student and family. See the links below for information about some free options for vaccination at local Student Health Centers.



We are so looking forward to your student's return and for the start of a successful school year.


Please enjoy the holiday weekend, be safe, and Go Bruins!

STARTING THE YEAR STRONG

As you enjoy the last few days of summer, there are a few suggestions I would like to make that will help your student transition to their school year successfully. I am sure many of these suggestions will be met with groans, but these are helpful tips that will really make your student’s life a bit easier.


  • Start talking to your student about what they would like to accomplish this year in school. Keep in mind that this doesn’t necessarily have to focus on grades. Goals could be around developing better or new friendships, spending more time with family, getting a part time job, or even attending some sporting events at school. The key here is to have a meaningful conversation with your student about their hopes and ambitions for the year.

  • Encourage your student to pick up a book, magazine, or an on-line news source to read on a regular basis. If they read for 30 minutes a day, this will get their brains working and exercising to better prepare them for the flood of information they will get when the start school. Think of it as a “warming up their brain” period.

  • Take some time with your student and help them organize their room to include a place to do homework or study. This can be as simple as a stack of pillows that they push against the wall while they read or do math, or as elaborate as a dedicated chair and desk. Along with establishing a “place for school” at home, this gives you some time to work with your student, talk to them, and see what they are looking forward to this school year.

  • If you have not already done this, take some time to relax and talk with your student. Whether it is a 10 minute or 30 minutes conversation, taking a few minutes to talk, catch up, and visit with your child will make a huge difference in your relationship. The conversation doesn’t need to have a purpose other than to just talk. The time you spend now is a great investment. That way, when it comes time to have more challenging conversation in the middle of the school year, you have practiced how to talk with one another and it will be much easier to communicate.


Getting ready for school to start is often one of those last minute rushes (trust me, I have kids also) that sometimes sneaks up on us. If you take a bit of time and gradually ramp up to the start of the school year, kids will have a smoother transition and more success when beginning. Please be sure to enjoy the last few weeks of summer away from school and with your family and we look forward to seeing you soon. Go Bruins!

SUPPLY LIST

There is no standard supply list for students at the high school level. However, there is a basic list of supplies that will be used in just about any class that your student will take. See the suggested general supply list given below.

  • Spiral notebooks
  • A binder or folders to hold work from classes
  • Pens and pencils
  • Loose leaf binder paper
  • A scientific calculator, preferably a Ti83+ or higher. We do have some of these calculators for check out in our textbook room (The TMC).
  • A backpack or bag to hold supplies


If there are special supplies needed for a class, teachers will cover that within the first couple days of class. However, if you have some, or all of the supplies above, your student will be in a good place the first week.

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL FOR NINTH GRADERS

The first day of school for our ninth graders is Tuesday, September 7th from 7:35 am-2:30 pm. Staff have been working to make this a special day for our newest Bruins. They will meet all of their teachers as they go through their schedule, meet some of our Juniors and Seniors who will serve as mentors and assistants, participate in community building activities, informational sessions, and a full tour of the building.


Students will be taking school pictures, receiving their ID card, and will check-out their district issued Chromebook. Picture packets will be sent to you in the mail through Dorian Studios.


This is a full school day and standard bus transportation and lunch services will be provided.

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL FOR SENIORS

Just a reminder that the school calendar for the 2021-22 school has changed from years past. The first day of school for Seniors will be Tuesday, September 7th from 7:35 am-2:30 pm.


We are very excited to have the Class of 2022 back a day early as this will give us the chance to present key information to our senior class. Students will be able to ensure their schedule matches all graduation requirements, learn about accessing the College and Career Center, and senior events for the year.


This is a full school day and standard bus transportation and lunch services will be provided.

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL SOPHOMORES AND JUNIORS

Wednesday, September 8th is the first day of school for Sophomores and Juniors. Wednesday is a late start and classes will start at 8:35.


We know that many parents of sophomores are a bit nervous about kids coming into the building for the first time as they may not have attended in-person instruction during the 20-21 school year. Please know that we will be taking time to introduce our sophomores into the building and going over how to find their classes.


This is a full school day and standard bus transportation and lunch services will be provided.

STUDENT SCHEDULES

Student schedules are now available for viewing through ParentVUE & StudentVUE accounts. For incoming freshmen, your accounts from Gordon Russell, West Orient, and Deep Creek Damascus K-8 are still your accounts for high school.


We work to provide students with a relevant and engaging schedule of courses. Because course offerings are created out of students’ Spring forecasting selections, we prioritize the types of schedule changes we make in the Fall.


If a student is requesting a general schedule change, please complete this form: Class Change Request Form. You must be signed into your school Gmail account to access the form. Change requests will be addressed according to priority.


Please see of the following regarding schedule changes:

  • Our first priority is to serve students who have a missing period (hole) in their schedule.

  • Class changes will be made due to an error on our part related to the entry of course requests from last spring.

  • Schedule changes will be made to meet specific academic needs and/or to fulfill graduation requirements.

  • Some courses may not be available due to enrollment limitations and/or conflicts with other courses.

  • Changes to schedules will not be made simply to obtain a different teacher, rearrange class periods, or switch elective choices.


Thank you for your partnership in this process.

PARENT VUE

ParentVue offers parents and guardians the ability to check their student’s attendance, assignments, grades and demographic information online. It is a very convenient method for keeping track of your student’s academic performance.


Those who have accessed this service in the past will still have an active account.


If you have not used this service in the past we encourage you to set up an account. To get an account contact Brandie Seibel in Student Management at seibel6@gresham.k12.or.us and she will send you an Activation Key that will enable you to create an account online at your convenience.


If you have an account already, but forgot the password, simply go to the login screen of ParentVUE and click the forgot password link and a password reset process will be sent to you via email.

STUDENT VERIFICATION

If you have a student who is a returning to Sam Barlow High School, or are an incoming 9th grade student coming from one of our middle schools, you will need to go through an online verification process.


This is a painless process and enables you to confirm all of your student’s contact information, updates to addresses and phone numbers, emergency contact information, and any health concerns you may need to communicate. Please take a moment to make sure we have the correct spelling of your student's name. ONLINE STUDENT VERIFICATION.


Please note that this is done through ParentVUE. If you do not have an account, please see the information above to gain access to this system.

STUDENT PICK UP AND DROP OFF

A major component of our construction project was to build a designated bus loop that removes them from our main parking lot. This feature will significantly improve traffic flow for student pick-up and drop-off. While we always encourage students to take the bus to school, we also understand that there are times when students must be dropped off or picked up from school.


The student pick-up and drop-off will be located in the Main Parking Lot. Please be sure to review the Parent Pick Up and Drop Off Diagram that outlines the process before you head to school on the first day. Understanding the procedures will be critical with respect to improving traffic flow. The more people who follow the procedures as detailed the better. Please help us out by following the guidelines.

SCHOOL MEALS UPDATE

The Gresham-Barlow School District will offer breakfast and lunch at no charge for all students in all schools through June 2022! We still want families to submit an application for Free/Reduced-price meals because this helps the district get the most out of federal, state, and grant dollars.

Are you looking for part-time work while kids are in school? Nutrition Services is hiring friendly people to help support student success by providing nutritious meals. Apply online for a school kitchen near you.

SCHOOL ATTENDANCE

Sam Barlow High School recognizes the importance of consistent attendance as a driver of student success. Accurate attendance records are also an important part of maintaining student and community safety. We look forward to partnering with parents and guardians to support students as they rebuild the habits of attending school in person.


Please inform the Barlow Attendance Office of a partial or full-day student absence as soon as possible. Parents/Guardians may call the the Attendance line at 503-258-4860 to leave a message in your home language. A student may also bring a written note from a parent/guardian or doctor to the attendance window in the main office. Students can visit the attendance window before school, during lunch, and after school.


Barlow utilizes standard systems to inform parents/guardians of student absences through automated phone messages and the ParentVUE attendance screen.

PARKING PASSES

Parking passes will be sold to eligible Seniors with a lottery for Juniors. Sophomores are not eligible for a parking pass. If you have not yet purchased a pass you may stop by Student Management before school, during lunch, or after school. We will be pulling lottery numbers for Juniors on Friday, September 10, and notifying Juniors if they got a slot the week of September 13th. All students must have completed the paperwork and meet the requirements prior to being entered into the lottery.


Please read below to ensure you are eligible to apply for a parking pass.


Parking Pass Eligibility

  • Attendance Requirement. Due to the nature of distance learning, attendance for the purchase of a parking pass will not be checked. However, attendance will be checked each six weeks. If a student falls below 85% attendance, they will be placed on contract. If attendance does not increase above 85% during that time period, the parking pass will be revoked.
  • Driver’s License and Insurance: You must have a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance in order to apply for a parking pass. You must show this at the time of purchase. You must maintain current insurance throughout the school year.


To speed up the process, please download and complete the Parking Pass Application before heading to school. If you are unable to print the application, stop by and pick one up in the Student Management office.

WHO CAN HELP?

If you have concerns about your child’s schedule or other issues, the following are the staff to contact. Email is a quick way to get answers to the questions you might have.


COUNSELORS

A-D Shae Morris morris62@gresham.k12.or.us

E-K Erin Boelow boelow@gresham.k12.or.us

L-Ra Oscar Rethwill rethwill@gresham.k12.or.us

Re-Z Molly Ninneman ninneman@gresham.k12.or.us


LICENSED SCHOOL SOCIAL WORKER

Kimberly Louvin louvin@gresham.k12.or.us


HS SUCCESS COACH

Paul Quirke quirke@gresham.k12.or.us


ENGAGEMENT SPECIALIST

Ryan Alexander alexander9@gresham.k12.or.us


ASSISTANT PRINCIPALS

A-G Celeste Pellicci pellicci@gresham.k12.or.us

H-O Jason Bhear bhear@gresham.k12.or.us

P-Z Kelly Hart hart29@gresham.k12.or.us