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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Food Drive, Grace Lin and Stranger Danger-February 21, 2012

Dear Sexton Mt. Families:

We kicked off Project Second Wind Food Drive today.  Our fifth graders will be collecting and counting items from each classroom this week and next.  There will be a little friendly competition between classrooms at each grade level to see which class can bring the most items by March 2.  Through the end of the month, we’ll also be collecting new socks for the Beaverton Clothes Closet.  Thanks in advance for your generosity.  You can drop off sock or food donations at Family Art Night this Friday from 6:30-8:00pm.

Over the weekend, I finished Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin.  I just couldn’t put it down.  I know that kids have been reading it in the classroom and families are reading at home too.  The way Lin weaves different small tales within the larger story certainly makes it a good book to read, read and read again.  One mom wrote about her family’s reading time.

“What a fabulous book!  We are having so much fun reading this book; I think I look forward to our nightly readings as much as the kids do!  Even though they have already finished the book in their classroom, they still listen intently as I read each night.  Sometimes Chloe will say:  “I know what is going to happen, but I won’t tell you”.   And she doesn’t!  She makes ME guess…..but won’t tell me if I’m wrong or right!  Just thought I’d share!”---Cynthia N.
We look forward to having Grace Lin visit our school on Thursday, March 1 for four assemblies throughout the day.  I’ve heard she’s an amazing presenter as well as writer so I’m sure kids will learn many interesting things.  The evening of March 1, our Family Literacy Night will give families an opportunity to further explore the story.  It’s going to be an exciting day indeed!

If you are a parent of a fourth or fifth grader, you likely know that Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is one of the Battle of the Books selections.  Teams will begin competitions this week.  It’s exciting to see so many teams so enthusiastic about reading and showing what they know about selected titles.

Many of our students are involved in a variety of activities, inside and outside of school, like the Battle of the Books. Mr. Parker and a wonderful group of our students performed at the Chinese New Year Cultural Fair at the Convention Center earlier this month.  It seems that our group of Sexton kids were the only performers that represented a public school, and they did a fabulous job.  We also have students doing community service outside of school.  Nishanth’s Cub Scout group spent part of last weekend at the Oregon Food Bank preparing boxes for hungry families.  Our students are busy inside and outside of school!  

 Balancing schoolwork, special projects, sports, church and life can be tricky at best.  I found the article (linked below) to be a helpful guide for my house.

With so many things happening at school focused on teaching and learning, it’s hard to pull away from the engaged learning to think about the next round of budget cuts that will effect how we do things next year.  During the month of March, there will be budget teaching sessions so that YOU have an opportunity to learn about the amount that will be cut from the Beaverton School District budget and offer suggestions on your priorities.

A Budget Teaching Session at Sexton Mountain Elementary School is scheduled for Tuesday, March 13 from 8:45-10:15am in our school cafeteria.  Additionally, I’ll be teaming with the principal at Montclair Elementary School on Monday, March 12 from 6:30 to 8:00pm and at Hiteon on Wednesday, March 21 from 6:30-8:00pm for similar presentations. The purpose of each Budget Teaching Session is to provide up-to-date budget data, collect advisory data from participants, and answer questions.  There will also be a hands-on activity for participants to use several budget areas to make the estimated $40 million in reductions.  The information presented will be the same at each school in Beaverton.

On a different note, many of you may have heard or read about a student from Ridgewood Elementary School who recently reported that on the way to school he was approached by a man in a truck and asked if he wanted candy.  The student made the right decision and refused and the truck drove on.  Washington County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate this incident.  Although it is unfortunate that this incident even occurred, I think it also serves as a reminder for you to discuss stranger awareness with your child.  Here are some talking points for you:
  • Teach your children to always TAKE A FRIEND with them when walking or biking, and stay with a group while standing at the bus stop.
  • Make sure they know which bus to ride.
  • Walk the route to and from school with your child pointing out landmarks and safe places to go if they need help or are being followed.  Teach your children they should never take shortcuts and always stay in well-lit areas.
  • It is not safe for young children to walk to and from school, even in a group.  Parents should always provide supervision for young children to help ensure their safe arrival to and from school.
  • If your children wait for a bus, wait with them or make arrangements for supervision at the bus stop.
  • Teach your child that if anyone bothers them, makes them feel scared or uncomfortable; they should trust their feelings and immediately get away from that person.  Teach them it is okay not to be polite and it is okay to say no.

My daughter is a sophomore in college now and teaching her to listen to instincts and to be an advocate for herself when she was a little girl, certainly makes parenting from a distance much easier for me now.  As parents, we have so many lessons to teach in order to keep our kids healthy and safe.  From covering coughs and washing hands to prevent illness to watching what your head touches in order to prevent head lice or planning safe routes to and from class, these lessons are an essential part of childhood.  Teaching healthy habits to raise confident but cautious kids happens every day along with reading, mathematics, writing and science.  Thanks for partnering with us!


Dr. Teresa Clemens-Brower
A.k.a.  Mrs. C.-B.
Wish List--These are little things or jobs that will make a difference to our kids. Feel free to send them in.
  • Shredder for Computer Lab-Secure testing materials will need to be shredded after use.
  • Volunteers to help with Kindergarten Orientation on March 8 from 6:30-8:00pm

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