MS Messenger

September 21

7th Graders greet the morning sun at Mt. St. Helens.


As you read this Messenger note, I am experiencing the Mt. St. Helens trip with the seventh grade. I am learning about the environmental impact of the eruption of the volcano and taking risks with the students by navigating the Ape Caves and trying to sleep in a campground with 71 seventh grade students. These past two weeks in the Middle School have been invigorating, exhausting, and awe-inspiring. Students have thrown themselves into classes and the life of the Middle School at high velocity and high volume. Last Friday was a particularly special day with the entire morning devoted to reading. We started the day by joining the Lower School for our first combined DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) experience. Middle Schoolers read to the younger Lower School students, joined classrooms, and sprawled out all over the Lower School building to read as a community. The Middle School students then returned to our building to do a series of workshops and discussions revolving around their summer reading books. Though not every Middle School student has a deep love of reading (yet, I remain hopeful), they modeled reading for their younger peers and jumped into activities related to reading and storytelling with enthusiasm.

A huge thanks to all of you who attended Back to School Night last week. It is so great for our teachers to have the chance to connect with you about their work as advisors and classroom teachers, and it is wonderful for all of you to walk through the classes your children have. I hope to see many of you at our first PAL meeting on October 5 from 8:00AM - 9:00AM in the Middle School Library. You will have a chance to hear from teachers about how to best support your children in their various academic classes, and there will be an opportunity for grade level breakouts.


We take your children's whereabouts very seriously. For ALL attendance issues, please send an email to to let us know about planned absences, illnesses, appointments, etc. Thank you!


September 20 - 23

7th Grade Trip 

September 21 - 23

6th Grade Trip

September 21 - 23 8th Grade Trip
September 30 - October 7 NFLS Chinese Student Exchange Visiting Days
September 30  OES Homecoming Day
October 5
8:00AM - 9:00AM         

MS PAL Meeting - Parent & Grade Level Team Lead Breakout Sessions
MS Library (Please note new time and location!)  
October 5  
9:00AM - 9:45AM   
US Tour for 8th Grade Parents
Immediately following MS PAL Meeting
October 5
7:45AM - 12:30PM 
MS Picture Re-Take Day
US Great Hall  
October 6
6:00PM - 8:00PM 
Community Conversations
LS Library 
October 10
6:30PM - 8:30PM 
8th Grade Parent Language Trip Meetings (Spain, China and Martinique)
MS Commons 
October 14 PGD Day - NO SCHOOL

Please note that new information to the Messenger each week will be marked *New* or *Updated.* Scroll below for details.


Homecoming is Just Around the Corner *New*
Admissions Update: US Tours for 8th Grade Parents *New*
First PAL Meeting - Wednesday, October 5 *New*
8th Grade Language Trips *New*
OES School Store Stocked with Fall Apparel and Homecoming Gear *New*
Aftermath: Fall 2016 *New*
PCL (Parent Community Link) Fall Get-Togethers *New*
Community Conversations at OES *New*


Please join Aardy on Friday, September 30, to support the Boys and Girls Varsity Soccer teams as they take on Catlin Gabel.

Enjoy a meal on OES or taste from one of Portland Best Food Carts. RSVP here by September 23 only if you want the delicious OES meal.

Can you help? Please Volunteer here.

4:15 Varsity Boys Soccer vs. Catlin Gabel at the Turf Field
5:00 Food Carts Open
5:30 Parade
6:15 Varsity Girls Soccer Catlin Gabel at the Turf Field

Monday: Pajama Day
Tuesday: Twin Tuesday
Wednesday: Teamwear Wednesday (favorite jersey, any team)
Thursday: Tropical Thursday
          Friday: Spirit Day   


We’re excited to share the OES Upper School program with our 8th grade families. We’ve scheduled three parent tours this fall and we hope you’re able to join Corbet Clark, Interim Head of Upper School, on one of the following dates to learn about and experience our amazing US program. All tours will start in the MS lobby.

  • October 5, 9:00AM - 9:45AM, after the MS PAL meeting
  • November 8, 8:15AM – 9:00AM
  • December 7, 9:00AM - 9:45AM, after the MS PAL meeting


“How to Help Your Child with their Work”
Don’t miss the first MS PAL Meeting, October 5, 8:00AM - 9:00AM in the MS Library (new time and location!) Parents and Team Leaders will gather afterward in grade-level breakout sessions to discuss the questions important to you. Please contact your Grade Reps with discussion topics or questions:


Thank you to those who attended one of last week’s information sessions on the 8th grade language trips. If you did not attend one of the sessions, and you would like to have the option for your child to participate in a language trip this year, please contact Christina Meyerhoff,, Director of Off-Campus Programming, right away. It is important that all parents and students make their decisions with the same set of information.

Registration: If you decide to register for one of the language trips, please complete the registration form, sign the Letter of Financial Commitment, and send both to Tna Meyerhoff ( or hand in paper copies to the MS office by Thursday, September 29. Financial aid applications are also due to Jen Bash,, by September 29.

Follow up information: On October 10 at 6:30PM in the MS we will hold individual language trip meetings. This will be your one opportunity to hear in person from the trip leaders about the specifics of your child’s language trip. If, after attending the trip meeting, you change your mind and decide that you do not want your child to participate (or your child decides not to participate) you will have until October 12 to cancel your child’s registration without financial penalty. If you choose to cancel after October 12, you will be held responsible for all non-refundable fees.


The on-campus store is located in the Morris House and is open 2:00PM - 4:00PM, Monday - Friday and by appointment. Or you can shop the store online 24/7! For more information, contact Store Manager Madeleine Menashe (503) 768-3170.


In addition to math study hall during the day, the math teachers offer after school open math help called Aftermath. For the fall, the hours are:

  • Tuesday: Ms. Von and Ms. Seder
  • Wednesday: Ms. Seder
  • Thursday: Ms. Von

During the fall, Mr. Chang has Upper School Soccer coaching after school. His students are welcome to attend Aftermath with Ms. Von or Ms. Seder or make an appointment with Mr. Chang as he is available.


PCL (Parent Community Link) is sponsoring several evenings this fall for parents to gather and meet with Mo Copeland and Chris Schuck. These informal get-togethers are from 7:00PM - 8:30PM at the homes of OES families in different parts of the city. The intention is to bring together parents across all three divisions who don't all live in the same neighborhood and might not have time to volunteer at school. Drinks and snacks will be provided.

There are three remaining dates available as November 2, 2016 has already reached capacity. Please click on the date most convenient to RSVP.  
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Tammy Justus and David Wilkinson
NW Portland
Monday, October 10, 2016
April and Jason Gilster
SW Portland
Thursday, December 8, 2016
Rene and Vernon Cowell
SE Portland
Please RSVP as soon as possible to ensure there is space.  We hope to see you at one of these gatherings. For more information, please contact Courtney Fitzloff.  


Please join us for the first Community Conversations of the school year on October 6, 6:00PM - 8:00PM, in the Lower School Library.

Lori Eberly presents "You're In or You're Out: Exploring Belonging":
What does it feel like to belong? What are the limits of belonging? Join executive consultant and former social worker Lori Eberly to explore our fundamental need to connect with others. Participants will reflect on the elements of belonging and threats to ties that bond. Are there times when it is better not to belong? Can one person’s sense of belonging come at the expense of another’s? When belonging makes sense, how can we find ways to be intentional and welcoming as we build relationships where we live, work, and play? Register Here

For more information, follow this link


Here's a great way to get involved in the Middle School! Our fabulous teachers have three long days of conferences and greatly appreciate snacks! Please sign up here. For questions, please contact Carolyn Stanley.


Sign up to be a Fall Sport Team Parent and help the OES MS Coaches with their teams. Help coaches with team communication if needed and coordinate parent volunteers for team snacks, team events, run scoreboard and keep stat books etc. Click on the link to sign-up OES MS 16-17 Fall Sport Team Parents. Please direct any questions to the MS Volunteer Coordinator, Jodi Wilkins at


MS Resources Website: Student Calendars, Class Updates and Helpful Resources

New this year, Middle School faculty are posting monthly updates about classes on the MS Resources website. This is the same site we use each year to provide student and family access to all MS class calendars. There are also links for the Daily Announcement display as well as OES Athletics, and a helpful list of “Who to Contact in the Middle School.” Please bookmark this site: or access it from the MS Messenger webpage under Helpful Resources.


To be eligible to drive OES students, parents need to take a class led by Director of Facilities, Jon von Behren. This one-hour class will certify you as a school driver for a period of three years. You will also need to have a DHS background check to drive MS students.

We use parent drivers throughout the year to take students to Service Learning projects, advisory outings and other school-related field trips. Certification classes are only offered in the fall. If you anticipate needing to drive for any of these MS activities, please consider taking one of the fall classes.

If you are new to the MS or if it has been three years since your last driving class, please sign up for one of the sessions offered. These classes are only offered in the fall.

We are having 3 certification classes this year:
1.       Monday, September 12, 11:30AM - 12:30PM in DVR
2.       Monday, September 26, 8:15AM - 9:15AM in Platt Global Classroom
3.       Wednesday, October 5, 7:00PM - 8:00PM in Platt Global Classroom 

Please sign up for any one of these classes, using VolunteerSpot so that we can plan appropriately. Please click on the link to sign up - AS Driver Certification Class

If you have any questions, feel free to email Ruchi Prakash (All School Volunteer Coordinator) at any time.


Make your doctor appointments early! OES requires that all students new to OES or rising to the 7th, 9th or 11th grades for the 2016-17 school year have a physical and a sports pre-participation form completed by parents and their physicians before school begins in the Fall. Click on the following to download the Student Physical Report (Grades PK - 6) or Student Physical Report (Grades 7-12). OSAA guidelines require that this form be completed. Your child cannot participate in any OES activities, including sports practices and class trips, without this completed form. In addition, you might need the following forms:

Allergy Information Form and Action Plan (if applicable)
Asthma Action Plan form (if applicable)


Attention 7th Grade Parents: Per Oregon law, your child needs to be up to date on their TDAP booster. Please email the date of your child's latest TDAP/Tetanus booster to our school nurse, Elaine Elliott. If your child is not up to date with their booster, please contact your medical provider to complete this requirement.

When you have a new email address, phone number or other important contact information, what's the best way to let the school know about this important change?

The OES Parent Portal ( was specifically designed to help you communicate those changes to us. That includes emergency contacts you might wish to add or edit. To access this feature simply log in to the portal, go to the Family page and choose the item you wish to edit from the list of links on the left-hand side. Keeping these details up-to-date is the best way to make sure we have correct information to communicate with and assist our families.


Please see for maps and descriptions of the new drop off and pickup patterns this year. It is critical that you do not arrive early for pickup in the afternoon and that you adhere to the designated areas for drop off and pickup for all the children’s safety.


Dear OES Families,
As with many of our school policies and protocols, there is occasionally the need to review, clarify and revise both current language and best practice. I am pleased to let you know that the "OES Food and Allergy Policy" has now been updated.
In keeping with our Food and Allergy Policy, we are amending the title of our school program as “Allergy Aware.” While the title has changed, the practice of how we manage allergens in our dining halls and classrooms remains the same. Allergens will still be labeled in our dining halls, and special age-appropriate care and support will continue for all of our younger students. In collaboration with Bon Appetit, we will continue to ban nuts and nut products from all of our dining halls and classrooms.
I invite you to read through our policy: OES Food and Allergy Policy
As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns
Warm Regards,
Elaine Elliott


MS Doors Open at 7:30AM. If your child arrives before that, please be aware that the Great Hall is open to students to wait.

Attendance: Please email or call 503-768-3127 if your child will be late or absent from school.

Afternoon Change of Plans: Please email or call 503-768-3127 only if your child is not aware of changes to their afternoon pick up plans. We ask that you kindly inform us of these changes by 2:00PM. We will leave a note on your child's locker. All school bus related questions should go to Robbi Garvin.

After 3:05PM, the best way to locate your child (if they are working with a teacher or in Extension) is to call or email the Director of the After School Program, Meghan Powers, 503-416-9299 or





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