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News from Asha Appel, Head of Upper School

On Monday in the 11th grade PAL meeting, a group of parents did some inquiry work. They explored their individual ideas, collaborated to find meaning, created strong assertions, and committed to an argument with evidence. This group was invested in trying to better understand homework with the goal of being able to support their stressed out kids. Being a parent of a high schooler is hard work–there’s no answer key, no manual, no guide to doing it well. Those same challenges are true for much of the learning our students experience as well: they have to explore, often without a map; they have to create, sometimes without yet fully recognizing the resources available to them; they have to collaborate with those who think and experience the world differently; and they have to commit, even when they are not sure they’ve got the right answer. And so it is that we all are learners, constantly persisting. As the poet Adrienne Rich writes, “It will not be simple, it will become your will.”

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OES is the first school in the Pacific Northwest to have ties made for us by the very well-known designers at Vineyard Vines.

A beautiful silk tie in our OES hunter green that perfectly represents our fabulous Aardvarks, this item makes a wonderful gift or school memento.

Choose from a neck tie or bow tie; available in mens' or boys' sizes.

These ties will be available in the OES School Store on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Email your order to menashem@oes.edu. Be sure to list your name, email address, quantity of ties, and size(s).

Fast Tie Facts:


-Made in the USA

-Signature printed silk


-100% imported silk

-Double wool blend liner  


-Necktie: Length 58"; Width 3.5"; $85

-Bowtie: $55


-Necktie: Length 49"; Width 3.1";  $50

-Bowtie: $45  

The on-campus School Store is located in Fariss Hall. We are open from 2-4 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment.

Store Manager: Madeleine Menashe; menashem@oes.edu; 503-768-3170 

It's Giving Tree Season! Students are participating in a new way this year, raising money to purchase gift cards that will go to families in need. Students wanted to give parents more agency and autonomy to make choices and purchase gifts for their children. We will likely still be in need of some holiday gift wrapping, as the OES staff will shop for two families we will sponsor. If you enjoy gift wrapping, please join us for a wrapping party in Fariss Hall on December 14th from 8-12 pm. To sign up for that, please send an email to Kara Tambellini and let her know you're available!

ALSO: Winter Break is a great opportunity for students and families to use their POWER FOR GOOD—for suggestions, check out lots of great opportunities on the SL website or go to Hands On Greater Portland for volunteer opportunities.

Service Learning REMINDERS:

Students should have created an account with MobileServe, our new online system for logging and tracking Service Learning hours.

SENIORS: Friday, May 25 is the deadline to turn in ALL ON and OFF campus SL hours. That's much sooner than you think! It is wise to try to get this done before Spring Break, if possible. If you’re not sure what to do, SEE KARA.

All other students should be working to propose and complete SL Projects. Questions or suggestions? Contact Kara Tambellini: 503-416-9308 or tambellinik@oes.edu

As you are hopefully aware, student registration forms were due Wednesday 11/29 by 3 p.m. If you have not done so already. please be sure to complete and submit the electronic parent permission form. If you did not receive the message in your email inbox, please check your junk box. The message is from form_engine@fs18.formsite.com and indicates the subject as Winterim 2018 Registration. If you still can't find it, please contact Christina Meyerhoff.

Students will be notified of their Winterim assignments before winter break. Please know that we do our best to give all students one of their top three choices, but occasionally it just isn't possible. If your student is disappointed with his/her placement, we hope you can help them understand that every course will have its rewards and that a positive attitude will set them up for a rewarding Winterim experience.

Starting in January 2018, OES will be utilizing FACTS for their student billing. Families will have:

  • 24-hour access to your student account
  • Easier to read statements
  • Auto-pay for tuition payments - credit card or checking
  • 24-hour customer service in multiple languages (including Spanish & Mandarin)
  • Flywire for easy international payments
  • Authorize grandparents (or other party) to access your account and make payments

All current families will need to create an account with FACTS. Watch for more information to be sent via email as we make this transition.

Please save-the-date for Wednesday evening, January 17, 2018, when Author and Speaker Amy Morin will join the OES Community to talk about her new book 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do.  Amy Morin is a licensed clinical social worker, college psychology instructor and psychotherapist.  Since 2002, she has helped people address issues ranging from depression and anxiety to parenting problems and stress management.  Her new book focuses on raising self-assured children and training their brains for a life full of happiness, meaning and success. Kim Bissell, Owner of Broadway Books has the books ready for sale. Anyone interested can either call Broadway Books or email Kim.  We thank you for supporting our local small business!  

A tale as old as time . . .

Volunteers are already hard at work dreaming up an enchanted evening to entertain our community.

Ways you can help:

  • Donate sports, concert, or arts tickets, vacation stays, restaurant gift cards, and more. See our wish list for more ideas.
  • Class Baskets: Keep an eye out for your class basket theme and help build a enticing basket by donating items; or
  • Class Case of Wine: This year each class is being asked to help build a Class Case for the Wall of Wine. Wine will still be available for purchase by the bottle.
  • Business Advertising and Sponsorship: Annual partners include law firms, medical and dental practices, financial services firms, real estate companies, and favorite local restaurants. Click here for more information on Advertising and Sponsorship.

Fairy Godmother Diane Engelhard Jones is always seeking great ideas and new volunteers to make this annual celebration a huge success. Email auction@oes.edu to learn how you can help sprinkle the fairy dust far and wide.

Families seeking financial aid for the 2018-2019 school year may begin the online Parent Financial Statement (PFS).  The PFS is due on February 2.

Curious about Financial Aid at OES?  Please review our Frequently Asked Questions including “Will I Qualify?”.

Financial Aid Information Nights

Monday, December 4, 7-8pm
Tuesday, January 16, 7-8pm
Middle School Commons

No RSVP needed. All are welcome. This session will be most appropriate for families new to the Financial Aid application process.

Please sign up to help with Decorations, Entertainment, and Check-in/Check-out.

Sign up here: Senior Grad Party Committee.

This is a "pay it forward" opportunity, so we can enjoy the excitement and celebration when our own students graduate next year.  The Grad Party provides the graduation seniors with a fun, safe, and memorable night together before they go their separate ways and close their OES experience.


Andrea & Carolyn, Co-Chairs

Thank you, Upper School Parents! Thanks to you, in the month of October we raised $436,921 in gifts and pledges, 41.6% of goal!

34% of parents have donated, including:

  • 35% of 9th grade parents
  • 34% of 10th grade parents
  • 28% of 11th grade parents
  • 42.5% of 12th grade parents

For those of you who were unable to give or pledge during the month of October, you have until June 15, 2018, to get your donation in this year.

If you have any questions regarding the OES Fund, please feel free to contact Jaime SalesShannon O’Brien or Madeline Pruett (503-768-3137), director of development. 

Winterim leader Ron Silver will lead a trip next summer to France, following the footsteps of the doughboys and G.I.s who fought in WWI, WWII and the “Lost Generation” in Paris between the wars.  Starting with WWI, we will visit Belleau Wood where the Marines threw back the German armies of the real General Ludendorff without the help of Wonder Woman. We will spend one day in the Argonne Forest where pacifist Alvin York became a legendary American hero, and then we will visit Verdun, one of the largest battles of the war where French and German soldiers struggled with the horrific toll of modern war.  In Verdun, we will have the rare opportunity to explore subterranean tunnels and mines where they also waged underground war.

We return to the Normandy beaches as America had to return to fight in France again, absorbing the courage and chaos of Omaha Beach, be astounded by “the boys of Pt. Du Hoc” and learn how the Airborne led the way at St. Mere Eglise. We’ll follow Patton’s armored breakout and learn how a young man from Portland, sitting on top of a hill with a radio, stopped the Nazi counter-offensive. Next, back to Paris! We will spend several days in Paris hanging out with the spirit of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker and others who became known as the lost generation.  Other highlights will be to tour UNESCO world heritage site Mt. St. Michel, and the school classroom in Reims, where the Nazi war machine unconditionally surrendered, ending the war in Europe.

Dates: June 19 to July 3

Cost: TBD

In an effort to accommodate family summer travel plans, the trip group will meet in Paris on June 20. 10th-12 grade students traveling without a parent will be welcome to travel from Portland with trip leader Ron Silver, flying into and out of Paris. Email Kati Stenstrom, Extension Director, if you are interested.


Please note the following test dates and registration deadlines. Enter the school code when you register (380915) and if you are taking the ACT, it is important to include the optional writing test. There is a late registration deadline for each test date that requires an additional fee. See the testing websites for additional information.

SAT/ACT Dates and (Registration Deadline):

SAT testing

  • March 10 (2/9, late 2/28)
  • May 5 (4/6, late 4/25)
  • June 2 (5/3, late 5/23)

ACT testing

  • February 10 (1/12, late 1/19)
  • April 14 (3/9, late 3/23)
  • June 9 (5/4, late 5/18)
  • July 14 (6/15, late 6/22)
  • 9th Grade PAL -- Next meeting: January 8, 8:00 am, DVR. Questions? Contact Kristin Bradley
    • Upcoming meetings: 2/5, 4/3, 5/7
  • 10th Grade PAL -- Next meeting: January 16 (Tuesday), 8:00 am, DVR. Questions? Contact Clare Rathbone
    • Upcoming meetings: 2/12, 4/9, 5/14
  • 11th Grade PAL -- Next meeting: January 22, 8:00 am, DVR. Questions? Contact Alicia Morissette
    • Upcoming meetings: 2/20, 4/16, 5/21
  • 12th Grade PAL -- Next meeting: January 29, 8:00 am, DVR. Questions? Contact Jennifer Hapke
    • Upcoming meetings: 2/26, 4/23, 5/29

Monthly PAL minutes are accessible when logged into the Parent Portal in PCR. Just click on the link for PCL and PAL Meeting Summaries. You can see all upcoming Parent Leadership Meetings by going to the Parents section of our website at oes.edu/parents.

Click here to see full
Upper School calendar.
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