Wildcat Word

February 2020

Message from the Principal

As we come to the end of February, we are also looking forward to the second half of the school year. It's amazing that the year is more than half over. As I review the progress reports, I always notice a couple things that show a lot about being successful. I think this is a good time to share them and look forward to great things in the second semester.

The first is attendance. Most students who do extremely well have great attendance. They are here almost every day and they are here on time. Both of these things are important to learning. We certainly understand that students do sometimes get sick and there is the need for some absences, but there is a lot learned every moment we are here.

The second is participation. Students who are performing well in the classroom are actively engaged. I can see it in my visits to classrooms. I very much recommend that all parents encourage active participation in class.

The final is Perseverance and the Power of YET! The ability and willingness to take on a challenge and stick with it is so important. We want to encourage all of our students to do their best, even when things are challenging - this is how they will accomplish great things! Our most successful students continue to work hard when things are challenging. We hope you will encourage and inspire this at home as we do the same here at Bridger.

Safety w/AP Roletto

Door safety and Dogs in the neighborhood.

Keeping our community safe is a priority for PPS and Bridger School.

Part of that plan is to establish routines around door security.

I notice our community values being able to enter the building in the morning and walking their children to class.

The district continues to work towards improved systems and technology. No matter what we have in place, it’s the humans that make it all work.

I ask that when entering the building in the morning, please use the front door. The front door is supervised by staff. It allows us to have a visual of who enters the building.

We are teaching students to not open outside doors for folks, even during the school day as they should have an adult opening the door for them or with them.

Dogs/pets and school hours:

As many of you know, we have neighborhood folks who bring their dogs to play on campus in the morning, afternoon and sometimes during the school day. Sometimes not on leash. Yikes!

Policy is that they are not to be on campus at all during the school day. We consider that 8:00am to 4:00pm and whenever students from any of our programming is on the playground.

Thank you to those who have helped by letting neighbors know when you see this happening.

Please let us know if you spot chronic challenges or people who consistently don’t take policy into consideration so we can work with them.


Congratulations to all of our Students of the Month who have been honored for demonstrating Flexibility. We will celebrate these students the week of 2/24-2/28.

Please check the school website and calendar for all upcoming Student of the Month Assemblies.

The character trait for the month of March is Resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from something hard and

move forward through challenges and even failures.

Some language we can use to model Resilience for our learners is:

That didn’t work, I’ll try another way.

How can I overcome this?

How can I get through this?

Who can I ask for support?

I had a rough morning, but I know I can get through this.

Right now I’m feeling (mad, sad, frustrated), but I know things will get better.

Here are some great video links that demonstrate resilience that you can view with your learner:

An athlete whose indigenous skills helped make her a marathon star.

A Lesson On Resilience The Learning Lab (With rolly polly dolls)

Reading Update

This year's theme for Black History month is "African Americans and the Vote." 2020, an important general election year, is also landmark year for voting rights. 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) which gave the right of black men to vote, although they faced many obstacles to do so . It also marks the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment and the culmination of the women’s suffrage movement. Black women were granted the vote also in 1920, but faced many obstacles to actually do so. Google an article from a trusted website, or try AllSides.com, to read and broaden your understanding, and that of your child, about issues around voting and African Americans.

From Our Student Council

In Student Council this month, we are working on some new proposals to improve the school. We advocated for some changes to the school bathrooms. We are running a clean bathroom challenge to encourage students to keep our bathrooms clean and to appreciate the hard work our custodians put in. We are planning a Student/Teacher basketball game in March, and we are organizing our player teams and coaches. We are looking forward to participating in the 82nd Avenue Parade in April.


We have successfully implemented food composting and milk carton recycling in our cafeteria. Thank you for all the parents and students who continue to make this happen. We will start educating classrooms about single use waste in their individual lunch boxes after the first of the year. Here are some ways to reduce using single use plastics during the holidays.

Avoiding single-use plastic on holiday can be challenging, but with a little forward planning there are some easy steps that you can take to minimise the amount of single-use plastic you consume on your travels and during your stay.

A reusable coffee cup

To be absolutely sure that you can order a hot drink without the single-use plastic, buy a reusable cup that is going to fit underneath coffee and hot water spouts. Large flasks are often too big, meaning that baristas have to use a single-use cup in order to prepare your drink before decanting it into your reusable cup. We recommend those that are designed to imitate a single-use coffee cup, as they come with lids that seal to prevent spills, can be easily cleaned and are lightweight.

Water filter bottles

Companies such as Water-To-Go offer filter technology designed by NASA, allowing you to enjoy safe drinking water from any fresh water source.

Solid soaps and shampoos

Thanks to concerns around plastic waste, soap sales have increased and there are a growing number of retailers now selling shampoo in solid bars, cubes or powders, meaning you can say no to miniature plastic toiletries. Not only are the alternatives much lighter on the planet, they’re lighter to carry and you don’t need to worry about the 100ml rule if you’re travelling with hand-luggage. Many of them are SLS free, cruelty free and vegan friendly, too.

Plastic-free, reef-safe sunscreen

While not completely mainstream just yet, there are a range of eco-friendly sunscreens available online in biodegradable tubes or metal tins. Hawaii is the first US state to announce that they intend to ban the sale of sunscreens that are harmful to coral reefs by 2021 and its likely more countries will follow suit. Protecting yourself and the natural environments of the destination you’ve chosen to visit will become easier as the demand for alternatives increases.


The straw has become the poster child for single-use plastic campaigns around the world and many hotels and restaurants are starting to use more eco-friendly alternatives or ban them completely. Whether your preference is for bamboo, stainless-steel or reusable plastic, the alternatives are lightweight and easy to fit into your luggage. Hold them up when you order a drink, as the visual reminder helps to break the bartender’s habit of automatically reaching for the single-use option.


Bamboo cutlery sets have become increasingly popular and mean you can easily refuse the plastic alternatives. These are particularly good when you’re out exploring or visiting theme parks offering mostly takeaway-style food and drink.

Reusable bags

Kenya has banned plastic bags and introduced jail time for people found to be using them, which has had a dramatic clean-up effect and is tempting other countries to follow suit. Cotton or jute shopping bags can double up as beach bags and vice versa. Pop one into your suitcase and keep it with you when you’re out and about, you never know when you might be tempted to purchase some local souvenirs or do a spot of shopping.

Look out for refill apps

Refill apps like Refill My Bottle make it easy for you to find local businesses that are happy for you to fill up with tap water or filtered drinking water for free or a small charge. Wateratairports.com is a simple site that helps you to quickly and easily find drinking fountains in airports all over the world – saving time when you’re in a hurry to board your flight. Remember to take your empty reusable bottle with you through security and find a free water fountain in departures before your flight.

Use your opinion positively

Very often it is a change in customer demand that drives a change in business. It could make a real difference if travellers make their concerns about single-use plastics known to the hotels they are staying in. If there is a feedback form in your hotel or local restaurant, politely outline your concerns with the use of plastic and let them know that you’d love to see them make positive changes. Being part of the change is being part of the solution.

The Math Angle

Math Practice #5 - Use appropriate tools strategically

Recent work in math has been about matching the right tool to the right student. Tools for math include hundreds charts, blocks for counting, grid paper, tiles, multiplication charts, graphing calculators or software, fraction bars, base ten pieces, or rulers. We are working to help students learn to use the tools and know when to go get a tool when working on a problem. You can support your student at home by asking what tools they used in the classroom for this work and helping them be more independent at accessing tools when needed. Often we find students who are stuck staring at a problem on their paper or on a computer screen “hoping” an idea will come to them. Once they have the right tool in hand, their confidence increases and they are able to use what they know to get started


Why Mindfulness Is a Superpower: An Animation

A Message from MESD Re: Healthy Habits

Middle School Volunteers Needed!

Hello Bridger Community!

We would like to invite you to share in celebrating our middle school students and their accomplishments.

Every month our Middle Schoolers have an opportunity to participate in "Fun Friday". Students who are caught up on their work get to choose from community and teacher-led enrichment activities, such as cooking, karaoke, art projects or sports. During this same time, students who are missing academic work get extra support from teachers in a smaller teacher:student ratio.

We would love to have parent help on these days. If you have a fun skill or interest you could share with our middle school kids, please let us know. We are looking for anything the kids may enjoy (a craft, a sport, a cooking class, a chemistry experiment, a kickball tournament, a board game tournament, minute-to-win-it games, etc) that can be completed in 50 minutes and with around 15-25 kids. If you need anything for your class - for instance- materials, a parent helper or anything else, let us know and we will see if we can make that happen. Also, if you are able to help out another parent but don’t have an idea of your own, please let us know! We would be happy to connect you with another parent.

Future fun friday dates and times:

February 14th - 4th period (12:20-1:20)

March 20th - 5th period (1:20-2:20)

April TBD


Please contact Amy Neitzel- amyneitzel@yahoo.com - if you are able to help!

Thank you!

National News featuring Our Fifth Grade Bridger Activists!

District News

Big picture

A Healthy Me is a Substance Free!

Dear PPS Families,

Adolescence is an exciting time of growth and change. Portland Public Schools is pleased to offer an informative evening that will feature a panel discussion highlighting community and district resources, as well as break-out sessions where students 6th-12th grade and families can connect with information that is the most helpful to them.

Thursday, February 27th • 6:30-8:30pm

Grant High School Commons

2245 NE 36th Avenue, Portland, OR 97212

Dinner & Childcare provided

Doors open at 6:00

Please join us for an evening with local behavioral health experts at our REAHL (Recovery Education & Action for Healthy Living) family substance use prevention night for 6th-12th graders and their families.