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Monday, September 17, 2012

Problem Solving, Conferences, Traffic Safety and More-9/18/12

Dear Sexton Mt. Families:                                                                                                  

It was nice to see so many of you at Curriculum Night last Thursday.  One of the themes I noticed as people left was the feeling of rallying to support teachers in changing times.  More than one parent and grandparent stopped and shared concerns about the reduction in resources (both human and material) but every single person also had a solution for how to support teachers to do their very best work for kids.  Thank you to those who recognize that with support staff reductions, larger classes, and a reduced building budget, we can’t do things as we have in the past. 

The good news is that we have many solution oriented problem solvers in our community! One dad overheard that we were searching the District for an extra lunch table and he left telling me that he would help find the money for a new table (almost $1200) if we were unable to borrow one from another school.  Another parent, worried that spelling books were no longer being purchased shared that she felt it was more important for volunteers to be working with kids than standing at a machine making photocopies so volunteered to help with a dollar drive to go towards the purchase of spelling books.  By doing this she hopes that kids will benefit from increased adult/volunteer interaction.  The theme of working together to make it a great year for our kids was certainly evident!  One parent suggested that we resume the “Wish List” in each newsletter so that readers could be aware of our needs and put many creative minds on the projects or problems.  Thank you for being so generous with time, ideas and resources!

Parent Teacher Conferences
We look forward to seeing families at Parent-Teacher conferences in October.  Students will not have school on October 18 or 19 so that teachers can meet with families for parent conferences.  The purpose of the conference is to review the child’s educational Plan & Profile that will assist students in pursuing their academic and personal goals. This means that beginning in Kindergarten, families will be able to chart their child’s course to academic and personal success. The Plan & Profile will provide student achievement data. Teachers and parents will work together to set learning goals.  Because of larger class sizes, conferences will be a bit shorter this year and teachers will have a focused agenda.  Teachers will hold one conference per family this year unless there is legal documentation that shows parents need to conference separately (i.e. restraining order).  Thanks in advance for your focus and flexibility!
We are off to a great start this year.  Many of you have noticed that we are missing a few of our key players this fall.  Margaret Zwetschke welcomed two new grandsons into her family this year but because they arrived prematurely, she is taking time to help with their care.  Dave Drieling, our custodial foreman will be out for a while too.  Most people know that in any school, the head custodian and head secretary run things so if you usually email them with questions, I am going to ask that you direct the questions to me for the next month or so.  Meanwhile, volunteers and staff are working very hard so that kids can be successful!  We have a great team!  Thank you so much for sharing your children with us!

Take Care,

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

Parking Lot Safety
The safety and security of our students is our top priority.  Our congested parking area requires extreme caution and care when delivering and picking up students.  Parents are to use the yellow curb area near the front of the school for this purpose.  Under no circumstances, should students walk between cars when arriving or departing by car.  If it is necessary to park, park your vehicle in a designated parking spot. Parents who have parked their vehicle should accompany their children to and from the curb.   Leaving cars unattended at the curb is prohibited. Children should be dropped off in the drop-off circle at the school’s main entrance only.   Cars should pull as far forward as possible when dropping students in this area.  Thank you for cooperating with school staff who will be on duty in the parking lot at arrival and dismissal times - they are doing their best to keep traffic moving and keep everyone safe.

Below is a picture of the Bus Lane.  In the morning, we have several smaller buses that drop students here.  Please leave this lane open for buses before school.  Cars and non-bus traffic should remain to the left of the solid line in the middle of the driveway.   After school, all buses pick up students behind the building so the car line may be next to the curb but student pick up and drop off should take place only in the front loop.
The curb side drop off and pick up zone extends from crosswalk to crosswalk.  Students should exit the car on the curbside.  Drivers should pull as far forward as possible.  If drivers pull all the way to the end of the yellow curb traffic flows much more smoothly in the morning.

The area to drop off children extends along the front loop all the way to the end of the yellow curb.  Please pull as far forward as possible.  This really helps the flow of traffic in the morning.

Talented And Gifted
Every year students are considered for Talented and Gifted services in Beaverton School District.  These services are provided by your child's classroom teacher(s).  If you think your child might qualify, you may wish to complete the Parent Information Form, available in our school’s office.  Completing this form gives our school TAG committee more information about your child, but it is not required.  All qualified students will be considered regardless of its completion.
Oregon law and District policy define gifted students as those who score at or above the 97th percentile on a standardized, nationally normed test of mental ability and/or academic achievement.  Behavioral, learning, and/or performance information is also considered before a student is identified for TAG services.
The Parent Information Form must be completed and returned to our school’s TAG facilitator, Michele Cobain or the school’s office.

The Jog-a-thon will be held October 4.  Please pay close attention to Tuesday Newsday about volunteer needs.  Know that we hope to have a huge turn out of helpers for each grade level so please consider joining us for the time your child will be on the track!  Times are below.
8:45-9:20- Kindergarten and SRC
9:30-10:15- 5th Grade
10:20-11:05-4th Grade
11:40-12:25- First Grade and SRC
12:30-1:15-Second Grade and PM Kindergarten
1:20-2:05-Third Grade

Parent Resource Library
Our school library has a special section just for parents!  Located in the corner of the library closest to the Pink Pod, this collection has a range of interesting titles and an easy honor check out process.  Feel free to help yourself to these resources.  Titles include Siblings without Rivalry, Positive Discipline, Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families, The Out of Sync Child, Driven to Distraction and more!  Check it out!

Upcoming Events
Sept. 25          Picture Day and Vision Screening
Sept. 26          Passport Club Check Day (Grades 3,4,5)
Sept.  27         Spirit Assembly at 8:25am.
October 3       International Walk and Bike to School Day
October 4       Jog-a-thon
October 5       Community Engagement Committee Mtg. 9:00am
October 5       PTC Meeting-9:30am
October 12     Staff Development Day-No School
October 17     Family Bingo Night
October 18     Conferences-No School
October 19     Conferences-No School
October 24     Passport Club Check Day(Grades 3,4,5)
October 25     Spirit Assembly at 8:25am
November 9   Staff Development Day-No School
November 12            Holiday-No School

Spotlight on New Staff-Meet  Megan Smith
Megan Smith has joined the Sexton Mountain Staff as our Response to Intervention Specialist.  She will be in our building daily from 7:30-11:30am. She will work closely with teachers and Mrs. Lenox, Mrs. Douvris, and Ms. Marie to provide smaller group instruction for students when needed.  Megan Smith graduated from Oregon State then earned her teaching degree from University of Portland. For the past six years she has served students at Errol Hassell School as a fourth grade teacher.  She’s also served math leader in the District.  Megan and her husband are huge Oregon State fans!  Their 2 year old chocolate lab, Sam, is named after Sammie Stroughter, a past OSU football player.  They love attending Beaver football games, spending time with family, and vegetable gardening.  We are thrilled that Megan Smith has joined the Sexton Mountain team.

Spotlight on New Staff-Meet Mark Tsakistos
Mark Tsakistos has joined the Sexton Mountain fifth grade team.  Last year he served students as a fifth grade teacher at Chehalem.  Before joining the Beaverton School District, Mark taught middle-school in Portland.  Mr. Tsakistos (a.k.a. Mr. T.) grew up abroad and came to Oregon to attend the University of Portland.  He considers Kenya his home.  He has two older brothers, loves dogs and animals and as a HUGE football fan, would love to go to every Word Cup.  His goal in life is to help children and besides his parents, his heroes in life include Gandhi, Dr. King, Mother Theresa, and Dalai Lama.  Mr. Tsakistos has a big interest in history, politics and societal concerns. We are thrilled that Mark Tsakistos has joined the Sexton Mountain team.

Summer Reading Recognition
Sexton Mountain once again had the most students complete the Summer Reading Program at the Beaverton City Library! Our school had 228 finishers! 

Beaverton City Library
The Beaverton City Library has lots of events for kids and families. Here are a just a few that your students may enjoy:

Monday Sept. 17 from 4:00-5:00 we’re hosting a Best of Library Tour where kids in grades K-5 and their families can go behind-the-scenes to learn about how things work at the public library, they can also learn about using the library catalog to find materials they want and enjoy a fun storytime. You can print a flyer to post here: Buddies: A book club for kids in grades 3-5. Kids read the book at home then answer questions about the book and get fun prizes. Great practice for OBOB!

Beverly Cleary Children’s Choice Award Book Club: A new book club for kids in 1-4 grades. Each month we’ll read one of the nominated BCCCA books and then vote for our favorites in the spring.
The annual Family Resource Fair is Saturday, October 20 from 10 AM-2:00 pm. This is a great event to connect families to local non-profits for all the resources available. The raffle prizes are always a big hit, and we have free eye exams for preschool aged children! Check that out at

For a full list of the librar programs for kids visit the calendar of events here:,27,23,28,&view=list
Wish List--These are little things or jobs that will make a difference to our kids. Feel free to send them in.
·      Volunteer to help inventory of extra text books so we can share resources with other schools.  This will be done at school in a storage room.
·      Volunteer to assemble charts.  This job can be done at home.  All materials can be sent home with your child.
·      Plastic shoebox type storage containers.
·      Volunteer to tidy the staffroom at 2:45pm.  This  5 minute job has been shared by teachers in the past but with larger classes this year, having an individual or team take will add up to hours saved over the year.

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