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Monday, March 12, 2012

Joyful Students, Budget, Writing, and More-March 13, 2012


Dear Sexton Mt. Families:                                                                                                                                                        

                  Great things are happening at Sexton Mountain School.  Last Thursday we welcomed our incoming Kindergarten students at Kindergarten Orientation.  Seeing so many enthusiastic four and five year olds reminded me about the high expectations our students have about school.   Thanks to all the parents and staff who made that evening a success! New families got to tour the school and students had a chance to visit classrooms.  It was a special night.

Please join us Tuesday morning, from 8:45-10:15 for am a Community Budget Teaching Session at Sexton Mountain Elementary School in the cafeteria.  During this meeting, I will provide a message from the District with the most up-to-date budget information; collect your budget reduction advice and answer questions.   The meeting will begin with a video message from Superintendent Jeff Rose. It will conclude with a hands-on activity where participants will be asked to work in groups to formulate recommendations for the estimated $40 million reductions the District will need to make to achieve a balanced budget for the 2012-13 school year.  I will be working with the principal at Hiteon on the budget presentations as well on Wednesday, March 21 from 6:30-8:00pm. Please feel free to invite neighbors who do not currently have children attending schools in Beaverton.  

If you will not be able to attend this meeting, you are welcome to attend meetings at other schools scheduled through the week prior to spring break.  The information shared and the format for the meetings will be the same at each school in the District.  Schedule at this website: http://www.beaverton.k12.or.us/home/departments/community-                 

Though the current budget reality is one of the things I am thinking about and working on right now, great teaching and learning are continuing at Sexton Mountain.  As I’ve visited classrooms these last few weeks, I’ve observed students engaged and working hard to complete writing tasks. I am constantly reminded of how much time and effort it takes to communicate our ideas effectively and efficiently in writing.  Effective writers must be willing to spend time thinking about their message, the needs of their audience and then be willing to devote great time and effort to writing a first draft.   Then, effective writers re-read what they’ve written and spend more time clarifying their thoughts and revising, often more than once, to achieve a final product.  Effective writers often ask others to read what they have written and to provide constructive feedback. Writing well is more complicated than mastering the six writing traits:  Ideas & Content, Organization, Sentence Fluency, Word Choice, Conventions, and Voice.  To become effective writers we must focus, work hard and accept feedback as positive and helpful. Writing well also requires us to think well and to think critically.

Thank you to our families for taking the time to encourage our young writers and to help them understand and accept that becoming a good thinker and a good writer takes time and requires hard work.  Talking to children about their ideas, questioning them and helping them to express their thoughts orally are great ways to support their development as writers.  To learn more about encouraging hard work and a growth mindset in your child, please attend the workshopHow to Develop a Growth Mindset in Your Child” on March 19 at 8:45am. 

This week begins the final trimester of the school year.  From Carol Dwek’s Mindset, we are going to be working on finding motivation and inspiration in the success of others.  Our fifth graders have started this effort with notes of praise.  Some are taking the theme of kindness to create inspirational posters.  Others are doing research on famous people who have pursued through failure.  This spring, as we focus on developing this mindset, I am sure you will see interesting things happening at Sexton Mountain.  Thank you for sharing your children with us!

Fondly,


Dr. Teresa Clemens-Brower
A.k.a.  Mrs. C.-B.
Principal

Wish List--These are little things or jobs that will make a difference to our kids. Feel free to send them in.
·      Small toys for our rainy day games cart
·      Families willing to host an “Amazing Race” type station for a staff community building activity later in the spring
·      Small prizes for staff community building contests-(art supplies, office tools, children’s books, small gift cards to book, office supply, or learning stores, or other small treats are appreciated)

Upcoming Workshops for Families
 The purpose of each 30-minute workshop will be to provide information and gather input. 
·       College and Career Readiness-Why are we talking about this in kindergarten?  March 16 at 8:45am
·       Building Class Lists for 2012-2013 (Mysteries Revealed and Myths Busted) and Fly Up Planning-March 15 at 6:30pm
·       Mindset-How to Develop a Growth Mindset in Your Child-March 19 at 8:45am
·       Positive Behavior Support-Teach, Reinforce, Reteach-April 12 at 8:45am
·       Make and Take Math Games-Strategies for Keeping Skills Strong During the Summer Months-April 12 at 6:30pm
·       Reading Assessments Revealed-April 19 at 9:30am

District Goal for 2010-2015:  All students will show continuous progress toward their personal learning goals, developed in collaboration with teachers and parents, and will be prepared for post-secondary education and career success.
The Beaverton School District recognizes the diversity and worth of all individuals and groups.  It is the policy of the Beaverton School District that there will be no discrimination or harassment of individuals or groups based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, marital status, age, veterans' status, genetic information or disability in any educational programs, activities or employment. 

Sexton Mountain Elementary School n 15645 SW Sexton Mountain Drive n Beaverton, Oregon 97007 n Office: 503.672.3560 n FAX 503.672.3563




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