West Sylvan Middle School

September 8, 2023

Greetings, West Sylvan Families!

We hope that your students’ first weeks back to school have felt supportive! There have been some attendance challenges with the way that our site is being directed to roster Advisory classes, and we believe that all of the issues that students have shared should be resolved at this time. Advisory happens the first thirty minutes of each school day, either through a rostered “Advisory” period or within the rostered “Period 1” class, for students without “Advisory” listed on the StudentVUE schedule. Regardless of how this is rostered, every student in Middle School is expected to have an Advisory this school year. Most PPS Middle Schools chose to team up with Wayfinder for the dedicated Social-Emotional Learning lessons that will be embedded in the Advisory time. For more information about the curriculum, you can find links below.

Enjoy the weekend!

Jill Hunt, Principal
Ben Keller, Assistant Principal

Wayfinder Informational Brochure

  • Student-facing materials available in Spanish for 23-24 SY.

  • Student-facing materials will be available in all partner languages no later than 24-25.

Sample Lessons

Sample Guardian Home Connection Activity

Wayfinder Informational Video

Family/Guardian Informational Video



  • Thu, SEP 14th: School Picture Day (*order ahead at lifetouch.com with Picture Day ID #EVTX6M4QZ)

  • Thu, OCT 5th: Back to School Night at West Sylvan from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

  • OCT 8th ~ 13th: Outdoor School for 6th graders (*overnight stay all week with curriculum at the camps)

  • Fri, OCT 13th: NO SCHOOL for Educator Planning


Sixth Grade students will have the opportunity to participate in the week-long, overnight stay at Outdoor School camps from October 8th - 13th. An informational meeting for Sixth Grade families will be occurring virtually on September 14th at 6:30PM. This will be time for Mr. Keller and Ms. Oesterle to share some information about the process and answer questions that families may have about the assignments or the week. Look for the meeting link to be shared out to Sixth Grade families soon!

Monday 9/11/23: ODS forms go home with students. Return forms to Block Teachers by 9/15.

Tuesday 9/12/23: Students interview 7th graders about their experiences at ODS.

Thursday 9/14/23: Information Night (virtual meeting) for WSMS 6th Grade families at 6:30PM.

Friday 9/15/23: ODS forms returned to WSMS 6th Grade Block Teachers

Students have been assigned to an Outdoor School campsite with their BLOCK class. Please refer to this chart by Teacher to find the campsite where your student will spend the week.


Thank you to family members who have expressed an interest in sharing positive feedback to the MYP Authorization Team for our upcoming visit! WSMS is engaging in our authorization visit the week of September 25th, and our Educators are gearing up for this process. This is a two-day virtual visit, which will include the sharing of class videos and evidence of our students’ hard work and collaborative projects to highlight the MYP growth of our school. Please reach out to Clair McInnis (cmcinnis@pps.net) if you are willing to participate.


Please do not park in our neighbors’ driveways or block their personal property. On the narrow streets, please be cautious that you are not impeding traffic by blocking the street. Form two lanes for drop off and pick up so that more vehicles can move through the process in a timely manner.


We have reviewed expected bus behaviors in Advisory. Students will be suspended from riding the bus for failure to follow expected safety rules, and families will take over the responsibility of transporting students to school.


Please make every effort to pick up students before or after their Lunch period (see below). Once students are scattered around the field playing at recess, picking up during Lunch recess becomes more timely for all involved.

6th Grade LUNCH: 11:37 AM ~ 12:07 PM

7th Grade LUNCH: 12:31 PM ~ 1:01 PM

8th Grade LUNCH: 1:25 PM ~ 1:55 PM


Breakfast is available in the hot lunch room at that time. Students with Choir before school (appears as period 0 on StudentVue), start school at 8:00AM each day. Students should ring the doorbell at the front doors upon arrival. Thank you to our generous private donors for the opportunity to bring Choir to WSMS again!

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Thanks to the long hours and hard work of our Student Technology Liaison, all chromebooks were handed out this week to students. Though several hundred of the devices were sent for repairs over summer, several students are already concerned about issues with their chromebook. Students can bring chromebooks needing repairs to Ms. Crombie in the Main Office during the school day, between the hours of 10:00AM - 3:00PM. Each Friday, repaired computers are returned to the school and damaged computers are picked up. In the meanwhile, a loaner computer will be issued to students, as supplies last. We have cases for chromebooks, however, many 7th and 8th graders refused to take and use the cases last year and their chromebooks are in poor condition. Remind and encourage your student to take care of their chromebook, and keep them in protective cases. Chromebooks are used for class assignments daily. Students will need to charge their device each night and bring their charged chromebook to school each day. Students and families will be responsible for paying for replacements for lost chargers throughout the 2023-24 school year. They will be ordered through PPS OTIS, and cost $67/each.


Thanks to Mr. Alonzo (Student Success Advocate: RJ), Mr. Steve (Campus Safety Associate), Mr. McVicar (School Management Specialist for School Climate), and Ms. Jett (Instructional Coach), the bus system has been updated for those students who ride buses. There is a visual aide as students leave campus where they can easily see which buses have arrived, where they are located in the line of buses. Buses that are late are also noted. We are aiming to help ease the stress and anxiety of finding the bus each day for students with this visual system. Encourage your student to speak to any adult by the buses to ask for help, if they have questions.


All students will take their school picture on Thursday, September 14th during their Science class. This picture will be used to create the mandatory student IDs that all middle school students are expected to start wearing this school year. We have ordered all students lanyards with protective cases, and once the IDs arrive, we will be teaching students about this new PPS District expectation for all Middle School (and High School) students. If your student is absent, there will be a scheduled makeup picture day later in the month.
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WSMS is a cell phone free zone from 9:00 AM - 3:45 PM daily. We request and advise all families to keep scholars’ cell phones at home during the school day. If a scholar brings a cell phone to school, they will be expected to store their turned-off phone in their locker throughout the entire school day (including lunch periods). Important messages can be sent to our main office via email (westsylvanoffice@pps.net), and will be forwarded to your scholars’ PPS student email account. If your scholar chooses to use their cell phone, smart watch, air pods, tablet, et al, it will be confiscated. If your scholar uses their device to check a text from and/or answer a phone call from you, their phone will be confiscated. Please do not text or call your scholar during the school day, except in case of emergency.

Social Media Blocked on PPS Devices:

New this year, our OTIS team is blocking all social media access on school devices. Also, WSMS has an expectation that cell phones are off and away throughout the entire school day, including lunch and passing periods.


For questions about your scholar’s bus route, district transportation options, or times for pick-up, visit the Transportation Department’s website. The WSMS Office is unable to change bus schedules, and all calls regarding buses will be redirected to the Transportation website.

A couple of buses have had late arrivals to and from school already this year, and we are hopeful that this will get better at drivers become more familiar with their routes.


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Counselors are available by email. Please refer to the following list for your School Counselor by grade.

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Please familiarize your Scholar with school expectations by clicking here. The WSMS Family Handbook includes both District and school-wide expectations and will be reviewed by Educators during the first weeks of school.


Please familiarize your Scholar with school expectations. Educators will spend time reviewing habits for success the first weeks of school, also. The WSMS Family Handbook is posted on our website for review. It includes both District and WSMS expectations. Updated District policies on instigating fights, being a bystander in fights, plagiarism, drug possession and distribution, and social media threats and harassment are all included in the PPS Student Conduct Guidelines. Families should take the time to review District expectations at home to set your students up for success.


Updated PPS policies on instigating/being a bystander in fights, plagiarism, drug possession/distribution, and social media conduct are linked here. Families should take time to review these expectations at home to set your students up for success.


Students are welcome to bring their own sack lunch and are encouraged to bring a reusable water bottle daily to refill throughout the school day in our water fountains. Scholars will have to pay for school lunch, and information about plans and assistance are here. We have three separate lunch times, by grade level (see bell schedule here). Menu information and pricing is available here. This will be updated throughout the year. Families needing to apply for free and reduced lunch assistance can also find details by clicking on the Nutrition Services link here.

2023-24 Menu Prices (PK-8)

Breakfast: $1.60

Lunch: $3.00

Milk: $0.50


Interested in Volunteering and Being More Involved?

Become an approved PPS volunteer by following the information here. Once your application is approved, please contact the Main Office to see how and when you can be of service. Our Friends of West Sylvan parent/family organization also regularly shares ways to get involved on campus, specifically to volunteer in the Library, monitor hallways, help in the Main Office, help in classrooms, and do recess duty.

We can hardly wait to have more families involved in volunteering on campus, taking part in Friends of West Sylvan, and serving on School Site Council and School Climate Committees. If you may be interested in having a voice in one or more of these school groups, please sign up here.


We are currently looking for parent volunteers to run Oregon Battle of the Books this year. OBOB is quite time-consuming, and we do not have adequate staffing in the Library to make it happen without a team of committed volunteers. Reach out to Clair McInnis (cmcinnis@pps.net) for details.

The Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB) is a statewide voluntary reading motivation and comprehension program sponsored by the Oregon Association of School Libraries in conjunction with a Library Services and Technology Act grant. Students in 3rd-12th grade, regardless of ability, are exposed to quality literature representing a variety of literary styles and viewpoints.


Friends of West Sylvan is parent/family organization that supports Scholars and Staff and fosters community connection through fundraising and volunteer opportunities. Join the mailing list and stay connected with other families!


A wonderful way to keep your student engaged and out of trouble is to get them involved in extracurricular activities, such as youth sports. All information to register students for PIL Youth Sports is located here.

** After-school sports are run entirely through PIL and West Sylvan does not have any information regarding tryouts, practices, schedules, etc.


The PPS-approved calendar for the 2023-24 school year can be viewed here for your future planning.




(503) 916-5690


[Staff / Substitutes / Financial]

Jerda Solonche



[Students / Attendance / Enrollment]

Kirsten Crombie