West Sylvan Family Communication

June 2, 2023



  • Thur, JUN 8th: West Sylvan Dance Recital at 7pm in the Lower Gym

  • Sat, JUN 10th: Eighth Grade Grad Party at West Sylvan
    (*hosted by The West Sylvan Foundation - tickets on sale now!)

  • Mon, JUN 12th: Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony (at Lincoln HS - 6:30PM)

  • Tue, JUN 13th: Eighth Grade Field Trip to Oaks Park (*optional early dismissal for 8th Grade only, upon return at 2:30pm; Students may stay until 3:45pm if they choose, or if they need to ride the bus home)

  • Wed, JUN 14th: Last Day of instruction (*if not attending - especially 8th Graders - please enter the absence in ParentVue)

PPS has shared out the approved calendar for NEXT school year for your planning purposes.

Dear West Sylvan Families,

We are enjoying the final performances of the school year with our Band/Music and our newly re-established Choir performing last night! We hope that your family was able to enjoy the talent of our musicians and vocalists as they showcased all of their hard work and talent!

Next week, the Dance classes will be performing on Thursday, June 8th at 7 p.m. at WSMS in the Lower Gym. They would love community support at their performance, also!

We’re happy to have found some very creative ways to bring back as many of the performing arts as possible in the last two years, and we are grateful for all of the families who have donated to help our performing arts return! In the last two years, we have created a full-time position for our Band and Music offerings and created both Drama and Choir morning clubs to give students more opportunities to grow their interests and talents. These are not positions that our school gets any additional funding to continue, and we are happy to have the support of our community members through fundraising to continue these offerings! If we receive more donations, we can bring in a Choir teacher next year, at least part-time.

Enjoy your weekend,

Jill & Ben

Big picture


Some families are leaving for Summer plans early and prior to the last day of the school year, which is now Wednesday, June 14th. Please excuse your students through ParentVue for any days where you anticipate being gone prior to the conclusion of the school year, and have your Student(s) communicate with their Teachers in advance about their absences and any final work to complete.


We are getting a badly needed partial roof replacement this Summer (though we really need the entire roof done). This means that our entire staff has to vacate the building by June 17th. This also means that our building will not be accessible all summer to any staff or families. We’ll be starting locker cleanouts this week and finishing that project the final week of school. Any forgotten items in the building will be unobtainable from June 16th until our building is cleared for adults to reenter in August.


ALL chromebooks AND chromebook chargers will be returned to the school at the end of the year. This allows for necessary repairs and any maintenance over summer. If students are involved in the Summer Acceleration Academy, Chromebooks will be provided through the Summer School. Return both the Chromebook AND the charger. Next year, our school has to pay for any replacement chargers. If students lose their chargers next year, they will have limited access to chargers, unless families choose to replace them independently.

Wednesday, 6/7: SIXTH Grade return

Thursday, 6/8: SEVENTH Grade return

Friday, 6/9: EIGHTH Grade return


Please send your Scholars to school with a reusable water bottle, and encourage them to dress for the warmer weather. Many students are reporting that they are hungry mid-afternoon, as they are burning lots of energy during recess in this warmer weather. Please send extra snacks for your Scholars if they are typically hungry in the afternoons.


Those students who have pre-ordered and paid for yearbooks will have them distributed on the following dates. If your scholar will be starting their Summer prior to this date, please have them tell Ms. Solonche in the Office, and we will give them the book in time for their departure. We will not be able to distribute any yearbooks over Summer when the building is off limits.

8th Grade: Monday, June 12th

7th and 6th Grades: Tuesday, June 13th


All stored medications need to be picked up by the final day of school, Wednesday, June 14th. With the building closed for construction, we will not be able to assist families with getting medications returned after this date. Please plan to pick up any items in the Health Room.

Any major violations of school and PPS policy at the event may result

in the loss of privileges to attend Oaks Park and to participate in the

Promotion Ceremony. Students with recent suspensions may not attend

this event, and any tickets purchased will be refunded directly

to the family prior to the event on Saturday.

Since this is an event during our school year, all PPS Conduct expectations apply.


Please support our teachers by volunteering and hour or two in their classrooms! Art, Science, Health, Math and Reading all have opportunities for parents to get involved.


Please help be an extra set of eyes and ears and hands at West Sylvan as a Hall Monitor, Lunch Time Helper, Main Office support in the afternoon, or in the Library. It's fun way to see West Sylvan in action!


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. Especially in Sixth Grade, we are seeing a dramatic rise in the use of phones to prank call others, spread untrue rumors about others, and to make fun of others.

We are asking that you please help to actively monitor your Scholar’s social media presence and interactions. 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. Most recently, Sixth Grade students created a TikTok page about a Teacher, which was disturbing and disrupted the Teacher’s sense of safety.

Some recommended 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.


You belong. You are valued.

You are loved. You are able.

You are excellent.

REMINDER: Our final Black Excellence Group FAMILY MEETING for this year will be virtual on Monday, 6/5 from 6:00-7:00pm on Zoom! Please check email for your Evites. We will give updates on previous discussion items and share some great go-to resources for Black students/families in the community. This meeting will be shared across West Sylvan and Jackson, so you will also get to meet and hear from several other BE families next meeting. We look forward to seeing you on Zoom.

The Center for Black Student Excellence (CBSE) Vision has been released. View it here. The Center for Black Student Excellence is A Place, An Approach, and a Redesign of the System. Learn more about the vision.

Mashari Tyson, Founder




Get connected in community this Summer, explore these upcoming community events and resources…

  • 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


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!

Accessing CANVAS for families

Click here for directions for Parents/Guardians to access CANVAS and view Student course information.


  • West Sylvan Eighth Graders will engage in mock congressional hearings during ELA and U.S. Studies classes, Thursday, June 8th

  • Our Eighth Grade Grad Party tickets and Promotion week activities are on sale now! In order to provide our scholars with a wonderful promotion celebration, including lunch and other activities, we ask each family to please contribute $15.

  • The Eighth Grade Grad Party will be Saturday, June 10th, 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm at WSMS and tickets are $25. Donated tickets are available so everyone can attend these fun events. Please contact Ms. Cohen [rcohen@pps.net] for assistance. Find all the details and make your payments through 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 westsylvanoffice@pps.net. 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.
Notes of Appreciation

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!


  • 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.


After ten consecutive school days of non-attendance, Scholars are un-enrolled from WSMS. Please be sure to officially excuse absences when there is a lasting illness or a need to be gone from campus.


Please help remind and reinforce our “No Cell Phone” policy during the school day in your discussions at home. This means that we ask that Scholars to either leave phones at home or put them in their lockers during the day so that they are not a temptation.

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 westsylvanoffice@pps.net.


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.

No internet access? Call West Sylvan’s main line at 503-916-5690 and select the Attendance option.



All-Grade School Climate Specialist: Shawn McVicar [smcvicar@pps.net]




(503) 916-5690


[Staff / Substitutes / Financial]

Jerda Solonche



[Students / Attendance / Enrollment]

Kirsten Crombie