Principal's Newsletter

Sam Barlow High School ~ October 2019


Welcome to Barlow! I am happy to say that we have had a smooth and productive start to the 2019-20 school year. We hit the ground running with our Friends of Freshmen program by welcoming all 440 ninth graders on Tuesday, September 3rd. Our athletic and activities teams have begun to see the hard work they committed to this summer pay off during competitions and performances. The Barlow staff returned energized and ready to provide a quality experience for your student in the classroom and throughout the building. Finally, I am very excited to begin my sixth year as the principal of Barlow and look forward to the great things we will achieve this year.

It has been amazing to see the work being done around campus as a result of the school bond. We have seen major work completed in our gym, hallways, and of course in the 25 new classroom spaces that opened to students this fall. To put things in perspective, the last three weeks of August showed us billing 1,500 labor hours per day. This resulted in daily changes that were very visible to all who entered the building at that time. The students have been so impressed with the work that has been done, and extremely patient with the changes in hallway traffic, the use of portable classrooms, and of course, limited parking. I am so proud of our students for their flexibility and willingness to adapt to the changing landscape at Barlow. It will be an ongoing process, but it will be incredible when the project is complete.

On Monday, September 23rd, a group of about 45 parents who meet at the “Know Your School” meeting had a chance to tour the campus to see the completed projects first hand. There were many questions, but mostly smiles and excitement due to the changes. I would like to invite you to these monthly meetings that take place on the fourth Monday of the month from 7:00-8:30 pm in Room 500. It is a great time to learn more about what is going on at Barlow, get information directly from me, and learn about the construction progress over the course of the year. They are pretty fun meetings to attend.

We are very proud of our recent hires to Sam Barlow High School. This year we hired a total of six new staff members to support your student and our quality programs. We are very excited to add these new Bruins to the Barlow family and look forward to their successes with your student. To learn more about these new staff members, please check out the “Welcome New Staff” section of this newsletter. We will be featuring three staff members per month so you can get to know a bit more about our newest teachers and staff members.

Please be sure to check on your student’s progress through the use of ParentVue. This is a very powerful tool that enables you to check grades, attendance, and receive messages from your student’s teachers. As we are approaching the first grading period of the year (progress grades will be completed on 10/10) this would be a great time to make sure you have access to this information. Remember, high school is about helping your student set goals, follow through with commitments, and coaching them through some of the challenges they may face along the way. If you need help setting up your account, please see the “ParentVue” section of this newsletter for more information.

On a final note, I wanted to wish all of you a great school year and GO BRUINS!


Melanie Marrone, Assistant Principal

I have been an educator for the past twenty-two years serving in a variety of roles including teacher, counselor, and administrator both locally and internationally. For many years I worked in Oregon City, then in 2014 I moved to Central America, where I spent three years as the middle and high school principal of an international school in Panama. I returned to Oregon in 2017 and spent the past two years as an administrator at Ashland High School. I have three grown children, all of whom attended Barlow High School, so it has been wonderful to return home to this district. I am very excited to be part of the administrative team at Barlow and I look forward to contributing to our work around student engagement and culturally responsive practices.

Jason Jenkins, English Language Arts Teacher

Hello! I'm Mr. Jason Jenkins. I have been a High School English teacher for 6 years and I instructed writing at Loyola Marymount University for 8 years. I care about all students an their academic success. My purpose as an educator is to provide students with the tools they need to be successful in communication in their careers and in their lives. I truly care about kids! Being a Bruin has been a blast so far, and I love the fans at events. Bruin Pride!

Eric Strandberg, Social Studies Teacher

I always enjoyed school when I was a student, but was not very directed during the first couple years after high school graduation. As my fiance and I were preparing for marriage, we began talking about different careers, and teaching was the career that "stuck." Teaching was a great choice - I've loved teaching for the past 26 years! The fact that I am at Barlow relates to my history here. I graduated from Barlow, our three children graduated from Barlow, I've coached at Barlow, and now I get to teach here!

The Impacts of Career and Technical Education

Sam Barlow High School has a long-standing tradition of promoting Career and Technical Education (CTE). We currently offer six programs of study (Marketing, Construction, Engineering, Metals Manufacturing, Early Childhood Education, and Culinary Arts) that provide students the opportunity to engage in a hands on experience, learn about the trades and college options, and apply their learning in “real world” situations. Last year, through both bond dollars and Measure 98 investment dollars, we renovated all of our CTE classrooms through construction and the purchase of new industry standards equipment. These investments not only shape our programs, but they help our staff provide quality experiences that mimic the work place.

Along with providing a rich experience, our CTE programs also increase our graduation rate. We have found that students who complete 2 or more credits in a single CTE program (i.e. Engineering) graduate at a rate of 93%. That is a phenomenal statistic and something we are very proud of.

Over the course of the school year, students enrolled in our CTE programs will have the opportunity to go on field trips that expose them to a variety of careers. Please look for these opportunities as they truly make an impact on your student’s experience at Barlow and the trajectory of their future.

One of Lease Crutcher Lewis’s staff members (our general contractor) and Barlow alumnus is a great example of how our CTE programs impact a person’s trajectory. Jared Thompson, a project engineer, was recently highlighted in a Lease company profile that illustrates the tradition of excellence at Sam Barlow. Please select this link to read more about his experience:

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Construction Update

As you all know, Sam Barlow High School is currently undergoing a major renovation. While the process has pushed us to be flexible the outcomes have been absolutely amazing. We consistently focus on “keeping our eyes on the prize”, honoring where we have come from is also a nice thing to do sometimes. I have listed key highlights of the project to this point and some before and after photos for your reference. Enjoy.

· 25 new classrooms in the new wing of the school

· New administrative offices and staff parking lot

· A fully functioning bus loop to separate buses from our main parking lot

· Complete renovation of most all classrooms in the 100 and 200 halls

· A new Culinary Arts classroom and lab

· Structure completed for the new commons area and student entry from main parking lot

· New gym entry to include ADA access

· Covered football stadium to seat 1,500 spectators

· Complete remodel of the Auditorium

· Two new Special Education classrooms

· New Art room

Please see the attached document to view before and after photos of some of these great additions to our school.

2019 Homecoming Football Game

Friday, Oct. 4th, 7pm

5105 Southeast 302nd Avenue

Gresham, OR

Come support your Bruins as they take on Grant High School for the 2019 Homecoming Football Game! Don't forget we are offering free shuttles to and from the stadium entrance. Park your car at either East Orient Elementary or West Orient Middle School and let someone else fight the traffic for you! So easy and convenient!

PSAT, SAT, & ASVAB – Wed., Oct. 16th

Wednesday, October 16th - School starts at 7:35 AM - NO LATE START

Here is some key information regarding October 16th:


  • All Sophomores will take the PSAT
  • Juniors wanting to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship must take the PSAT
  • Freshmen & Juniors who want to practice for the SAT must register with the bookkeeper by October 4th. Cost is $17


  • Juniors and Seniors who have already signed up and paid will take the SAT on October 16th


  • Juniors & Seniors who want to explore career options should take the ASVAB
  • Sign up with LindaLee Frazier in the College & Career Center by October 10th
  • Test results will NOT be shared with branches of the military unless requested by the student at a later date

Freshmen not taking the PSAT will stay home.

Preparing for SAT Day at Barlow

Need help with studying for the PSAT, SAT, ACT or ASVAB tests? Our Barlow Library, temporarily located in room 113, has many up-to-date test preparation books available for student use. We cover every college entry test, the ASVAB and we have guidebooks for every AP course offered at Barlow. Why buy a guidebook when you can borrow one for free? Our school's SAT test day is October 16th. Prepare yourself with one of these test prep guides today!

Advanced Placement Update!

We have more than 340 students scheduled to take more than 460 AP exams this year! All AP students are required to take the AP exam for the class(es) they are taking. Additionally, all AP students have been asked to register for their AP Exam by logging into their College Board account and using their class code provided by their teacher. If your student has not registered, it is necessary to check in with Testing Coordinator Lynn Hollenbeck as soon as possible. Students who do not register by November 1st will incur a $40 late charge in addition to their exam fee. AP teachers will communicate with their students what the exam fee will be and the deadline for payment, as soon as this information is available. The Oregon Department of Education will contribute part of the payment of the exam fee, and there will be a reduced fee for students who qualify. If you have questions, please contact Lynn Hollenbeck at

Student Pick-Up and Drop-Off Guidelines

A major component of our construction project was to build a designated bus loop that removes them from our main parking lot. This feature will significantly improve traffic flow for student pick-up and drop-off. While we always encourage students to take the bus to school, we also understand that there are times when students must be dropped off or picked up from school.

Starting this year, the student pick-up and drop-off will be located in the Main Parking Lot. Please be sure to review the diagram that outlines the process before you head to school on the first day. Understanding the procedures will be critical with respect to improving traffic flow. The more people who follow the procedures as detailed the better. Please help us out by following the guidelines.

Looking for Site Council Members

We are looking for a couple of parents who would like to be a part of our Site Council. The school site council is a group of teachers, parents, classified employees, and students (at the high school level) that works with the principal to develop, review and evaluate school improvement programs. The committee meets after school on the first Thursday of the month. If you are interested or have questions, please contact Stacy Bender,

Host Families Needed for November 7-11

Toyama Nishi Students Visiting:

We are excited to welcome a delegation of nine students and two teachers from Barlow's sister city, Toyama Nishi from November 7-11! A long standing Bruin tradition, students from Toyama Nishi stay with host families and shadow Barlow students! The delegation will arrive November 7th in the afternoon and leave Monday morning at 8:30am, a total of four nights. Host families are responsible for proving meals, sleeping accommodations, and spending time with the students in the evenings and the weekend. If you are interested in hosting one or two Toyama Nishi students, please fill out this form or contact Assistant Principal Celeste Pellicci at

National Honor Society

The applications for NHS have been sent by mail to all sophomore, juniors and seniors that have a 3.5 GPA or higher. This program gives students the ability to foster their involvement in community service. Applications are due October 1st at 2:30. There will be no late applications accepted. A group of staff members will review applications and new members will be notified by October 21st. Members are required to attend monthly meetings and a commitment to 12 service hours per semester. Any questions please contact Tai Quirke or Jason Jenkins
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The Den Spotlight

By Jesse White, The Den Public Relations Specialist

The 2019-2020 school year at Sam Barlow High School might appear to be just another year of high school, but I assure you it’s far from it. With Lease Crutcher Lewis at the helm of the construction service for our school, things are looking brighter than ever. But maybe the brightest aspect of this year? The Grand Opening of the updated student store: The Den. Starting in October, we will be opening with a blow-out sale, involving extremely hot deals on Last Year’s merchandise that you won’t want to miss out on. But that’s not all, in November The Den will be completely restocking their inventory with fresh new gear, accessories, and beverages that will leave you craving more! The Den provides the perfect opportunity for the entire community to look good while repping the Blue and Gold! Everyone can stay tuned by following The Den social media accounts listed below! Don’t miss out on the latest and greatest Bruin fashion. Stay in the loop and Go Bruins!

Instagram: @Thebruinden_

Twitter: @Thebruinden

Facebook: The Bruin Den

Snapchat: Sbhsden

PARENTVUE APP (Check your students' progress)

You can download the ParentVue App directly to your phone for free. It’s very simple to do and we have included the step-by-step instructions for you below.

  • 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.

  • Once you have logged in, you will have access to your student's information, such as;

    • Class Schedule

    • Current Grades in all classes

    • Progress Reports

    • Attendance

    • Teacher communications

    • Access to update your contact information

    • Many more…

  • You can also select which language you prefer to use by clicking on ‘change’ at the bottom of the screen.

This is a great resource to have at the tip of your fingers. If you need assistance logging in or resetting your password, please contact Teresa Juden at
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Senior Student and Parent Information

There are a few meetings and deadlines coming. Please see the dates below.

  • October 8th: Mandatory Senior Meeting during 2nd period
  • December 13th: Senior Photo Replacement Deadline
  • January 24th: Baby Ad Deadline

Senior "SANP2020" Meeting:

Parents of seniors, please join us for a meeting on October 7th to help plan the Senior All Night Party. We will meet in the staff cafeteria at 6:30pm.

Jostens Graduation Orders:

Jostens will be here Tuesday, October 15 and Thursday, October 17 collecting graduation orders during lunches. Details will be emailed separately, but you can visit the Jostens website for more information.

Smarter Balanced Testing

In 2010, Oregon adopted higher K-12 standards in English Language Arts and Math to ensure all students move from grade to grade with the academic knowledge and skills necessary for success beyond high school. Because we raised the bar for what we expect students to know and be able to do, we have also changed the way we measure student progress through our state tests, known as Smarter Balanced.

While no single test can give a complete picture of your child’s progress, having your child take the statewide tests provides us with information about what educational approaches are working and where additional resources are needed. You and your student will also receive a copy of the test results. These test results will allow you to identify your child’s strengths and areas for improvement. Test results will be broken into categories and will show how well your child performed in each area.

Another benefit to your student is that Oregon colleges and universities are using Smarter Balanced results to determine course placement for newly enrolled students. For all state community colleges, students who do well on the Smarter Balanced exams may be exempt from placement testing requirements. See the following link for more information about college and university policies regarding Smarter Balanced results:

House Bill 2655 permits parents and adult students* to annually opt-out of Oregon’s statewide summative tests by submitting the opt-out form found on the Oregon Department of Education website and submitting the form to Assistant Principal, Celeste Pellicci. Visit this link to learn more about House Bill 2655:

To learn more about the Smarter Balanced test or find information related to the opt-out forms, please visit: If you have questions that are specific to testing at Sam Barlow High School, please contact Assistant Principal, Celeste Pellicci.

Immunization Report

The State of Oregon now requires schools to notify parents of their immunization exemption rates for each required vaccine twice each school year. These rates will now be posted on our school’s website, in our school office, and sent home to parents twice a year. The rates attached are the exemption rates as of last spring. Approximately the second week of March we will post the updated rates. These new rates are collected and tallied in mid February 2018.


What are the office hours?

7:00am - 3:30pm daily

Closed on holidays and some inservice days

What is the main office number?


Can I leave a message for my student?

Yes. If necessary, we can take messages from a parent or guardian only. Messages will not be delivered to class except in an emergency, but will be held in the office. Students are paged during designated paging times, and it is the student’s responsibility to pick up the note.

Can I bring a present or send flowers/balloons to a student?

We are unable to accept gifts, flowers/balloons for students. We will refuse all attempted deliveries.

Can I deliver coffee/specialty drinks to my student?

No. We will not accept any Dutch, Black Rock, Country Coffee, etc.

Additional questions?

Please call us! 503-258-4850

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