Helman News

September 16, 2020


The past week has been an unfathomable, devastating time for our valley. The destruction, loss, and trauma caused by the Almeda Fire and neighboring Obenchain Fire is heartbreaking. Out of this heartbreak, we've seen our valley spring into action to help those most impacted. Donation centers, care packages, volunteer mental health and translation services, offers of shelter and goods.... the ways in which our community is uniting brings true hope and comfort during this difficult time.

So far, we've learned of nine Helman families who lost their homes while a good number of staff and students continue to be displaced. Below you will find resources for helping you and your loved ones through this time as well as ways to donate to others if you are able.

Distance Learning is scheduled to resume Monday, September 21. If you are experiencing lack of connectivity, please let me know. We are here for you. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you are in need of assistance of any kind.


Michelle Cuddeback, Principal

DRAGONS.... We miss you and can't wait to see you on Monday! You make everyday a LOVELY DAY.

Lovely Day


Monday, September 21 and Tuesday, September 22 will both be half days. Teachers will reschedule Virtual Visits that were cancelled due to emergency school closure days and may schedule more asynchronous (independent) activities during the first two weeks to allow time for meeting with each family and orienting students to Canvas.


Supply pick-up has been rescheduled.

Your teacher is eager to see you in person (from a distance) and give your student their own kit of materials. Please see the schedule and pick up location for each grade level below.

- Please remain in your vehicle and wear a mask

If you can't make this time, kits can be picked up in the hallway by the Office.

Big picture


Canvas is our new Learning Management System through which your child will be able to access their assignments and class meeting links.

For an introduction to Canvas, our Elementary Family Webinar can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-D4OLwPfeww&t=2s.

Guardians should have received an email with specific login information for each student. For a tutorial on how to login, please watch our "How to for Students" at https://bit.ly/2QVU3oF.

If you run into issues, please utilize our tech support under the "Need Help?" portion of our Distance Learning Portal http://students.ashland.k12.or.us/.


Helman PTA HUG Fund

The Helman PTA HUG fund, provides funds for Helman families during times of hardship. To contribute directly to Helman families, please use the button below to donate.

Ashland Schools Foundation

The Ashland Schools Foundation has been instrumental in providing immediate support to Ashland School District families and staff impacted by the fires. To make a donation to support the greater Ashland community, you can text "ASSIST" to 72572. You can also visit our Ashland Schools Assistance Fund webpage at https://asf.salsalabs.org/asd-fire-assist.

Phoenix-Talent School District Relief Fund

The Phoenix-Talent School District is estimating 50% of their students have lost their homes. Please consider donating to support our neighbors. Phoenix-Talent Fire Relief


We’re settling into our niche as a resource hub, where folks in need (White Mountain Middle School, Orchard Hill Elem., Hawthorne Park, Home Depot, El Tapatio, the Expo, Obenchain fire crews) have been calling in “orders” and we get them what they want. They have especially appreciative of the Ashland Response when we send out a calling for certain items.

Donations still needed:

  • New Backpacks
  • New blankets
  • New towels
  • New jackets
  • Cookware (pots and pans)
  • Counter cleaning supplies
  • Dish soap
  • Laundry soap
  • Full size shampoo and conditioner
  • Paper towels/toilet paper
  • NEW socks and underwear of all sizes and types

The weather is starting to shift, and folks need warmer things, but there is still COVID…so new items are the only things being accepted at the donation centers as we don’t want our most impacted families being exposed to potential sickness.

Open 11-2 the rest of this week, then transitioning after that to more of a resource hub with limited early evening hours for pick-up of items (we may ask for your help!).



Free meals offered a the following locations between 11:00am and 1:00pm Monday-Friday:

Bellview Elementary: 1070 Tolman Creek Road

Walker Elementary: 364 Walker Avenue

Helman Elementary: 705 Helman Street

Ashland Middle School: 100 Walker Avenue

Ashland High School: 201 S. Mountain Avenue

Bus drivers will also provide meal pick-up at the following locations:

  • on the Mountain routes along Hwy 66 to Pinehurst, Dead Indian Memorial Road to the summit and Hwy 99 to Colestin Road.
  • Human Bean at the north end of Ashland
  • Maple street behind the hospital
  • Lithia Park
  • Home delivery vans for families that qualify

Delivery schedules at these locations are still being developed. If you are planning to pick up from one of the bus route locations, please contact the Transportation Department at 541-482-3174 to get your name added to the route delivery list.

PLEASE complete a meal application!


  • This information helps the district qualify for classroom funding
  • Helps qualify families for utilities benefits
  • Helps us identify families in need when other benefits become available
    • Such as the gift cards that were donated and distributed to families in the Spring

Application for free or reduced meals can be found at: https://family.titank12.com

If you have any questions or concerns or need to set up a delivery for your children, please contact Nutrition services at nutritionservices@ashland.k12.or.us or call 541-482-2811 x 1116


After a wildfire, most families will recover over time, particularly with the support of family, friends, and organizations. The length of recovery depends, in part, on if they had to evacuate and how much time they had to respond, and the extent of the damage and loss in the community. Some families will be able to return to their normal routines rather quickly, while others will have to contend with loss and damage to their home and possessions, finding new housing, and financial hardship.

Children will react differently to wildfires depending on their age, developmental level, and prior experiences. Children may be very concerned about safety, and worry that another wildfire may occur. They may also get reminded when they see any type of fire (campfires, barbecues, fire in a fireplace), smell smoke or see ash, experience windy days or warm dry weather, or watch holiday fireworks. Children may also exhibit changes in their behavior, such as clinging to parents or caregivers, experiencing more headaches and stomachaches, performing poorly at school, or withdrawing from activities they used to enjoy.

Children’s functioning and recovery will be influenced by how their parents and caregivers cope after the wildfire and the behaviors they model. Children often turn to adults for information, comfort, and help. Parents and caregivers should:
  • Model being calm and hopeful after the wildfire.
  • Provide accurate information and answer questions honestly and at an appropriate developmental level.
  • Be patient when responding to changes in behavior.
  • Provide reassurance, a daily routine, and structure.
  • Pay attention to their own wellbeing and coping.
More resources and information for you to support and respond to your child(ren) can be found at http://ashland.k12.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=3228 and also in the attachment below.


We at the PTA know full bellies help kids to learn and thrive. Sign up below for this PTA program and your child can receive a food backpack each Friday. The backpacks contain nutritious foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner, including soups, cereal, pasta, peanut butter, dried fruit or applesauce and, when possible, fresh produce, bread, and snacks. Though the program is intended to help those children whose families find it difficult to have enough food for the entire month, all children are eligible for this program.

To sign up and request a weekly backpack, visit:


If your family does not need a weekly food backpack but you would like to donate food or money to the program, please contact becky.sniffen@ashland.k12.or.us. The program is funded through the Helman Elementary School PTA and through generous gifts from the Ashland Food Co-op, Ashland Emergency Food Bank, the Maslow Project, and from contributions from our Helman community. Thank you!


Click HERE to fill out the Ashland Fire Relief Survey. Please fill out this survey, if you are able, so we can best support ASD community members that are in distress due to the recent and on-going wildfires.


If you or someone you know has trouble with the survey due to lack of internet access, or would prefer to call, please call Christine McCollom at 541-482-2811 x1117.

Please spread the word to families who may not have access to internet.


Ashland Fiber Network is offering free internet for NEW customers who are Ashland School District Students or Staff and live within Ashland Fiber Networks service area.

Contact Ashland Fiber Network directly at 541-552-2222 for more information.


We are excited to announce our Y Cares program for the 2020-2021 school year. Y Cares is for children in the Ashland School District, grades kindergarten – 6th. Registration for Y Cares will be on a weekly basis. Please see the information sheet below for more details. As the school year changes, our programs will adapt with the needs of our community.

The Y Cares schedule will support families when children are learning virtually and parents are working. In order to help keep kids and staff healthy and safe, the program will follow CDC, state, and local requirements and guidelines. We have adapted several changes to our day-to-day operations. A few changes are; mask requirements for staff and children, daily health screenings with temperature checks for all children and staff, and small group size with lots of time outdoors.

We have half day and full day options. Y Cares will start on Tuesday, September 8. In order to register for the program, please fill out the attached fillable registration form and email it back to kelsey@ashlandymca.org.

Information about fall programs including lessons, sports clinics and youth enrichment programs will be out in the coming weeks! Continue to check our website and like us on Facebook for the most up to date information.

Please let me know what questions you have! Thank you for your continued support of the Y as we navigate through these changing times.

Kelsey Rittenhouse

Senior Program Director


540 YMCA Way, Ashland, OR 97520

p 541-482-9622 x EXT 313

e kelsey@ashlandymca.org

w www.ashlandymca.org


ScienceWorks is excited to offer distance learning support for Ashland School District students this fall. Students can bring lunch and a laptop, and spend the afternoon at the museum with a learning cohort.

Students will be able to connect to required virtual classroom sessions, followed by daily supervised museum exploration and staff-led STEM enrichment activities.

Register now for 9/8 - 10/2 and 10/5 - 11/6 sessions.


Helman Elementary

Mission: Working together to educate the whole child

Vision: Helman school is a safe, loving community where each child is honored as an individual, challenged to take risks, develop friendships, reflect on their growth, push themselves to reach their potential, and embrace the wonder that leads to lifelong enthusiasm for learning.