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Monday, April 16, 2012

Exciting Learning, Enrichment and Community Engagement-April 17, 2012

Dear Sexton Mountain Families:

At 8:30am Monday morning, students in Mrs. McConnell’s class were hard at work learning about the upcoming events of the week.  They were making plans for a very busy Wednesday.  OMSI will be here for a special assembly that day, then the class will be off to the Oregon Trail Interpretive center for a field trip.  Both of these special events are made possible thanks to our generous PTC.  Starting the day talking about the “extra enrichment” made for a special start.  Following the morning announcements, fourth graders dove quickly into their math lesson.  Students were analyzing strategies for finding the area and perimeter of different shapes.  Grayson shared the equation for finding perimeter and Mallory shared the equation for finding area.  Areeba noted the way the units need to be shown for each.  Hallie was able to share strategies for finding the area of triangles. Next, students started a game where they practiced these skills. 

As I walked back to the office, I came across Kaia and Alexa in the third grade area working on adding and subtracting fractions.  Kaia explained that the denominator for each problem was the same so it was simple addition or subtraction.

Throughout the school, kids were not only solving math problems but they were also explaining and defending their thinking about their work.  Many of our students have been bringing in their Science Fair projects this week and last and it’s amazing to see the depth of explanation and analysis on these projects.  I look forward to seeing the projects Friday.  Our Science Night coordinator, Grace Campbell,
has done an outstanding job of planning a special day and evening for our students.  Mad Science will have several hands on projects for students.  Thanks in advance to all who plan to help with set up, clean up and helping with all the small jobs that will make the experience so special for our students.  These enriching activities really do make a huge difference for our students.

Our PTC and families are doing so many things to make our school a special place to learn and grow. Last week, five houses opened their doors so that teachers could get to know our attendance zone a bit better while team building.  Thanks to the Robsons, Awads, Yans, Zimmermans, and Heavers for hosting “Amazing Race” stations. Teams spent a productive 40 minutes completing tasks and had great opportunities to think about clear parameters around assessment and the importance of inter-rater reliability.  Canfield Place also invited teams in for fun and staff enjoyed their special cheering section!

We have been partnering with Canfield for several projects.  Right now, volunteers come in weekly to work with students in the intermediate grades on math facts.  Canfield has invited us to also take part in a garden project and an Art Show.  More news will follow on the garden club but because the Art Show will take place after school gets out, I wanted to ask families to consider participating.  If you would like to participate, you would need to be able to attend the event with your child on Friday, June 22 between 11:30-1:30.  You would enjoy looking at the artwork displayed and join the residents and other students for a BBQ lunch. Up to 30 students can participate in this special event.  Please let me know if you are interested.

As I think of all the things that will take place between now and the end of June I am delighted by the many experiences our students will have in the upcoming weeks.  The week of June 3 for instance we have Mr. Hayhurst’s triathlon that many students participate in plus evening music performances for kindergarten, fourth and fifth grade and Field Day.  Between now and then we have OMSI and Taiko assemblies,  a Carnival, staff and volunteer appreciation functions and much more.  All the while, teachers will be teaching and learners will be learning. 

April 26 and 27 students will not come to school for regular classes so that teachers can meet with families for conferences.  This is the time the District has set aside for you to review your child’s plan and profile sheet.  By contract, teachers are given several hours to prepare for the conferences and that makes for a pretty tight schedule for the actual conferences.  Thank you in advance for respecting the scheduled time.  When families and teachers come together to discuss a child, it’s pretty exciting!  Our kids are so lucky to have so many caring adults in their lives.

Teachers are teaching and students are learning here at Sexton Mountain.  Great things are happening here for our kids!  Thank you for sharing your children with us!


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

Silent Auction
Between now and April 20, we will have a silent auction to raise money for next year’s 5th Grade Biztown trip.  We have two beautiful adirondack chairs made at Biztown by our students that will go to the highest bidder on April 20.   The high bid is currently $100. 

Wish List--These are little things or jobs that will make a difference to our kids. Feel free to send them in.
·      Volunteers to review our Student Handbook and offer suggestions for improvement for next year

Classroom Placement Info
As we plan for the 2012-2013 school year, we are asking for parent input regarding the learning environment that fits your child.  If you desire, please write a letter commenting on the following points:
*Your child's learning style. 
*The type of teaching which best suits you child. Please do not list specific teacher names as teaching assignments have not been determined. 
*The type of classroom situation/environment you prefer. 
*Any special concerns that need to be considered.
Please drop letters by the office or send letter to by April 28.  No letters will be accepted after April 28. 

Upcoming Workshops for Families
·      Reading Assessments Revealed-April 19 at 9:30am
·      GoogleDocs for Families Presented by Pam LeLand-May 22 at 8:45am

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