Voice Newsletter

December 15, 2014

Giving Tree Gift Wrapping - Volunteers help wrap the 450+ gifts for the 18 families (103 people!) whom we are supporting during the holidays.


This week will be focused on final assessments (December 16-19, detailed schedule below in Calendar of Upcoming Events). Do make note that exams begin at 9:00 am Tuesday through Thursday, December 16-18, and at 10:00 am on Friday, December 19. Parents can excuse students from the final exam that corresponds with their open block by calling or emailing Alison Nugent (usattend@oes.edu). 

The 2014 calendar year ends with our annual St. Nick's Chapel. The event begins at 1:30 pm in the OES Gym. Parents are welcome. Please note that the final assessment on Friday, December 19 begins at 10:00 am. 

Best Wishes & Happy Holidays from the Upper School!

Follow me on Twitter for updates of what’s going on in the Upper School and for trends in education: @OESheadUS


December 16-19US Assessments
Dec. 16 - 9:00-11:00am G, 1:00-3:00pm F
Dec. 17 - 9:00-11:00am E, 1:00-3:00pm D
Dec. 18 - 9:00-11:00am C, 1:00-3:00pm B
Dec. 19 - 10:00am-12:00pm A
December 19St. Nick's Alumnae/i Pizza Party, 12:00pm, DVR
 St. Nick's Chapel, 1:30pm, OES Gym
December 20-January 4Winter Break!
January 5Classes Resume
 9th Grade PAL, 8:00am, DVR
January 1210th Grade PAL, 8:00am, DVR
 Speaker - Dr. John Medina, 7:00pm, Chapel
January 16NO US Classes


Give Cereal
For the 15th consecutive year OES is collecting cereal for The Community Transitional School, a school in NE Portland serving homeless youth. This is a busy time of year for all of us, but if you have a spare box of cereal to share with some kids who would not otherwise have breakfast it would be greatly appreciated. Just have it delivered to the door of the US Office. Thanks so much and Happy Holidays! 

Honeywell Instant Alert
Winter is here! It is important to be ready for what nature throws our way. OES contracts with an emergency announcement calling service that will notify families of school delays and closures and other emergencies. In order to receive these announcements, you must register with Honeywell Instant Alert.
Learn more

Volunteer Needs
- Giving Tree gift wrapping volunteers needed! Click here.
12th Grade Faculty Snack, Jan. 20th

OES Dining Hall News
The OES dining hall has launched a new website, Cafe Bon Appetit, which offers the ability to sort the menu by dietary preferences and to sign up for a daily email with that day's menu offerings. Check it out!
Do you want to keep up on what’s happening in the OES dining hall? Are you interested in the Bon Appetit story or how Bon Appetit stumbled into sustainability? Check us out on Facebook at Bon Appetit @ OES. 
You can view the Weekly Menu on the new Bon Appetit website.

On the main page is green text that says "View Weekly Menu." By clicking that, you can see the menu for the whole week.







OES Nut Policy Reminder
As everyone is aware, OES has chosen not to serve nuts or nut products in our dining halls as one measure to help keep our community members with life threatening allergies safe. In regards to OES bus transportation, we also request that your student(s) refrain from bringing or consuming nuts or nut products on our OES buses in order ot minimize risk for our students. Questions? Contact Elaine Elliott.

Please remember to call or email in advance if your child is going to miss school or be late for any reason. Doing so will help us keep your child safe. Email USattend or call US Attendance Coordinator, Alison Nugent, at (503) 768-3169. 


Happy Holidays from the Dorms! We want to thank all those families who have taken part in the Backyard Exchange Program. It has been a true joy having your children as part of our dorm community. If you are interested in finding out more information about B.Y.E., or would like to inquire about availability for your student, please contact Brad Hoffman

While the holidays are just around the corner, we wanted to ask that those of your interested in hosting a dorm student for Spring Break to contact Brad Hoffman, to let him know you are interested. Our international students truly enjoy spending time with our host families, and greatly appreciate your generosity. 


Mark your calendars and RSVP for the Brain Rules event with best selling author, Dr. John Medina!

January 12th at 7:00 p.m. in the OES Chapel
Please RSVP here!

OES will welcome Dr. John Medina, the New York Times bestselling author of Brain Rules to campus for an exciting event January 12th at 7:00 p.m. Dr. Medina is a brain researcher and professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He will make brain science fun and exciting in this high-energy presentation. His best selling book, Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School, tackles the way our brains react to and organize information and how our environments can be modified for peak brain performance. Dr. Medina uses humor and fascinating stories to bring the brain to life. If you have questions, please contact Kristin Bradley.


Early Covert Operation Alert
Code Name:
 PHWOWSFA (Pre-Holiday W.O.W. Submissions for Auction)

Wall of Wine field operatives have embarked upon phase 1 execution. To get a jump on this popular auction feature, they’ve designed an advance pre-holiday wine donation operation. Your help is mission critical.      

Please donate a bottle of wine, valued at $20 or higher, to help fill the Wall of Wine with a wide variety of OES community selections. 

Operation Intelligence Details:
1. The Dead Drop: Make a pre-holiday bottle drop-off at the Auction Office in Morris House (next to Admissions) anytime at your convenience. Please attach name and estimated value of bottle(s), if known.
2. Brush Contact Only: Auction operatives will be stationed for rolling car pick ups at both the Lower School and Middle School pickup/drop-off curbs on the mornings and afternoons of Wednesday, December 17 and Thursday, December 18

Thank you for supporting the OES auction to benefit our children, school, and community.  
Please remember to save the date March 14, 2015 to attend and/or volunteer.  
Visit the OES auction webpage for more auction information and updates.    

The preceding includes eyes only information -- please destroy after reading


 if you have a child ready to join the OES community in the 2015-16 school year - the application deadline is January 20.  We are offering a reduced applicationfee of $50, if you apply online by December 15.  You will use your parent portal password to log into the online application. Get an application checklist and all forms.

Invite your friends, business associates, neighbors, and family interested in learning more about OES to our Information Evening – Wednesday, Jan 7, 7:00pm – Read more here.

Financial aid application information for the 2015-16 school year was emailed to parents of students currently on financial aid.  If you did not receive this information, please contact Jen Bash

If your family is not currently on financial aid, but due to recent financial changes, is considering an application for next year, please be in touch with Jen Bash for application information. There is also extensive information about financial aid at OES available online.



The Upper School’s annual winter fundraiser, Midwinter Madness, this year will raise money for Outside In, a non-profit organization that provides wrap-around services and support to homeless youth in Portland. This cluster of fun, student-planned and student-run events will take place Jan. 28-Feb. 11.
Parents are encouraged to attend and support the various Midwinter Madness events.

This year’s planned events include:

  • Sales of Midwinter Madness Tshirts: Each Upper School grade will have a different custom-designed shirt, which will be used as a jersey for Midwinter Madness sporting events but also to show Midwinter Madness spirit. The deadline to preorder these shirts is Friday, Jan. 16, and the cost will be $15-$20 per shirt.
  • CRUSH sales, in which students (and parents!) can send a bottle of CRUSH soda to someone they have a “crush” on. 
  • The annual Senior-Faculty Basketball Game, at 3:15 p.m. Date TBD, in the OES gym. Admission: $4.
  • PowderTuff Volleyball, in which teams of boys will compete in 6 v. 6 volleyball, 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, in the OES gym. 
  • Casino Night @ Semi, 8-11 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7. Location TBA.
  • Mega-Bake Sales, Monday-Thursday, Feb. 2-6 in the Great Hall, from 7:30 a.m. until baked goods run out each day.

Other events are still in the planning stages! Stay tuned.

Parents, please be aware that students will be allowed to charge Midwinter Madness purchases to their OES accounts. You may wish to discuss with your child some limitations on these charges. Midwinter Madness purchases may also be made with cash or with checks made out to OES (please indicate “Midwinter Madness” in the memo space). Approximately 50-75 percent of all Midwinter Madness purchases are tax-deductible, depending on the event/item.

More information about Outside Inn is available at the organization’s website.

If you have questions about Midwinter Madness, please contact the faculty coordinator, Chris Myers, by phone or email: (503) 416-9352.


Students will be notified prior to winter vacation which course they will be in for Winterim 2015. Most students will likely be thrilled with their placement, and a few may be somewhat disappointed. While we would love to give every student their first choice course, that simply doesn’t work out, although most students do get placed in one of their top three choices. If your student is initially disappointed with his/her placement, please help him/her to see the opportunity to try something new and to broaden connections with students in different grade levels. Students will not be allowed to switch courses except in extenuating circumstances. Enjoy your winter break, and if you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Director of Winterim, Tna Meyerhoff when we return in January.


Parents, family, and friends of the OES community are invited to visit the OES Aardvark Science Expos where Middle & Upper School research projects/exhibits will be on display. 

On Thursday, February 19th, from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, the exhibit hall in SPARC Gymnasium is open to the public (*Please note that Oleson Road is under construction so alternate routes will need to be taken*). Student exhibitors will not be with their projects that day, though it is an excellent opportunity for members of the entire OES community to spend time perusing the wide array of 250+ incredible projects and reading exhibit boards. 

On Friday, February 20th, after judging, there is an open house from 6:30 – 7:30 PM, followed by the awards ceremony from 7:30 – 8:30 PM. Buses will run between SPARC and the lower lot by the athletic fields from 6:20–9:00 pm. Parking at SPARC by permit only; if you would like a parking permit for SPARC, inquire at the Upper or Middle School office.

Would you like to help as a judge or volunteer? If you have a science degree, work experience or knowledge in any of the scientific disciplines and your children are not attending middle or upper school yet, please consider volunteering as a science fair judge. If you cannot judge, please consider asking your friends or colleagues to volunteer for our event. Breakfast and lunch provided. Visit the Volunteer Opportunities page for more information.

For a more comprehensive schedule click here: Complete Schedule.


   It's Giving Tree Time!

Volunteers are needed to help wrap gifts and supervise students wrapping gifts. If you are interested please sign up on VolunteerSpot: Giving Tree Gift Wrap.  Questions? Contact Gisela Walitzki . 

Service-Learning notes for everybody! 

Winter Break is a good opportunity for many students to use their POWER FOR GOOD and earn Service Learning credit—for  suggestions, check out lots of great opportunities on the SL website

REMINDERS for each grade level: 
12th grade: The deadline to turn in ALL ON and OFF campus SL hours is Friday, May 22 … which is 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 ROBIN.  

11th grade: Students should be working to propose and complete SL Projects. Information on Project requirementssuggestions & curricular options, and Project Proposal form are on the website.  

10th grade: Students must finish their 20 hours OFF campus by January 16, end of Semester 1. After that, they can work on SL Projects. 

9th grade: Students should be looking for ways to earn 20 hours OFF campus before this time next year. Ninth graders do NOT need to worry about Projects yet! 

Go to Hands-On-Portland and find date-specific volunteer events at a variety of places all over town, or CLICK HERE for the OES Service Learning website's list of projects and agencies that always welcome volunteers, anytime. 

Remember, if your child is looking for a way to earn Service-Learning hours, design a Service-Learning Project, or use his or her Power for Good,the Service-Learning Opportunities Page is constantly updated with new options for ON and OFF campus hours and projects. Don’t let these opportunities go to waste! You will also find on the website all the details of the Service-Learning Requirement. Questions or suggestions? Contact Robin Schauffler, 503-416-9308. 


AASK Friend Raising Breakfast: Save the Date

Mark your calendars now to “Be Legendary” at the annual AASK Friend Raising Breakfast.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
8:00 - 9:15 a.m. in the OES Dining Hall  

Questions? Contact Gisela Walitzki by email or by phone at 503-416-9394  


Books and Breakfast 2014-15

Announcing the Spring Season for Books and Breakfast and Community Diversity Link 

January 12th, John Medina at 7:00 pm, OES Chapel
Please join us in the Chapel to hear John Medina, bestselling and thoroughly entertaining author of Brain Rules. RSVP to attend here.

February 24th, 8:00 am, Platt Global Classroom - CDL, State of the School; Intercultural Competency and Diversity. It's been a busy few years of intercultural competency training, focus and engagement for OES Faculty and Staff. Come hear US Head Jordan Elliott's report on 2014-2015 State of the School with respect to Intercultural Competency.   

March 10thThe Residue Years by Portland native Mitchell Jackson. Lecture 7:30 pm at the Schnitzer Auditorium.  
The Residue Years is the Multnomah County Library's Everybody Reads 2015 selection. As part of this program, Literary Arts and The Multnomah County Library will host a lecture by Mitchell Jackson on March 10th, and we have secured tickets! Please mark your calendars and be on the lookout for an official sign up in January.

April 14th, Books and Breakfast - Whistling Vivaldi by Claude M Steele, 8:00 am in the Platt Global Classroom.
Our final B&B title is a powerful work (yet easy read) by social psychologist Claude Steele, who lays out his groundbreaking work on stereotypes and identity. 


GAP Year Fair
Monday, January 26, 2015 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm @ Lincoln High School
1600 SW Salmon Street, Portland, Oregon 97205
Scheduled Speakers: Jane Sarouhan, Vice President, Center for Interim Programs

(NEW) Junior College Panel for Parents
Will be held on Monday February 2, from 7:00-9:00pm location TBD. The speakers will include Adam Miller, Director of Admission, Whitman College; Jenny Rickard, Vice President of Enrollment, University of Puget Sound; and the parent/s of an OES graduate.
Topics: College options and how students learn about colleges / How colleges make admissions decisions / The parent role in this process.
We hope you can join us as this is not an event that lends itself to handouts or PowerPoint slides. The college deans will talk with the juniors on Monday afternoon. 

Seniors, 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
    • January 24 (12/29, late 1/13)
  • ACT testing
    • February 7 (1/9, late 1/16)


Click here to see the Top 10 Aardvark Holiday Gift Ideas!

Pajamas, bow ties and 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 basketball, ski and lacrosse to choose from, as well as extra 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!

Extended Holiday Hours: The Store will be open Tuesday- Friday 1:30-5pm every day, and 7:45-8:45am on Friday morning. Happy Shopping!

We are located in Room 11 of Scott House.  You can always visit us online. Questions? Contact  Madeleine


There are several opportunities for seniors and their parents to contribute to the yearbook. Below is a description of these opportunities and their deadlines. We need to submit our pages to the publisher at certain intervals, so these deadlines are not flexible!   
Please let us know if you have any questions. For more info - see the US Yearbook Home site.

1. MUG SHOTS:  December 1st, 2014 (past due)
2. SENIOR PAGES: January 10th, 2015 
3. BABY PICTURES: March 1st, 2015 
4. PARENT ADS: March 1st, 2015

MUG SHOTS: Sometimes students submit a studio photo to be used in place of their school photo for the yearbook. This is not required.   
Sending a digital photo to me is the easiest way to submit an image, or we will scan the photo and return it to the student.

Head and shoulders only 
Print size – 3”X 3” 
Quality - 300 DPI 
Deadline – December 1, 2014

For more info, contact:
Sue Jensen , US Arts Faculty, Advisor to Yearbook


  • 9th Grade PAL – Next meeting is on January 5th at 8am in the Drinkward Volunteer Center. Questions? Contact Jana Reddoch.
    • Upcoming meetings: February 2nd, April 6th, and May 4th.
  • 10th Grade PAL – Next meeting is on January 12th at 8am in the Drinkward Volunteer Center. Questions? Contact Jane Langley.
    • Upcoming meetings: February 9th, April 13th, and May 11th.
  • 11th Grade PAL – Next meeting is on January 20th (Tuesday) at 8am in Platt. Questions? Contact Kay Pinkava.
    • Upcoming meetings: February 17th (Tuesday), April 20th, and May 18th.
  • 12th Grade PAL – Next meeting is on January 26th at 8am in the Drinkward Volunteer Center. Questions? Contact Jan Massaro.
    • Upcoming meetings: February 23rd, April 27th, and May 26th (Tuesday).
  • PAL meeting Calendar (all grades)

Important Information

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