Online Learning Academy - PPS

September 2022 Newsletter

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Message from the Principal

Welcome and Welcome Back to our 250+ K-12 OLA Students and Families!!

We are now well into our second week of school in our second year of OLA! With so many great lessons learned by everyone in year 1, we had a successful and energizing start to the school year. From 100% attendance in elementary classrooms to full Seminar zoom classes in the high school with over 70 student voices heard, we are excited to launch into a great school year.

This month, we are focusing on ensuring the students know how to use their Buzz tools to help guide their work each day and each week. OLA is a unique online learning experience that prepares students to manage their own learning from as early as Kindergarten. It is important to recognize that this is a process that needs the support of the OLA staff as well as the student’s Learning Coach. We encourage families to help students plan out their learning week with the help of the Buzz calendar and the special Daily or Weekly Agendas that many teachers add to help students figure out how to prioritize reviewing lessons and completing required assignments. A BUZZ tool for parents/guardians will be your very own BUZZ observer accounts (based only on ParentVue Primary contacts) which you will receive via email by the end of the third week of September. This will help with “hands off” supervision. “Hands on” supervision by Learning Coaches can be accomplished by sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with your online scholar and asking them to log into their Buzz account and checking out each course they are enrolled in. We encourage you to ask how they are doing, how they are planning their week and when they will be meeting with teachers for one-on-one support.

The OLA team has been working diligently to ensure that we have made contact with each of you. If you have not heard from teachers, it may be that your contact information on ParentVue is not the latest information. So please take a moment to update your contact info so that teachers can call and introduce themselves, share celebrations and suggest supports or improvements. We are all here to support your student and consistent communication with you is key to our ability to do so.

We are thrilled to work with each of you as part of the wonderful K-12 OLA school community. Please check out this newsletter with tips and updates regarding attendance reports, class success, clubs, our new and required Orientation for all in Buzz, reading ideas and assessment. We will be publishing this newsletter in the first week of every month.

Happy School Year 2022-23!

Take care,

Mrs. H

Diane Berthoin-Hernández

Principal, OLA and VS

Meet some new OLA Staff Members:

Karris Huseman, Administrative Assistant

We would like to introduce Karris Huseman. Karris has an extensive background in office management and will be working our front office. Karris will be handling student attendance/absence forms. She will also handle OLA communications, including answering the main phone line. Karris is on our OLA onboarding & application teams and will assist with those tasks. You can find Karris in office at our Holladay Annex building, you can reach her by email ( and/or by cell (calls & text) 971-284-6969.

Pamela Royal, Materials Manager

Pamela Royal is the OLA Book Room/Materials Manager. Pamela came from Lincoln High School where she spent 9 years running their Book Room. Pamela is available to help students with their packet (K-5), Art and PE supply needs. You can contact her at or by phone 503-916-5471.

College and Career Readiness - Character Trait of the Month is : IDENTITY

Identity - the qualities, beliefs, personality traits, appearance and/or expressions that characterize a person or a group.

Special Shout Out to our LatinX and Hispanic students for Hispanic Heritage Month! Enjoy some videos about Hispanic Heritage.

Video Link K-5

Video Link 6-12

Celebrate OLA!!!

Mrs. Miner, Grade 3 teacher stopping by to say hello to one of her students.


  • Attendance Office Notes: We’ll be putting together an ‘Attendance-at-glance’ sheet in the weeks ahead, in the meantime some notes as we get started:
  • NEW! Parents will be able to update attendance via ParentVUE - how cool is that? - stay tuned!
  • NEW! Our Online attendance form is the best way for families to let our office know about attendance marks and adjustments. The Attendance Form is also found on our website under the "Families" tab. Please contact Karris at, if you have any questions.

OLA Orientation Course - Required for all students

Have you started your Orientation?

The Orientation is everything you need to know to get started in OLA. You can find it in Buzz and it provides video tutorials for some of the most important pieces in Online Learning Academy.

Below are examples of what students and their learning coaches will learn in the Orientation:

  • how to navigate the websites you need each day

  • what you need to do to be prepared each day

  • when and how to reach out for support

With each video, there are a couple of questions to answer related to what you just learned. This lets your teacher know if you need additional support as we get started this year.

We want to make sure that this orientation is helpful for you. Classroom teachers will be sending a follow-up link to a 3-minute survey for students and their learning coaches in the next week. This survey is an opportunity to provide feedback on your experience in the Orientation.

OLA Achievement Team 6-12

OLA's Achievement Team welcomes you to another school year! New and returning students began the year with a Student Orientation, giving them information about navigation, communication, organization, and more. Once students finish this required orientation, the AT team will support them in keeping up their academic skills so they have a successful year.

If you have any questions about your student's overall progress, a good place to start is by contacting their Seminar teacher. They will be able to either answer your questions or connect you with the right person. You can find their contact information in the Buzz Blue Seminar tile. Here's to a great year!

Jeannie Redrejo

OLA 6-12 Achievement Specialist

Email - | GV - (503) 662-7952

September Days

  • 5th - Labor Day
  • 8th - National Literacy Day
  • 10th - World Suicide Prevention Day
  • 11th - Patriot Day
  • 23rd - National Day of Sign Languages/World Deaf Day
  • 23rd - NO School for all Students - Teacher Professional Development Day
  • 30th - Mid-term Progress Reports go home

Coming Up:

  • Welcome Back to OLA Night - Information coming very soon
  • School Pictures for all K-12 students, October 18th & 19th, 1-6:30, sign-ups soon
  • Parent Teacher Conferences - November 21st and 22nd

Student Success & Health

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. There has never been a more important time to have honest conversations about mental health and suicide, because just one conversation can change a life. A new resource activated nationwide this summer is the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. The Lifeline and its partners are working to change the conversation from suicide to suicide prevention, and to initiate actions that can promote healing, help, and hope. The Lifeline provides 24/7 free, confidential support to people in distress; prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones; and best practices for professionals. Call or text 988 or chat A state-level resource:
  • YouthLine, which is a free, confidential teen-to-teen crisis and help line. Students can call 1-877-968-8491, text teen2teen to 839863 or email
  • The Oregon Suicide Prevention website
  • Oregon Health Authority: Youth Suicide Prevention Programing Available at low or no cost

LGBTQ Community Supports

Hello OLA Families, PPS has launched its new LGBTQ supports page on their website:

This is a website for families and students with lots of great resources and information. Check it out!

Counseling Corner

If you need support from your Counselors, please contact us @ (K-8) and (9-12).

Please view the slides by Ms. Mate to see how to book appointments with her and what other services she can provide for our K-8 families.

Grades 9-12, please check out this Slide Show from Ms. McMillan for any updates and important days coming up.

Reading Intervention Teacher K-8

Hello everyone! My name is Amber Burns and I am the Reading Intervention Teacher for Elementary and Middle School this year! You may see me in your morning classes, or you may see me in the afternoons for some reading time.

For now, here is a little reading tip to get you started this school year! If you are wondering if a book is going to be too hard or too easy, do the 5 Finger Test. Pick any page and count how many words you don't know. If it is about 2 or 3 words, then that book is JUST RIGHT! Don't forget to read every day.

Happy Reading! Teacher Burns (she/they)

PE/Health News

From the Health & PE department: Share a photo or some words with us, and you might show up in the next newsletter in this section! Email for 6-12 Students. We are in the process of hiring a PE Teacher for K-5 - stay tuned!

Testing Updates for K-12

OLA Testing Updates:

  • PSAT Testing will be offered October 12th at PPS Neighborhood High Schools. Students will have the ability to sign up in Seminar and more details will follow.

  • Many students will be participating in benchmark testing during the month of September. Benchmark testing helps us to know where students are in their learning and where they need to go next.

  • If you have any questions please reach out!

OLA Testing Coordinator: Nettajane Wasinger,

OLA TAG Updates:

  • We will be hosting a virtual TAG night sometime in October. Date tba!

  • If you have any questions about TAG, please contact:

OLA TAG Coordinator: Nettajane Wasinger,

Student Engagement Coaches

OLA Student Engagement Coaches, Eathen and Sarah have been busy over the past few weeks onboarding new and returning OLA students at the Holladay Annex. They really enjoyed meeting so many students and families in person!

This year Sarah Jones will be supporting K-8 students and Eathen Swain will be supporting 9-12. You can contact Sarah at or Eathen at

They are looking forward to year two of OLA!

Sarah's Calendar Link:

Eathen's Calendar Link:

Morning Announcements!

If you have missed any of our Monday Morning Announcements from our amazing Student Engagement Coaches you can catch up on them here:

Sarah's - K-5 Announcements

6-8 Announcements

Eathen's 6-12 Announcements

Tech Help Desk/Chromebooks - Important Information

Hello. The process for picking up a PPS chromebook for your students has two methods. One is to call the OLA help desk at 503-916-3375 and press 2 ‬. Please leave your student full name, ID number, and a phone number to contact you at. Another way is fill out this form by clicking on this link:

If you have any older chromebooks and power cables from a student's previous school please bring them in when you come to get a new device.

Here are a few tips to keep your tech working.

  1. At least once a week the device should be powered down and turned back on. This will allow for updates to install and give the system a chance to refresh.

  2. If your Chrome web browser appears to be running slow, take a moment to clear the cache and history:

  3. Please bookmark or save the OLA Help Desk contact information on your personal device in addition to the student's device.

This form is for all tech issues:

This phone number is for all tech issues:

OLA help desk at 503-916-3375 and press 2 ‬

This Zoom meeting is open from 8am to 4pm every weekday for any tech issues:

Community Resources for OLA/PPS Families

Please see this link for many resources, including; Food, Utilities/Rent/Internet/Housing.

中文 | Chinese: 503-916-3585 Español | Spanish: 503-916-3582 Tiếng Việt | Vietnamese: 503-916-3584

Soomaaliga | Somali: 503-916-3586 Русский | Russian: 503-916-3583 Other Languages: 503-915-3589