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October 18 (Tues) -- Spit Test Drop Off Day

October 19 (Wed)--Art Park Pledges are due!!
October 20 (Thurs)--School Picture Day for Grades: 1/2, 3, 6, 7, 8
October 20 (Thurs)--Affinity Group Meeting, 3 to 4 pm
October 21 (Fri)-- School Picture Day for Grades: K, 4/5
October 24--(Mon)--Arts Park Run
October 27 (Thurs) & 28 (Fri)--Teacher Conferences
November 3 (Thurs)--BIPOC Night (details to come)

   This week we had ZERO reported COVID-19 cases
at Cottonwood, week ending 10/14.
Dear Families,
It’s almost time for our annual fall fundraiser:

We still need more than 30 volunteers to make this happen.

If you are able to volunteer to help with the ART PARK RUN, please sign up here!  

The Cottonwood School Arts Park Run!
The Color Edition 2022

Pledge form needs  to be turned into the school by
Wed October 18th 

This year, once again, we will be able to do this together, as a community at Caruthers Park!

So what will it look like?
Pledges: On October 3rd, you can begin taking pledges!

Here is a link to the online pledge form. Pledges can be given as an amount for each lap that your student runs, (appr. ¼ mile) or as a  flat, one-time pledge. If you prefer a paper pledge sheet, you can pick one up in the school office. 
Pledge form needs to be turned into the school by
Wed October 18th 

Arts Park Run is Monday October 24th.  
Donations: On October 31st, your student will receive their pledge sheet back to collect donations. We will soon have a direct link for people to give directly on line.
Collect all donations by November 14th 

Please join us in reaching our all school goal of $22,000!

If every student collects $110.00 in donations, we will make our goal!!
If the school makes our goal, there will be a whole school celebration.

We hope that each student will participate in collecting
pledges for our Arts Program!

All students will run, (walk, skip..) with their classes and community regardless of pledges!

If you are able to volunteer to help with the ART PARK RUN, please sign up here!   
THURSDAY, Oct 20 (1st/2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 8th)
FRIDAY, Oct 21 (K, 4th/5th)

Important information from our school photographer:

October's Plant Teacher is Hawthorn! Hawthorn's teaching is Courage. 
Hawthorn is a tree with many gifts. Flowers provide sweet nectar to
pollinators and animals eat the nutritious berries. Large thorns
protect the tree from grazing animals and offer a safe haven for
small birds and other creatures to nest and hide. People value
hawthorn as medicine for strengthening the heart and blood vessels.
It eases pressure on the heart and can be protective in times of
physical and emotional stress.

Learning from Hawthorn 
“Courage is a heart word. The root word of courage is cor—the Latin word for heart. In one
of its earliest forms, the word courage meant ‘To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.’Speaking from our hearts is what I think of as ordinary courage.” –Brenè Brown
Sitting quietly, you might close your eyes, put a hand on your chest, and sense your
heart. Can you feel it beating? Is it relaxed and rhythmic, fast and jumpy, or something else? Can you feel your heartbeat in any other part of your body? Reflect on the medicine of Hawthorn’s flowers, leaves, and berries, which strengthen our heart and blood vessels, and also remind us of the compassionate power of our heart. Hawthorn medicine can soothe, strengthen, and bring courage when we most need help. It reminds us to tend and listen to our hearts, particularly in times of distress when we might feel afraid to take another step, or to show up as we really are, not as others would like us to be. Hawthorn reminds us we are not alone, and that we can listen to the kind wisdom of the heart.
• How can I commit to showing up and facing what I fear?
• When I feel isolated, what will nourish my heart and help me feel connected?
• How can I love and give attention to the parts of myself that feel shame,
guilt, and fear?
Cottonwood families, 

We want to wish you all a happy 3 day weekend! I hope we all have time to slow down, connect with ourselves and our family/community, and sink in to simple joys in life. This is healing, prevention, and protection. 
Please be in touch if you have concerns or questions about how your child is doing at school. We want to be a team with you! We know many kids can have lots of “big feelings”  in the morning, during the day, or once they get home. As their grown ups, we want to listen, validate their emotions without rushing to talk them out of it, and support their coping strategies. When our kids have stress and anxiety, it can show up in so many ways: sleep changes, behavior changes, overwhelm, avoidance, irrational fears, outbursts/anger, withdrawing, etc. If we can stay calm and connect with our kids, it is contagious and can help them re-center.
In wellness lessons this month we are talking about noticing how we are doing, how our body feels and how our brain feels, and noticing different things we can do that help. Breath, movement, humming, music and using our senses are some of the experiences we are trying. Of course everyone has different preferences and it’s fun to discover what brings us peace and calm. Please talk about this and experiment with your family! Practicing mindfulness/coping strategies with curiosity is fun and reminds us to make time for being in the present and enjoying being a human. Also, the more we practice the better equipped we are to try things in hard moments as coping strategies. 

If you have any particularly fun and experiential coping strategies, wellness tools, or mindfulness activities you want to share with the school, please reach out! 

Take care,
Kristin Krem

Affinity Groups are HERE!

Thursday, (10/20/2022), after school!!

Please RSVP  and send any questions to If your student(s) have any food allergies and sensitivities please add that when you RSVP. We want to make sure we accommodate and honor any food allergies or preferences. 

Our afterschool gatherings will be led by Cottonwood Educational Assistants, Gabby Van Steenberg & Paola Witt, and our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) Coordinator, Sade Rivers. The affinity group will meet afterschool on the school patio for a light snack followed by greetings, games and activities from 3:00-4:00.

The adults can hang out on the patio at 3:15 and enjoy some time with each other, or they can pick up their student(s) at 4pm!

Our team is looking for a few parent volunteers of color, especially men of color to join the affinity group leaders. Please let us know if you are interested.

We invite all students of color to participate in the affinity space and encourage parents to talk with their children about participating. 

Last school year our students & families of color expressed a need for our students of color to come together to meet each other across grade levels; to share stories, articulate needs, bond, play, know and support one another.

In response to this need, Cottonwood formed an Affinity Group. Affinity groups can be defined as groups of people who have something in common; such as gender, race, culture, profession, college, or special interests. 

At school, students need to feel comfortable being themselves, which is why affinity groups are vital. At school, affinity groups give students the freedom to be themselves. Students who share an identity can relate to each other in ways they can't with peers who don't understand their experiences. Student affinity groups don't exist because students want to isolate themselves from the rest of the population, they exist because the population excludes them from the start. It’s about safety and in some cases, about fundamental issues of injustice. Having a safe space around shared identity allows students to engage in conversations about subverting marginalizing structures. By doing so, these conversations aim to shift school culture away from assimilation and toward social action.

This affinity group exists to foster kinship; provide students of color a place to celebrate their uniqueness, gifts, and roles in our school community and to affirm, protect, and nurture the identities of our students.

We will be meeting on the dates below:

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Thursday, December 15, 2022

There are lots of reasons why affinity spaces are important for students of color. We also encourage families to talk openly with white students about supporting this group even when we aren’t part of it. If white families or students are wanting support understanding why this space isn’t for white folks, we encourage you to watch this short video as a family. If you’d like to talk more with someone about this, please reach out to Kristin ( who is a white person happy to talk more with you. 

We are working on creating more affinity spaces in the future, specifically getting our LGBTQ affinity space back. 

More information on Affinity spaces can be found below:

BIPOC Night coming November 3rd more details to come.

We are rolling out our mediation mats and we are excited to start our peer mediation trainings this year! We’ve been going into classes and talking about mediation as an option to resolve conflict with peers. We facilitate mediations all the time, so many students know already what it is. We are also recruiting peer mediators 3rd grade and up to be trained so they can help other kids find solutions and resolve conflict. Hearing both sides to a story, one person speaking at a time, and reflective listening are tools of mediation and also life skills that can serve us well.

We will reach out if your student has signed up, but talk to your student and ask what they remember about mediation!

Please let us know if you have questions,
Kristin and Fawn


Cottonwood is thrilled to be partnering with OHSU again this year to offer free, weekly COVID-19 testing (spit test) for students. Participation in this program is completely optional, but highly encouraged, and offered regardless of vaccination status. Participating students will drop off spit samples in pre-labeled tubes at school each Tuesday, starting this week, whether they have symptoms or not. Results are provided directly to families, not the school. If you were enrolled last year, please note, many aspects of the screening program will remain the same this year, with a few changes to make it easier for parents, students and schools.

  • You can enroll your kids through a convenient online portal: If you cannot enroll for any reason, please call OHSU support at (503) 418-8500.​ All participating students must enroll, even if they participated in last year's program

PARENTS OF GRADES: 4/5, 7 & 8th 


Overnight trips are part of the CSCS upper school curriculum. The fourth and fifth grades schedule one trip in the spring and the seventh and eighth grades schedule two trips: a retreat in the fall and a longer trip in the spring. 

6th grade will have 2 trips this year - both paid for by Outdoor School for all!!

Parents can pay in full or sign up for monthly auto pay on our website. The earlier this starts the less impact it will have on your family. Cost will not prohibit anyone from attending overnight trips, we do expect everyone to contribute something. If you need a scholarship to help fund your child’s trip please reach out to our Director, Amanda.

For more information:



Hey Families of Kindergarten thru 3rd Grade!!!
Do your kids LOVE Adventure Play?? Do they come home on Fridays excited to tell you what they made?!?

Then we need your help!
We can only do this amazing, creative, child centered learning if we have volunteers!!
That means you!!! 

Please contact Yuri to set up a training!

Sign up to help support Adventure Play at Cottonwood.

Sign up HERE to see the magic of play!

 2022-23 Calendar


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