Whitman Elementary Newsletter



March 22-26 Spring Break

March 30 9:00 AM Assembly - Crayon Day


Hi Whitman Community

We hope that you have power and the internet back after such a crazy week last week! And that you and your family continue to be well. We have a few updates for you this month.

Limited In Person Instruction (LIPI)

Will be starting next week and will go for 3 sessions until Spring Break. We are so excited to start having a few students in the building for 2 hours per week! We will be serving 20 students with additional social emotional support.


Thank you for filling out the PPS Survey to let us know your learning preference for Quarter 4. If you have not filled out the survey, please do as soon as possible so we know your wishes for Quarter 4 learning. At this time, the district is planning on Hybrid starting April 12, however negotiations with our labor partners are still occurring at this time. We will share more information in the weeks to come.

We hope you continue to enjoy the warmer weather and be well!

Stephanie Murdock and Celina Garrido

From the Office:

Spirit Days are back!

Spirit Days will take place on the same days as our assemblies! Assemblies are at 9am on the following days:

March 30:Crayon Day

April 30: Sports day/Athletic wear

May 28: School Spirit

Hello Whitman Wildcats!

This year has been tough and we miss seeing you everyday! We hope that a little school spirit makes the rest of the school year better! On our May assembly, we will celebrate being a Whitman Wildcat and the best way to do that is by wearing a free and new t-shirt. Please fill out the form below to select your size. Make sure to fill it out by Monday March 1st in order to have them ready for our May assembly. We will email you when they are ready for pick up.


Go Wildcats!

Also, adult t-shirts are available for purchase. If you wish to purchase an adult t-shirt, please click on the link below to place your order by March 1st.

Families, the deadline has been extended to give your feedback about the following topics (school fit, school climate, barriers to engagement and school safety) for the 2020-2021 school year. The PPS Successful Schools Survey can be taken on a computer, tablet or smartphone. You can go to: surveys.panoramaed.com/portlandor/ppsfamily

or for QR code & clickable links in multiple languages, click here to take a survey.

Once you are at the Panorama survey site, you will see a list of all PPS schools -- select Whitman and complete the survey. Please be sure to hit the blue “Submit” button to enter your survey, otherwise responses will not be saved. Your feedback is very important to us and we appreciate your time and voice! If you have any questions or need paper copies please contact our Assistant Principal, Celina Garrido at cgarrido@pps.net .


While meals are served at no cost to children ages 1-18 at several Portland Public School sites this year, there are several benefits for eligible families to submit a meal application this school year.

  • Families approved for free and reduced-price meals may be eligible to receive future potential government assistance such as Pandemic EBT benefits.

  • Families may be eligible for other benefits such as school related fee reduction or waivers, low cost internet and health coverage.

Families do not need to submit a meal application if any of the following apply:

  • All students in the household attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school (list located online: https://www.pps.net/Page/2088) where students eat meals at no cost.

  • A meal application has already been submitted and approved for the 2020-21 school year.

  • The household received a 2020-21 Direct Certification Approval letter.

Eligible families who would like to submit a meal application have the following options:

  1. Online at www.schoolcafe.com/pps.

  2. Print, complete and mail back a paper meal application (https://www.pps.net/Page/2464) to PPS Nutrition Services, 501 N. Dixon St., Portland, OR 97227.

  3. Request a paper meal application be mailed home from mealbenefits@pps.net or call (503) 916-3402.

For meal benefits related questions, please email mealbenefits@pps.net or call (503) 916-3402.

Whitney Ellersick, Senior Director, Nutrition Services, wellersi@pps.net

From the Counselor:

Please reach out on the remind app or email me at jlocarno@pps.net if you would like to set up a google meet check in for you or your student(s). I will no longer have office hours starting in March.

The return of our monthly Spirit Days has been so fun! Our next one is March 30th. Please remind your student(s) to log on to class for Crayon Day dressed in your favorite color!

News from the Gym & Art Studio:

From Coach Katie

Hello Wildcats!

I miss you all! I wish we could be in the gym playing games and exercising together! Right now we can’t but we can still see each other every week virtually! Thank you to those who have been coming to Live PE and having a super fun time working out with me and your classmates.

I would like to SEE more of you coming to our Live PE Classes!

In case you forgot: Go to Google Meet, type in coachkatiepe to join!

Here is a reminder of the PE schedule!

Mondays - Ms. Ness’s Class - 1:15-2:00

Tuesdays- Ms. Ortiz’s Class - 11:15-12:00 , Mr. Ramsey’s Class- 12:30-1:15

Wednesdays- Ms. Underwood’s Class - 12:30-1:15 , Ms. Joanne’s Class- 1:15-2:00

Thursdays- Ms. Kauths Class - 1:00-1:45 Ms. Do’s Class - 2:00-2:45

Fridays- 2nd graders - 12:30-1:15, Ms. Yennifer’s Class- 1:45-2:30

Come to PE! Workout for 45 minutes! Get your heart pumping and your body moving, YOU WILL FEEL GREAT AFTER!

From Ms. Tara

Wildcat Artists!

Hello Artists who show up and shine at Live Art every week, you are so much FUN! To those who share with me on SeeSaw, THANK YOU! You work hard, try new things, and make really cool ART! Thank you for putting the ART in HeART!

Hello Artists I don’t see at Live Art, I MISS YOU and I WANT you to Come to LIVE ART!!! JOIN us!

ART makes you feel better! Artists make the world a better place! The video games you play, the shoes you wear, the books you read, artists made them, designed them, thought them up and turned them into something amazing for you!

Join LIve Art do ‘choice based art’, and make it your way! We have a Wildcat Artist who has done EVERY art assignment with LEGO! Making ART makes you feel better! It’s good for your brain and helps you become a better problem solver, creative thinker and happier person!

Come to LIVE ART and have some fun, you will feel so much better after!

Reminder: Log into Google Meets with artclassmstara

Tuesday- 11:10 11:55- 4th/Ramsey, 12:30-1:15-3rd/Underwood, 2:00-2:45-K/Chavez

Wednesday- 12:30-1:15-3rd/Kauth, 1;15-2:00-1st/Do, 2:00-2:45-K/Ness

Thursday- 11:10-11:55-5th/Ortiz, 1:00-1:45- 2nd grade! 2:00-2:45- 1st/Joanne

From the Library:

Whitman is holding an online Scholastic Book Fair from February 22-March 7th. This is a chance for you to buy some new books to read at home and support your school library.

Shipping is free for purchases over $25.

Thanks for your support, and keep reading!

Here's the link to our Book Fair Page:


Grace Butler

Whitman Teacher-Librarian

From the School Nurse:

A Note from Your School Nurse

Warm greetings from your School Nurse Shannon! As we all roll into the winter, and with so much COVID-19 information coming at us all, I wanted to remind everyone about WINTER SAFETY as well. There are many seasonal accidents that cause us harm as well. So as you all go out to enjoy the season, please stay safe! Here is a link to the Tom Sargent Safety Center with safety information for the season, including information such as sledding safety, signs of frostbite, and holiday decoration safety. https://www.ohsu.edu/doernbecher/holiday-and-seasonal-safety

How to Be COVID Conscious and CONNECT by Nurse Shannon

It may seem so hard these days to connect with one another. Here are a few tips to keep you safe while also CONNECTING. This is so good for your body and mind! So get out there and make someone’s day, including your own!

ü Get outside for a walk, wear a mask, stay a cow’s length away from others outside your household (that's 6 feet), AND SMILE at SOMEONE! We are all learning what “smiling” eyes look like, and you will make someone happy with giving them a smile.

ü Have a game of HOPSCOTCH with a friend or sibling. Draw 2 hopscotch patterns with chalk, a cow’s length apart from each other, make sure you and your friend still wear a mask, and see how many squares you and your friend can hop.

Did you know that, even during Distance Learning, PPS students are required to be caught up on vaccinations? See this link for more information.

The Benson Wellness Center is NOT a COVID vaccine site, but it is available for primary care for children and youth ages 7 and up. If your child is needing primary care or vaccines, please contact us! We see students regardless of insurance or ability to pay.

From the FTW PTA:

Hello families and friends,

I hope you are well. The week of unprecedented winter weather took many of us by surprise and presented many challenges, especially with the on-going pandemic. With many of our fellow families impacted by these events, at our General Meeting on Feb. 23rd, by a unanimous vote, FTW elected to redirect a portion of our current budget toward assisting Whitman families that find themselves struggling to meet basic needs. These funds will be used to help those who are finding challenges such as paying rent or utilities. Impact NW and SUN will be responsible for directing those funds to those with the greatest need.

We miss all of our friends within the Whitman community. We miss Popcorn Fridays and all the other fun events and giving our children a fun treat. So we decided to provide a little gift bag of sweets to every student at Whitman to let them know we care about them. We will set up in Flavel Park Friday, Mar. 5th from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. and a few other dates to make sure that we can get these gift bags out to every student (and some for siblings too).

Please join us at our monthly board meetings and other general meetings. It’s a great opportunity to reconnect with others in our community. We miss you and look forward to seeing you all again soon. Check out our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ftwpta for more posts and ways to stay in touch. And, finally, if you have questions, concerns, or ideas feel free to email me at president@ptawhitman.org.

All the best,


Families and Teachers of Whitman PTA president

Key Dates:

  • Kindness Event - Mar. 5th, 2021 3:30 - 4:30 PM - Gift bags to students during nutrition distribution

  • Open Board Meeting - Mar. 16th 6:30 - 7:30 PM

  • General Meeting - Apr. TBD - Nominating Committee formation.

  • General Meeting - May TBD - Elections

SUN School:

If you are having trouble with rent please see the link: Eviction Moratorium Extended! Please visit www.oregonlawhelp.org to see if you qualify. The link to give to landlord after completing moratorium: https://lcf.oregon.gov/lcf

Call, text or email Laurelee Wells: lwells@impactnw.org 503-290-8058 if you have additional questions or your family needs help with resources. We will have food available during some PPS nutrition services food dates. Message to find out more.

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Whitman Partnering with Sparrow Clubs USA

Whitman Elementary is excited to be partnering with Sparrow Clubs USA this year to help one of our very own students who needs our help! The Sparrow Clubs’ mission is to empower kids to help kids in medical need by inspiring young people to make a difference in the lives of others through acts of community service.

The Sparrow Clubs program provides youth opportunities to discover their value through participation in service-learning. By focusing on community service. The Sparrow program allows everyone to make a difference, regardless of popularity, economic situation, athleticism, intelligence, etc. We are excited to bring this amazing opportunity for our students to experience this year by helping one of our own students, Raelyn, a first-grader at Whitman. Raelyn was diagnosed with brain cancer in August of 2020 and by partnering with Sparrow Clubs students will have the opportunity to love and support her through this service-learning project. Whitman Elementary School’s Sparrow Project will begin by launching on February, 19 with a virtual assembly. Students will learn about Raelyn’s medical journey and about how they can help her through simple acts of community service. Thanks to generous local sponsors, for every hour of community service completed, $10 will be placed in Raelyn’s Sparrow account. Students simply complete the service, fill out the voucher and submit it. It’s that simple!

Resource Links below:

Raelyn's Community Service Voucher Link

(Students log their hours by clicking on this link and submitting the form)

Sparrow Community Website

(Here you will find ideas and ways your child can help)

Sparrow App

(Download the free app to send messages to Raelyn and her family and find out how she is doing)