Astor Connection

Back to School Issue!

In This Issue

Principal's Message

Important Dates

Warm Welcome 2023!

Volunteering and Astor Shine

Digital Back to School Packet

Productive Struggle!

Cell Phone Policy and Social Media

Middle School Advisory

PPS - Middle School Redesign

Note from Ms. Oswald

After School Art Class with Ms. Keira!

Free Breakfast and Lunch at Astor!

Picture Day

Photo Opt Out Form

Traffic Pattern at Astor

Safe Routes Info

School Supply List 23/24

Roosevelt Youth Sports

Opportunities for Students & Parents

Principal's Message

Hello Astor Community,

Our teachers are back and ready to welcome our students this week! If you have any questions about the first day of school or any other details, then please don't hesitate to reach out to your child's teacher.

This year, our goals continue in the area of literacy and math. This year, we add our school climate goal of productive struggle. You can learn more about what this goal is below. Our school has also set goals in attendance. We have several supports available to help with barriers to attending school. Please reach out to the office at 503-916-6244 and they can connect you with someone. Being at school each day is so important for our academic goals and we appreciate the school-family partnership in making this happen for all our students.

Finally, several of our open staff positions are filling, and we are in contact with any families where this impacts their student. I'm happy to share that all our classroom positions are filled and with staff members that have previously taught at Astor and in the grade/content level that they are assigned. This stability is significant and a great reflection of the amazing community we have here at Astor.

Hope to see you at the warm welcome this evening. Stop by anytime between 4:30 and 5:30. Here's to a wonderful first week back of school! Reach out to our team if you need anything at all. Go Eagles!


Blake Robertson

Principal @ Astor

Important Dates

Student and Family Calendar and Handbook


28th from 4:30pm to 5:30pm - 3rd Annual Warm Welcome at Astor

29th - First Day of School for Grade 1-8 and Site Council

31st - Half of Kindergarten Has Full Day


1st - Other Half of Kindergarten Has Full Day

4th - Labor Day (No School)

5th - First Full Day for All Kindergarteners

8th - Principal Coffee Chat with Astor PTSO and Mr. Robertson

20th and 21st - Picture Day

21st - Back to School Night

22nd - Run for Astor

22nd Mid-Term


School will open two-hours late on Oct 4th and Jan 25th. All students will begin school at 10am.

Warm Welcome 2023!

Monday, August 28, 2022 | 4:30pm-5:30pm

Attention all Astor students and families! It's our second annual warm welcome at Astor! You can find information about the event here. We hope to see you there.

Volunteering at Astor - Astor Shine!

Interested in volunteering at Astor! Your child's teacher may have opportunities, but we also have a great volunteering program. Astor Shine is back for it's second year. You can learn more about the program and sign up here. Thanks for your partnership in supporting our programs at Astor!

Digital Back to School Packet

You can find the digital back to school packet here. Several forms will come home with your student in the first week of school.

Productive Struggle!

This year, we are building our understanding of how to support students in productive struggle. One component of this work is naming productive struggle for ourselves. You can find that information below.

Productive struggle is purposeful, productive, collective, intentionally structured.

Productive struggle isn’t difficult for its own sake, struggle that ends in failure, only for a talented few, a lack of structure or clear directions

Teachers engaged in a productive struggle during a community building exercise and will apply some of the concepts below in their lesson planning.

  1. Identify the activity
  2. Anticipate student responses.
  3. Activate prior knowledge.
  4. Moderate individual and group work.
  5. Facilitate a synthesis.

Next Newsletter, we'll provide ways that parents can support this at home, as well.

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Cell Phone Policy and Social Media

As of August 14, 2023, in accordance with the District’s Responsible Use Policy and Administrative Directive, PPS will block social media access for all K-8 students on district owned devices. The US Surgeon General recently issued an advisory, warning about the dangers of social media use for young people. See Surgeon General’s Social Media Advisory.

What Does This Mean?

Technology Resources will continue to be deployed and used in a manner that supports the District's purposes of learning and productivity, equity and inclusive learning, and a safe and respectful environment. Through the District’s web content filtering system, Securly, social media websites will be blocked for all K-8 students when using a district owned device such as a desktop computer, laptop, Chromebook or iPad. Examples of social media websites that will be blocked for K-8 students are TikTok, Instagram and Facebook. We will continue to block access for all K-12 students to websites containing mature themes, porn, drugs, and malicious content.

*Currently Securly only supports extensions for Chromebooks and ChromeOS devices. Macintosh, Windows, and iPad devices will not initially be filtered. As soon as Securly releases these extensions they will be deployed to all device types. Chromebooks and ChromeOS devices are the vast majority of the student available devices in PPS.

What Do I Need to Do?

Nothing! These changes will happen entirely behind the scenes in the District’s web content filtering system. District owned computers will continue to operate the same way with the exception that access to social media websites will be blocked for all K-8 students when using a district owned device.

OTIS is grateful to our PPS community for helping us continue to keep our students safe when using the internet. Thank you for all that you do.

1- Federal regulations including the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA) and Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) mandate controls to keep students safe while viewing content on the internet, with extra precautions taken for children under age 13.

Middle School Advisory

Dear Astor Middle School Community,

This year PPS is extending Advisory Programs throughout all 6-8th grades in comprehensive middle schools and also K-8s. This is a school-wide time for teachers to thoughtfully and intentionally foster a sense of belonging, community and social emotional well-being for students, staff and families. Lessons will be centrally planned by the district and site level teams may adapt and adjust as needed.

Our team will be learning and growing this year as we bring on Advisory Programming to our school using the newly adopted Social Emotional Curriculum.

This past May we engaged with our community in the selection of one of two options for the Social Emotional Learning curriculum. Both options foster a sense of belonging and community with explicit instruction and home connection. Our school will be using Wayfinder.

This has been a two year process of adopting a high quality curriculum that will engage our students and increase their sense of belonging. The criteria for this selection can be found here. We will continue to evaluate the implementation of this curriculum in each school and make adjustments as needed. We are committed to continuous growth and improvement in this process.

In order to best prepare our staff for Advisory Programs, we have identified two dates for additional professional learning and would like to make you aware for your planning purposes.

*Fall 2-hour Late Opening:

  • The fall 2-hour Late opening will be on Oct. 4th.

*Winter 2-hour Late Opening:

  • The winter 2-hour late opening will be on Jan. 25th.

*The entire K-8 school will participate in the late opening. 6-8th will receive training from the site-based trainers and K-5 educators will use the time to collaborate on SEL instruction.

If you would like to provide feedback to the district level administrators, please do so on this form.


Blake Robertson

Principal @ Astor

Middle Grades Redesign - PPS

Our district is supporting our Middle School at Astor implementing effective practices to support our middle grades students. You can learn more here.

A Message from Ms. Oswald

Dear Astor Families,

It has been such a privilege getting to know all of your students over the past two years. I have been touched by their resilience and care for each-other, and have been so grateful to support them alongside a team of such talented and committed educators. I have made the difficult decision to move on from Astor this year and have accepted a full-time Counselor position at Chief Joseph Elementary. I will miss the students, staff, and families that make up this beautiful community. If any of your students would like to reach out, they are welcome to email me at, and I will email them back. I would absolutely love to hear from them and am thinking about them all as they prepare for the start of school.

I wish you all the best,

Shoshana Oswald

After School Art Classes with Ms. Keira!

See the website below for more information about these Mon/Thurs after school art classes with Ms. Keira for Grades 1-5

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Kids Yoga K-3!

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Great News about School Lunch!

This school year, our students will again have free breakfast and lunch! You can learn more about this program here. You can find other nutrition department info here, as well.

Picture Day is September 20-21!

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Photo Opt Out Information

If you'd like to opt your child out of having their photo used for any or all of the following uses below, then please either complete the form here or simply call the office at 503-916-6244 to let us know.

> School and District Use - Including Social Media

> News Media

> School Yearbook

> School Directory

Astor Traffic Pattern and Safe School

We ask again that community members avoid Yale whenever possible in order to reduce traffic. It will be a Safe School Street again this year. You can learn more info about our traffic flow below and here. Thanks for support with this!

Questions? Contact Shane Nevius, PPS Safe Routes to School Coordinator, at or visit

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Safe Routes to School!

We're a few weeks away from Back to School, and we can nearly hear the drumroll just thinking about it! Amid all the chaos of registration, gathering supplies, and figuring out first-day-of-school outfits, we want to make sure you don't forget about how you'll get there. Below is a collection of resources for students and families to plan their trip to school and get there safely.

Try out your route

Safe Routes to School suggests that students and families try their route before school starts — especially if you're going to a new location. Try different routes and compare what feels best and most comfortable. Walking, biking, taking transit, and carpooling all help increase safety and reduce traffic and greenhouse gas emissions around schools. If you haven't already planned it all out, check out this and other resources:

And you've heard it before: practice makes perfect. While we know perfect is unrealistic, we can guarantee that practice will make your back-to-school commute a more smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone.

If you're a family of a kindergartener or a student in 6th grade, sign up for SmartTrips to School's Text and Win Campaign

Starting kindergarten and middle school is a big shift for most families’ routines. Let us share some simple ideas for a fresh start to your child’s school year, like packing bags the night before or making sure your bike tires have air. Signing up for SmartTrips to School Text and Win Campaign also enters you into a drawing for fun prizes!

  • Kindergarten: text the word "KINDER" to 888-520-0526. Participants are automatically entered into a chance to win a scooter or one of four $20 Fred Meyer gift cards.
  • 6th grade: text the word "MIDDLE" to 888-520-0526. Participants are automatically entered into a chance to win one of 25 TriMet youth Hop cards or one of four $20 Fred Meyer gift cards.

Don't have a cell phone? No problem. Email us instead

The contest is open to families of kindergartener and students in 6th grade in eligible school districts: David Douglas, Parkrose, and Portland Public.

More tips and resources

For even more Back to School resources, visit our webpage.

School Supply Lists for 23/24

Kindergarten to 5th grade

Supplies are purchased by the school for students in grades K-5. We kindly ask that parents send a donation of $35 if possible to support the cost of these supplies. Parents may certainly donate more or less, as well. We appreciate the help purchasing these materials for our students. You may send payment to the office or teacher or submit it on school pay here -

Middle School

This year, we are asking for students to bring some of their own school supplies. You can find a list of these supplies here and below. We will make supplies available for any students that need assistance acquiring them. The school will be providing other materials such as binders.

  • pens (blue and black)
  • pencils (4 packs of 12 - suggested brand Ticonderoga)
  • pencil sharpener (that collects shavings)
  • colored pencils (12 or more colors)
  • highlighters (assorted colors)
  • clear ‘scotch’ tape--individual dispensers
  • Loose-leaf college ruled lined paper pack (around 150 per pack)
  • White out tape
  • White erasers

Roosevelt Youth Sports - Fall!

Portland Interscholastic League Youth Sports Program

Registration - FamilyID (except Football*)

We are excited to announce that we are now using online registration through FamilyID ( FamilyID is a secure registration platform that provides you with an easy, user-friendly way to register for PIL Youth Sports Programs, while allowing us to be more administratively efficient and environmentally responsible. If you need assistance registering, please contact your Cluster Coordinator.

All students must also submit the following paperwork to the Coordinator prior to participation:

  • Proof of payment:

  • Copy of student physical:

  • Proof of Residency: All students must participate in the High School Cluster in which they reside, and residency is based on the address you have on file with the school your child is attending. If you reside in the Dual Boundary (Grant/Jefferson, Madison/Jefferson, or Roosevelt/Jefferson) you must participate with the Jefferson Cluster. If you are unsure of which Cluster you reside in, please click here and type in your address. Proof of residency may be presented in the form of a student report card, or enrollment documentation which may be provided through your school.

Fall Sports:


Cross Country:

  • Head Coach: Karim Shakalia

  • Coordinator: Jaeger Vega

    • Youth Head Coach: TBD

  • Grades: 6th - 8th

  • Practice begins August 21st

    • Location: Roosevelt High School

    • Day and Time: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday - 5-6:30pm


  • Head Coach: Isaac Doyle

  • Coordinator: Jaeger Vega

  • Grades: 6th - 8th

  • Tryouts at Roosevelt High School

    • August 19th and 26th

    • 10am-12p

For additional information, please contact the PIL District Office at 503-916-3223

Opportunities for Students & Families

Giving to Maui

Finally, below you'll find ways to support those impacted on Maui. Our HR specialist Maili provided some of these resources. It's absolutely tragic, and our thoughts are with all of those impacted in our community (students, families, and staff), as well.

Donate Directly to Lahaina Teachers here

Maui United Way here

Maui Humane Society here

Maui - World Central Kitchen here

Important General Information

Camps, Classes, After School:

Preschool Programs:

Community Events & Information:

Vaccinations, Health & Wellness:

Enroll or Renew Health Coverage

With the new school year around the corner, it's a great time to enroll in or renew your family’s health coverage.

Enrolling in Health Insurance

  • PPS families who need help in getting health insurance can get free help in many languages to apply for Oregon Health Plan (OHP) or other coverage.

  • You may now qualify for OHP, even if you didn’t previously. As of July 1, 2023, Healthier Oregon allows people of any age or immigration status who meet income and other criteria to qualify for full OHP benefits.

Renewing Oregon Health Plan (OHP) Coverage

How Health Coverage Supports Students

Health coverage information is important for PPS students (and families) because:

  • Health insurance coverage helps boost test scores among children from low-income households (study here).

  • Having health insurance is linked to better health (study here).

  • Expanded health insurance coverage has led to historic reductions in racial disparities in access to health care (study here).