Gresham High School


Graduation Is Coming

Graduation is a wonderful time for parents, families, and seniors. The excitement, joy, and pride that everyone feels at this event is electric and I look forward to it each year.

Graduation is on June 11th at the Memorial Coliseum (more details are in this newsletter) and I look forward to seeing the thousands of family members that will be present.

Unfortunately, we are nearing that time when “senioritis” can set in. After Spring Break each year seniors begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel and sometimes focus less on school than they should. This is the worst time to lose focus. Seniors are advised to make every effort to finish strong for many reasons. Graduation is at stake. Each year several students relax too much and fail a required class. These students do not appear on the graduation stage. It is that simple.

  • Many college admissions are contingent upon 8th semester transcripts.
  • Many scholarships are still available and it is important that students be able to show that they are still challenging themselves.
  • A high school diploma is your ticket to choices that make your adult life better. Do not allow your life to be limited because you slacked in the spring of your senior year.

While it can be inviting to let down and relax, it is generally not in a senior student’s best interest to do so. More than ever, parents should monitor and encourage their senior student to do his/her very best right up until the end of the semester!

Congratulations to everyone for making it this far. Parents, staff, and students have worked very hard to get us to this point and we all deserve a share of the credit for each student’s success.

Principal Terrence Smyth


  • May 6-22 IB Exams, Contact IB Coordinator, Mr. Alan Simpson for more information
  • May 16 Pass/No Pass Deadline; 3:00pm
  • May 22nd, Jostens will deliver Graduation Caps & Gowns, Lobby of Main Bldg
  • May 23rd Evening of Excellence, 6:30 PM, Cafeteria, (generally for seniors who have received scholarships and/or awards and their parents/guardians)
  • May 27 Memorial Day, (No School)
  • May 29st Senior Check-out forms distributed and must be returned to bookkeeper by June 1st.
  • May 30th IB Awards Night, Cafeteria, 6:30 pm
  • June 3rd, Senior Checkout Forms available from Bookkeeper. All Seniors must complete Senior Checkout.
  • June 5th, All Senior Assignments due by 3:15 pm
  • June 6th Seniors’ Last Day! Senior Check-out procedures must be completed and forms turned in to the bookkeeper for final checkout. All fees must be paid by this date. Commencement tickets (10) will be distributed. Extra tickets, up to five (5) and by request only, are available after check out is completed. To request the additional 5 tickets please email Jason Bhear at
  • June 6th, Grad Walk and Senior Picnic, Rooster Rock State Park, In order to attend Seniors must ride the school provided school bus(es).
  • June 11th Graduation Practice, Memorial Coliseum, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm (arrive by 10:30 am); All seniors are REQUIRED to attend and must provide their own transportation to and from practice.
  • June 11th Commencement Ceremony, Memorial Coliseum, 8:30 PM; All seniors must arrive by 7:45 pm.
  • June 11th Senior All-Night Party, buses will depart from Gresham High School. Please see article later in this newletter. (The Senior All-Night Party is not a school-sponsored function; it is planned and chaperoned by senior parents.)


All seniors must meet Gresham Barlow School District graduation requirements in order to participate in commencement. In order to see where your student is in regards to their graduation status you can go to your ParentVue account. By going to the Course History tab it will show your students status. If you have any indication that your student’s academic performance and grades may be placing him/her in jeopardy of not graduating, contact his/her counselor and teachers immediately. You may call (503-674-5500) and/or email. Email addresses are available on the GHS website.

If your student attends the Center for Advanced Learning, I encourage you to contact teachers at those schools and CAL Director, Carol Egan, at 503-667-4978. Twelve-week progress reports will be available through your ParentVue account starting today, May 3rd.

For some students, meeting graduation requirements is one of the first times in their lives that they have had to comply with an absolute requirement. A few seniors continue to believe that somehow an exception will be made for them at the last minute. I assure you, there are no exceptions made for students that do not meet state and District graduation requirements.One of the most difficult tasks that GHS counselors and administrators face is telling parents that their son/daughter will not participate in graduation. Please stay apprised of your student’s progress toward graduation (see article entitled Parents Should Monitor Grades in this newsletter)—we don’t want there to be any surprises during the last week of school for seniors. Remember--- ONLY students who have completed ALL requirements for graduation (including credit requirements, career-related learning standards, career-related learning experiences and an academic portfolio containing all work samples) are allowed to receive a diploma and participate in commencement exercises. No exceptions will be made.


The graduating Class of 2019 is required to meet the essential skill requirements in reading, writing and math in order to graduate. Most Seniors will have met this requirement by passing the Smarter Balance Assessment (SBA). However, those that did not, need to meet through Gresham High School’s Local Performance Assessments (LPA).

Opportunities exist across the curriculum, in multiple classes for a student to take an LPA.

As we enter our last 6 weeks of school, it will be imperative that your student check their graduation status with their counselor and through Student and ParentVue (see next article). Questions can also be directed to our testing coordinator Brenda Person. Ms. Person can be reached via phone at (503) 674 – 5500 or email:

Over the next several weeks the auto dialer will be calling all students missing graduation requirements. Many students still have not completed portfolio pieces, career related learning activities (2 required), or have not met the essential skills of reading or writing. If you have a question about these requirement please email or call your student’s counselor, assistant principal, or Brenda Person.


It is critical that all seniors track whether they have met the essential skills of writing, reading and math as well as personalized learning requirements. Parents and students can check the status of graduation requirements simply by following the steps below.

  1. Log in to Student or ParentVue.
  2. Click the “course history” button on the right side of the page
  3. In order to see the details for each area of the graduation status you will need to click on the details button on the right hand side.

This screen will have information about credits earned and needed, state tests, and personalized learning requirements. A list of personalized learning requirements can be found in the student handbook but includes a career plan, an extended essay, and two, career related learning experiences (CRLE). Seniors that had health first semester should have this assignment completed.

Those that have health in the second semester will complete this assignment this spring. CRLE’s are sometimes completed in class but many times are worked on independently. Inevitably, each year, students wait until the last minute to complete these assignments and jeopardize their participation in the graduation ceremony. Parents and guardians should pay close attention to these details.


Senior check out forms will be distributed on June 3rd. Forms are available for pick up in the bookkeeper’s offices. These must be completed, signed and returned to the bookkeeper by June 6th, 2019. The Bookeeper will be out of the office for the afternoon on Wednesday June 5th after 10:00am. There is a tendency for students to wait until the last minute to locate lost books and pay fees. Parents are encouraged to remind their senior now to get ready for clearance by turning in books, cleaning out lockers and paying fees during the check-out period. With increasing costs, the school must make every effort to recover all books.

All outstanding fees must be paid prior to graduation. Students that still owe fees at the end of the year will not be permitted to participate in the graduation ceremony. Call our bookkeeper at 503-674-5518 to receive an update regarding fees that your student owes.


In an exciting new tradition at Gresham High School, we are hosting a Senior Graduation Walk at both Dexter McCarty and Clear Creek Middle Schools as well as our feeder elementary schools. There will be a Senior Class Picnic following the Grad Walk on June 6th.

Transportation will be provided, and all Seniors are included, regardless of graduation status. Seniors will report to their first period class for attendance, then be excused to the Gymnasium for our Paper Toss and Assembly. After the assembly, we will load onto buses for the Graduation Walks at the middle & elementary schools. Seniors who have them will need to bring their caps and gowns for the graduation walks. After the walks, students will then be transported to the picnic. Students will not be allowed to transport themselves, and no bags or backpacks will be allowed on the bus. The event will be catered, and there will be activities at the picnic location. All school policies (dress code, behavior, etc...) will be applicable.

We welcome parent volunteers who wish to join us on this great day to celebrate the Class of 2019. Please contact Donna Matteson at Gresham High School if you have any questions or wish to be a part of this event.


Gresham Barlow School District policy requires that administrators take steps to help ensure that appropriate decorum and safety are maintained during the commencement ceremony. Appropriate guidelines regarding “appropriate decorum and safety” at graduation are:

  • Students are expected to wear appropriate attire. For men that means long pants (not jeans), a shirt with a collar, and lace-up or slip-on dress shoes. Women should wear a dress, skirt/blouse, or dress slacks and appropriate dress shoes or sandals.
  • Students are allowed to wear school-sanctioned honor cords, sashes or medals that they have earned. Other decorative adornments to the graduation cap or gown (flower leis, taped messages, ribbons, medals) are not allowed.
  • Students and members of the audience are asked to be respectful of those who are speaking and performing during the ceremony. Applause is appropriate; catcalls and booing are not. Items that will distract from the ceremony such as air horns, beach balls, etc. are not allowed and will not be tolerated.

School administrators are responsible to carry out out all School Board policies. Students and guests are expected to comply with this policy. Action will be taken should this policy be violated during our graduation



All seniors who are recipients of college scholarships, are asked to notify Kendra Maddox in the College & Career Center. This is important for commencement and Senior Recognition/Scholarship Night - we want to make sure you are recognized for your achievements!


The Senior All-Night Party is a drug/alcohol-free, parent-sponsored event where seniors can be together after graduation for a night of celebration with their friends. The parents of the 2019 Senior Class have been hard at work raising the money needed to pay for this event. The ticket cost as of May 1st , 2019 is $40.00 cost per student and it includes transportation to the party location, great food, games, and activities for seniors to enjoy. Graduates will depart immediately after graduation from Memorial Coliseum and transported back to GHS by bus and arrive at approximately 6:00 AM on June 12th. Tickets can be purchased every Thursday outside of the cafeteria during the school lunch hour. Parents can also send checks to GHS ATTN: SANP. Checks should be made out to Gresham HS Senior All Night Party and have the student’s name written in the memo line.

For information on purchasing tickets, please email:

Call/text: Jason @ 503.701.9841or Vicki @ 503.816.9688

If you require financial assistance to purchase a ticket contact a GHS counselor. The Senior All-Night Party is not a school-sponsored function; it is planned and

chaperoned by senior parents.


We are approaching the time of year when seniors are actively planning for graduation events. One of the most common proposals is the alleged “annual graduation trip” to Mexico or other locations that “everyone else” gets to go on. Please be very thorough in researching any package graduation trips before agreeing to let your son/daughter go. In no way does Gresham High School, nor the Gresham Barlow School District, endorse or sponsor ANY kind of graduation trip. We do not allow announcements or posters to be posted, nor do we allow recruitment meetings to take place on our campus. Typically a company will promise a “free” trip to a senior as long as they can sign up ten of their friends (who pay) to go along. It is advised that you check out these companies very carefully before allowing your son/daughter to go. Experience tells us that there is too often a lack of the promised supervision on these kinds of trips. Inadequate supervision can lead to easy access to alcohol and drugs, inappropriate sexual activity and the potential for serious problems to develop miles away from parental support. If you decide to allow your student to attend a senior trip, whether it be local, national or international, we encourage you to know everything you can about where your student is going, who they are going with and what is going to happen once they arrive at their destination.