West Sylvan Middle School
September 1, 2023
Greetings, West Sylvan Families!
We’ve had a fun first few days of the 23-24 school year with your young Scholars, and it is so exciting to see everyone back together on campus. As a reminder, this is a longer three-day weekend, with no school on Monday, September 4th for Labor Day. Many students are also engaged in PIL sports, so it’s already a busy time for many of our families! We’re still working through some technical issues with Synergy and the first class of the day when Advisory is occurring. Our goal is to get any errors resolved by Tuesday.
The majority of schedule change requests have been reviewed and completed, if a change was possible. In some cases, there was not a way to make a change due to full classes, the time of day of a class, or the impact on a student’s core subjects. The team only focused on first semester items, and any requests for quarter three or four will be reviewed over the coming weeks.
Enjoy the long weekend!
Jill Hunt, Principal
Ben Keller, Assistant Principal
6TH GRADE OUTDOOR SCHOOL
IB/MYP AUTHORIZATION VISIT
WSMS is engaging in our International Baccalaureate (IB) authorization visit in the last week of September . This is a two-day virtual visit, which will include the sharing of class videos and evidence of our students’ hard work and collaborative projects to highlight the MYP growth of our school. We are looking for a small group of parents who are familiar with the International Baccalaureate programs and would like to be interviewed by the IB team during the visit about the IB's impact on their students' learning. Please reach out to Clair McInnis (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are willing to participate.
~ SCHOOL DOORS OPEN AT 9:00AM DAILY ~
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.
SAFETY UPDATES & SCHOOL IDs
All adults in PPS are required to wear their badge in a visible location while working for PPS. As an added measure, the District is also requiring all Middle and High School students to wear their school ID badges so that all students can be easily identified. Picture day is scheduled for September 14, and once the IDs are returned, all students will receive a lanyard and ID holder so they can participate in the enhanced safety measures of the school district. Carrying their IDs is also a good habit for Middle School students, as many are starting to ride public transportation and be more independent. More to come on this safety measure once the IDs are delivered.
A couple of buses have had late arrivals to and from school already this year, and we are hopeful that this will get better at drivers become more familiar with their routes.
STAFFING NEWS 2023-24
CHROMEBOOKS + CHARGERS
Chromebook distribution to all grades will occur this coming week. Chromebooks are used for class assignments daily. Students will need to charge their device each night and bring their charged Chromebook to school each day.
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. We have cases available for all students, so they can keep their device in good condition.
Counselors are available by email. Please refer to the following list for your School Counselor by grade.
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.
WEST SYLVAN STUDENT/FAMILY HANDBOOK
Please familiarize your Scholar with school expectations. Educators will spend time reviewing habits for success the first weeks of school, also. The WSMS Family Handbook is posted on our website for review. It includes both District and WSMS expectations. Updated District policies on instigating fights, being a bystander in fights, plagiarism, drug possession and distribution, and social media threats and harassment are all included in the PPS Student Conduct Guidelines. Families should take the time to review District expectations at home to set your students up for success.
Updated PPS policies on instigating/being a bystander in fights, plagiarism, drug possession/distribution, and social media conduct are linked here. Families should take time to review these expectations at home to set your students up for success.
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 by clicking on the Nutrition Services link here.
2023-24 Menu Prices (PK-8)
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/family organization also regularly shares ways to get involved on campus, specifically to volunteer in the Library, monitor hallways, help in the Main Office, help in classrooms, and do recess duty.
We can hardly wait to have more families involved in volunteering on campus, taking part in Friends of West Sylvan, 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.
OREGON BATTLE OF THE BOOKS (OBOB)
We are currently looking for parent volunteers to run Oregon Battle of the Books this year. OBOB is quite time-consuming, and we do not have adequate staffing in the Library to make it happen without a team of committed volunteers. Reach out to Clair McInnis (email@example.com) for details.
The Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB) is a statewide voluntary reading motivation and comprehension program sponsored by the Oregon Association of School Libraries in conjunction with a Library Services and Technology Act grant. Students in 3rd-12th grade, regardless of ability, are exposed to quality literature representing a variety of literary styles and viewpoints.
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.