OES Upper School Voice Newsletter

A Message from the Division Head

by Asha Appel

Need to Know for Friday, September 13

  • After the active learning and connection building of the fall trips, through which students experienced—among other things—responding to unexpected obstacles, forming friendships with those new to the community, and making decisions that included the interests of all, classes got underway on Monday after a rousing Senior Entrance that introduced this year’s theme: In Search Of.... Click here to see resident photographer (and English and History teacher) John Holloran’s pictures of the wackiness that ensued as well as some of the 9th graders at Camp Westwind and the 12th graders welcoming in the new high schoolers. John also took some great shots of our opening Belltower Ceremony

  • This month’s Wellness Theme is Belonging. Research shows that when people feel like they belong in a community, they are more motivated, more balanced, more joyful. As a school, we’ll be exploring ways that students and adults feel seen, valued, and cared for in the Upper School. Look for related articles and information, and send me ideas and things you’re trying at home. 

  • Theater happenings are a-foot! Auditions for the Fall Play, Scary Mary and The Nightmare Nines, took place this week, and rehearsals will begin next week. The show will be performed November 6-9. 

  • Sports seasons are already in top gear, with games happening in soccer and volleyball. This week also saw the first and only home cross country meet of the season. Click here to see some action shots of our runners in motion!

  • 2019-20 Faculty Pages are now live and updated. You can access these through the Parent Portal to learn more about your child’s teachers and read the individual Course Expectations for each class. 

  • The community joined together to sing an emotional farewell to long-time Bon Appetit manager, Kelly Cowing. We will miss her so much, and wish her the best of luck at her new job!

  • We are so proud to be this year’s recipient of the OSAA Cup, which recognizes overall school excellence in academics, activities, athletics and sportsmanship. We were presented with a HUGE trophy at Gathering on Wednesday. 

  • In our first week’s Gatherings, students heard about all sorts of ways to get involved and explore new things, including tryouts for Acapella, opportunities to join the student jazz/ska/rock/pop band, and the Activities Fair, which introduced the slew of engaging immersion trimester experiences kids can opt into this year including dance, martial arts, ultimate frisbee, tuba, outdoor adventures, mock trial, and yearbook. 

  • Check with your child to see if they’ve subscribed to the important Google Calendars, including Student Week at a Glance (SWAG) and US Rotation. You are also encouraged to ask them about their very own copy of the US Section of the All School Handbook. 

  • Click here to see the amazing Book Love guide that our awesome US Librarian Erika Jelinek regularly updates. Remember, parents are invited to borrow books as well. 

  • Students should consider joining the OES Leadership Class, which is taught by Associate Athletic Director and held at nights. It's a great way for kids to learn new skills and meet new kids. 

  • On September 15th at 9am, you are all warmly invited to the Opening Reception and Forum of the Art Exhibit that our own Sue Jensen helped to curate and make happen and which will feature the work of many OES students. Click here for more information. 

  • September 17 is US Photo Day! 

  • On the weekend of September 22, the Portland Children's Museum is hosting their first annual Building Bridges Family Music Festival to welcome families of color who recently moved to Oregon or SW Washington. Families from around the Portland metropolitan area will converge at the Museum for a weekend of live music, dancing, and interactive, hands-on experiences. This celebration is open for all to attend between 9:00am - 5:00pm. Click here for more details. 

Jelly Rec: Book Recommendations from Librarian Erika Jelinek

The Secret Place by Tana French

Over the summer we asked students (and faculty) to read a book that brings them joy, and for me that book was Tana French's The Secret Place. Set in an elite girls' boarding school in Dublin, The Secret Place centers around a cold case murder that occurred on school grounds; the case is re-opened when a student finds an anonymous note from a person claiming to know the identity of the murderer. The narrative traipses back and forth between the perspective of a tightly bonded group of friends in the months leading up to the murder and the re-opened murder investigation. The investigation itself, occurring over the course of a single day on school grounds, is tense and claustrophobic, but what really gave me intense anxiety was the mean girl drama that French deftly portrays. French captures both the intensity of teen girl friendships and the viciousness with which they tear each other down, and her dialogue is so on-point it's actually a little bit eerie. I was deeply unsettled the entire time I was reading this book, and I loved every moment of it.

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