North Star News

November 2022 - We Reach! We Rise! We Shine!

Mark Your Calendar

11/11 Veteran's Day Holiday - No School

11/14 PTC Cherrydale Fundraiser Orders Due

11/15 PTC Meeting in the Cafeteria from 6-7 p.m.

11/21-11/22 Fall Parent Teacher Conferences - No School

11/23-11/25 Thanksgiving Break - No School

11/29 Picture Retake Day

Principal's Message

Dear North Gresham Families,

Happy November! We have been in school for 9 weeks, where has the time gone?

The weather is changing, but our drop-off and pick-up processes will remain the same. A few reminders:

  1. Please pull forward to the flagpole, directly in front of the office doors, before letting your kiddos out of the car. When everyone pulls forward, it allows us to unload 8-9 cars at a time. When you stop short of the flagpole, it creates long lines and slower drop-off times.
  2. Our drop-off line is a quick drop-and-go. If your student is not ready to get out of the car, feel free to park and walk them to the drop-off area outside the cafeteria. Please do not send them through the busy parking lot alone.
  3. Parents need to remain in their cars at all times.
  4. Please follow the cars in front of you around our parking lot - no, cutting in line!

This should be a very smooth process by now; on most days, that is what we see. Today's rain seemed to stir things up a bit. Safety is our priority, so please help us by following the expectations.

We're so thankful to be able to have families back in the building to enjoy family events. Our Book Fair Family Night was a hit, and we look forward to offering future events for the whole family to enjoy. Thank you to our PTC and Book Fair coordinators and to all of our volunteers who helped make this event a success!

We're also happy to bring back in-person parent teacher conferences this year. Conferences are an important way that you can connect with your child's teacher and discuss their progress. We encourage all families to sign-up. Teachers will be sending you their conference sign-up schedule on Monday, November 7th through ParentSquare.

Conferences will be approximately 20 minutes long. Only one conference per student can be scheduled, so please communicate with other parents/guardians to arrange a time that works for all. As a reminder, there's no school for the entire week of November 21st through 25th for conferences and the Thanksgiving holiday break. If you have any questions about scheduling conferences, please contact your child's teacher.

Thank you for partnering with us to ensure the success of your student!


Shawnda Sewell


Picture Retake Day on November 29th

If your student was absent for picture day, or you would like them to get picture retakes, picture retake day is Tuesday, November 29th.

If your student is getting retakes, have them bring their original photo packet to hand to the photographer.

If your student is getting photos for the first time, please order online at and type in North Gresham Elementary.

PTC & Book Fair News

Hello North Star Families,

Thank you to all of our families that attended family night - it was a huge turnout! We loved seeing all of the happy faces.

Fall Fundraiser:

We've extended our Cherrydale fundraiser! Packets are now due on Monday, November 14th.

PTC T-Shirt Sales:

Fliers are going home with information on how you can pre-order PTC merchandise. Orders will be due on Wednesday, November 16th and expected delivery date is December 7th. Did you know that when you purchase a school shirt (or other PTC merchandise) not only do you get a piece of school spirit, but the proceeds from your order help to fund school activities, prizes, supplies, and other incentives throughout the school year. Thank you in advance for all of your support!

Next PTC Meeting - Tuesday, November 15th from 6:00-7:00 p.m.! Our meetings are held in the cafeteria. Please join us!

Don't forget to to scan your grocery receipts using the Box Top App (After you scan the receipt, click on the STAR “Credit”, and put in your child’s teacher’s last name to give Credit to that teacher. Yes! We will have competitions.)

You can also give back with (North Gresham Grade School Parent Teacher Club) and Fred Meyers Community Rewards (North Gresham Parent Teacher Club). All funds go back to the school and support our students!

Questions? Email us at

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Counselor's Corner

Dear North Gresham Families,

In case you haven't heard by now, I wanted to take this opportunity to share that our other counselor, Mr. Diaz, has taken another position in the district and no longer works at North Gresham. We wish him well and we definitely miss him!

Here are some resources I would like to share with you:

The following link is constantly updated with great resources:

Here is a link to a flier with information about a free vaccine clinic: Free Vaccine Clinic

If you are in need of a Thanksgiving meal, you can reserve one by emailing (first come first serve). Meals include the traditional holiday ingredients - turkey, potatoes, gravy, canned vegetables, cranberries, stuffing, cornbread, dessert mix.

And lastly, last Wednesday we had an assembly and I shared this picture with all of our students and staff. It was a reminder for all of us of the importance of using kind and thoughtful words with one another. Sometimes we say things without really thinking about how the other person will feel, so it was a good reminder to be mindful of our words and how they can impact others.

Wishing you a peaceful November,

Ms. Chu

SUN News

We are so excited to announce that we now have a SUN Manager at North and we'll be able to offer SUN programming this year! Please give a big North Star shout out to and welcome Marilyn Arellano!

A little bit about Marilyn:

Hello, my name is Marilyn Arellano, I'm the new SUN Manager at North Gresham Elementary. I have worked with Metropolitan Family Services for 3 years. I also have a connection with North Gresham, as I used to be the bilingual liaison. It feels so good to be back at North Gresham serving this wonderful community.

1. How long have you been working in education?

I have worked in education for the past 9 years. I have worked as an educational support assistant, and I have also worked with families as a liaison. I have played many roles in the school settings!

2. What are you most looking forward to when working with our students at North in the SUN program?

I'm looking forward to creating wonderful memories. I want the students to have a program where they can have fun while we learn new things.

3. What are your hobbies/tell us a little bit about yourself?

I love to go on walks. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends.

4. What advice do you have for our North Stars?

Remember to always be kind to others.

SUN Update for November:

I'm happy to announce that we will begin a small SUN program session from Nov 14th to December 15th. We are excited to begin! This session looks a little different, because we are starting so late. Students were selected on teachers' recommendation. We will offer regular SUN sessions for winter and spring. Watch for packets to be sent home some time after winter break! Please feel free to contact the SUN office at 503-258-4737 or the SUN cell at 503-560-2855 with any questions.

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News from Mrs. Huelsman

I was excited to work on a project with our librarian for our kindergarten students! As a way to help students keep track of their library books and teach them to be responsible, we made them custom library tote bags.

Each week, your child will get to check out a library book. They will carry it in their tote bag and then return it the next week and checkout a new book. If a student doesn't bring their tote bag and book, they won't be able to checkout another library book until they do. You can help your student by encouraging them to take care of our library materials and talking to them about a safe place to keep their books at home. Shelves, dressers, and backpacks are great options!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Library with Mrs. N

When my younger son was in grade school, I did everything I could to get him to read. It was a battle every time. He repeatedly told me reading was boring and there was nothing interesting in the library. We are fortunate to have so many books in our library!

If you have a student like that too, it’s important that you keep encouraging them to read. One tip is to focus on books with topics that interest them. I never could get my son to pick up Harry Potter or Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but animal books were a favorite and later books on how to build Lego creations. It’s also important to remember that whatever words they are reading, whether a made-up story or a book on the Amazon Rainforest, have a positive impact on their reading skills.

You can also encourage them to pick easier books. I am a firm believer that a good story is a good story regardless of whether it’s a thousand pages or a favorite picture book. Don’t worry

if you feel your student is picking books you consider an easy read; it’s the act of reading itself that is important.

Today my hesitant reader is now 14 years old and he still doesn't like to pick up a book! However, he can read and his school work reflects that. He readily understands age-appropriate topics related to homework and can grasp math concepts needed for class. That is the important part and one that we as parents need to remember when we encourage

our younger children to read more.

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ParentSquare is our new communication tool district-wide (replacing Remind and SchoolMessenger). The app is free for download for all Android and iOS devices. Download it today to stay updated with school information, events, alerts, and to communicate with your student's teacher!

For more information and helpful tips, click here.

When Should I Keep My Student Home?

Even as things get back to normal from the pandemic, we still want to remind families to keep their students home when sick and report any absences to the school.

If your student has any of the symptoms below, please keep them home:

  • New Cough - May return after symptoms improve for 24 hours (no cough or well-controlled cough)
  • Difficulty Breathing - May return after symptoms improve for 24 hours (breathing comfortably)
  • Sore Throat - May return when symptoms improve for 24 hours
  • Vomiting or Diarrhea - May return when symptom-free for 48 hours
  • Fever of 100.4 or greater - May return when fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication
  • Rash - May return when the rash is gone or with orders from a doctor or school nurse
  • General Illness - If your student is feeling unwell in general and you feel it will interfere with their learning, please keep them home until they're feeling better

If your student tests positive for COVID-19 or any other contagious disease such as measles, mumps, etc., do not send your student to school. Please call the office for further directions and a return-to-school date.

Please report any student injuries, such as a broken limb, recent surgery, etc., and provide the school with a doctor's note stating that the student is clear to be at school and that it outlines any limitations such as not participating in P.E., recess, etc.

All medications must be checked in at the office by a parent or legal guardian. Medications are kept locked in our health room, and are not to be sent to school with students and/or kept in the classroom. This includes over-the-counter medications such as cough drops and Tylenol.

If your student has an underlying health condition, such as diabetes, seizure disorder, asthma, severe allergy, etc., please call the school. We want to make sure we are able to support and treat your student's health in accordance with their doctor's orders.

Reminders from the Office

Contacting the Office

You can reach the office staff by calling our school at 503-661-6415, Monday-Friday 8:15 a.m. (9:15 a.m. on Wednesdays) to 4:00 p.m. You can also email our office team at any time. Nina Thomas at, and Yuli Nolasco at


Please call in your student's absence before 8:35 a.m. (9:35 a.m. on Wednesdays). Leave a message by selecting option 1 if you call outside of school hours. Please let us know your student's first and last name, teacher/grade, and the reason for the absence. Students not present by 8:35 a.m. (9:35 a.m. on Wednesdays) will be marked absent. Students that arrive late will receive a tardy slip, and their absence will be adjusted in the system to a tardy. Automated attendance calls go out and you may receive a call if your student arrives after the calls are made.

Changes of Transportation

If your student will go home differently than normal, please contact the office to make the change. Dismissal is a very busy time, so we appreciate you calling no later than 2:00 p.m. to make any changes.

Early Pick-Up

If you need to pick your student up early from school, please do so before 2:45 p.m. Dismissal is very busy, so if you arrive after 2:45 p.m. you will be asked to wait until dismissal time to get your student.


Register for ParentVue to view your student’s attendance, grades, and make changes to your contact information. If you need assistance with setting up ParentVue, please call the school at 503-661-6415. You can also email our secretaries at or Visit the ParentVue web page to login or sign up: