Parent Newsletter August 16th, 2023

August 16, 2023

Hello Gilham Families, 

Welcome back! I am hoping that everyone had a great summer relaxing, getting outside, and reading some.  We are excited to be starting another school year. Just a heads up that the back playground is being worked on and might be closed for a little bit so we can finish the work before school starts.    

See below for more key information.  

The office will open starting Friday, August 18th, 8:00-12:00 and 1:00-3:00.

I am looking forward to a great school year!
Lavinia Page

•First Days of School — 
KINDERGARTEN: First day of school is Wednesday, September 6th, 7:55-1:10.
GRADES 1 – 5: First day of school is Thursday, September 7th, 7:55-2:25

•New! Kindergarten Smart Start – Kindergarten students do not start with an assigned classroom and class lists are built as we learn more about our students. 4J is changing which days kinders come based on your last name:
Last name A–L: Attend Sept. 6 (W), 7 (Th), 11 (M) & 13 (W)
Last name M–Z: Attend Sept. 6 (W), 8 (F), 12 (Tu) & 13 (W)
No Kindergarten Sept. 14 & 15 (parent/teacher conversations)
Regular school schedule begins on Monday, Sept. 18
Kindergarten families should visit the 4J Kindergarten Smart Start Website for details.
Additional info can be found on the 4J Kindergarten Information Webpage.

•Regular School Schedule — The  school schedule this year.  
Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday  starting at 7:55  and ending at  2:25.Wednesday starts at 7:55 and ends at 1:10.

•Enrollment/Registration — If you have enrollment/registration questions please contact the Gilham Office at 541-790-6200 or email Hollie at  You can also find the information on our Gilham website at  

•Meet the Teacher is Tuesday, Sept. 5th at 2:00-3:00 – Gilham will host a Meet the Teacher event on Tuesday, September 5th from 2:00-3:00, the day before the first day of school for Kinders.  This is a wonderful opportunity for your child to view their new classroom and introduce themselves to their new teacher and classmates. Please plan on attending! 

•Kona Ice after you “Meet Your Teacher” @ 2:30! – Get some tasty shaved ice after you Meet Your Teacher at our Kona Ice fundraiser!
Kona Ice will be out front at 2:30 selling Shaved Ice and are donating a percentage of all sales to the PTO!

•Class Assignments — Classroom placement letters will be emailed to families the afternoon of Friday, September 1st, just prior to Labor Day weekend.

•Classroom Teachers– 
Kinder– Cherie Aaron, Kami Icenhower, Danyielle Wagner, Jodi Black
1st  – Susie Belnap, Mary Recker, Kat Irwin, Meaghan Holst
2nd – TBA, Alison Bumstead, Shannon Edwards, Laura Points/Dove Lininger
3rd – Roxanne Simpson, Annette Corbeau, Rachel Harris, Stephanie Riley/Ashley Wolf
4th – Leah Roderick, Ethan Tibbs, Skye Lipson, Carly Langford/Deena Welch, Stephanie Waples
5th – Sarah Johnson, Brian Gulka, Pete Wergeland, James Squires

•Arrival Procedures – All students will enter the building through their assigned areas at 7:50. Students arriving before the doors open should wait in line. 
Entrances — 
K/1/2 will enter through the main door. 
3/4/5  will enter through the side entrance to the right of the main door. 

•Morning Breakfast – Breakfast will begin serving at 7:30 in the cafeteria and will end at 7:50. Students wanting breakfast may walk to the cafeteria. When they finish eating, they will stay in a  designated area until it is time to walk to class. Breakfast and lunches are free for all students.

•Dismissal Procedures – At the end of the day, students will exit the building with their teacher, using their designated entrance/exit doors. Bus riders will walk directly to their bus. Students biking or walking will be dismissed. Students waiting to be picked up will wait with their teacher in the designated areas.  Parents are encouraged to stay on the front sidewalk and students will come to them.  We need to keep the designated spaces clear so all students can see their parents.  

•Parking Lot Reminders — The parking lot is for families who want to walk their child to the sidewalk during arrival or who wish to meet their child at the end of the day at dismissal. Please note the following rules for the parking lot:

  • ONLY cross using the crosswalk. Students and families should never cut across the driveway.
  • Before using the crosswalk, students and adults must stop and look for cars.

•Curbside Pause Parking Reminders — In the mornings, students may be dropped off along the curb. At the end of the day, drivers can pause park along the curb to pick up their students when they come out at dismissal. Please note the following rules for pause parking:

  • Drivers must remain in their cars at all times.
  • Drivers should pull forward as space becomes available.
  • Drivers should NOT stop in marked crosswalk areas.
  • When getting in or out of a car, students must use the door on the sidewalk side. Students should never get in or out of a car on the driver’s side. It’s unsafe for the student and it slows traffic.

Drivers must remember to ALWAYS yield at the painted crosswalks and sidewalks.

•School Supplies — This year the district and school will be supplying the main school supplies.  Below is a list of what we are needing students to bring with them to school this year.  If you are wanting to donate to a classroom fund or to the school, please reach out to the office for more information.  
Students will Need — 

    • A Backpack
    • A water bottle
    • Headphones to be used in class (would prefer not ear buds)
    • Box of Kleenex (for the classroom)
    • Box of Band Aids (for the classroom)


•Gilham Work Day 2023 Saturday, August 26th 9:00-12:00Three hours can make a big difference!  Join your neighbors from Norkenzie Church in helping Gilham Elementary School by weeding and beautifying the ground Saturday, August 26th from 9:00 to noon. The morning will be spent working together to weed around the school landscaping. 

•Project Hope – Free Clothes & Supplies
We wanted to share a great opportunity for those who need a little extra help this school year. Project Hope provides students with shoes, socks, backpacks, and school supplies before the school year starts. This event will take place at two locations on Sunday, August 27th in the afternoon. Tickets are available starting on Friday, August 18th.  Please register through the link below for the Sheldon Region location only. North Eugene High School, 200 Silver Lane –
How it will work:

  • Students will receive a ticketed time slot by registering online. Please make sure to save the confirmation email that will have a QR code.
  • Students MUST be present to receive items.
  • Please come at the designated time on your ticket as they are trying to minimize lines!

If you have any questions, please reach out to Vanessa Vasquez at 541-790-6880.


•Update Your Child’s Health Information – Ensure your child’s health records are current. We want to be aware of respiratory-based diagnoses, allergies, or other health conditions. Linked here are the Asthma Assessment Form and the General Medical Profile Form, which you can email or deliver to front office staff.


•Breakfast & Lunch – All students will be provided with a free breakfast and lunch. For breakfast, students may walk to the cafeteria. Students arriving late will be offered a grab-and-go breakfast. Lunch is also free to all students.  While all students are eating for free this year (breakfast and lunch), we still need families to be completing free and reduced meal applications.  Please click on this link for more information and to apply:


•Nut Free Table in Cafeteria – For students with nut allergies, we offer a Nut-Free Table for students to eat. Students may bring a friend with them to the Nut-Free Table if the friend has a school provided meal, which are always nut-free.


•How do I find my child’s bus stop? — 4J’s Transportation Department has set up a system for finding your child’s bus stop and times. The steps are as follows: Log onto, select the “department” tab, next select the “transportation” tab, and then finally select “find my bus stop” and enter your address. This will give the most accurate information available.  


•Student Attendance and Tardies — One of the most reliable predictors of school success is regular attendance. Absences for any reason result in lost instruction time. We know that students who fall behind often become discouraged learners. It is our hope that we can work together to encourage your child’s regular attendance and success at school. We understand that there are many factors in your lives that make it difficult, at times, for your child to be in school or on time. However, it is important that we work with you to reduce these to an absolute minimum. Class activities start promptly in the morning. This morning class time is one of the most important times of the day. When a child comes in late, not only have they missed valuable class time, it is disruptive to their classmates.

When your child is going to be late or absent from school, please call the  attendance  line at 541-790-6225, before 8:15 a.m. and inform the office staff. You may leave a message on the voice mail, if calling before office hours. Please leave the name of your child, their teacher’s name, and the reason for the absence. It is extremely important that this be done, as every child must be accounted for on a daily basis. As a friendly reminder, according to Oregon Truancy Regulations, if your      student has eight unexcused half-day absences in any four-week period, you will receive a letter from the school notifying you of our attendance concerns. Please understand that if irregular attendance continues, we will be obligated to make a referral to a truant officer for further investigation.

•Messages for Students– Please make sure that your child knows what they will be expected to do when the school day is over before they leave home in the morning. Staff is not available to hand deliver messages throughout the day and when the bell rings at the end of the school day it becomes quite difficult to reach individual children that we have taken messages for. We will be happy to deliver messages in an EMERGENCY situation, but if at all possible please make sure that your child(ren) knows who will pick them up, if they should walk home, or ride the bus before they leave for school.

 •Student Information Available to Non-Custodial Parents – Gilham Elementary is able to provide all co-custodial or non-custodial parents a duplicate copy of all district-labeled mailings. Please let the school office know if you would like the name of a co-custodial or non-custodial parent added to the student’s enrollment information.

•Message from Home Safe Routes to School – As you gear up for the school year, it’s time to think about how your child(ren) will get to school. September weather and the start of the school year are a great time to set new goals for the family. Making small changes to your daily routine can lead to a surprising number of benefits for your family and community! We encourage students to walk, bike, skate, scoot, bus or carpool to school for their health and readiness to learn, the safety and congestion in our parking lot, and the environment. If you’ve got to drive, but still want the health and academic benefits for your child and want to avoid the challenge of the parking lot, try parking a few minutes from school and walking the rest of the way. It’s a great time to connect with your child and could become a favorite part of your day!

 If you have concerns about your route or would like help planning a walking/biking route or starting a biking or walking group, contact 4J’s Safe Routes to School            Coordinator at or 541-790-7539. You can find tip sheets on walking and biking and more on the Safe Routes to School regional website at




•Regarding Bullying, Intimidation, Harassment, Discrimination, Hazing and Retaliation – Eugene School District 4J has policies and programs to prohibit and prevent bullying, intimidation, harassment, discrimination, hazing and retaliation. Discrimination is prohibited on the basis of disability, race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital status, socioeconomic status, source of income, cultural background, familial status, physical characteristic, or linguistic characteristic of a national origin group, in any instructional program, extracurricular activity, or in the provision of any other service or benefit.

The district encourages students, parents and other patrons to share their  concerns with district officials if they believe they or someone else has been the victim of bullying, intimidation, harassment, discrimination, hazing or retaliation. They can be assured that no reprisal or adverse action will occur as a consequence of initiating a complaint. Complaint forms and information    about the complaint process are available in all 4J school offices and at the 4J Education Center, 200 North Monroe Street, Eugene, OR 97402. For more  information, contact your school principal or the superintendent’s office, 541-790-7707.

•School to Inform Parents if Their Student Receives a Threat – “Oregon law requires schools to inform parents if their child’s name appears on a targeted list (i.e. a “hit list”) that threatens violence or harm from another student.” We will be using the following procedure to inform you if your student either receives or makes a serious threat of violence or harm.

If your child’s name appears on a list threatening violence or harm by another student, we will attempt to meet with you personally, or talk by telephone, within 12 hours of learning about the threat. We will tell you about the threat, who made it (if we know) , and the action we are taking to respond to it. We will also send you a notice within 24 hours, stating that your child received a threat. Our number  one priority will be to make sure that school is safe for your children.

 If your child made the threat, we will let you know that he or she made it and theaction we are taking, including informing the parents of the student who received the threat that your student made. We are also required by the district’s “Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook” to inform the police.

•Stay Connected! – In addition to the Gilham School Website and school newsletters, stay connected with what is happening at Gilham through Facebook.   We share information, events and activities happening at Gilham throughout the school year. Hopefully this will become an easy way for families to stay in touch with what’s going on at our school.


•Breakfast & Lunch Menus – Breakfast and lunch menus are available on the 4J Menu Website.  Make sure you filter to Gilham Elementary.


•Important Dates — 

8/21 –  Office Opens (8:00-12:00, 1:00-3:00)
8/26 – Gilham Work Day 2023
8/27 – 4J Project Hope, Free Supplies (North Eugene HS)
9/1 — Classroom Placement Letter emailed to parents
9/5 – Meet the Teacher at  2:00 – 3:00
9/6 – Classes Begin: Kindergarteners Only
9/7 – Classes Begin: Grades 1-5
9/26 – Open House/Curriculum Night, 5:30 – 6:30
10/6 – Jog a thon – if you want to volunteer, connect with PTO and fill out volunteer forms now
10/13 – No School — Professional Development/Planning Day
10/16 – 10/20 – Scholastic Book Fair (Library)
10/19 –  School Picture Day


Lavinia Page 

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