Principal's Newsletter

Sam Barlow High School ~ August 2019


I hope this finds you and your family doing well after a great summer break. We are quickly approaching the start of the 2019-20 school year and are very excited to provide another year of great experiences for your Bruins. We have spent our summer here watching Barlow undergo continued changes and it’s so exciting to see the new building undergoing final preparations for opening to students and the community for the first time. I know you have all watched the construction process over the past year and have wondered what it is all going to look like on the inside. Well, we have finally arrived at that point in time when we can all begin enjoying some more amazing changes to the building.

Even though our school will continue to be under construction, the staff is working hard to be prepared for the return of students and all of those great fall activities and events. There will be some challenges this year due to building constraints, but those will not stop us from having a great year. Remember, we need to continue keeping our eyes on the prize!

I wanted to take some time to share key details with you before the start of the school year that will ultimately help everyone be more successful and have a good experience at Barlow. Some key sections to explore include:

  • Construction Updates

  • Student parking passes

  • Student pick-up and drop-off guidelines

  • Construction zone safety tips

  • Tips for starting the school year strong

Construction Update

If you haven’t driven by the building lately you may not recognize Barlow when you get here. While there will still be work to complete during this school year, there has been a significant amount of work completed to this point. Please see below for a list of projects that have been completed, or should be completed by the you’re your student returns on September 3rd or 4th:

  • 8 new science classrooms and 12 standard classrooms opening in the new wing of the school.

  • New administrative offices and staff parking lot.

  • A fully functioning bus loop to separate buses from our main parking lot.

  • Complete renovation of most all classrooms in the 100 and 200 halls.

  • A new Culinary Arts classroom and lab.

  • Main courtyard and science courtyard completed.

  • Structure completed for the new commons area and student entry from main parking lot.

  • New gym entry to include ADA access

  • Covered football stadium ready for our home opener on September 6th.

  • Complete remodel of the Auditorium.

  • Two new Special Education classrooms.

  • New Art room.

Parking Pass Details

Bond construction is in full swing at Sam Barlow High School. While we were able to add back several student parking spaces with the addition of our new staff parking area, we will still have constraints due to the location of the portable classrooms and construction materials and containers. Last week we sold parking passes based on the following criteria:

To purchase a parking pass, students must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a Junior or Senior

  • Attended at least 85% of the days during the second semester of the 2018-19 school year

  • Have a valid Oregon Drivers License

  • Have current car insurance

If students met the above criteria, Seniors, CAL students and those who have a zero period were given first priority on purchasing parking passes. Students can still purchase parking passes to enter their names for the lottery drawing if they did not fit the above criteria. The drawing will take place by the end of this week. Students whose numbers are drawn will be notified by student management.

Student Pick-Up and Drop-Off Guidelines

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.

Starting this year, the student pick-up and drop-off will be located in the Main Parking Lot. Please be sure to review the 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.

Construction Zone Safety

While we have completed quite a bit of our construction project, Sam Barlow will still be an active construction site through March of 2020. All construction areas are clearly marked with fencing, caution tape, and signs. It is critical that all students follow these directions and respect all workers on site. Our contractors have been amazing partners and are very cognizant of the measures we are taking to keep everyone safe. Please be sure to talk with your student about reading and following all directions related to construction zones. We are excited to see the building project completed, but we are also placing safety as a top priority.

Starting the School 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!

PARENTVUE APP (Check your students' progress)

You can download the ParentVue App directly to your phone for free. It’s very simple to do and we have included the step-by-step instructions for you below.

  • Go to your App store or Android Market and search for ParentVue.

  • Click ‘install’ and then ‘open’ when installation is complete.

  • You will have a screen prompting you to swipe left to find your district. If location is activated on your phone, our district should pop to the top. If not, type in Gresham-Barlow School District in the search bar.

  • Once you choose Gresham-Barlow School District, you will be asked to log in.

  • Once you have logged in, you will have access to your student's information, such as;

    • Class Schedule

    • Current Grades in all classes

    • Progress Reports

    • Attendance

    • Teacher communications

    • Access to update your contact information

    • Many more…

  • You can also select which language you prefer to use by clicking on ‘change’ at the bottom of the screen.

This is a great resource to have at the tip of your fingers. If you need assistance logging in or resetting your password, please contact Teresa Juden at


In order for students to reach their full potential in the classroom, they must attend school. We want all students to attend at least 90% of all school days. Students should only miss school if they have a fever, have been vomiting, have a medical appointment, or a family emergency. We fully understand that students will sometimes miss school, but limiting the number of missed days is important. Students can’t learn unless they are in class. If we have more students attending at a higher rate, we can also increase the success of our students and our graduation rate.

Please enjoy the start of the second semester. We hope to see you at a school sponsored event or activity. It is always a great experience to see our students competing and performing as it really fosters a sense of community.


What are the office hours?

7:00am - 3:30pm daily

Closed on holidays and some inservice days

What is the main office number?


Can I leave a message for my student?

Yes. If necessary, we can take messages from a parent or guardian only. Messages will not be delivered to class except in an emergency, but will be held in the office. Students are paged during designated paging times, and it is the student’s responsibility to pick up the note.

Can I bring a present or send flowers/balloons to a student?

We are unable to accept gifts, flowers/balloons for students. We will refuse all attempted deliveries.

Can I deliver coffee/specialty drinks to my student?

No. We will not accept any Dutch, Black Rock, Country Coffee, etc.

Additional questions?

Please call us! 503-258-4850

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.


A-E Michelle Kahan

F-J Erin Boelow

K-Ra Oscar Rethwill

Re-Z Molly Ninneman


Kimberly Louvin


Paul Quirke


Karen Galicia


Ryan Alexander


A-G Celeste Pellicci

H-O Melanie Marrone

P-Z Kelly Hart