Principal's Newsletter

Sam Barlow High School


It is hard to believe that we are now halfway through the school year. Students have completed their first semester of classes, our winter sports programs are at the tail end of their season, and we are beginning to plan for things like graduation and forecasting for the 2018-19 school year. I am always amazed at how fast time flies.

By the time you receive this newsletter, your student will have completed their final exams and grades will have been recorded. When the report card arrives, take some time to talk to your student about the grades they have earned. This is a nice time to celebrate successes as well as planning for improvement where needed. This process of reflection is great for your student and will help you to gauge where they are both academically and emotionally. If you have questions or concerns about their grades, please don’t hesitate to contact their teachers or counselor to get more information. This is especially important if you have a senior and are wondering about your student completing all of those graduation requirements.

We have just finished our first week of the second semester. I am pretty certain that your student has had a few changes to their schedules. They may have a new elective class or a new teacher for one of their core classes. With those changes come new classroom procedures, new personalities, and changes in expectations. Asking them to describe these things is key to starting the new semester on the right foot. These are also great conversation starters that require more than a one-word response or the proverbial “everything is fine” that you may get between naps or the mid-evening refrigerator run.

Graduation Rate At An All Time High:

For the past four years we have been working very hard to make some key changes in order to increase the success of our students. Fortunately, that work is beginning to really pay off. The Class of 2016 set an all time record at Barlow with a graduation rate of 87.5%. That is a 7.5% improvement from the Class of 2015, which is a very big gain. I am so proud of our students, staff, and families for investing in these kids and helping them to be so successful. While we are proud of this accomplishment, we continue to find ways to improve. It is challenging work, but we know your child is worth that investment.

Please enjoy the start of the second semester. We hope to see you at a school sponsored event or activity. It is always a great experience to see our students competing and performing as it really fosters a sense of community.


There are a few school policies that have been put in place over the last four years, which we feel increases school safety as well as student success in the classroom. We need your support to ensure that these are important at home, as well as in our school.

  • Hats and Hoodies: We do not permit hats or hoodies to be worn during the school day. This policy helps us to see all of our student’s faces in every part of the building, which enables us to identify students at all times. This also helps us to quickly recognize a person who may not belong on campus. These are safety measures suggested by Gresham PD that help us make Barlow a safe school.

  • Cell Phones: Cell phones are to be off and away when students are in the classroom. The only time a cell phone should be out during class time is when a teacher asks that of students. This helps kids to focus on instruction rather than checking their phones.

  • Vaping: The use of any device that vaporizes a liquid so it can be inhaled is prohibited (i.e. e-cigarettes such as a Juul) at school. This includes on buses, at bus stops, and at all school sponsored events. While some of the juice is nicotine free, there are several health impacts of vaping that students may be unaware of. Please select “Vaping” for more information. There are several great tabs to explore that discuss these impacts.

  • Attendance: In order for students to reach their full potential in the classroom, they must attend school. We want all students to attend at least 90% of all school days. Students should only miss school if they have a fever, have been vomiting, have a medical appointment, or a family emergency. We fully understand that students will sometimes miss school, but limiting the number of missed days is important.

We truly appreciate your support. Thanks for all you do as parents, guardian, and supporters. Go Bruins!

Students of the Month

Sam Barlow is committed to recognizing students who have shown their Bruin PRIDE by awarding a Student of the Month for each grade level. Students can be nominated for Student of the Month by receiving a PRIDE Note from a staff member throughout the month. The staff then votes for one male and one female student from each grade to receive this recognition. Our outstanding Students of the Month for December are:


Orlando Ramirez

Alondra Garcia Diaz


Connie Tran

Evan Pugsley


Jared Vedus

Sophia Stoker


Cole Edmondson

Alexis Sanchez

Excellence in Teaching

Tai Quirke, Biology teacher, was recognized as the first Barlow nominee for the Gresham-Barlow School District Excellence in Teaching award.

Selection Criteria:

● Have the respect and admiration of their colleagues·

● Be an expert in their field who guides students of all backgrounds and abilities to achieve excellence

● Collaborate with colleagues, students, and families to create a school culture of respect and success.

● Deliberately connect the classroom and key stakeholders to foster a strong community at large

● Demonstrate leadership and innovation in and outside of the classroom that embodies lifelong learning

● Express themselves in an engaging and articulate and respectful way.

Candidates were nominated by and voted for by staff. We are so proud of Tai and thankful she is one of ours. We wish her luck as she is now in the running for the district level recognition, before moving on to the state level. We know she is on her way to being named Oregon’s Teacher of the Year.

Going for the Gold!

Sam Michener, a 2005 Barlow graduate, and son of our own Sherry Michener, is heading for the Olympics in Pyeongchang as a member of the U.S. Bobsled Team. Sam was a standout football and track athlete at Barlow. He eventually was the Oregon State Champion in the100 and 200 meter sprints. Sam attended the University of Idaho, where he continued to compete at the highest level as a sprinter. Now, as a brakeman on one of the four-man bobsleds, Sam is responsible for calling out their start cadence, pushing, and finally stopping a sled that will reach speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. Tune in on February 25th and 26th to see them race. We are so proud of Sam and wish him and Team USA the best of luck. Go Team USA, Go Bruins!


Theatre will present the play, "Steel Magnolias" on Feb. 16, 17, 22, 23, & 24 with evening performances plus matinees on both Saturdays. Go to the Sam Barlow Theater website website to purchase tickets.


We are currently in the planning stages of our first ever Career Fair for all students that will be held at Barlow on March 15, 2018. We would love your help in collecting our list of possible speakers. Talking points for presenters may include, their education/career journey, typical workday, career trends, pros and cons of job, salary range, training/education licensing required, high school classes that would pertain to career and helpful technology to become familiar with. Please send any contact names with email address and/or phone numbers to Tia Molony at or Patty Neuenschwander at

FORECASTING for 2018-2019

Forecasting for next year's classes takes place in late February and early March. Parents should talk with their children about what classes they would like to take next year. Counselors will meet with each class to explain the process prior to handing out forecasting sheets.


As a member of the Oregon School Activities Association, Sam Barlow, has received an amazing free resource to help prepare for the ACT/SAT exams.

Spring exam dates are approaching in March, through June. At a value of $350, this online resource is yours to prepare.

Click here to view the flier for simple instructions, as well as upcoming testing dates!

Parking Passes for the 2018-19 School Year

During the summer of 2018 we will begin bond construction at Sam Barlow. As a result, we will be losing several parking spaces due to the installation of portable classrooms and construction equipment. Taking that into consideration, we have revised our parking pass policy.

To purchase a parking pass, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a valid Oregon Drivers License

  • Have current car insurance

  • Attend at least 85% of the days during the second semester of this school year.

  • Have no more than 10 unexcused absences in any period

  • Must be a Junior or Senior

If students meet the above criteria, Seniors and CAL students will have first priority on purchasing parking passes. We will then sell the remaining parking passes to those who qualify through a lottery system.

Center For Advanced Learning

A remarkable career and college opportunity awaits your student at Center for Advanced Learning (CAL). CAL students are challenged to discover new horizons, to be a part of the next generation of innovation and explore the endless possibilities of your student’s creativity. Students gain invaluable experience that is relevant to their future ambitions. On February 20th, Barlow sophomores will have a unique opportunity to meet with the CAL Director and students to learn more about our unique programs leading to high wage and high demand career pathways. For more information about our school and programs, please go to our website: MARK YOUR CALENDAR: OPEN HOUSE Information Night – Thursday, February 22 at 6:00p.m.

Juniors & Seniors:

Have you created your “All About Me” binder?

If you are planning to attend college or a trade school and/or apply for scholarships, you will want to be organized. Senior year is full of time consuming commitments. If you get your things in order now, life will be easier later.

1. Get a 3” binder. Start accumulating and organizing information about you and your accomplishments.

2. In the binder, include: copies of official transcripts, letters of recommendation, copies of awards and certificates, records of your financial aid account names and passwords, SAT and ACT scores, copies of your senior photo, your activity chart/resume and photos of you doing the things you do in your free time (like community service.)

3. Put your materials in plastic sleeves to keep them neat and organized. Scan them when and store them on your Google docs.

4. Keep this binder in a SAFE place where you can access it quickly when a scholarship or college opportunity arises.

5. There are materials for you to use in the C&CC if you need them.

Facebook Info: Useful tips can also be found on the Barlow Senior Class of 2018 facebook page, SBHS Class of 2019, the Sam Barlow (yellow and black bear logo), and/or the Sam Barlow (Public) facebook pages.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Patty Neuenschwander at 503-258-4890 or

Oregon Promise Grant

Seniors with a 2.5 GPA: Students should register for the Oregon Promise, Oregon’s free tuition application for community colleges in Oregon. The application requires that seniors file their FAFSA, have a GPA of 2.5 or better and plan to attend a community college within 6 months of graduation. The application is open from Nov. 1 to June 1. If seniors plan to attend a 4-year university, this option is your safety net. Make sure to include an Oregon community college on your FAFSA as part of this application’s requirements.

To apply, go to:

Oregon State Assessment Opt-Out

English Version:

Oregon state assessments and 2017-18 opt out information

Every year, students throughout Oregon take state assessments prescribed by the Oregon Department of Education. The purpose of these assessments is to show individual student growth over time and to provide student-specific data that teachers can use to ensure each and every child is on track and achieving learning goals. Results are also used to inform course placement and to provide focused feedback to students and parents.

Oregon state law requires us to inform you that a form is available from the Oregon Department of Education that allows you to opt your child out of state assessments for the 2017-18 school year. Should you wish to opt out your child, please fill out the form and submit it to the main office at your child’s school. The form can be accessed at or on our GBSD website under Assessment Resources. You may also receive a copy of the form from our school office.

If you have questions or want more information about state assessments, please contact the district office.

Exclusion Day is February 21st


Exclusion day for state required immunizations is Wednesday, February 21, 2018. Students who are not current will not be able to attend school until their records are complete. Letters will be mailed the first week of February to parents whose children are incomplete and will be excluded if not updated by February 21, 2018. Please arrange for your child to receive needed immunizations so that they can remain in school. If you need assistance in locating a health care provider or clinic site, please contact your school nurse.

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 Paul Quirke

F-J Erin Boelow

K-Ra Oscar Rethwill

Re-Z Molly Ninneman


Karen Galicia


Ryan Alexander


A-G Cheeri Schacht

H-O Tim Collins

P-Z Kelly Hart