Principal's Message, November 26

It is a busy time of year but our focus remains on learning and growth, while taking into account all the distractions the holidays can bring. There is also time for celebrations, one of which is our first Writer’s Tea of the year. We have three Writer’s Teas throughout the school year with the first two being for grades 1-5 and our final one in May, adding Kindergartners to the event. Each teacher selects a writer from their classroom and tries to ensure it is someone who has not been selected previously. Thanks to parent Katie Unflat who makes our library transform into a Tea Room where guests are invited to hear each student read his or her piece and made to feel a little special during this time. The Tea is Thursday, Dec. 6.

At Rieke, we work to help our students demonstrate compassion and generosity to others. As adults, we can lead by example in helping out families in need this winter. This week, we will be posting some holiday gift requests from families needing the most help this winter. If you are interested in helping, please take an ornament from the bulletin board by the Rieke main office or signing up online. Details about the online option will come out in a school-wide email this week.  These ornaments contain anonymous wishes from actual Rieke community members. Please take an ornament, shop for the item, and return it to Mr. Johnstone unwrapped with the ornament attached by December 11th. These acts of selflessness make a big difference in the lives of our neighbors and teach our kids to have each other's back. Please contact me should any questions arise. Thanks for all you do for our kids.

If your child is still incomplete in their immunizations, please make arrangements to obtain vaccinations and to provide this information to the school.  Exclusion day for state required vaccinations is Wednesday, February 20, 2019.  Students who are not current will not be able to attend school until current immunization records are provided to school staff.  

Principal's Message, November 8

We have recently had a couple of close calls of cars turning and not paying attention to pedestrians with the right of way in the crosswalk at the intersection of Vermont and Bertha. The solution being proposed is requesting the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) install a left turn and a right turn signal at the intersection. This will enable students and adults to cross the road safely.

We are urging anyone who would like to promote a safer crossing for pedestrians to complete this survey for PBOT. The survey deadline is Nov. 10.

Raise a (Returnable) Beverage for Rieke!  

The Rieke Playground Committee is working hard on plans for exciting playscape improvements. You can help by participating in our Thanksgiving returnable drive. Simply pick up a blue plastic bag, fill it with returnable cans and bottles from those delicious holiday beverages, and return the full bag to Rieke after Thanksgiving. Pick up a bag in the front office or the Playground Committee's table outside of school on November 15 from 8:45 - 9:30 a.m. Email with any questions.  

Rieke Rapper, November 9

Save the Date for the Next PTA Meeting!

Join us Tuesday, November 13th at 6:30 in the Rieke cafeteria. This will be the last meeting before the end of the year. We have a packed agenda, including important votes on how to spend some of our cash reserves.
Make your voice heard! All PTA members in good standing can vote. Not a member yet? You can join at the meeting, or register here. Drinks and dessert will be available. Free childcare is available. Email Amanda to secure a spot. 

Raise a (Returnable) Beverage for Rieke!  

The Rieke Playground Committee is working hard on plans for exciting playscape improvements. You can help by participating in our Thanksgiving returnable drive. Simply pick up a blue plastic bag, fill it with returnable cans and bottles from those delicious holiday beverages, and return the full bag to Rieke after Thanksgiving. Pick up a bag in the front office or from the Playground Committee's table outside of school on November 16th from 8:45 - 9:30 a.m. Email with any questions.  

Extra Wreath Inventory Available!

Enjoy the beauty and fragrance of evergreens this holiday season while supporting the Rieke Garden Education Program. Due to the nature of ordering in bundles, we have limited inventory still available for purchase:

  • 2 mixed wreaths ($24 each)

  • 2 candy cane wreaths ($24 each)

  • 4 strands of 15" cedar garland ($34 each)

Please email Cindy Devine if you are interested.

Yearbook Photos Wanted

If you have photos from school events, please submit them to We are looking for photos from events like:

  • Field trips

  • Oregon Battle of the Books

  • Science fair

  • The green team

  • Classroom activities/project

  • Dress up days

  • Recess and lunchtime

  • P.E, art, library, and technology time

  • Garden club

Do not send personal photos. Please include a simple description of the photo and the grade the student(s) is in. Group photos are our favorite! 
Questions?  Please email


Principal's Message, November 5

We’re off to a great start this week. I appreciated the fact the rain held off until close to the end of the day – after 3 would have been more ideal but we did get through most of recesses without the wet.

It’s great that we have lots of students riding their bikes to and from school but we need your help in reminding them they need to not be riding around on the blacktop or near the main entrance right before school or immediately after dismissal. If they are riding home on Vermont, they also should walk their bikes if there are still a lot of students and adults walking towards the buses and the parking lot. We’ve had a few close calls with riders almost hitting walkers. Thank you for your help in keeping everyone safe!

You can keep turning in Run for Rieke pledge forms. Students receive a small prize for the return of the form as a way of confirming that families were aware of it. They do not need to bring money in with the form to get a prize. If you have pledges being given online, that’s great and you can still send in the pledge sheet even with no money attached.

As part of the Harvest Book Collection our students brought in over 1,000 books that will be given to local families who are not as fortunate to have lots of books in their homes. Thank you to all who made this possible!

Next Monday we do celebrate the Veteran’s Day Holiday. The reason November feels like there’s no school is having two holidays plus the end of the first quarter, along with parent teacher conferences. We’ll try and pack as much instruction in as we can!

Rieke Rapper, November 2

The Next PTA Meeting is 11/13

Please join us on Tuesday, November 13 for the next PTA meeting. It is an important one, as we'll be voting on how to spend some of our cash reserves. 

  • Where: Rieke Cafeteria

  • When: Tuesday, November 13 at 6:30 pm

If you aren't a member, you can still attend, but you can't vote. If you would like to become a member, you can do so here or at the meeting. 

Free childcare will be available. Please email to secure a spot. 

Fundraiser Update

The Run for Rieke has raised $30,000 so far! We are still accepting pledge forms. Please bring them to the office. 

Join the PTA Board!

Are you looking for ways to be more involved? There is an open position for the PTA Board: Volunteer Coordinator.

This position is dedicated to organizing parent volunteers for events throughout the year. Joining the PTA Board is a two-year commitment, and a wonderful experience. If you are interested in learning more, please email Kirk at

The OBOB Needs Your Help!

The OBOB depends heavily on parent volunteers to be a success. We need volunteers to work as coaches, organize the battles, run the tournament, provide practice questions, and offer support to the teams. You can read more about the program here and here.

This is a great opportunity for parents of kids in grades 3-5. But anyone can help! If you’re interested in volunteering, please email

November Service Club Event: Collecting Costumes for Head Start

From November 1st-9th, we are collecting costumes and dress-up items for six Head Start classes in the area. Five of the classes are for ages 3-5, and one is for ages 0-3. In addition to full costumes, they are looking for hats, capes, aprons, skirts, vests, and scarves. The items can be placed in the boxes and bags that will be put out across from the office. Questions? Contact Melissa Light.

Fill Up Your Cart!

The Backpack Program is flush with mac & cheese! But if you’re planning a shopping trip this weekend, we could use the following items:

  • Peanut butter 

  • Oatmeal

  • Pasta

  • Canned chicken

  • Canned tuna

  • Bisquick/Pancake mix


Principal's Message, October 29

We have clearly transitioned to more traditional fall weather! Please be sure to send your child dressed to be outside even if the weather is somewhat wet. We try to get students outside for recess every day if possible. A name on their coat will really help ensure it gets back to the right person should it get left behind someplace.

Tomorrow, Tuesday the 30th, is picture retake day with JT Studios. We will also be having Class/Group photos on this day. 

I realize our parking lot needs a lot of work, including line repainting. That is slated to take place but probably not until next spring. In the meantime, however, please try to note where the faded lines are. All of the parking spaces are at the diagonal, not perpendicular. A big reminder as well to please not block our turn around area. This is at the north end of the gym and is expressly for being able to turn around and drop off with a kiss and go. There should be no parking in this large circular area. There should also be no parking at the entrance to the driveway down to where our handicapped parking spaces are located. Thank you for your help in keeping things from getting too congested.

A brief reminder of what I shared last week that students are not to wear costumes to school on Wednesday. Some teachers may be allowing students to change into a costume for an end of the day celebration but that change has to be able to happen without the student leaving the classroom. If a student can’t manage to get into a costume independently and over their school clothes, it shouldn’t come to school. Absolutely no weapons, masks or gore will be allowed.

Rieke Rapper, October 26

Let's Get Ready to Rumble!

 It's time to start planning for the Oregon Battle of the Books!

The OBOB is a statewide voluntary reading motivation and comprehension program. Students in 3rd-12th grade, regardless of ability, are exposed to quality literature representing a variety of literary styles and viewpoints.

OBOB’s mission is to encourage and recognize students who enjoy reading, to broaden reading interests, to increase reading comprehension, promote academic excellence, and to promote cooperative learning and teamwork among students.

This book list for grades 3-5 includes:

  • Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

  • George by Alex Gino

  • Hana’s Suitcase by Karen Levine

  • The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

  • In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall III

  • The Infinity Year of Avalon James by Dana Middleton

  • Nightbird by Alice Hoffman

  • Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures by Jackson Pearce & Maggie Stiefvater

  • Real Friends by Shannon Hale

  • Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

  • Ugly by Robert Hoge

  • Waylon! One Awesome Thing by Sara Pennypacker

  • When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin

  • A Whole New Ballgame by Phil Bildner

  • The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

  • Wish by Barbara O’Connor


OBOB requires a large parent volunteer commitment to be a successful and fun event.

We need parents to:

  • Work as coaches

  • Organize the battle

  • Run the tournament

  • Provide access to books and available practice questions

  • Offer support to the teams

We are looking for a new OBOB Committee to organize this event. The OBOB cannot move forward without this team in place. We are planning an informational meeting for November 27th. If you are interested in learning how you can help now, please email

Rieke Chess Club Starts November 5th!

Starting November 5th, the Rieke Elementary Chess Club will meet every Monday from 5:30 - 7:00 pm in the Rieke Library. The club offers lessons (from basic to advanced), work on some chess problems, and plenty of opportunities to play chess!

Whether your student is just learning, or if they're interested in playing in tournaments and working toward qualifying for the State Championship in April, there is room for them in Chess Club. Not only will they learn the rules of chess, but they'll learn how to think more carefully, to win and lose more gracefully, and to have fun in friendly competition. 

Meetings will continue on every Monday that school is in session through April 15th. We ask that parents of students in second grade and under (or as otherwise needed) stay for the full meeting to help keep kids focused. You'll learn something about chess, too!

If you have any questions, please email Jeff Schlimgen at or Annette Dietz at  

Principal's Message, October 23

Next week two big events are happening: Monday there is no school so teachers can prepare for upcoming parent teacher conferences in November and Wednesday is Halloween. The significance of Monday is it means we are one quarter through this school year! The significance of Wednesday, as I was informed by a second grader yesterday, is it’s the most important holiday of the year!

I, too, am a big Halloween fan, however, I hate the fact that it becomes a major disruption to learning for students. Our days are precious for getting everything in that we need to teach. And while Halloween is a fun holiday celebrated by many, it is not celebrated by all. Rieke must be a place where all students feel included and welcomed so one of the things we do is not wear costumes all day on Halloween. Teachers may decide to have a harvest type celebration or party at some point in the day but generally will be teaching and learning. Some teachers may allow students to bring a costume and change into it just for the class celebration but it must be something the student can get into independently and absolutely no weapons or masks of any kind are allowed.

Please make sure you have a conference time scheduled with your child’s teacher. Due to the high number of students in several of our classes and the time it takes to prepare for the conferences, teachers will not be making up conference times for dates other than Nov. 19 and 20. They will have a summary of how your child is performing that will be provided to every family.

Continue to check the Lost and Found, it is again overflowing. I’ll try and have students check it out during lunch all this week.


Rieke Rapper, October 19

Got books? The Children’s Book Harvest needs your help!

ALL children, regardless of means, should grow up surrounded by and experiencing books! So the Rieke Service Club is partnering with the Children’s Book Bank for the sixth annual Children's Book Harvest book drive.

Please bring in gently used or new books appropriate for babies, toddlers, and elementary age children. Drop off your books in the marked boxes, which will be in each classroom and in the entryway across from the office. We’ll be collecting books through October 31. Books featuring children of color and books in Spanish are greatly needed.

You can also make a cash donation, which allows the Children's Book Bank to purchase additional much needed books not generally collected in the drive. Families who wish to contribute cash may DONATE HERE.

To learn more about the program, click HERE. Questions? Please email Kerri Norman at

November Service Club: Neighborhood House!

On Thursday, November 8th from 3:30 - 5:00 pm, Rieke students are invited to help in the Neighborhood House Pantry. We will help clients shop the pantry (choose items based on family size), and help stock shelves and break down boxes. Neighborhood House has the largest food pantry on the west side of Portland, serving between 500-600 families each month. This is a great opportunity for your child to help others in our own neighborhood!

Students must RSVP, because space is limited. Please email your RSVP to Kassie Hughes at

A Few More Volunteers Needed!

We are looking for a few more reading buddies for the following times:

  • 2:30 - 3:00 pm, any day

  • 12:15 - 12:45 pm, any day

  • 8:45-9:15 am, Thursday

We're all busy, but by setting aside thirty minutes a week you will help a child build a life-long love of reading. If you are available, email Melissa Light at  

Fall Scholastic Book Fair Results

The results are in! Thanks to all of you, the book fair brought in $6,345.90 in sales. That earned $1,586.48 for the PTA! Thank you to everyone for making this fundraiser such a success. Special thanks to Jenn MacDonald, Sarah Woodward, Janie Stone, Hannah Lauer, and Melissa Light for all their help during the book fair.

Order Your Holiday Wreaths Today!

Our annual wreath fundraiser has begun! Fliers are available in the office. All of the money raised will go to the Garden Education Program. More information can be found HERE.
Questions? Please email Cindy Devine at

The Sixth Annual Children’s Book Harvest Book Drive Is Here

The Rieke Service Club is partnering with the Children’s Book Bank on the sixth annual Children's Book Harvest book drive. Why? Because ALL children, regardless of means, should grow up surrounded by and experiencing books! 

Bring in gently used or new books appropriate for babies, toddlers, and elementary age children. Drop off your books in the marked boxes, which will be in each classroom and in the entryway across from the office. We’ll be collecting books from October 15 through October 31.

Children's books featuring children of color and books in Spanish are greatly needed. Consider donating new books that reflect the wonderful diversity of the Portland community. Cash donations allow The Children's Book Bank to purchase book in Spanish and other much needed books not generally collected in the book drive. Families who wish to contribute cash to support the Children's Book Harvest may donate here

For more information, please email Kerri Norman at

The Children's Book Harvest is an annual community-wide book drive that takes place each fall to help The Children's Book Bank gather and provide books to thousands of children in our community who might not otherwise have books of their own at home. Schools, businesses, congregations, and other organizations help build our book supply by organizing local book drives, making it easy for families to pass along the books their children have outgrown. Throughout the year, books gathered during the Children’s Book Harvest are cleaned, restored, and carefully curated and distributed to local area families.  Picture books are thoughtfully bundled into mini-collections to help Head Start families build regular reading habits. Books for school-age children are sorted by grade level and distributed each spring to high needs schools who then hold free books fairs. Thousands of books also find their way into homes of families desperately in need of them via food pantries, community health care clinics, and youth camps.