Please read the Catlin Gabel Handbook for all-school policies and information on such things as school closures, emergency plans, parking, the school mission, philosophy, and other information.


When your child won't be at school, please call 503-297-1894 ext. 379 and leave a message. Your child's teacher will be notified. If we don't hear from you by 9 a.m., we will try to reach you by phone. We appreciate your help in calling us first. It saves time.

Arrival and Departure Procedures

Please sign your child in when you arrive in the Well and include the time of arrival. We will take care of signing in the bus riders and children coming from the Before-School Program. Please sign your child out when you pick him or her up at the end of the day. We will take care of signing out those children leaving for Extended Day, the bus, or the After-School Program.

Authorizing People to Pick Up Your Child

Fill out the form on orientation day to let us know whom you authorize to pick up your child at the end of the day. Remember to include carpool drivers. You can come to the Beehive office to update your form at any time. We appreciate being introduced first when possible; otherwise we will ask for photo ID.

Back-to-School Night

This evening event begins in the Cabell Center Theater. It's a great opportunity to meet your child's teachers, and other important people in your child's school life. The teachers will give an overview of the school year. You will hear about school-wide events, and what you can look forward to in the coming year. This is an adult event, so book your babysitter early.


If you are unable to stay with your child in the Well in the morning until classroom doors open at 8:20 a.m., you may sign your child into the Before-School Program in the Village. A staff member will walk your child to the Beehive at the appropriate time and sign him or her in for the day. This service is covered by your tuition.


“Be Safe. Be Kind." These two school rules cover pretty much every situation in the Beginning School, and when you think about it, in life. We know that children this age are learning how to be part of a group and are novices at it. Relating effectively with others is a learned skill that takes lots of practice, often guided practice. We teach many communication and relational problem-solving skills directly. We expect basic politeness and care for others. When things go awry, often a simple reminder will do the job, or some guided practice in negotiating a solution to a disagreement. If a child is too upset to function, a little peace and quiet in which to regroup often helps. Rarely, you might be called to collect your child if he or she simply cannot cope. We begin afresh the next day and move forward. Our goal is helping students to increase their ability to self-regulate as they mature.


There are birthday traditions in the classroom to acknowledge this important day. Teachers will let you know how birthdays are celebrated in each classroom, as it is a little different in preschool and kindergarten. Care for children's feelings leads us to ask that you manage your child's out-of-school party arrangements with the following guidelines.


  • Issue party invitations by phone, email, or mail.
  • Do not bring birthday invitations to school.
  • Do not pick up party groups directly after school, in the interests of those children who are not included.
  • Be sensitive about potential hurt feelings.


Please mark your child's outerwear, including coats, sweatshirts, and sweaters. It is amazing how similar these items can look. Help us identify your child's clothing because we cannot return clothes if we don't know who owns them. There is a large lost-and-found basket in the Well by the front door. In general, help your child choose clothing that will not impede participation in active school life. We go outside every day, so outerwear that keeps your child comfortable in the weather is essential.



You'll receive regular communications from your child's classroom teachers and the weekly Beginning School Buzz, our weekly newsletter with important information, dates, and notes about what's happening at school. It is so important to read these every week. Newsletters contain essential information about classroom events, protocols, field trips, and things your child is to bring from home. Being “in the know" adds immeasurably to your child's experience and to the program.


Classroom teachers write several blog posts a week. The posts contain a blend of nuts and bolts information as well as photographs and information about classroom activities. 


Occasionally we will use email to communicate information. Email is also an excellent way for you to communicate with your child's teachers.

School Website

Please check the school's website frequently. It includes an events calendar for the entire school, the school directory, and all sorts of information and updates.

School Handbook

The school's handbook has information regarding the calendars by division, the annual auction, and other school-wide events. Also outlined: emergency information, school policies, volunteering, the after-school program, the board of trustees, and much more. The directory is also online in a password-protected format, under the “quick links" tab.

Before and After School Program

Before and After School Program is available for Beginning and Lower School students. Find more information about this program, visit their webpage.

Before and After School Program

Field Trips

Field trips are an important part of our experiential curriculum. The preschool takes its field trips on campus, exploring our 67 acres with their teachers. The kindergarten ventures off campus on a few occasions during the year connected with their studies. You will be given ample notice of these trips, and frequently be invited to join in. Transportation is by Catlin Gabel school bus. Tuition covers any costs.

Friday Sing

On most Friday mornings you are invited to join us for about 30 minutes from 8:30 to 9 a.m. for a rousing sing-along. If you are unable to accompany your child, he or she will sit with their classroom teachers in a designated area of the Well. Friday Sing is open to all who want to join with the children. Come early for coffee, tea, and a chance to chat. When Friday Sing is over, please take your conversation outside so that the children can focus in the classroom. (Adult voices carry!) Parenting gatherings sometimes follow Friday Sing. These take place in the Village.

You can download the Beehive Song book here.

Immunization and Emergency Forms

The State of Oregon requires that we have up-to-date records of your child's immunization status on file. If you are a new family, you have recently received a blank immunization form to fill out and return. If you are a returning family, your child's immunization form is on file with us. Please bring updated immunization information to add to your child's form on file. Please note that it requires only your signature, not your physician's. We must have both the immunization form and the emergency procedures authorization forms by the first day of school. Thank you.

Parent Helping

Each classroom appreciates parent helpers. Volunteering also gives you the opportunity to be part of your child's school experience. A calendar is posted after back-to-school night so you can sign up for a time that works for you. Your child's teachers will give you more information about how you might help and when parent helping begins.

Preschool: Families are encouraged to share aspects of their family with the Preschool students. Families sign up to share traditions, hobbies, and interests. Additionally, each grown up is welcome to join the Honeybee classroom for one day during the school year. Visitors follow their child throughout the school day and eat lunch with the class.

Kindergarten: Through the PFA, Kindergarten parents plan a couple of parties and special events for the children. Grown ups are welcome to sign up to volunteer during the afternoon in the classroom. Volunteers eat lunch with the students and help during the afternoon Explorations.


Please be on time. In preschool, doors open at 8:20 a.m. and morning meeting begins at 8:40 a.m., so it is important for children to be there to feel connected from the start. The kindergarten doors open at 8:20 a.m. and the day begins promptly. Coming into a classroom after the daily routine has begun is difficult for your child. Everyone appreciates punctuality!

Snacks and Lunches

Your child needs to bring a water bottle and a nutritious snack and lunch, including needed eating utensils. We serve milk at lunch. Please mark the lunchbox or bag and containers clearly to avoid confusion. Please send food in labeled, reusable containers. Please try to avoid media hype in your selection.

We know that it can sometimes be tricky to send foods that are nutritious and that your child will eat. What your child eats during the day has a direct effect on how he or she feels, learns, and behaves at school. We appreciate your efforts to help guide healthy menu choices for your child. It may be helpful to involve your child in planning a lunch list of nutritious foods that he or she would enjoy. Also remember, no candy, gum, or sodas. We do occasionally have special sweet treats for everyone. For students here in the late afternoon, the school kitchen provides a snack.

State regulations require that we provide your child with milk once a day. If you want your child to be offered an alternative to cow's milk, due to allergies or sensitivity, please send a letter to that effect for our required files. Please include what alternative you want your child to have: soy milk, rice milk, or something else. Thanks!


Please do not send toys to school with your child. Disagreements often arise over toys, feelings can be hurt, and the toys themselves can be lost or broken. We will let you know about special times during the year when your child may bring a toy to school. Blankets and stuffed animals that provide security at the Extended Day and the After-School Programs are welcome.

An independent preschool through 12th grade day school in Portland, Oregon
8825 SW Barnes Road,
Portland, Oregon 97225 |
503-297-1894 |

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