February 19, 2020

The Owl Weekly Parent Newsletter 2/18/20

Global School Play Day this Friday!

This Friday morning, we will be participating in a Global School Play Day! Play Days are a global effort created by educators in support of unstructured playtime for students around the world.Students can bring class to bring anything they wish to play with to school on Friday, Feb 21. 

The only restrictions: they must bring toys and these toys may NOT require batteries or electricity. No devices. Ideas: board games, dolls, Legos, blocks, trucks, cars, racetracks, playing cards, empty cardboard boxes, markers, jigsaw puzzles, blankets (for forts), social games (charades, Pictionary, etc.). For more information about the value of unstructured play,  here is some research.

Please note that Friday is also an Early Dismissal Day – please pick up by 12:45 unless you are enrolled for Global Kids Alternate Day.

TIS Library Celebrates Black History Month

We are so excited about Black History Month here in the library.  Tomoyo has made a few nice displays showcasing some intriguing books, which we repopulate with other great reads as they get checked out.  In each grade’s weekly classes, we are reading, sharing stories, and learning. We are discussing the global history and individual stories of the African diaspora to the Americas and the Caribbean.  I make it a point to let the kids know why Black History Month is important to me both personally and professionally.  

During the 5th Grade sessions, we are focusing on Heart and Soul : the Story of America and African Americans, an incredible history book by Kadir Nelson that tells the story of the African American experiences through the voice of an older woman speaking to her grandson.  The language is rich and in dialect; in order for the students to hear a more authentic voice I am using an audiobook from Audible. The kids enjoy sitting in a circle and listening to the narration, while a student turns the pages of the book to show the amazing illustrations.  It’s a very cozy environment and I imagine it’s somewhat like my great grandparents did when they listened to the family radio many years ago.  

Here’s a partial list of what we are reading this month:

 For 1st through 5th Grades:

For Early Childhood:

Please let us know if you have suggestions, questions or concerns.  We value your input and we’d love to hear from you. library@intlschool.org

– Dan, Tomoyo, and Heidi

Image excerpt from Kadir Nelson’s Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans

Congrats to our OBOB Winners!

Eight hard-working teams competed in the TIS Oregon Battle of the Books Tournament last week. Collectively, each team read 16 books and answered detailed questions about the content of the books. Most importantly, they all had a lot of fun reading together!

The Book Slugs (Ariella H., Sam L., Quinn H., Auggie R.) are our TIS OBOB champions!!  Congratulations!! 

On February 29th, The Book Slugs will represent TIS at the regional tournament to be held in Learner’s Hall. They will compete against other area schools for the chance to go to the state OBOB tournament. Good luck, Book Slugs!

A job well done to all who participated, read (and read some more) and showed great teamwork and good sportsmanship. 

A BIG thank you to Betsy Cruz, Kristen Stowell, and other volunteers. Their efforts made this year’s competition happen!

Sibling Applications Due March 2nd

If you have a child starting at TIS in the 2020-21 academic year, we do need you to please submit an application. Applications received by March 2 will have sibling priority for enrollment, even in classes with waitlists. Any application submitted after March 2 will join the waitlist for any classes that have them.

You can find our application online by creating an account through our online admissions system.

• The most direct way to fill it out is to start here: www.intlschool.org/mailinglist
• Bypass the Tours options page by clicking “next” (unless you want one, of course).
• Press “Apply” and
• Choose “Current Family / Sibling Application” for a discounted application fee.

Paper applications are available as well. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Jan Williams, Director of Admissions, jwilliams@intlschool.org, x 110

Parent Network Evening Meeting & Alumni Panel

The TIS Parent Network would like to invite parents to attend our 2020 Spring All-Parent Meeting to be held on Thursday, Feb 27 at Learners’ Hall, 6-8pm. The goal for this meeting is to be both informative and fun!

Come socialize with fellow parents and meet members of the 2019-2020 Parent Network Steering Committee. You’ll learn about volunteer efforts around the school, campus beautification projects, the progression of plans for re-unification of the Main and EC programs, and upcoming special events.

Then join the Parent Network in welcoming a special Alumni Panel!  TIS alumni will join us to talk about the impact that a TIS education had on their lives. This might help you to further understand the value of The International School’s mission, and what you can expect as your child takes their newly developed global citizenship skills out into the bigger social and academic communities.

Refreshments will be provided. Interested in coming? Please RSVP by sending a quick email to parentnetwork@intlschool.org with your name and and how many will be attending.

Auction Gala Photos

Take a peek at how much fun everyone had at the 2020 global auction gala Under One Sky.  Were you at the gala?!  See if you made it into any of the evening’s photos!

Photo can be viewed at https://phototainmentpdx.zenfolio.com/pagesinternationalschoolgala2-1-20

Photo credits Roberto Rodriguez, Portland Monthly

Announcing the 2020 Moving for Music and Art Logo Contest!

Our annual fun run is coming up this year on April 15th and 16th and we are asking our students to get their creative juices flowing and design the 2020 Moving for Music and Art logo that will be featured on posters and other event elements.  This will be our second year of this exciting tradition!

Logo contest requirements:

  • Logos must be two colors max (not including black and/or white)

  • Logos must highlight elements from both music and art

  • Logos must be submitted on paper no larger than 8 1/2″ x 11″

  • Entries are due Friday, March 6.

Submissions are due by Friday, March 6 and can be turned in by dropping them off at either the front desk at Hilltop or Stearns.  The logo contest winner will be announced shortly after the deadline.

Watch for more information coming soon via The Owl and email.  Let’s get moving! Contact Events Coordinator Rebecca Roberts at rebeccar@intlschool.org for questions or more information on this event.

Speech and Language Screening

Optional Speech and Language Screenings will take place at The International School on Wednesday March 18 – Friday March 20, 2020. 


  • Screening for PreK, LowK and Kindergarten students will assess if further speech services are suggested in the areas of language, articulation, connected speech, social/interpersonal communication, stuttering, and voice.
  • The screening will take approximately 10 minutes with each child and will cost $12/child.
  • Within one week following the screening, the Speech Language Pathologist who administered the exam will provide each family with a short explanation outlining how their child performed and if further support or evaluation is suggested.


  • 1st – 5th grade screenings can be provided in the same areas listed above but the screening tool is a bit more in depth.
  • Each child will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. 
  • The cost for an older child screening is $20/child and the same brief explanation report will be provided to each family.

Please note – these are SCREENERS – NOT comprehensive evaluations and should not be used or interpreted as such. These screenings are only to determine if further evaluation or support may be warranted but do not provide any qualitative data about a child’s performance on standardized speech and language testing. 

Please send checks made out directly to DBJ SLP Services by March 6, 2020 to reserve your screening space.

Same location, new address!

Did you know that Portland’s five traditional “quadrants” will be getting a sixth? (Yes, we know that actually makes a sextant). In 2018, the Portland City Council voted to re-designate the neighborhoods east of Naito Parkway as South Portland. Many of these addresses – including the school’s – had a zero as a front number. This has been very challenging to post office personnel, emergency crews, and regular visitors alike. 

Starting in May, the area encompassing the South Waterfront, OHSU, and TIS will change from Southwest Portland to South Portland. The school’s new address will be 2305 South Water Ave. 

Nothing for you to do at this point – just be aware that when you see our “new’ address, we are still in the same spot! 

For more information about the address changes, please check out this page by PBOT: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/75815

Continuing Language Classes for TIS Alumni

Did you know?  The International School now offers continuing language classes for middle school alumni!

This year we launched Continuing Language Experience classes for TIS alumni!  The inquiry-based classes are for middle school alumni, and build upon language and cultural fluency skills obtained at TIS.  The classes have a social, fun setting; yet provide a structured opportunity to read, write, converse and interact in their track language.  Classes are taught by qualified, native-speaking teachers in our community. Find out more about this new opportunity – and see what some of our former students are up to – on our alumni webpage at www.intlschool.org/alumni.

Upcoming Events


Global School Play Day! No screens. No structure. All morning! Students can bring toys and games from home.

EARLY DISMISSAL: Please pick up your child by 12:45pm. Teacher Development Day. Global Kids Alternative Day Open.



Keepin’ It Clean Walk – KINDER AND 1ST GRADES. Join TIS parents as we walk the perimeter of the school picking up trash, removing graffiti, cutting back invasive plants.  Trash bags, pickers, gloves, graffiti removal supplies provided. Adults only. 2:00 – 3:00pm, Learners’ Hall Front Entrance.



Parent Network Annual Meeting/Chat with Alumni Night. Come socialize with fellow parents and meet members of the 2018-2019 Parent Network Steering Committee. Then join the Parent Network in welcoming a special Alumni Panel!  TIS alumni will join us to talk about the impact that a TIS education had on their lives. Refreshments will be provided. Interested in coming? The goal for this meeting is to be both informative and fun! Please RSVP by sending a quick email to parentnetwork@intlschool.org with your name and and how many will be attending. 6:00-8:00pm, Learners’ Hall.



Grading Day. NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS. Global Kids Alternative Day Open.



OBOB Regional Tournament. TIS is hosting the Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB) regional tournament again this year!  The winning team from the TIS tournament will compete against teams from 20 other schools in Learners’ Hall. 9am-3pm, Learners Hall


Sibling Apps DUE. If you have a child starting at TIS in the 2020-21 academic year, we please submit an application. Please see post above for instructions on how to apply.

Track and Field 2020 now open for sign ups! 

Any age runner in Grades 1 and above can participate in the meets for track class.  Four Track meets to be held at Grant High School. April 16, 23, 30 and then May 7th. 6 PM until 8 PM or whenever your runner is finished.

  • Track Class starts March 2nd and will continue until May 11th.
  • Practice every Monday and Thursday from after school until 5:30 PM. No practice on days of track meets.  
  • Parents transport their runner to and from the meets.
  • New to returning parents: PIL is not part of these meets anymore. Smaller number of overall competitors. 
  • WE WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR 7 VOLUNTEERS PER MEET.  Foot Traffic is no longer helping to run the meets, each group is asked to step up with volunteers.
  • Any athlete that would like to compete in the USATF Portland Youth Track Meet over the May 30-31 weekend should let me know.
  • Cost: $480. For 5th grade Capstone, Track starts March 30 and is $340. If you need a track shirt, include $22 and your shirt size.  

Finally, if Mondays/Thursdays don’t work in your schedule, join a Run Club any day to get your training and we will make it work for Track Meets!  Current Run Clubbers are eligible for Track Meets too!    

To inquire further or register Contact Coach Robert 503-348-0799 or go to OurSportingLives.com