Voice Newsletter

November 16, 2015


The cast and crew of the Upper School Fall 2015 production, Medea. Well done, all! (Photo credit: John Holloran)


Congratulations to our Girls’ Soccer Team for another State Championship and to the Boys’ for making the deep playoff run to the State Final. I’m very proud of the student-athletes and all the faculty and staff that supported their success. Similarly, congratulations to the cast and crew of Medea. The performance was one of my favorite productions of all time at OES. Amazing work!

As we close out the sports and theater seasons, it is a perfect time for our upcoming parent-student-teacher conferences for all ninth grade and new students. It’s also a great time for Thanksgiving Break to rest and recharge.

This week I’m off to Tokyo, Japan and Seoul, South Korea to visit current and past parents and alumni, and to recruit new students.

Follow me on Twitter: @OESheadUS.


November 16
College Financial Aid Night, 7:00 pm, Great Hall  
November 17

LS Campaign Community Event, 6:30 pm, MS Commons


US Int'l Winterim Trips Meetings, 6:30 pm Great Hall

November 19

Auction Planning Mtg, 8:45 am, Charlton Room

November 20
US Int'l Conferences, 3:30 pm
November 23-27

NO SCHOOL - US Conferences & Thanksgiving Break

November 24

Grandparents & Special Friends Day, registration at 7:45 am, Gym

November 30

12th Grade PAL, 8:00 am, DVR


US Semester Away Info Night, 7 pm, Platt Global Classroom

December 1-18 Giving Tree, Main Lobby
December 2

Advent Lessons & Carols Service 6:30 pm, Chapel


Afterglow, 7:30 pm, Great Hall

December 4 Yearbook  Senior "Mug Shots" due (see below)



(NEW) Cap & Gown and Graduation Announcements
On Monday, November 30, seniors will receive a form to order their cap and gown (size and color - black or white) and graduation announcements. Be sure to ask your student about the information that will be handed out at their class meeting. Order forms will be collected by our Jostens representative on Wednesday, December 9. Questions? Pat Freeman or Jean Verheggen

(NEW) Honeywell Instant Alert
As Winter fast approaches 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.

(NEW) Thanksgiving Break Service Opportunities
Service to others is a meaningful way to celebrate a time of being thankful for what we have. Thanksgiving Break gives many students and families an opportunity to do some service around town. A list of some possibilities is posted on the Service-Learning website, and linked HERE for your convenience. If you want to volunteer for any of these options, please contact the organization directly. And of course, these are only a few examples--talk with friends and family to find other opportunities! If you know of an organization in need, please contact SL Coordinator Robin Schauffler and she will post it for others.

(NEW) Considering a Semester Away?
Current 8th, 9th and 10th grade students and parents are invited to attend an evening event on Semester Away programs at 7:00 pm on Monday, November 30 in the Platt Global Classroom. The evening will include a presentation on semester away programs in general, with a panel of representatives from High Mountain Institute (HMI), Cascade Mountain School, and seniors Hannah Park and Sierra Welly who participated in CITY Year and The Island School, respectively. Please join us to find out whether a semester away could enhance your child's high school experience. Questions? Please contact Christina Meyerhoff

John Holloran Athletic Event Galleries
For more photos by John Holloran (Director of Studies/Upper School History Teacher), please visit his SmugMug account. Often we feature his photos in the VOICE and this is a great way for you to see them all!

Parent Driver Certification Class
Director of Facilities Jon von Behren has agreed to teach one more class, if we get enough parents to sign up for it. The final class of this year will be on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 @ 8:00 am in the Charlton room.

Please Sign-up using VolunteerSpot so that we can plan appropriately. Please Click on the link to signup - MS & US Driver Certification Class and attend on Tuesday, November 17, 2015.

In the Upper School, we use drivers for Mt Hood Climb Service Day, for the Debate Team, for the Ski Team, for team sports retreats in the summer, and we need drivers for dorm students for their 11th grade Literary Journalism project.  Certification classes are only offered in the fall. If you anticipate needing to drive for any of these US activities, please consider taking one of the fall classes.

Background checks are also required for drivers.  ** If you would like to drive for Upper School you will need a DHS background check. If you don’t have one already, please contact Jean Verheggen in the US office. If you have any questions please feel free to email Ruchi Prakash.

Attendance REMINDER
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.

OES Food & Allergy Policy
In keeping with our Food and Allergy Policy, we have amended 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-appriopriate 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.
Please contact OES Nurse, Elaine Elliott, with any questions or concerns (elliotte@oes.edu).


It's Giving Tree Time!

Join us in this important and joyful OES tradition of service to our local community...

Students of the Service-Learning Action Committee, Community Board, Spirit Squad, and AASK Student Advisory Council coordinate the collection of new clothing and gifts for about 25 families from our AASK partner, Whitford Middle School. Counselors at Whitford carefully identify families that especially need support at this time of year. OES is honored to be part of a collaborative effort that relies on the participation of a number of businesses, churches, and service agencies.

Upper School students and parents can pick up gift tags from the Giving Tree in the main lobby beginning December 1 (or from the Giving tree poster in the DC building during 9th grade Parent Conferences!). Gift items must be placed under the Giving Tree, NOT wrapped, and with gift tags securely attached, by Thursday, December 10.

Each Whitford family member will receive socks, a shirt or sweater, pants or jeans, and a gift item. Choose the items that you would most like to give!

Questions? Contact Myra Clark (503) 768-3193Gisela Walitzki (503) 416-9394, or Robin Schauffler (503) 416-9308.

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 about gift wrapping? Contact Gisela Walitzki .


Please come to an Auction Planning meeting this Thursday, November 19 at 8:45 am in the Charlton Room. Hope to see you there! Bring a friend!

Heading up the 30th Annual OES Auction this year are Auction Chair: Michelle Fitzhenry and Auction Co-Chair: Hilary O’Hollaren. The event theme this year is “Aardy Goes to Hollywood” so get ready to get your glamour on! 


2016-2017 Financial Aid Application Now Available

Families seeking financial aid for the 2016-2017 school year may begin the online Parent Financial Statement (PFS). The PFS is due on February 5.   School and Student Services (SSS) is offering many free webinars to guide parents through the financial aid process. Check out the offerings here.

Admissions – Early Application Deadline

If you have a child ready to join the OES community in the 2016-17 school year - the application deadline is:

  • Grades PK – 8: January 19
  • Grades 9-12: January 28  

We offer a reduced application fee of $50, if you apply online by December 14. You will use your parent portal password to log into the online application. View application forms on the admissions website.

Prospective Parent Information Receptions – open to the public

If you know someone interested in exploring OES for their family, please invite them to attend one of our receptions for prospective parents.

  • Tuesday, Dec 8, 6pm – Oswego Lake Country Club
  • Wednesday, Jan 13, 6pm – Lucky Labrador Tap Room, N Portland


Everyone is invited to the annual OES Advent Service of Lessons and Carols in the chapel on Wednesday, December 2 6:30 – 7:30pm. Enjoy beautiful music and readings presented by 3rd – 5th grade choirs, middle school choirs, US choir, and the 5th grade handbell choir directed by Rachel Phelps, Amy Rheingans and Adam Steele.

All are invited afterwards to Afterglow (a time for music, art and joy) at 7:30pm in the Great Hall to hear more music, purchase art made by students and faculty, and have some cookies.

For more information contact Nancy Teskey or Margaret Synan-Russell

The Annual Student/OES Employee Holiday Art Sale!

Dates of the Sale:

  • Wed. Dec. 2
    at Afterglow (7:30 pm) in the Great Hall following the Advent Service
  • Thurs.  Dec. 3
    9:00 am - 3:30 pm in the Main Lobby 
  • Friday Dec. 4
    8:30 am - 3:30 pm in the Main Lobby

What will be sold?
Handmade ART! (drawings, prints, ceramics, photographs, handmade cards, knitting, weaving, quilting, fused glass, jewelry & more!)

10% of profits will go towards a charity. This year the Art Dept. will donate proceeds from the sale to a group that is determined by US students working with Sue Jensen on the sale.


Grandparents & Special Friends Day

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
8:00 – 10:45 am
(registration starts at 7:45 am)

Guests will enjoy breakfast, musical performances, classroom visits and a special chapel service.
So that we can accommodate all of our guests, we will reserve the breakfast area and classroom visits for Grandparents & Special Friends. 

Seating, coffee and pastries  will be available in the bleacher area for parents who wish to watch the student musical performances.


Lower School Campaign Community Events
Imagine what you can do. Be informed. Be inspired. Be involved.

The development office is holding an event in November for all community members to come hear about the Lower School project. We’re transforming OES. Please join members of the OES community to learn about the new Lower School and how you can invest in the school’s vision for the future. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP at www.oes.edu/rsvp or contact Leslee Gemmill at (503) 768-3179 or campaign@oes.edu.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
6:30-8:00 pm
OES campus, Middle School Commons


CEREAL THURSDAYS! This is a long-time Upper School tradition: helping to provide breakfast cereal for the kids at Community Transitional School for children experiencing homelessness.

Complete information about Service Learning in the Upper School is on the US Service Learning website. Bookmark it and refer to it frequently!
What can parents do to help? Remind your child to stay alert and aware of what she or he needs to do, and support him or her in finding opportunities -- starting with the SL Opportunities Page.
Questions? Contact Robin Schauffler, Service Learning Coordinator. 

By grade level, students should focus on different tasks this fall:
9th grade
: Work on the 20 exploratory OFF campus hours needed before January, 2016, and look for ON campus opportunities. Any service-learning you have done over the summer--since finishing 8th grade--will count! Just fill out and turn in the Service-Learning Hours Reporting Form in Area 51. 

10th grade: Finish those 20 OFF campus hours this semester (!!), look for ON campus opportunities, and be thinking about what to do for Service Learning Projects. 

11th grade: Look for ON campus opportunities, and be thinking about what to do for Service Learning Projects; it is wise to complete at least one Project before June 2016 (and if the 20 OFF campus hours are not complete, see Robin NOW!) 

12th grade: This is it. Do not put off your hours or your Projects. June 2016 is sooner than you think. 

ALL STUDENTS: Get signatures and turn in all those forms for any work you've done that hasn't been reported yet. Need help with all this? SEE ROBIN.


Junior parents, Let’s “DREAM B16” [Dream Big] and put on a “B16” Grad Night Party for our Senior Class of 2016. In addition to working with a great group of parents, you will get a sneak peak into what your “soon to be senior” will enjoy at the very Top Secret Grad Night Party.

We need “B16” dreamers to help with decorations, gifts, food, communications, entertainment, organizing volunteers and more! Please consider sharing your talents, skills, imagination, and time. Interested? Contact 2016 Grad Party Co-Chairs, Nora Semonsen or Belinda Calabia.


International trips for Winterim 2016 were announced last June. The full catalogue will be announced prior to Thanksgiving break.

In 2016, Winterim will run March 17-24. These dates overlap with spring break for Portland Public Schools and most other schools in the area. We realize that the misalignment of school spring breaks may create a challenge for some families, so we are considering offering a few Winterim courses during OES's spring break, and allowing the students who participate in those courses to take their spring break during the PPS spring break week. If you would like to have this option, please contact the director of Winterim, Christina Meyerhoff, so that we can accurately assess the need.


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.

US Yearbook Senior Deadlines:

1. MUG SHOTS:  December 4, 2015

2. SENIOR PAGES: January 14, 2016

3. BABY PICTURES: March 4, 2016

4. PARENT ADS: March 16, 2016

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. Deadline – December 4, 2015.

Head and shoulders only
Print size – 3”X 3”
Quality - 300 DPI

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


College Financial Aid Night
There will be a financial aid presentation for parents on Monday, November 16 at 7:00 pm in the Great Hall. All parents are invited to this presentation on need- and merit-based financial aid with Anastacia Dillon, Director of Financial Aid, Lewis and Clark College and Paula Sutton, Director of College Counseling, OES.

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

  • December 5 (11/5, late 11/23)
  • January 23 (12/28, late 1/12)

ACT testing

  • December 12 (11/6, late 11/20)
  • February 6 (1/8, late 1/15)


  • 9th Grade PAL – Next meeting is on January 8th, 8:00am, Drinkward Volunteer Room. Questions? Contact Rico McIver.
    • Upcoming meetings: 2/8*, 4/8, 5/6.
      • * February meeting will be combined with 10th grade.

  • 10th Grade PAL – Next meeting is on January 11th, 8:00am, Drinkward Volunteer Room. Questions? Contact Jana Reddoch.
    • Upcoming meetings: 2/8*, 4/11, 5/9.
      • * February meeting will be combined with 9th grade.

  • 11th Grade PAL – Next meeting: January 19th, 8:00am, Drinkward Volunteer Room. Questions? Contact Holly Hady.
    • Upcoming meetings: 2/22, 4/18, 5/16.

  • 12th Grade PAL – Next meeting: November 30th, 8:00am, Drinkward Volunteer Room. Questions? Contact Kay Pinkava.
    • Upcoming meetings: 1/25, 2/29, 4/25, 5/23.

  • PAL meeting Calendar (all grades)

Important Information

Donate Now

  • You may make a secure gift to the Annual Fund online.

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