North Star News

September 2021 - We Reach! We Rise! We Shine!

Mark Your Calendar

9/24 C&I Day - No School

10/7 C&I Day - No School

10/8 Statewide Inservice - No School

10/12 Fall Picture Day

10/18 SUN Fall Session Begins

10/19 PTC Virtual Meeting 6:30 p.m.

Principal's Message

Dear North Gresham Families,

I cannot tell you how much we have missed having students in the building and hearing "the noise of school." We can't see their smiles with their mouths, but their eyes sure show us they are happy to be back. Students have done a great job adjusting to the new routines that keep us all safe. This year, we are excited to offer students full-time PE and Music. This means your child will have two days of PE and two days of Music and one day of Library.

Please ask your students about "Strive for 45". This is an opportunity for students to work on both Math and Reading, at their individual levels. Students are given time during their day to achieve this but it can also be done at home as well.

Please remind your student to bring a full water bottle each day. Students can refill them at our filling stations but drinking fountains have been turned off.

Finally, thank you for your patience in dropping off and picking your students up from school. We are getting our system down and it will get faster and faster. Some transportation updates and reminders:

  • Pick-Up by Car: Please make sure your number is visible on the windshield. Make sure the people who may pick your student up also have a copy of the number in their window.
  • Pick-Up by Walking Up: Please only go to the pick-up line. Be ready to show your pick-up number to the staff member(s) at that area, and then wait for your student(s) to be sent out to you.
  • Update: Kinder and 1st grade students will no longer be out front. All students will now remain inside until their number is called for pick-up. This increases safety, and keeps them inside and warm during our upcoming fall and winter seasons.
  • Buses: Our buses are arriving sooner and sooner, and are leaving the school on time or close to. We will continue to communicate via Remind any significantly late bus arrival/departure.

Thank you for partnering with us to educate your children. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me at or call the front office.


Shawnda Sewell



What's Going On In Kinder?

Last week we welcomed all of our littlest North Stars! Our kindergarten students have done a great job getting into a school routine. They're learning how to use their school supplies, and school and classroom rules.

In Mrs. Blum and Mrs. Sexton's classes, students are doing ABC bootcamp. They will learn a letter a day for 26 days! They also play Red Light Purple Light, which is a game that teaches important social and emotional skills.

In Mrs. Tarshis and Miss Santos' dual language (DLI) classes, our kinders are learning the letters A-C, and many words that begin with those letters, such as "árbol" and "ballena", in Spanish. They're also learning common phrases such as "please" and "thank you".

We're so excited to have our kinders here, and can't wait to see how much they learn and grow this school year!

Big picture

Important Health Reminders & COVID Testing Permission Forms

From our district office:

As you know, we have several safety protocols in place to maintain a safe and healthy learning environment for staff and students. You can find more information on our Return to Learn Health and Safety Webpage.

As a reminder, it is important that if a student or staff member feels ill prior to coming to school, they should stay home. Keeping ill students home will minimize our need to quarantine students exposed to COVID-19

Above is a graphic showing some of the symptoms of COVID-19. Please be sure to check your student for symptoms each morning and have them stay home if they aren’t feeling well or exhibiting symptoms. Thank you for partnering with us in this effort!

If your student is sick:

Please keep your student home and call the school office to let them know your student is sick. Leave a message if you call outside of school hours. When you call, you will be asked your student's symptoms, date they began, if you've had any known exposures to Covid, and if your student has been tested and/or you plan to get them tested (if necessary).

If your student has primary symptoms (as shown in the above photo), we will fill out a Symptom Tracking form. This goes to our MESD nurse, who will then contact you with a return date. All return dates come from MESD, so please be patient as we obtain this information. If your student will be out for more than a few days, you can email or message your child's teacher and request a packet of work for your student to do at home.

Thank you for working with us during this time. It is our goal to have students in school as much as possible while still taking all the proper precautions for the health and safety of all.

COVID Testing Permission Forms:

If your student is at school and begins to show primary signs of Covid symptoms, we can have them self-administer a Covid test at the school. In order to do this, we need a signed permission form from a parent/legal guardian for the 21/22 school year. If you signed a form last year, you will need to sign a new form for this year.

These forms are optional. You do not have complete one. Even if you do, we will still call you before any test is administered. IMPORTANT: Do not send your students to school if they're displaying any signs of illness in order to have a test. These tests are only for a) students already at school who start showing signs, and b) have a signed permission form on file.

Permission slips are below. Please complete one, if desired, and send it to your child to school to turn into the office. These forms can also be accessed on our website.

English Permission Form

Spanish Permission Form

Counselor's Corner

Hello North Stars! Welcome back!

This year we are so excited to share with you that we have 2 counselors at North!

Ms. Chu (who was with us last year) and now we also have Mr. Díaz! Mr. Díaz will be with us part-time and also part-time at Highland Elementary School.

This month the counseling team will be going to the classrooms to introduce themselves to the students and share what their role as a counselors is. Please take a moment to meet our counseling team!

Mr. Diaz: Mr. Diaz has been a Blazer fan since he was in 3rd grade and enjoys anything that has to do with sports. He also has three boys, two dogs, and is married to a 3rd grade teacher who teaches at Hollydale elementary.

Ms. Chu: Ms. Chu grew up in Acapulco, Mexico and went to school there from 1st to 12th grade, then went to college here in Oregon. Ms. Chu is Mexican, Costarrican and Chinese. Ms. Chu enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter (junior in high school) and cat named “Kitty”. Some of her hobbies include writing, photography and painting.

We look forward to working with your children!

Mr. Diaz and Ms. Chu

PBIS with Mrs. Reed

Over the course of the year we will be teaching students about character traits presented in Steven Covey’s book “The 7 Habits of Happy Kids.” Students will learn about these traits during morning announcements and in their classroom. At the end of the month classroom teachers will nominate students that have exemplified the character trait to be recognized at the monthly assembly. We'll begin our character traits in October. The 7 traits that we'll practice during this year are:

Habit 1 - Be Proactive - You're in Charge

Habit 2 - Begin with the End in Mind - Have a Plan

Habit 3 - Put First Things First - Work First, Then Play

Habit 4 - Think Win-Win - Everyone Can Win

Habit 5 - Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

Habit 6 - Synergize - Together Is Better

Habit 7 - Sharpen the Saw - Balance Feels Best

Do you want to learn more and have free access to the downloadable PDF parent's guide? Visit this link!

SUN News

Hello North Stars!

We are so excited to begin a new school year and are looking forward to seeing all of you! This Fall we will be starting out with a small after school program limited to less than 50 participants. Our Fall after school program dates are October 18th - December 9th, Monday-Thursday from 3:00pm-5:30pm. If you are interested in registering your student, please email our SUN Site Manager Yessica Ramirez at or call/text 503-519-8523 to have a registration form sent home with your student. All registration forms are due September 29th. Spots are limited, so get yours today!

Lastly, we are aware that times are tough and many are still struggling with the financial effects of the pandemic. I want to remind you that the SUN program is available to connect you to local resources and to help provide assistance with utility bills, food, clothing, school supplies, etc. Please reach out to our SUN Site manager or to our school counselor if you are in need of any assistance. Our services are completely confidential.

We are excited to see all of your faces after school. Welcome back!

From your SUN Program team!

From Our PTC

Our previous PTC email ( was compromised over the summer, so we have a new PTC email address: Please only open emails from the new email address, and add us to your email contact list!

We have open positions on the PTC Board and are looking for additional volunteers. Most of this can be done from home. PTC meetings are held online on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm. You can login through your non-school email account at or watch online from (search North Gresham PTC).

Updates throughout the year will be posted on our website: and our Facebook page: PTC is looking forward to a great year with you!

Remember, to scan your grocery receipts using the Box Top App (After you scan the receipt, click on the STAR “Credit”, and put in your child’s teacher’s last name to give Credit to that teacher. Yes! We will have competitions.) You can also give back with (North Gresham Grade School Parent Teacher Club) and Fred Meyers Community Rewards (North Gresham Parent Teacher Club). All funds go back to the school and support our students!

It's Ok to Ask for Help - Care Solace

The Gresham-Barlow School District is committed to the well-being of our students, staff, and families to create a safe and healthy learning environment. In support of our ongoing commitment, we partnered with Care Solace to provide an additional layer of care for our community.

Care Solace helps individuals find mental health care providers and substance use treatment centers. Their Care Companion™ team is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and 365 days per year to quickly connect you to carefully verified providers in your community.

Students, staff, and families may access Care Solace services in two ways:

  • Call (888) 515-0595 at any time. Support is available in 200+ languages. A dedicated Care Companion™ will help you every step of the way to research options, secure appointments, and follow up to make sure it is a good fit.

  • Visit to start an anonymous search. Answer a few questions to get matched with an extensive list of care providers.

  • Contact your school counselor or social worker for additional information and to be connected with Care Solace.

Care Solace is now available for use at no cost to you. They will connect you with providers accepting all medical insurances including Medicaid, Medicare, and sliding scale options for those without insurance. All information entered on the Care Solace tool is completely confidential and securely stored.

Please note, this service is an optional resource available by choice and is not mandatory to use. Care Solace is not an emergency response service or mental health services provider. In the event of a life threatening emergency, please call 9-1-1 or the National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255.

If you are interested in counseling-related services for your child, yourself, or another family member, please contact Care Solace for valuable assistance.

English Flyer

Russian Flyer

Spanish Flyer

Does Your Child Spend Time on TikTok?

Some of our staff and students have brought to our attention a viral meme/challenge going around on TikTok encouraging students to vandalize school bathrooms in various ways. Mrs. Sedda at Highland Elementary shared this information with their families, and we wanted to share it with you as well:

Please, take some time to talk with your children about a viral meme on TikTok that has found its way on to school campuses nationwide. The meme calls for students to vandalize schools in several ways and promotes these ideas under the tag, "Devious Licks."

Our North Stars are responsible and work hard, and we see evidence of that everyday. So, we are confident that our students want the best for their school. With that being said, it doesn't hurt to regularly talk to your children about the various things they hear about or are exposed to, and help them learn how to use social media safely and wisely.

Picture Day - October 12th!

School picture day is Tuesday, October 12th. Picture packets will be sent home next week with ordering options and information.

IMPORTANT: Please send your student's picture day order envelope to the school on picture day with exact cash (we cannot make change at the school and don't process the orders), or with a check made payable to: Dorian Studio. Online orders are also a convenient option. We cannot accept order envelopes after picture day, but you can order online up to 4 days after.

Please note that all students will get their picture taken for school purposes, regardless of whether you order or not. Ordering photos is optional.

Reminders from the Office

Contacting the Office

You can reach the office staff by calling our school at 503-661-6415, Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You can also email our office team at any time. Nina Thomas at, and Yuli Nolasco at


Please call in your student's absence before 8:35 a.m. (9:35 a.m. on Wednesdays). Leave a message if you call outside of school hours. Please let us know your student's first and last name, teacher/grade, and the reason for the absence. Students not present by 8:35 a.m. (9:35 a.m. on Wednesdays) will be marked absent. Students that arrive late will receive a tardy slip, and their absence will be adjusted in the system to a tardy.

Changes of Transportation

If your student will go home differently than normal, please contact the office to make the change. Dismissal is a very busy time, so we appreciate you calling no later than 2:00 p.m. to make any changes.

Remind App

Sign-up for the Remind app to keep in touch with your student’s teacher! No matter where you are or what you’re doing, get important school updates right on your phone. More information and sign-up here.


Register for ParentVue to view your student’s attendance, grades, and make changes to your contact information. If you need assistance with setting up ParentVue, please call the school at 503-661-6415. You can also email our secretaries at or Visit the ParentVue web page to login or sign up: