West Sylvan Middle School
2023 - 2024
Dear West Sylvan Families,
We hope that you are enjoying your last days of Summer Break with your family and that everyone is looking forward to the start of the 2023-24 school year! We are busy finalizing many items in preparation for the return of our Wolf pack!
Educators are engaged in Professional Development and planning August 23rd-25th and August 28th. The campus building will be open for families again on Tuesday, August 29th, which is the first day of school for 6th Graders and new to WSMS 7th and 8th Graders only. We look forward to having ALL scholars, grades 6 - 8, together on campus on Wednesday, August 30th, as that will be the first day of school for returning 7th and 8th Graders.
For our returning families, you know that construction has been occurring all summer on half of the roof. We will not be able to welcome community members or our staff into the building until it is cleared for safety, and that will likely be the week of August 23rd.
We’ve outlined some important information below, and we will make every effort to send weekly bulletins once the school year begins, typically every Friday.
Jill Hunt, Principal
Ben Keller, Assistant Principal
Counselors will be available beginning August 16th by email. Our building is still closed to the public due to construction, and unfortunately only the necessary contractors are allowed on the premises until the building is cleared for safety, likely on August 23rd. Please refer to the following list for your School Counselor by grade.
SCHOOL SUPPLIES LIST
Some elective classes were added after scheduling last year, and we are still recruiting to add interested scholars to these elective classes. Arabic, Choir, and Speech & Communications still have space in our electives. Sign up here if your scholar would like one or more of these electives instead of something chosen last year.
- Exploratory Arabic & Arabic 1/2 (7th/8th Grades)
Class occurs at LHS in the morning, several days a week. Families drop off students at LHS, and a bus returns them to West Sylvan. Sign ups are available here.
Choir has returned to WSMS, thanks to several very generous private community donors! We will have three periods of Choir offered, periods 1-3 with Mr. Kaya Hellman. Kaya worked with both Beaumont Middle School and Lincoln High School last school year, and we are very excited to have Kaya joining WSMS to create Choir classes within the school day!
Sign ups are available here, and adding Choir will replace another elective.
- Mandarin 3-4
This would be a class held at LHS in the morning, and students would bus to campus for 2nd period. Mandarin 3-4 is for native speakers who can leap into a higher level of learning. If there are novice Mandarin speakers, LHS may consider offering a Mandarin 1-2 class (High School credit), if 15 or more of our students want to take the course. Sign ups are available here.
CAFETERIA / MENUS
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 can be found by clicking the Nutrition Services button below. We have three separate lunch times, by grade level (see bell schedules 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 on that website.
2023-24 Menu Prices (PK-8)
LOCKERS / CHROMEBOOKS
All students are assigned a locker that is shared. There will be time during the first week of school to learn how to use lockers and explore the building. Backpacks must be stored in lockers throughout the day. Our hallways are small, and large backpacks only increase the crowding during travel from class to class. We advise the use of a tote bag or a handle folder in place of any backpacks.
Every WSMS scholar will be assigned a PPS Chromebook. Educators will continue to incorporate a variety of lessons that access school technology resources to enrich classroom instruction and to reinforce 21st Century skills. Other laptops will not always work with all required programs. Chromebooks can be stored in lockers if not needed at home.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 29th ~ JUMP START DAY
The items below describe what will occur on the first days of school for 6th Graders and new to WSMS 7th/8th Graders. These items will be retaught throughout the first weeks of school.
Scholars will tour campus and learn how to find classes.
Scholars will review their schedule and learn about getting help with their schedule.
Educators will explain school systems: electronics rules, restrooms, office passes, Advisory schedule, counselor passes, passing time, school rules, and attendance.
Scholars will get help with lunch systems - learning where to eat lunch, cafeteria systems (hot lunch, table arrangements, garbage, excusal, recess areas, recess equipment, entry and exit routes).
Educators will explain individual classroom procedures.
Scholars will visit their locker assignments and practice opening their lockers.
Scholars will review their student agendas (a planner to add resources).
Scholars will establish peer connections and meet new students.
Scholars will participate in getting acquainted with activities to build a collaborative environment.
Educators will explain counseling supports and introduce the Counselors.
Educators will review bus drop-off and pick up procedures/systems (where to wait before school, parent pick-up/finding bus system, alternate bus riding communication).
7th/8th Graders' first week:
There will be a modified version of the JumpStart items for our returning 7th and 8th Graders from August 30th to September 4th to review important expectations, reissue Chromebooks, assign new lockers, and learn the schedule. More details will be shared closer to the start date.
BELL SCHEDULE with ADVISORY
To increase the amount of time dedicated to building connections for our scholars with adults and to increase opportunities for academic support, Social-Emotional learning, and engagement in school clubs for everyone, all Middle Schools in PPS have added an Advisory class to the school day. We are continuing to have this time for our scholars to engage in meaningful Social-Emotional work and community building. Advisory will be held at the beginning of each day and we will follow the MORNING Advisory bell schedule below.
STAFFING NEWS 2023-24
SOCIAL WORKER SUPPORTS
Families who are in need of help accessing additional services in the community or need assistance with back-to-school items and supplies should contact Moses Weir, email@example.com.
Please familiarize your Scholar with school expectations by clicking here. The Student Handbook for families includes important updates about our school-wide expectations and will be reviewed by Educators during the first weeks of school.
CAMPUS CLOSED FOR CONSTRUCTION
Construction on our partial roof replacement project will not be completed until Wednesday, August 23rd, and our building will remain closed to the public until the construction leads clear it for public access. Please do not waste a trip coming to campus prior to hearing that it has been cleared for the public.
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.
As we continue to plan for the upcoming school year, we are hopeful that we can have more families involved in regular school activities such as volunteering on campus, taking part in our Friends of West Sylvan organization, 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.
The PPS-approved calendar for the 2023-24 school year can be viewed here for your future planning.
PORTLAND INTERSCHOLASTIC LEAGUE (PIL) YOUTH SPORTS
** After-school sports are run entirely through PIL and West Sylvan does not have any information regarding tryouts, practices, schedules, etc.
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!
Sign up to volunteer for Lunch recess supervision, hallway monitoring, or Office support! We appreciate your help!
- Tuesday, AUG 29th: Sixth Grade FIRST DAY of school / Jump Start at 9:15AM
*also Seventh and Eighth Grade students who are new to West Sylvan
- Wednesday, AUG 30th: School begins for ALL students (new and returning) at 9:15AM
- Monday, SEPT 4th: NO SCHOOL ~ Labor Day holiday
- Thursday, SEPT 21st: Back to School Night / 5:00PM - 7:00PM