May 2021

What's Happening in May

5 - Senior Cap & Gown pick up

12 - PTSA Meeting, 6:30pm

18 - Site Council Meeting

May PTSA Meeting

Wednesday, May 12th, 6:30-8:30pm

This is an online event.

Everyone is welcome!

Meet and greet at 6:15 pm

Meeting begins at 6:30 pm

Zoom link here:

Meeting ID: 879 5751 1962

Passcode: 073680

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May Meeting . . . PTSA/PTO Discussion

Our PTA/PTO discussion was scheduled to happen at our March meeting but other opportunities came up at the time. So we are rounding back to this topic . . .

We will be discussing the pros and cons of a PTSA within the National PTA organization and an independent PTO with the focus of examining barriers to having a diverse and fully inclusive parent, guardian, teacher, student, alumni, staff member, community member organization. Come and learn more and join the discussion. Our wonderful PTSA secretary and Jefferson parent, Gabriela Mercedes Bolivar will be facilitating the discussion.

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At our April Meeting

The folks from Kaiser's Center for Health Research were our guests and shared lots of valuable information related to COVID-19, vaccines and variants. For more information that was shared, you can check out the PTSA meeting minutes.

Thank you so much to Kaiser and Chalinya Ingphakorn, Jeff Fellows, Leslie Bienen, David Mosen and Sacha Reich for your time, expertise and caring.

Most recent report from Oregon Health Authority of COVID in schools-

Mental Health Questions that came up:

How can we protect their mental health and support them? Are there strategies, practices, or information?

Develop mental health literacy among teachers, staff, administration, support personnel, etc. Sponsor professional development in trauma responsive practices such as Create a network of peers within the school who are known among the student body as resources (i.e., Natural Helpers), support them with training and supervision by school counseling professionals and cultivate a speak-up environment that is responsive when students bring concerns forward; this requires advance planning for how to respond to mental health events.

Are there things teachers, care providers and guardians should be watching and listening for from our kids?

Personality changes from previous behavior, unexplained school absences or tardiness, falling asleep in class, concentration impairment, disengagement/withdrawal either academically or socially, lack of energy or motivation, lack of enjoyment/participation in typically enjoyable activities, aggressive or combative or irritable reactions, excessive worry or difficulty coping with stressors, destructive or risky behavior, evidence of self-harm or hiding arms/legs to hide scarring, excessive weight loss/gain, paranoia (e.g., thinking someone is trying to control their mind), auditory hallucinations, suicidal ideation/behavior. Again, is a program that teaches skills for recognizing and responding to mental health symptoms.

How can we humanize this experience with care and compassion?

Regularly check in with students, ask how they are doing, how they are coping, who is supporting them, what they’ve found to be helpful in managing the demands of our current time. Forge meaningful relationships, connect them to others who will also check in with them. Share your own strategies for maintaining wellness.

Here are a couple of articles on youth perspectives on social distancing and on the impact of isolation on youth mental health:

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Jefferson Senior Celebration Raffle

The first of our Senior Celebration events took place on May 5th during cap and gown pick up. We were able offer almost 40 raffle prizes, each worth at least $50 from noise cancelling head phones and wireless speakers to Amazon gift cards and a haircut from the infamous Abdul the Barber. Students were able to select which prizes they put their raffle tickets towards. In addition, there is a grand prize of a $800 laptop that every senior has a chance at!

Winners will be announced and prizes handed out on June 3rd at Senior Celebration event at the same time as Senior Cord Pick Up, 4:00-7:00pm. At that time, we will hand out Jefferson Class of 2021 hoodies and we will have a prize wheel for seniors to try their luck at some other small prizes. There will be music and treats. More information to come.

We continue to welcome donations to help us cover expenses for the Senior Celebration:

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Appreciating the Jefferson Teachers, Support Staff and Administration

During these times, many of the ways we typically show our love for our Jefferson staff have had to be adjusted. As teachers and staff shifted gears in order to provide in-person opportunities for students while continuing all distance learning, the PTSA provided a variety of beverages, snacks and treats to show our gratitude for their hard work. Also, the first week in May was Teacher Appreciation Week. We delivered flowers, fancy pens and delicious chocolates to our teachers and all staff.

Special thanks to Michael Sanchez, our counseling secretary, for his help 'on the inside'!

Getting to Know Your Board Members

So far, we have shared articles about Georgie Honl, PTSA Vice President and Lori Lyons-Lachman, PTSA Treasurer. This month, we'd like you to get to know Gabriela Mercedes Bolivar a little better.

Gabrielle Mercedes Bolivar, PTSA Secretary

  • We have three kids in our North Portland neighborhood schools including a graduating senior at Jefferson and an 11th grader at Jefferson. We also have a 6th grader at Ockley Green Middle School. I am a Native Oregonian and have lived most of my life in N/NE Portland. I am also the first born American Citizen in my father's family and a proud Latina.
  • My husband and I are both alumni of PPS. I was fortunate to be awarded an Under-represented Minority Achievement Scholarship to earn my undergraduate and graduate degrees from Portland state University.
  • I work in social services running a nonprofit community pantry and volunteer on housing, equity and school committees and my husband has worked for 17 years at New Seasons Market and also volunteers for our public schools.
  • Education advocacy and equitable access to educational opportunities is my priority. I am committed to every student receiving a free appropriate public education.
  • Our family loves to workout playing basketball, family dance parties, long walks and bike rides. I am also a long distance runner and enjoy races from 10ks to ultra-marathons. Our favorite place to hang out and relax is the river.
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SEEKING PTSA OFFICERS for the 2021-22 School Year

Have you been thinking about becoming more involved in the PTSA?

We are looking for officers in all positions: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and 'Elect-' positions for those who are interested but want to ease in, like President-Elect, VP-Elect, etc. Nominations will be taking place soon!

We are working really hard to create an organization that goes beyond what we think of as a typical PTSA. We have a vision of a group that is Parent, Guardian, Care-Giver, Grandparent, Teacher, Staff Member, Administrator, Student, Alumni, Community Member. Be a part of this re-creation. We would love your participation.

Contact any board member for more information, current board members' contact info is at the bottom of this newsletter.

Jefferson PTSA Scholarships

The Jefferson PTSA is offering THREE $1,000 scholarships

for the Jefferson High School graduating class of 2021!

These scholarships are available to any graduating senior who is heading to college or other post-secondary education programs. The application deadline has past but we are excited to announce scholarship awards soon!


Your can and bottle deposits can now be donated to the Jefferson PTSA to help support the many ways we support students and staff. Get one of our Blue Bags, fill it up and either bring it to us or drop it off at a Bottle Drop location,

We have made almost $300!

You can get a Blue Bag by contacting Laura Bullock, or you can pick up a Blue Bag or drop off cans and bottles at the food pantry on Tuesdays and Fridays between 12:00 and 3:00.

Jefferson PTSA Food Pantry

  • When? Every Tuesday and Friday from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

  • Where? At Jefferson, on the N Commercial side of the school *

  • Want to donate? Drop off on Tuesday or Friday or

* We are now set up under the wrestling gym overhang, still on N Commercial. Look for our blue and gold banner and flags!

Also . . .

SEI hosts a food pantry on Tuesdays. It is also located on N Commercial by the gym.

When? 1st, 2nd and 3rd Tuesdays of each month. Also from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

Please share with anyone you know who may be experiencing food insecurity. Everyone is welcome.

Volunteer Opportunities


All committees would welcome volunteers. Committees include:

  • Fundraising
  • Senior Celebration
  • Membership
  • Community Engagement
  • Student Activities and Support
  • Staff Appreciation
  • Advocacy, Volunteers
  • Food Pantry
  • Concessions
  • Gear

Please contact your PTSA Board if interested:

Laura Bullock, President:

Georgie Honl, Vice President:

Gabriela Mercedes Bolivar, Secretary:

Lori Lyons-Lachman, Treasurer:


This links to the Jefferson HS PTSA website to purchase gear, membership (still listed under 2019-20), and donations to the PTSA and the PTSA food pantry. Thanks for your support!


Go to, select Jefferson High PTSA and the Amazon Smile Foundation will donate .5% of the price of eligible purchases.

Fred Meyer Community Rewards

You can link your Fred Meyer rewards card to donate to Jefferson High PTSA every time you shop! Visit the Community Rewards site and sign your card up for the program.

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Jefferson High School PTSA


5210 N Kerby Avenue Portland, OR 97217