Principal's Newsletter

Sam Barlow High School ~ October 16, 2020


Well, here we are, almost a full month into the school year. The fall weather is settling in with cool nights and mornings and those glorious sun filled days we so enjoy. Usually at this time of year we are enjoying back to school events and the excitement of Friday night football games. However, 2020 continues to dish up new ways of doing things that don't necessarily include traditional school experiences. While that may be the case, we could not be more excited to welcome our students back, introduce our newest Bruins to Barlow, and to connect with families.

Earlier this year I recorded a welcome video for our ninth graders and shared the idea that in life you get exactly what you expect. If you expect the best from yourself, from those around you, and from your classmates then that is what you are going to see. If you expect yourself to be successful, to be kind, to be empathetic to others that is also what you are are going to get. However, if you expect the worst, that distance learning will be horrible, that people are hateful and mean, well, then that is what you are going to get. It is our job as teachers, parents, and mentors to encourage our kids to see and expect what is best in the world. Granted, there are going to be bumps in the road, situations where people behave poorly, and times when we will be let down by others. But even in those times, if we expect the best from ourselves, we can rise above the fray, take the high road, and persevere to meet our goals.

I hope this past month has given you some time to get into the groove of Distance Learning. The staff has been working very hard to provide the best possible experience for our students and continues to learn new ways of conducting live lessons, connecting students with online resources, and engaging students in the learning process. We have all experienced some bumps and bruises along the way, but we continue to push ourselves to get better so our students can be successful.

As we move through this school year please know we are here to support both you and your student. A great way to reach out is through your student's Advisory teacher. They meet each morning and have had the chance to get to know one another. If they can't help you, they will be able to point you in the right direction regardless of the question or need. You can also reference the contact information at the bottom of this newsletter to help determine who can best provide help when needed. While I am as frustrated as the next person with the pandemic, I will say this situation has pushed us to focus on establishing a true community, and for that I am grateful.

Be safe, stay healthy and Go Bruins!


As a reminder, this school year has been divided into four Quads based on class periods. Quads 1/3 cover Periods 1-4, and Quads 2/4 cover Periods 5-7. Each Quad is nine weeks in length and is equal to a full semester worth of work. At the end of each Quad, your student will receive a final grade for each class that will be recorded on their transcript. This is a very compressed window of time and it is essential that students stay up to date with their work.

On Wednesday, October 14th you should have received your student's progress report for Quad 1 through ParentVUE. Please be sure to review your student's progress to either congratulate them on their performance, or strategize about ways to improve.

If you student did not perform to expectation, or is currently failing a class, please consider the following strategies to help them:

  • Each Monday teachers post a Playlist that outlines all activities for the week. You can have your student share this with you and use it as a checklist each night to ensure they have completed the assignments as outlined. This can also serve as a conversation piece to learn more about what they are doing in class.
  • Monitor grades at the end of each week and go over those with your student. Pay close attention to missing assignments. It is always better for students to turn in work that is partially done versus taking a zero on the assignment.
  • Have your student email their teacher to set up an appointment for additional help. Our staff is available on Mon., Tu., Th., and Fri. from 3:35-4:30 and on Wed. from 12:20-1:20 to provide one on one assistance to students.
  • Students can access daily tutoring sessions which are being led by National Honor Society students and supervised by staff Mon., Tu., Th., and Fri. from 12:15-1:15 and on Wed. from 9:30-10:30 and from 12:30-1:30 to get help from their peers. To access these Google Meet Links go to NHS Tutoring Sessions.
  • You can always reach out to your student's teachers to get additional help or ask questions about what your student can do to improve their grade.


ParentVUE is an essential resource for parents that enables you to access student grades, attendance, teacher email addresses, and emergency contact information. In addition, this is how we send progress reports and report card information.

If you need to activate your ParentVUE account, please contact Brandie Seibel at and she will send you an Activation Key that you will use to access the system. It is a very easy process. You can also visit the App Store or Google Play to download a mobile app for your phone to get this information on the fly.

Mobile App Download and Configuration Instructions

  • 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.

For some of you there has been a bit of a glitch when accessing ParentVUE mobile app. If you have not updated your Verification information, you will be prompted to "Register" your student. When you follow the prompt, it glitches. There are two workarounds for this problem with the mobile app. See below for details.

  1. Log in to ParentVUE from a desktop computer, or through using your students Chromebook and complete the Verification process. Once you have done this you will be able to use your mobile device to access ParentVUE.
  2. You can access ParentVUE from the browser on your phone (Safari or Chrome) at When you land on their webpage, go through the Verification process. Once that has been saved, you can again access ParentVUE through the mobile app.

Please partner with us in your child's education by monitoring their progress. The easiest way to make that happen is through accessing ParentVUE.


As we immerse ourselves in the world of Online Learning, it has become quite clear that establishing a community of learners is much different than when we are inside of a building. In order to help us develop a safe and respectful classroom environment, the students and staff developed our BruinPRIDE Netiquette to highlight key expectations. These expectations were shared with all students at the start of the year. I wanted to share them with you so you can see what we have all agreed to.

Along with our school wide BruinPRIDE Netiquette expectations, the Gresham Barlow School District has created districtwide Online Expectations for Students and Parents. Please be sure to review these expectations as it is important for us all to be on the same page. Our goal is to continue to provide safe and structured learning environments for our students, even though we are conducting classes virtually.


Attendance during online learning is very important for your student’s academic success and connections with peers. In accordance with ODE guidelines, attendance will be taken on a daily basis for each scheduled class. Daily participation is expected in online synchronous class sessions.

Please contact Erika Fuller in the main office at 503.258.4860 if your student is not able to participate during a daily synchronous session. You can also email Erika at

If your student is unable to attend the synchronous session on a given day, here are other ways they can be marked as attending:

  1. Watching a recorded lesson and then completing the work that goes along with it later that same day.

  2. Communicating with the teacher via email, phone call, chat, or text message (two-way). If your student is in grades K-5 and possibly 6-8, this communication will count if it is between parent and teacher.

  3. Posting completed work online.

For a student to be marked present, they must participate in one of the above ways during the 24 hours (12:01 a.m.-11:59 p.m.) for each scheduled class.

If your student is marked absent for any single period of a day, you will receive an automated phone call. If your student is absent for more than one day, you may be contacted by a staff member to see how the school can support your student’s attendance.


Even amidst a pandemic, the Barlow Yearbook students produced a yearbook for the 2019-2020 school year. We are very excited to distribute this to our students so they can look back on the year and relive some of the great memories that were made last year. There is so much to be proud of, even though the year was cut short.

We will be distributing Yearbooks on Wednesday, November 18th from 12:00pm-6:00pm at Sam Barlow High School. We chose this date because our Yearbook students will not be in that class until the second Quad and we wanted them to be a part of the distribution process. After all, many of them were involved in building this amazing book.

In addition to the Barlow yearbook, ninth graders who came from Gordon Russell will also be able to pick up their yearbook at the same time.

We will be sending out specific pick-up details in the November Newsletter but we wanted to make sure you set this date on your calendar.


Well seniors, it is already starting, time to get ready for Graduation! While we may not be in the building, we are still going to prepare for Graduation as we always have. Jostens has already mailed graduation packets to Seniors and orders for a Cap and Gown can be placed online between October 19th-23rd. Order early to receive a discounted price on your cap and gown package.

Along with a Cap and Gown, students can also order a variety of apparel if they choose. Apparel items purchased at this time will be available for pickup at Barlow on October 27th between 5pm-7pm. This will be a drive through pickup at the main entry.

To access key dates and information regarding the Class of 2021, please visit the Senior Page on our website.


In order to connect with our school community, Principal Bruce Schmidt will be hosting a monthly parent meeting on the fourth Monday of each month. During this meeting, Mr. Schmidt will present on a variety of topics to inform participants of what is taking place at Barlow. These meetings are never "one way" as Mr. Schmidt will gather input from parents and guardians to help make the Barlow experience quality for all.

The meeting dates for the 2020-21 school year are: 10/26, 11/30, 1/25, 2/22, 3/29, 4/26, and 5/24. The meetings begin at 7:00pm and end at 8:30pm and will be conducted virtually through the use of Google Meets. Each month an invitation will be sent to you with an agenda via email outlining the topics for discussion along with the link to the Google Meet. We look forward to seeing you at the end of this month.


The College and Career Center is a fantastic resources for both students and parents. Students can access information ranging from scholarships, to college visitations, to meeting local business leaders to visiting a local manufacturing facility to learn about career opportunities. Patty Neuenschwaner oversees the College portion of this resource and LindaLee Frazier organizes the Career side of things. These two individuals do amazing work with our students and consistently find ways to connect both parents and students to resources. Please take advantage of their work and dedication. For updated information, you can visit the College and Career Website or our Monthly Newsletter.

College Research and Applications- Now is the time to get this done!

If students want to learn more about many colleges, take a look at the College and Career Website and view the Calendar of college visits. Students, and parents are welcome to join in google meetings that are being created by colleges and universities to share what they have to offer.

The links to those events can be found under the College Name and then More Details. We have scheduled most visits on Wednesdays so students will not miss Synchronous instruction.

It’s FAFSA and ORSAA Time!

Each October seniors and families should work to complete either the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Financial Aid) or ORSAA (Oregon Student Aid Application) for financial aid opportunities with their college education. Most all colleges and universities require that you have this completed as a component of the application process and you MUST have this completed if you wish to receive financial aid or apply for school based scholarships. Even if you plan to go to a technical or trade school, you can access financial aid to help you pay for fees, tuition, tools, or other items you will need to complete the program. This is a great investment of time.

To determine which application you should complete, the FAFSA or ORSAA, visit this site:

If you need to complete the FAFSA, please visit the following sites to get started.

  1. If you (the student and the parent) will complete the FAFSA, you must first create a secure FSA ID. Go here to create your FSA ID.
  2. To complete the FAFSA Application visit the FAFSA Website.

If you need to complete the ORSAA, please visit the ORSAA Website.

Career Exploration

Over the course of the year we are planning a multitude of virtual field trips that are being sponsored by local businesses. Please be sure to check our website or receive our Google Classroom notifications to learn about many career exploration opportunities available to you.

Looking for a Part Time Job?

To help secure a job learn some of the skills you will need-Job Skills Training

Click here to see a list of Jobs in out area- Job Listings

Ask Us Questions

Many other valuable resources can be found on the College and Career Center website. Take a look around. If you’d like to meet with us, join one of our Open Office Hour time slots. We are there every school day waiting to answer your questions. Students and parents are welcome. We will also schedule individual meetings with you to work around your schedule.

Contact Us

While it is nice to connect in a virtual space, we know sometimes a private phone call or email is needed. Please don't hesitate to contact us personally if needed.


Students eligible for free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch at school can get food benefits. This is in addition to their pickup meals from school. Please be sure to complete your applications for free and reduced lunch so that these funds can be renewed for those in the community. These extra food benefits are called Pandemic EBT or P-EBT. The Oregon Department of Human Services received federal approval to issue additional P-EBT benefits for the month of September and hopefully October.

Please choose the Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) to access this information.

To access Additional information, read this News Release.

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