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Get Back Into the Swing of Things

A message from Patty Gorman, Dean of Students

Dear St Mary’s Families,

I hope this letter finds your family enjoying wonderful days filled with summer activities and family fun.  I am anticipating a wonderful year of meaningful retreats and liturgies, fun activities, and assemblies, and many opportunities for personal growth through community service.  I am hoping this letter serves to update, remind, and inform you about how we are working to make St. Mary’s a safe and healthy environment for our students.

Dress Code: You received a copy of the St. Mary’s Dress Code in the June mailing.  The Dress Code begins Sept. 3.  Students need to look through their apparel and plan which items comply with the dress code and which items should not be worn to school.  If you have misplaced the Dress Code Guidelines, it is in the Student Parent Handbook and on the St Mary’s website, if you are in doubt whether something is appropriate school attire, please check with me before you wear it to school.

Planners: All freshmen are required to purchase St Mary’s planners. There are a limited number of planners available for purchase by sophomores, juniors, and seniors, and additional information will be available after school begins.

School Photos: School photo day is Friday, September 13. School photos are required for all students for the Yearbook and ID purposes at no cost.  Students do have the option to purchase pictures.  More information and order forms will be distributed to students during the week of Sept. 9-13.

2019-20 School Calendar: The school calendar is on our website and is the most current version of the calendar. Starting in September, the website will also have two weeks of weekly bulletins. Contact me with calendar questions.

New Parent Coffee Hour: Frosh parents and parents of transfer students, if you are bringing your daughter for her first day, you are invited to a gathering in the Student Commons from 8:30-9:30a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 3.  This is an optional gathering.  Administrators will speak briefly and then will be available for questions.  If you ever have a question and are unsure of whom to contact, call the main office at 503-228-8306 and the office staff will happily direct your call to the appropriate person.

On-Campus Security: Allied Universal, is the organization that provides security services at St. Mary’s.  They are on campus from early morning until late evening.

In Case Of Emergency: We regularly prepare for emergencies at St. Mary’s.  As you might know, we conduct monthly fire drills and earthquake, and lockout drills as required by the State of Oregon.  Our students have practiced emergency procedures and our staff is trained to handle any number of situations.  We also maintain emergency kit backpacks that hang at the ready in each classroom and throughout the school building.  Please note that whenever possible, we will stay in the building in the event of an earthquake or other emergency that does not dictate an evacuation.  Our building is extremely structurally sound and has been upgraded to strict seismic standards.  In addition, we have emergency water supplies in each area of the school.  If we do need to evacuate the building, here are the options for where we will take our students, in order of our current preference:

  • The parking lot across 5th Ave from our building
  • The South Park Blocks (SW Park Ave), somewhere between PSU (SW Montgomery St) and the Portland Art Museum (SW Madison St) 
  • Duniway Park (SW Sheridan St)

We urge all St. Mary’s students and families to sign up for FlashAlerts.  It takes just a few minutes to register, and the free app means you will receive push notifications regarding emergencies, weather-related closures, etc. (See set-up instructions below).

Flash Alerts Instructions

  • Go to the FlashAlert website to create an account and link to your email address:
  • To receive push notifications to your mobile device, you will need to download the FlashAlert app, which is available for both iOS and Android phones. Here are instructions.
  • For questions and/or assistance with FlashAlert click here.

Reuniting Students with Families after an Emergency at School: In the event of a major emergency (e.g., fire, earthquake, school violence, or other circumstance) St. Mary’s will activate its student/parent reunification plan.  Whenever possible the reunification will occur at or near school.  In the event that reunification cannot occur at/or near the school due to proximity of the unsafe situation, we will communicate the reunification location to parents and guardians by posting on the St. Mary’s website and Flash Alerts.  We will also provide the reunification location to the news media.  The health and safety of each student is our highest priority.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns, and thank you for joining us in always being prepared for the unexpected.

I am asking both students and parents to help make 2019-20 a wonderful school year for every member of the St. Mary’s Academy community. I would really appreciate it if you could support my work, by honoring the rules and regulations outlined in the Parent/Student Handbook especially in regards to our dress code and tardy policies.

Warm Regards,
Patty Gorman
Dean of Students