West Sylvan Family Communication

April 7, 2023



*Autism Awareness Month

*Arab American Heritage Month

*National Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month

Fri, APR 7th: End of 3rd Quarter

Mon, APR 10th: NO SCHOOL / Planning Day

Tue, APR 11th: Start of 4th Quarter


MAY 1st ~ 5th: Staff Appreciation Week

Fri, MAY 5th: Sixth Grade Disco Party (*hosted by The West Sylvan Foundation at WSMS after school)

Fri, MAY 12th: Seventh Grade Glow Party (*hosted by The West Sylvan Foundation at WSMS after school)


Sat, JUN 10th *(tentative): Eighth Grade Promotion Party (*hosted by The West Sylvan Foundation - evening TBA)

Mon, JUN 12th: Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony (at Lincoln HS - 6:30PM)

Wed, JUN 14th: Last Day of instruction

Dear West Sylvan Families,

We hope that April has started well for your family! Thank you to everyone who made First Friday another amazing luncheon for our Educators! Monday, April 10th, is a non-Student day for PPS. Educators have their end-of-Quarter planning day on Monday to finalize any Quarter grades and to prepare for the final Quarter of the 2022-23 school year. The building is closed to the public on Monday while planning occurs.

Any Quarter-long classes will also change beginning Tuesday, April 11th, and the schedule change will be reflected on StudentVue. Especially for Math classes, now is the time to be sure that grades are strong and representative of Scholars’ true abilities, as those final course grades determine placement in Math courses for the 2023-24 school year.

The TAG department also has their application process opening soon for both Single Subject Acceleration (SSA) requests or Whole Grade Acceleration requests for the 2023-24 school year. SSA is only currently available in Math. Whole Grade Acceleration is for families who believe that their Scholar should accelerate to a grade beyond their traditional next grade. In past years, we have had a number of Seventh Graders qualify for Whole Grade Acceleration to enter High School early. Details on these processes and the application period can be read about in more depth at the link here. The application window opens on April 17th. Our WSMS TAG Coordinator is Dr. Holly Graham. For questions about the TAG program, Dr. Graham’s email is hgraham@pps.net.

Enjoy your longer weekend,

Jill & Ben

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Pictured above:

Our LHS Flock partners will host some WSMS Affinity Groups

to join in a Multicultural Marketplace Evening


The last day of school is now Wednesday, June 14th, instead of Tuesday, June 13th (due to the need to make up a snow day). Eighth Graders will have finished their final Promotion the evening of June 12th at Lincoln High School, and gone to their final Eighth Grade trip together at Oaks Park on June 13th.


Coming soon! We had a candidate interested in joining our WSMS team to run our morning Choir again! In the coming weeks, we look forward to having Mr. John Paul Labno join us to offer a morning Choir experience again before school.

John Paul Labno is a musician and composer, and has been giving private music lessons for the past twenty years. His work spans multiple genres and media; over the last twenty-five years he has written for film, television, digital media, installation, and chamber ensembles, and has performed extensively both in the U.S. and abroad. He holds a BA in Music from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an MFA in Music Composition from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. He lives in Portland with his wife, and their two children. If your young vocalist is interested in this before school Choir Club, please fill in the information here.


The Foundation supports Scholars and Staff and fosters community connection through fundraising and volunteer opportunities. Join the mailing list and stay connected with other families! All grade-level party information is updated on this website.


Our counseling office maintains a snack pantry where Students who are experiencing food insecurity can grab snacks throughout the day and bring some home. Any donation will help keep it stocked!


Good news! Our recent application revisions were all accepted, and we are now in the process of scheduling an authorization visit (this has to be scheduled three months out), with the IB team. We are looking forward to showcasing all of the good work of our Educators and Scholars in a visit in the Fall months of the 2023-24 school year for consideration to become an authorized IB MYP school! We share our gratitude to Clair McInnis for leading the application process work and for designing activities for our school around the MYP learner profile traits.

Our April MYP Learner trait is Risk-Takers, and we frame the demonstration of this trait within the learning and academic domains. Throughout the month, students will be nominated for demonstrating this trait. We celebrate nominations at the monthly assemblies and through our school nomination posters.

To find out more about the WSMS International Baccalaureate MYP authorization journey, please visit this website!


Block ELA Teachers will begin state testing in mid-April. Math will test in May, and Science will be testing the first week of June. A reminder to get plenty of sleep and have a healthy breakfast. Chromebooks will need to be charged. Why take these tests seriously?

  • These results are a key factor in how WSMS is ranked academically as a Middle School for the state of Oregon and nationally by U.S. News and World report. See our last posted ranking at the link.

  • OSAS testing is one school indicator of potential academic ability when future schools are making placement decisions in honors, AP and advanced courses. It is also the main data that the School Board uses when determining and prioritizing goals for school and the District.


We are compiling ways to continue educating your Scholars at home. Click the image here and see the flyer below for more information.
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Accessing CANVAS for families

Click here for directions for Parents/Guardians to access CANVAS and view Student course information.


PPS has shared out the approved calendar for next school year for your planning purposes.


  • Our Eighth Grade dance will be Saturday, June 10th, at WSMS. Find details at The West Sylvan Foundation website.

  • Eighth Grade Promotion will be at Lincoln High School in their Gym on the evening of Monday, June 12th. The ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. The LHS Gym seats 2000 people in the bleachers. With 258 Eighth Graders, we don’t see a need to issue family tickets for seating. We thank all of the families who are volunteering with the WSMS Foundation to plan that evening and to assist with set-up and take-down of items that night!

  • Eighth Graders will have a final field trip to Oaks Park together on Tuesday, June 13th. We want all Eighth Graders to take part in this fun final day together. If an Eighth Grader has major disciplinary issues (suspensions from school between April and June), they will not be allowed to join the outing.

INFORMATION FOR CURRENT FIFTH GRADERS [future Sixth Graders in 2023-24]

K-5 School Visits are occurring at the K-5 sites on April 17th and 18th. On these visits we will have a short Band concert by our current Sixth Grade Band students. Counselors will go over all of the basics of Middle School including: schedule, electives, lockers, lunch, expectations, Advisory, clubs, and affinity groups. WSMS Packleaders will answer questions Fifth Graders may have from the Student perspective and Students will get to meet and take pictures with the West Sylvan Wolf.

  • Forest Park
    Monday, April 17th
    10:00 - 11:30 AM
    Principal Dr. Martini

  • Bridlemile
    Monday, April 17th
    12:45 - 2:00 PM
    Rachel Reich

  • Chapman
    Tuesday, April 18th
    10:00 -11:30 AM
    Dave Hall/Heather Otzan Schemel

  • Ainsworth
    Tuesday, April 18th
    12:45 - 2:00 PM
    Cynthia Thomas/Angie Bustamante Jenkins


Tuesday, April 25th and Thursday, April 27th:

Scholars are welcome to join their families, also. This will be an evening for a short presentation with our Leadership Team followed by some guided tours around campus with our Packleaders. Our WSMS Foundation, along with Affinity Groups, will also be selling items for fundraising that evening!


University of Portland has begun accepting applications for their annual Summer Learning Program! In this program, the learning focuses on the Oregon State Benchmarks appropriate for each child in Mathematics, Language Arts (reading, writing, and speaking), and any other subjects in which the student needs help. Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) candidates tutor/teach students according to their learning needs. There are usually 4-5 students per 2-3 MAT candidates.

  • This year’s program will run July 5 - August 3, Monday-Thursday, 9:30am-11:30am, and they welcome students entering grades 2 through 11 in 2023-24. The cost of the program is $125, though scholarships are available.

  • Online registration is now available here. To request a printable PDF or registration packet via postal mail, please contact Amy Kwong-Kwapisz at kwongkwa@up.edu or 503-943-7752.


Reading and writing acceleration opportunities over summer hosted by Oregon State University!

In these single-grade programs, students learn to read twice as fast. You'll become a stronger reader, with better comprehension in fiction and nonfiction. You'll expand your vocabulary and learn how to take good notes. You'll improve your writing skills so that you can communicate your ideas clearly. As a result, you'll get your homework done more quickly and easily, get better grades, and feel more confident as a student.

For more information or to register

CALL 1-800-978-9596

Mon-Fri 5am-6pm, Sat 5am-4pm, and Sun 7am-3pm

Notes of Appreciation

If you would like to send a kind note of appreciation to any staff member, please share here. The kind notes go a long way in making our Staff members feel seen and thanked!


  • PPS Center for Black Student Excellence:

    Center for Black Student Excellence (CBSE) – Learning Journey

    CBSE Project Timeline + FAQs

  • How to get involved? Join the West Sylvan Foundation. This is the group that also embodies what would have been a PTA at other schools. The group welcomes new adult support, and you can find the link here. This is also a way to share your voice about how WSMS fundraising is used for school needs.

  • Volunteer! We appreciate all family members who have been volunteering in our Main Office, in our Library, and joining us for school lunch periods and recess to help with supervision. The additional adults around campus really help with these busier spaces and the busiest times of the school day! If you are already an approved PPS volunteer, you are welcome to come to campus any day of the week when your schedule permits, and we will find a way that you can help on campus! The periods from 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM and 2:45 PM - 3:45 PM are most needed for Lunch recess help and Office assistance.

  • Initiate or join a parent group! Several families are interested in leading work sharing and educating each other for PPS. PPS District Committees for larger parent advocacy are here.

  • Help run an Advisory Club! Clubs meet on Fridays from 3:15pm-3:45pm.


Please encourage and remind your Scholar to bring their charged Chromebook to school each day. We have a very limited, and often depleted, number of loaner Chromebooks. Remembering to bring your PPS-issued Chromebook to school is crucial, as Chromebooks are needed for classes.


After ten consecutive school days of non-attendance, Scholars are un-enrolled from WSMS. Please be sure to officially excuse absences when there is a lasting illness or a need to be gone from campus.


Please help remind and reinforce our “No Cell Phone” policy during the school day in your discussions at home. This means that we ask that Scholars to either leave phones at home or put them in their lockers during the day so that they are not a temptation. If a Scholar has a phone out in class or around campus during the school day, it is confiscated and held in the Office. If a Scholar has three or more violations already this year, we will ask a Parent/Guardian to pick up the phone to help reinforce expectations. Please remember that Scholars do not have access to their phones during the day, and refrain from calling and/or texting them. If you need to get an urgent message to your Scholar, you may call the Office at 503-916-5690 or send an email to westsylvanoffice@pps.net.


Families are now able to record future absences for their Students directly in ParentVUE without needing to contact the Main Office. Please remember, if a student is going to miss multiple days, it is up to the Student and/or Parent/Guardian to communicate absences with each Teacher and make a plan for missing work and assignments.

  • If your Student is going to be Absent for a FULL DAY:
    Log in to the ParentVUE website or download and open the phone application. In either case, look for the ‘Report Absence’ button to the right of your Student’s photograph. Select start date, end date, and a reason from the drop-down list. Remember to click SAVE, and you should receive a popup confirmation.

No internet access? Call West Sylvan’s main line at 503-916-5690 and select the Attendance option.



All-Grade School Climate Specialist: Shawn McVicar [smcvicar@pps.net]




(503) 916-5690


[Staff / Substitutes / Financial]

Jerda Solonche



[Students / Attendance / Enrollment]

Kirsten Crombie