Principal's Newsletter

Sam Barlow High School ~ December 2018 / January 2019


The Season for Giving

As we enter the holiday season, I encourage all of you to reflect on what matters most. It always seems that the newest item or gadget being advertised becomes the most important focus for our kids, which ultimately means a new found focus for us as well. However, the best gift in life can’t be purchased or wrapped. The gift of time spent with loved ones is something that can only be given from the heart and is more valuable than anything you can purchase. I hope you are able to find the time to sit down with your student(s) and share a great story, listen to the stories they have to share, or to just be near while they are “doing their thing”. No matter what kids say, knowing that you are willing to spend focused time with them is just what they want and need. Time is the best gift anyone can give and the price is right. I wish you all the very best this holiday season and hope to see you at an event or gathering sometime soon.

Parents of Seniors

For those of you who have a current senior, I am sure both you and your student are on overload. Needing to take senior pictures, completing the FAFSA, submitting college applications, scholarship applications, and the question “what are you going to do next year” from just about everyone can push both parents and students into the stress mode. On top of all that, your student may be getting to the point where they just don’t want to make a decision. These feelings and situations are totally normal and happen to every family of a senior. Remember, this is a major time of transition where there is quite a bit of uncertainty. Students may be wondering what it will be like to live away from home, being on their own, or if they are making the “right” decision. Parents are wondering the same. With uncertainty comes anxiety. Perhaps the best way to work through some of these issues is to have honest conversations between you and your student so everyone knows where the other is coming from. It is also important to serve as a bit of a buffer for your student with relatives and family friends. After all, these decisions are for the student and family, not others. On a final note, enjoy the time with your senior. Regardless of the decisions that are made now about next year, we only really have a few months left with our kids, why make this time all about the future.

Go to a Performance or Event

A great way to be connected to the school community is to attend a performance or athletic event. There are multiple opportunities to see the student body in a great environment representing their school and special program. I promise that you will be very impressed with our students whether you attend an athletic event, a night at our fall musical or a winter concert. I can’t tell you how impressed I am with our students, coaches, and fans regardless of what event I attend. It is a great thing to do!

Construction Update

Bond construction at Barlow is in full swing and things are changing every day. If you haven’t been by the building lately, then you haven’t had the chance to see all of the structural steel going up on the new wing. Iron workers have been working non-stop over the past two weeks to put steel in place, and yes, we do have a crane! While it isn’t a permanent fixture like the one across town, our crane has in fact been running daily for the past two weeks. Very cool.

Along with structural steel there has been considerable work done on our new stadium. Excavators are grading the property, concrete footings are being poured for retaining walls, walls are being formed to be built in the next week, and things are really moving fast. We are on schedule to see our covered stands going up in February. This is a very exciting time for Sam Barlow High School athletics.

Aside from the new building and stadium, we have turned over the Auditorium to our contactors after our amazing winter concert series. They will begin demolition and remodeling over winter break and will have this space ready for performances in the fall of 2019. This is going to be an amazing space for students and community members to see and hear our performing arts students. If you are interested in purchasing a seat, or block of seats, please feel free to contact Bruce Schmidt at They will be available for a very short time period at $25.00 per seat.

If you ever want to see some of the construction in progress, you can check out our live camera feed. This is a public access site, so feel free to watch our contractors doing amazing things. The link is:

Abatement Notice

Our contractors will be working very hard during Winter Break. They are taking advantage of the time when students and staff are out of the building to complete asbestos abatement. Please see the attached notice for more information.


We have several new staff members at Sam Barlow High School that we are excited to introduce to you. We have been featuring them in each of our last three newsletters. This month, we would like to introduce:

Michael Nelson - English Language Arts

What you do and how long have you been doing it

    • I have been teaching for 9 years, mostly at the middle school level. I’ve taught Social Studies, Language Arts, and even a year of 5th grade (everything!). This is my first year teaching Freshman and Junior English at BHS.

Where you went to college or high school

    • I graduated from Barlow High School in 1999 (Go Bruins!), and attended Mt. Hood Community College, then Marylhurst University for my bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Where you worked last

    • My previous school was Gordon Russell Middle School (GBSD), teaching 8th grade Language Arts.

Why you choose to work in a school

    • I love learning, I love sharing knowledge and inspiration, and I love being around students. They make me learn, grow, become wiser, and they keep me abreast of whatever is happening in fashion.

Your favorite thing(s) about working with students

    • I love that students are learning everything, from how to do equations and write essays, to how to interact with people, be responsible, and figure out who they want to be. It’s such a transformative time in their lives and it makes me excited to be there offering whatever support I can while they do it.

What you are most excited about being at SBHS

    • I am proud to be part of the school that played such an instrumental role in developing my own intellect and identity. I get to pass it on.

Inclement Weather Notifications & Snow Routes

In the event there is inclement weather, buses may be operating on snow routes. Attached is a document listing the snow routes for Sam Barlow. If you have questions regarding busses or snow routes, please contact First Student, 503-665-8193.

Student Pick-Up and Drop-Off Guidelines

PLEASE!! We still need parents to cooperate during student drop-off and pick-up times. We have worked to create a safer and more streamlined pick-up and drop-off experience, but this experience can only be successful if parents adhere to the guidelines. We have attached those guidelines to this newsletter for your review.


Sam Barlow recognizes 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 November are:

NOVEMBER Student of the Month 18-19


Aiden Cook-Seiler

Jiseca Bittar


Miguel A. Garcia Jr

Alondra Garcia Diaz


Raquel Bingham

Derek Fortanell-Bautista


Madison Kernan

Yiu Tran


You can download the ParentVue App directly to your phone for free. It’s very simple to do and we have included the step-by-step instructions for you below.

  • Go to your App store or Android Market and search for ParentVue.

  • Click ‘install’ and then ‘open’ when installation is complete.

  • You will have a screen prompting you to swipe left to find your district. If location is activated on your phone, our district should pop to the top. If not, type in Gresham-Barlow School District in the search bar.

  • Once you choose Gresham-Barlow School District, you will be asked to log in.

  • Once you have logged in, you will have access to your student's information, such as;

    • Class Schedule

    • Current Grades in all classes

    • Progress Reports

    • Attendance

    • Teacher communications

    • Access to update your contact information

    • Many more…

  • You can also select which language you prefer to use by clicking on ‘change’ at the bottom of the screen.

This is a great resource to have at the tip of your fingers. If you need assistance logging in or resetting your password, please contact Teresa Juden at


Great Books at the Movies 2018 Contest Winners

The student winners of the SBHS Library Great Books at the Movies 2018 contest have been chosen! From the many entries this year, these are the four lucky winners.

Graciela Baires - Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Florencio Gonzalez - The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Kaleb Nicks - Black Panther by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Biruktawit Rush - The Hate U Give by A.C. Thomas

For more information on our contest, please click on this link: SBHS Library Events

Returning Overdue Library Books

With the end of First Semester fast approaching, the Barlow Library will be sending overdue notices home with the semester report cards. Please help us to help your student by encouraging them to renew or return their borrowed Library items on time. Students with overdue items cannot check out any additional Library materials and may incur late fines. All students can check their own Library accounts on-line through our Alexandria on-line catalog. This can be found on the Barlow Library website. Thanks in advance for your support.


This year’s Marketing 5-6 students had a tremendous experience at the Nike World Headquarters. Our day started out with a great speech from the one and only, Howard White. He brought out several other speakers as well, all working together to elaborate on the message that you must always “believe to achieve your dreams.” We then went off on a tour of the entire campus, getting to witness some of the most beautiful areas of their 400 acres of lush Pacific Northwest landscape. All the students were split up into individual groups before the tour, each being given one of the wonderful Nike employees as our tour guide. Our group visited places like the Tiger Woods building, and the fitness center. Keep in mind, the Nike World Headquarters is a continuously working environment, so we were able to catch cool glimpses of Nike athletes in action, working out on the field, and in the fitness center. After our tour, we sat down for a great lunch accompanied by the Nike Storytellers. During this time, we were able to listen to the interesting life stories of these Storytellers, and even ask them questions about anything we were curious about! Lastly, we all gathered back in the auditorium with Howard White once again. This time he brought out even more speakers, informing us about how in life, if you work hard and always believe in yourself, you really are capable of truly anything. This trip was honestly amazing and our class is very grateful we got the opportunity to take part in it. Personally, one thing from this experience that will always stick with me is something one of the speakers mentioned, “Failure is just a datapoint.” And if you take a moment to consider it, this ideology really is the key to success.

-Tara Shafiei

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Smarter Balanced Testing Update

In 2010, Oregon adopted higher K-12 standards in English Language Arts and Math to ensure all students move from grade to grade with the academic knowledge and skills necessary for success beyond high school. Because we raised the bar for what we expect students to know and be able to do, we have also changed the way we measure student progress through our state tests, known as Smarter Balanced.

We will begin our state mandated testing in Math right after students return from the holiday break. Students will take part of the Math test on January 15 and will finish the test on January 17. The testing schedule has been designed to minimize your student’s time outside of class. A typical student will only miss 4 total class periods between the two days of testing. Please note that the tests are not timed, so your child can take as long as he or she needs to fully demonstrate what he or she knows and can do.

While no single test can give a complete picture of your child’s progress, having your child take the statewide tests provides us with information about what educational approaches are working and where additional resources are needed. You and your student will also receive a copy of the test results. These test results will allow you to identify your child’s strengths and areas for improvement. Test results will be broken into categories and will show how well your child performed in each area.

Another benefit to your student is that Oregon colleges and universities are using Smarter Balanced results to determine course placement for newly enrolled students. For all state community colleges, students who do well on the Smarter Balanced exams may be exempt from placement testing requirements. See the following link for more information about college and university policies regarding Smarter Balanced results:

House Bill 2655 permits parents and adult students* to annually opt-out of Oregon’s statewide summative tests by submitting the opt-out form found on the Oregon Department of Education website and submitting the form to Assistant Principal, Tim Collins. Visit this link to learn more about House Bill 2655:

To learn more about the Smarter Balanced test or find information related to the opt-out forms, please visit: If you have questions that are specific to testing at Sam Barlow High School, please contact Assistant Principal, Tim Collins.


Whether your student has the years beyond high school decided or not, your College & Career Center has information and resources to help you and your student chart their path. Patty and LindaLee are experts at helping our students explore all of the opportunities available to them and will walk alongside them and guide them through the necessary steps. Don't let this precious resource go untapped!

Read about upcoming events and opportunities in the C&CC News document below.


What are the office hours?

7:00am - 3:30pm daily

Closed on holidays and some inservice days

What is the main office number?


Can I leave a message for my student?

Yes. If necessary, we can take messages from a parent or guardian only. Messages will not be delivered to class except in an emergency, but will be held in the office. Students are paged during designated paging times, and it is the student’s responsibility to pick up the note.

Can I bring a present or send flowers/balloons to a student?

We are unable to accept gifts, flowers/balloons for students. We will refuse all attempted deliveries.

Additional questions?

Please call us! 503-258-4850

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 Michelle Kahan

F-J Erin Boelow

K-Ra Oscar Rethwill

Re-Z Molly Ninneman


Kimberly Louvin


Paul Quirke


Karen Galicia


Ryan Alexander


A-G Cheeri Schacht

H-O Tim Collins

P-Z Kelly Hart

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Class of 2019, Welcome to your senior year!

This year will be busy and filled with challenges and excitement for your future. Your College & Career Center is here to assist you on your journey. We will work hard to answer your questions and make your senior year a fun and productive one.

Applying to College-First Steps:

  • Visit a wide variety of schools now so you can determine the right fit for your future.

  • Make sure the colleges you are considering have the programs you want.

  • Pay attention to application deadlines. Start a calendar of due dates. Many schools have an early application deadline of November 1.

  • Ask for letters of recommendation from counselors, teachers, employers, etc. (Do not wait until the fall to do this. Ask now!)

  • Request an official transcript from the registrar, after your final grades have posted, or use your Common Application to request an electronic version through your Naviance account.

  • Apply to colleges using Naviance or directly on a college’s website.

  • Make sure your SAT or ACT test scores are where you need them to be. Re-test, if necessary, in the fall. Send your scores to schools. Either test is acceptable.

  • Complete an activity chart/resume to use for college applications and scholarships.

  • Research financial aid options and learn more about the FAFSA, your primary source of college funds.

FAFSA-What is it and how do I get ready to apply?

The FAFSA is open now! There are funds available for many students and a variety of post high school programs. In addition, several scholarships require completing the FAFSA application. Students who wish to apply for the Oregon Promise (free tuition assistance to Oregon Community Colleges) will need to complete the FAFSA in order to be eligible.

The Oregon Promise application can be found at Applicants must have 2.5+ GPA at the time of graduation, plans to attend college within 6 months and have completed the FAFSA or ORSAA. This application will open soon.

  • Students and parent(s) will need to create a FSA ID number. Go to: Students and parent(s) will need to know social security numbers, birthdates and full legal names to create a FSA ID at:

Students need access to 2017 tax information for themselves and parent(s) to complete the 2019-2020 FAFSA.

Please see the College and Career Center News attachment for upcoming FAFSA workshop dates.


Last Day for Seniors 6/4

Graduation 6/11 5:00 PM - Memorial Coliseum

You can access a lot of information regarding your student's senior year by visiting the Senior Information page on our website.

There is a lot of work that goes into throwing a great All-Night Party for our graduates. We would love to have as many of you as possible attend our meetings and help out in any way that you can. There are a lot of different tasks, both big and small, that we could use your help with. If you can't attend a meeting, please send an email to , and let us know how you might be able to help out.

The next meeting is Monday, January 28th @ 6:30pm in the Staff Cafeteria