MS Messenger

April 20 

Spring is in the Air!
From Outdoor Studying to Blooming Blossoms to Fun Flextivities


I hope many of you had the opportunity to hear from Julie Lythcott-Haims, the author of How to Raise an Adult, on Monday night here in the chapel. She is a dynamic speaker whose experience as a dean of freshmen at Stanford for ten years has informed her view that parents are “overparenting.” Her book is just as thought-provoking as her presentation, and I encourage you to read it. One line, of many, that has stuck with me is when she writes about the importance of children “learning that your actions matter, that they control outcomes that are important” (163). When things are done for you, or if you have no control over outcomes in your life, this can lead to a sense of lacking purpose, lack of confidence, and learned helplessness. This line has been echoing in my ears this week as I watch students both make mistakes and find success in their daily lives. With adolescents, whose pre-frontal cortexes are a work in progress, not thinking something through is a hallmark of this age group. As a Middle School faculty, we have been having extensive conversations about how to best help students learn from those inevitable mistakes, and we know that what makes the difference is relationship building, reflection, and conversation. This is true for all of us, and it’s a good reminder that our actions matter, our connections to each other matter, and the power of face to face conversation is remarkable. This is hard work, and it takes longer than shooting off an email or sending a text, but it is powerful. We have the gift of a small community to make that work that much more possible. I hope you’ve been enjoying the opportunity this week to talk to your child’s advisor and hear about both the successes and challenges your child is experiencing. These conversations are more than just academic check-ins, they are relationship building, reflection, and conversation.


April 29
7:00PM - 9:00PM          

MS Spring Social

May 1 - May 6

6th Graders at Outdoor School

May 4
8:15AM - 9:30AM          

PAL Meeting

May 4
9:30AM - 10:30AM          

Upper School Tour for 7th Grade Parents with Jordan Elliott, Head of Upper School
MS Commons (following PAL Meeting) 

May 4
7:00PM - 8:30PM          

Rising 9th Grader Upper School Course Registration
and Ice Cream Social for Parents and Students
US Great Hall

May 9
6:30PM - 7:30PM           

High School Introduction for 7th Grade Parents with Jordan Elliott and Ann Sulzer
MS Commons 

May 11     

Mount Hood Climb Service Day

May 11
7:00AM - 4:00PM        

Spring OES Red Cross Blood Drive
Parish/Ladehoff Room  

May 25
8:00AM - 9:30AM        

Community Diversity Link (CDL)
Platt Global Classroom

May 25 - 26
7:30AM - 3:00PM      

GOBS (Great OES Book Sale)
LS Library 

May 30       

Memorial Day Holiday - NO SCHOOL

June 1 
6:30PM - 8:30PM      

6th Grade Science Night

June 2
6:30PM - 8:30PM       

7th Grade Inquiry Night

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

High School Introduction for 7th Grade Parents *New*
Last Call for Lost & Found Items *New*
GOBS (Great OES Book Sale) is Here! *New*
32nd Annual Oregon Writing Festival at PSU *New*
Dates Set for 2016-2017 8th Grade Language Trips *New*
Outdoor School Reminders for 6th Grade Parents 
Reenrollment Forms Needed *Updated*
Student Physicals For 2016-17 *Updated*


We’re excited to share the High School/Upper School experience with 7th grade parents. Hope you’re able to join us for one or both of these upcoming events:

  • Upper School Tour: Wednesday, May 4, 9:30AM - 10:30AM after the Middle School PAL meeting. Join Jordan Elliott, Head of the Upper School, for a tour of the Upper School.
  • High School Introduction: Monday, May 9, 6:30PM -7:30PM in the MS Commons. Join Jordan Elliott and Ann Sulzer for a presentation about high school programs and an introduction to the OES Upper School program.


All clothing items that are still in the Middle School Lost & Found as of Friday, April 29, are going to be donated. Please come by and look through the many jackets and sweatshirts that we have amassed in the last few months before they are gone.


It's a GOBS year!  If you haven't attended GOBS before you are in for a wonderful OES community event that supports summer reading, increases the conversation around good literature, and only happens every other year.

GOBS will take place in the LS Library on May 25 and 26. In this year of space flexibility, we will be collecting your gently used adult and children's books on May 23 and 24 curbside or please arrange a prior drop off with Jana Reddoch or Dawn Swanson. Also please separate your books into adult books bag/box and children's bag/box for ease of organizing in the library.
Since we are having a very short sorting time, please be aware that GOBS is going to look like the best Thrift Store ever and you will have to dig for that buried reading treasure...i.e. no categories this year, only an adult book pile and a children's book pile. Families who donate books to GOBS will be able to participate in an early morning preswap on May 25 from 7:30AM - 8:30AM so get those books ready!

If you would like to volunteer for GOBS, we have openings for collecting books curbside, organizing books in the library and helping during the swap itself. You can sign up here - GOBS Volunteering. Feel free to contact Jana Reddoch or Dawn Swanson if you have any questions about GOBS.


Calling all interested fiction writers, non-fiction authors, poets, songwriters… in 4th - 12th grades. Festival is on May 7, 2016.

Do you want to share your love of writing with other students from across Oregon? Learn from writing teachers and authors… Spend the day writing?

Email the division coordinators to RSVP:
Lower School:  Asha Sathyaraj:
Middle School: Annie Russell:
Upper School: Rick Rees:

For more Information and instructions on how to prepare a writing sample, please visit the following links:


For current 7th grade families:

Several parents have inquired about the 8th grade language trips for 2017. Please know that these trips are one option for the 8th grade program. No student is required to go on a language trip. Parents need to assess whether they and their student are ready for their child to manage an international travel experience without a parent present.

Students who choose not to participate in a language trip are required to participate in a full week of experiential programming here in Portland. 

An information meeting will be scheduled for early October for all parents who are interested in learning more about the language trips and the alternative experiential option. Next year's language trips will depart on March 15 and return to Portland either March 24 or 25. For families who may be planning to meet their child overseas, please know that the trip leaders will set a time and location on the last night of the trip when parents may pick up their child. (Students may not travel elsewhere to meet their parent.) OES asks that parents make their travel plans so that they will arrive in the rendezvous city at least 24 hours before they meet up with their child; this allows for some buffer in case of travel snags. 

If you have any questions, please contact Christina Meyerhoff, Director of Winterim and Off-Campus Programming. 


Outdoor School for the 6th Grade is Sunday, May 1 - Friday, May 6. Here is a link for the ODS Packing List.  We suggest a few additional items: flip flops, a swim suit for showers if students are modest, and a twin-sized fitted sheet. 


To complete your child’s enrollment for the 2016-2017 school year, please follow the link below to our online Health & Permission Forms website.  Forms are pre-populated and should take just a few minutes per child to confirm and/or update the required information. We need you to complete the online forms by May 1. 

2016-2017 Health & Permission Forms

In addition to the online forms, you may also need to download one of the forms listed below:

Student Physical Report (Grades 7-12) (all rising students to grades 7, 9, and 11)
Allergy Information Form and Action Plan (if applicable)
Asthma Action Plan form (if applicable)


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)


The 6th graders will be busy working on their science research projects for their Science Night scheduled for June 1. There will be after school Science Lab time for students for 3 weeks - Tuesday through Friday from 3:15PM - 5:00PM. This will start Tuesday, April 12, and will go through Friday, April 29.  We will need one parent volunteer each day - Tuesday - Friday - to be on hand to help out and supervise when there are students working on their projects. Helping to organize the lab is also appreciated. Benno Lyon or the Science Research Assistant, David Rosenberg, will also be there during these times.  

To sign-up please click on this link.OES MS 15-16 6th Science Lab Helper. Please direct any questions to the MS Volunteer Coordinator, Jodi Wilkins. Thank you!


The 31st OES Science & Engineering Symposium is on Thursday, April 21, 2016. Our Upper School students will present their research with Power Point presentations in the Drinkward Center. The presentations will start at 8:00AM and will continue until 12:30PM.  There will be three sessions: physics & engineering, medicine & microbiology, and chemistry & environmental sciences. The students present in 15-minute time slots with a 5-minute question and answer time.

We are looking for interested parents/relatives/friends with a science degree or work experience in any of the science, medical, or engineering fields to ask questions and provide feedback to the student presenters.  

We are also inviting parents to come and listen to our student presentations. This will be a great opportunity, especially for parents not familiar with the Upper School research program, to get to know the breadth of student research taking place in the OES Upper School. 

Please contact Tanja Horvat,, if you can attend the Symposium and provide students with feedback.


Rising 9th graders: Course registration for Upper School will be completed at the Ice Cream Social on Wednesday, May 4, 7:00PM - 8:30PM. This event is for parents and students. Save the date – more info to follow by email in late April.


Summer programs are now open for registration at OES Summer Programs.  Check them out!


"In sum, media are an enormous presence in young people’s lives, a huge claim on their time and attention, and an element of their lives that is well worth our continued attention.” - The Common Sense Census; Media Use by Tweens and Teens, 2015. 

Click here view the March PAL Presentation with results of the Digital Media Survey that was completed by both children and parents this past month. This slideshow includes links to handouts and resources for further discussion.  If you have further questions as we consider our children's use of technology in the home, please contact Jennifer Futrell:


Spring Sport Pre-Orders have arrived!  Didn’t place your order in time?  No worries, we have you covered!  We now have a large selection of Tennis, Golf, Track and Field, and Lacrosse items to choose from, as well as Pajamas, Vineyard Vines Ties and Bow Ties, License Plate Frames, Mugs, Picture Frames, Gloves and so much more!  You’ll find something for all of your favorite Aardvarks and Aardvark Fans!
We are located in the lower level of the Morris House, below Admissions. You can also find us at: Questions? Contact Madeleine at


What an amazing year of great reads we've had! Community Diversity Link will conclude the year with a meeting dedicated to the state of the school and new strategic plan with respect to issues of diversity on Wednesday, May 25, at 8:00AM in the Platt Global Classroom.  


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. 


Please do not arrive on the pickup line before 3:00PM in the afternoon. We have recently had problems with this because Middle School cars are blocking Lower School parents whose students are released at 2:50PM. If you arrive early, you may be asked to drive back around to the end of the parking line to allow Lower School parents through. Thank you for your patience.


Students are welcome to come to RGS after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays for "Aftermath" with Ms. Von. She will be in her room from 3:15PM to 4:15PM for math help.


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 for any changes to your child's 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 EC) is to call or email the Director of the After School Program, Meghan Powers, 503-416-9299 or




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