West Sylvan Family Communication
May 12, 2023
- Fri, MAY 12th: Seventh Grade Glow Party
(*hosted by The West Sylvan Foundation at WSMS after school)
- Fri, MAY 19th and Sat, MAY 20th at 7pm
and Sun, MAY 21st at 2pm:
West Sylvan Drama presents The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon on the Lower Gym Stage
- Tue, MAY 23rd: Beyond Borders Cultural Event at 4pm in the Lower Gym
- Mon, MAY 29th: NO SCHOOL / Memorial Day holiday
- Thur, JUN 8th: West Sylvan Dance Recital at 7pm in the Lower Gym
- Sat, JUN 10th: Eighth Grade Grad Party
(*hosted by The West Sylvan Foundation - tickets on sale in a few weeks!)
- Mon, JUN 12th: Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony (at Lincoln HS - 6:30PM)
- Wed, JUN 14th: Last Day of instruction
Dear West Sylvan Families,
We had the wonderful opportunity to host a few of our Fifth Grade school groups this week for short field trips to our school! It was so fun spending a little time together during the school day, and we look forward to inviting this Class of 2030 students into WSMS next school year!
Tonight is also our 7th Grade Glow Party Dance at WSMS! We hope all of our Sixth Graders who attended last week’s dance enjoyed their evening!
Enjoy your weekend,
Jill & Ben
WEST SYLVAN DRAMA SPRING PRODUCTION
Next week, we have the first production of a drama play since prior to Distance Learning! If families and friends would like to take in a show, please buy tickets! All proceeds will help us continue to build for future years of supporting drama and productions at WSMS! Thank you to Louis Kruse and all of the families who have contributed to preparing for the play!
Our Eighth Graders are rounding off their Middle School time by completing their MYP Community Project. Some have already completed amazing projects, and others are still in progress! We will be adding announcements to our bulletin about how our larger community can support various MYP Community Projects.
OSAS testing is occurring throughout the upcoming weeks, with the schedule below. We ask that you help your Scholar remember to bring their charged Chromebook to school each day. Too many scholars are forgetting their devices and are not prepared for their testing. We have a finite number of loaner devices, and it’s imperative that all Scholars come to school with their charged Chromebooks, please.
- 7th and 8th Math: 5/15 - 5/19
- 8th Science: 6/5 - 6/8
A reminder to get plenty of sleep and have a healthy breakfast. Chromebooks will need to be charged and brought to school every day.
Why take these tests seriously?
These results are a key factor in how WSMS is ranked academically as a Middle School for the state of Oregon and nationally by U.S. News and World report. See our last posted ranking at the link.
Results are only comparable to other schools in Oregon if 95% of our students complete the testing.
OSAS testing is one school indicator of potential academic ability when future schools are making placement decisions in honors, AP and advanced courses.
OSAS data is also the main data that the PPS School Board uses when determining and prioritizing goals for schools and the District.
8th Grade Grad Party
Saturday, June 10th, 7-9:30pm
West Sylvan Lower Gym
*ticket sales will start in a few weeks!
*hosted by The West Sylvan Foundation
CLASSROOM / SCHOOL VOLUNTEERS
All volunteers must be approved by PPS. To fill out the form to be approved through the district, please go here: https://www.pps.net/volunteer
NW CYBER CAMP
Announcing NW Cyber Camp 2023, the premier cybersecurity summer camp in Oregon! This year's camp (July 24-28) includes co-ed and girls-focused classes, scenario-based hands-on learning, and expert guest speakers from the cybersecurity industry.
Join us at Portland Community College- Sylvania, Mt. Hood Community College, or OSU, for an exciting week of exploring cybersecurity concepts and building real-world skills that can propel your academic and career goals. Thanks to our cybersecurity industry sponsors, the camp is FREE for all students this year. Learn more and register today at www.nwcyber.camp.
The camp also just released a short video, with testimonials from several of the founding students, and a brief overview.
FRIENDS OF LINCOLN INFORMATION NIGHT
FENTANYL - What EVERY Family Should Know & Why We Should Care
Wednesday, May 17, 2023
6 - 8 PM @ Lincoln High School
6:00 PM: Pizza for all in the Commons
6:30 PM: Overviews of Substances, Understanding Access (NARA)
6:45 PM: Prevention Strategies (Big Village PDX)
7:00 PM: Lincoln High School Resources (Lincoln RN Mary Johnson and LCSW Judy Marantz-Herzberg)
7:10 PM: What to do in case of an overdose (Project Red)
7:30 PM: Student Voices and Q&A
If you have transportation challenges, Friends of Lincoln can help. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
Presented by Lincoln Health Action Network: Health Action Network was founded in 2003 to bring health awareness, tools, and strategies to Lincoln students and families.
Sponsored by Friends of Lincoln
MYP EIGHTH GRADE COMMUNITY PROJECT
SOCIAL MEDIA MONITORING
Many of our families have allowed their young Scholars to have their own cell phones, and they use those phones to access various social media sites while away from school. We are asking that you please help to actively monitor your Scholar’s social media presence and interactions. For example, there are reports of a Sixth Grade chat where many students may engage in name-calling and also share concerning items amongst each other. While cell phones are not allowed during the school day, and therefore, social media engagement during school hours should not be occurring, there are still Scholars who regularly sneak access and are posting inappropriate content. PPS District leaders also sent out this toolkit to all families.
If you are concerned about your Scholar and social media, some suggested tips are below:
Get online family protection. Programs that provide parental controls can block websites, enforce time limits, monitor the websites that your child visits, and their online conversations.
Follow your child's online accounts, and tell them that you are monitoring their online activity to help keep them safe.
Interrupt any chats or conversations that are harmful. Tell your child to disengage from chats and harmful groups that do not support your family values.
Block social media apps using your parental controls.
Enforce screen times, limiting time online on such apps or video games where there are also active chats that are often full of concerning content.
Use a GPS parental control device that your child carries to help you monitor their location throughout the school day.
Only allow children to sign up for apps if you have a joint log-on with them so that you can help monitor their interactions for safety.
BLACK EXCELLENCE GROUP
You belong. You are valued.
You are loved. You are able.
You are excellent.
REMINDER: Our next Black Excellence Group FAMILY MEETING #2 will be next Thursday, 5/18 from 6:00-7:00pm in person at West Sylvan!
Check your inbox for an Evite to all families of WSMS Black students. This next BE Family Meeting will serve as a conversation about “practical supports for our BE students to thrive,” so we hope you can make it! Reminder, grown-ups of Black Excellence students are all welcome. You yourself do not need to be Black in order to participate in these BE Family Meetings – we look forward to meeting you. This is a grown-ups only meeting, please do not bring students to this family meeting. Thank you!
See you on Thursday, May 18th at 6:00pm!
Mashari Tyson, Founder
COMMUNITY EVENTS AND RESOURCES
Get connected in community this spring, explore these upcoming community events and resources…
She R.O.S.E. (Remembering Our Systah’s Experiences) Sunday May 14, 2023 / 2:00PM – 6:00PM at the Alberta House, 5131 NE 23rd Ave.
Black Women experiencing grief or complex, family dynamics can make Mother’s Day a challenging time. We are creating a space for you to heard, fed, and access to Black women healers. Questions? Contact BlackJoy@IAmMOREresilient.com.
Free day care will be provided and food provided by Kee’s #Loaded Kitchen
REAP Family Night! Friday May 19, 2023 / 5:45PM – 8:00PM at Oliver Middle School 15840 SE Taylor St.
End of the school year celebration between REAP staff & students of Centennial School and David Douglas school districts recognizing REAP students, their families, and achievements! Link to register for the event https://impact.reapusa.org/civicrm/event/register?id=407&reset=1
African American SIG Digs Into Finding Aids Saturday May 20, 2023 / 12:00PM – 2:00PM at the Genealogical Forum of Oregon, 2505 Southeast 11th Avenue, Suite B-18. Topic: "Digging into Finding Aids: The Road Map to Any Manuscript Collection" by Melissa Barker, the Archive Lady Melissa Barker is a Certified Archives Manager and public historian currently working at the Houston County, Tennessee Archives. Focus: Researching African American ancestry. Meetings: Monthly on the 3rd Saturday of the month at 12 p.m. If you know of any other people interested in African American genealogy, tell them about the group. You do not have to be a GFO member to participate! To receive a link for this meeting contact leader Janice Sellers at email@example.com.
NIKE Green Book Signing Saturday May 20, 2023 / 11:00AM – 2:00PM at 16126 SE Stark St.
Join a book signing brunch hour. This event is public with heavy emphasis on topics and discussion around trauma and healing.
Black Marketplace Sunday May 21 / 11:00AM - 4:00PM – The Center Powered by Y.O.U.T.H. 16126 SE Stark St.
(If interested in being a vendor or a panelist or have questions contact Ania Warren at 971-430-1628 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Black Baccalaureate Sunday May 21, 2023 / 4:00PM - 6:00PM 5000 N Willamette Blvd. The link below has information on how to register & more details. https://www.dropbox.com/s/hvlcufevk3e393s/Final%20Blk%20Bacc%202023%20Flyer.jpg?dl=0
The Black Rodeo – Eight Seconds Juneteenth Rodeo Saturday June 17, 2023 / 3:00PM – 10:00PM at the Portland Expo Center 2060 Marine Dr. W.
Visit the link for further information expocenter.org/events/8-seconds-juneteenth-rodeo.
Indigenous Marketplace Event 2023 - PSU/Native American Student Center – 710 SW Jackson Ave. 97201 (Link to flyer with more information)
MET Rental Assistance for Washington & Multnomah County now available call 503-579-6621 (you must live in either of these two counties.)
Portland State University FARMER’S MARKET from April – October Saturdays / 8:30AM – 2:00PM at SW Park Ave & SW Montgomery
TALENTED AND GIFTED
The Foundation supports Scholars and Staff and fosters community connection through fundraising and volunteer opportunities. Join the mailing list and stay connected with other families! All grade-level party information is updated on this website.
Help support our Counseling office snack pantry, where Students who are experiencing food insecurity can grab snacks throughout the day and bring some home. Your dollar and snack donations will go far to maintain the program!
Good news! Our Authorization visit for becoming an MYP school is now scheduled for late September of 2023! We’re steadily moving forward toward our final goal of MYP authorization!
Our May MYP Learner trait is Knowledgeable, and with our OSAS testing, the focus on finishing the year with strong final grades, and our Eighth Graders’ MYP Community Project underway, there will be so many opportunities to show how knowledgeable our Wolves are at WSMS! Throughout the month, students will be nominated for demonstrating this trait. We celebrate nominations at the monthly assemblies and through our school nomination posters.
To find out more about the WSMS International Baccalaureate MYP authorization journey, please visit this website!
Click here for directions for Parents/Guardians to access CANVAS and view Student course information.
PPS has shared out the approved calendar for next school year for your planning purposes.
INFORMATION FOR EIGHTH GRADE FAMILIES
- Our Eighth Grade dance will be Saturday, June 10th, at WSMS. Find details at The West Sylvan Foundation website.
- Eighth Grade Promotion will be at Lincoln High School in their Gym on the evening of Monday, June 12th. The ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. The LHS Gym seats 2000 people in the bleachers. With 258 Eighth Graders, we don’t see a need to issue family tickets for seating. We thank all of the families who are volunteering with the WSMS Foundation to plan that evening and to assist with set-up and take-down of items that night!
- Eighth Graders will have a final field trip to Oaks Park together on Tuesday, June 13th. We want all Eighth Graders to take part in this fun final day together. If you are interested in helping to chaperone the event (which includes riding the bus to and from the park), please let us know by sending an email to email@example.com. If an Eighth Grader has major disciplinary issues (suspensions from school between April and June), they will not be allowed to join the outing. We have reviewed behavioral expectations with all Scholars through Advisory.
SUMMER LEARNING PROGRAM
University of Portland has begun accepting applications for their annual Summer Learning Program! In this program, the learning focuses on the Oregon State Benchmarks appropriate for each child in Mathematics, Language Arts (reading, writing, and speaking), and any other subjects in which the student needs help. Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) candidates tutor/teach students according to their learning needs. There are usually 4-5 students per 2-3 MAT candidates.
- This year’s program will run July 5 - August 3, Monday-Thursday, 9:30am-11:30am, and they welcome students entering grades 2 through 11 in 2023-24. The cost of the program is $125, though scholarships are available.
- Online registration is now available here. To request a printable PDF or registration packet via postal mail, please contact Amy Kwong-Kwapisz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-943-7752.
OSU SUMMER PROGRAM
In these single-grade programs, students learn to read twice as fast. You'll become a stronger reader, with better comprehension in fiction and nonfiction. You'll expand your vocabulary and learn how to take good notes. You'll improve your writing skills so that you can communicate your ideas clearly. As a result, you'll get your homework done more quickly and easily, get better grades, and feel more confident as a student.
For more information or to register
Mon-Fri 5am-6pm, Sat 5am-4pm, and Sun 7am-3pm
If you would like to send a kind note of appreciation to any staff member, please share here. The kind notes go a long way in making our Staff members feel seen and thanked!
RESOURCES FOR FAMILY ENGAGEMENT
- How to get involved?
Join The West Sylvan Foundation! This is the group that also embodies what would have been a PTA at other schools. The group welcomes new adult support, and you can find the link here. This is also a way to share your voice about how WSMS fundraising is used for school needs.
- Volunteer! We appreciate all family members who have been volunteering in our Main Office, in our Library, and joining us for school lunch periods and recess to help with supervision. The additional adults around campus really help with these busier spaces and the busiest times of the school day! If you are already an approved PPS volunteer, you are welcome to come to campus any day of the week when your schedule permits, and we will find a way that you can help on campus! Classroom volunteer sign-ups and In-School Volunteer sign-ups can be accessed at these links.
- Help run an Advisory Club! Clubs meet on Fridays from 3:15pm-3:45pm. Thank you to a number of our Parents/Guardians who already are running clubs on Fridays!
Please encourage and remind your Scholar to bring their charged Chromebook to school each day. We have a very limited, and often depleted, number of loaner Chromebooks. Remembering to bring your PPS-issued Chromebook to school is crucial, as Chromebooks are needed for classes and especially during upcoming state testing.
EXTENDED UNEXCUSED ABSENCES
"NO CELL PHONE" POLICY
If a Scholar has a phone out in class or around campus during the school day, it is confiscated and held in the Office. If a Scholar has three or more violations already this year, we will ask a Parent/Guardian to pick up the phone to help reinforce expectations.
Please remember that Scholars do not have access to their phones during the day, and refrain from calling and/or texting them. If you need to get an urgent message to your Scholar, you may call the Office at 503-916-5690 or send an email to email@example.com.
Families are able to record future absences for their Students directly in ParentVUE without needing to contact the Main Office. Please remember, if a student is going to miss multiple days, it is up to the Student and/or Parent/Guardian to communicate absences with each Teacher and make a plan for missing work and assignments.
- If your Student is going to be Absent for a FULL DAY:
Log in to the ParentVUE website or download and open the phone application. In either case, look for the ‘Report Absence’ button to the right of your Student’s photograph. Select start date, end date, and a reason from the drop-down list. Remember to click SAVE, and you should receive a popup confirmation.
- If your Student is Absent for a PARTIAL DAY:
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the date, times, and reason.
No internet access? Call West Sylvan’s main line at 503-916-5690 and select the Attendance option.