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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Strong Start to the School Year-9/54/12

Dear Sexton Mountain Families:

My family went camping at Prineville Reservoir over summer break.  It was early August so the night sky was alive with activity and since we were so far from town, it was very dark when the sun went down.  My kids and my nieces and nephew were amazed by the clarity of the night sky.  Their wonder caused us all to stop a bit and take in the thousands of twinkling bits of light above us.  Taking a minute to appreciate the beauty of a summer evening was a special treat for my kids who seldom see the sky without clouds or city lights distracting from or disguising the beauty.  I realized that while growing up, living in the country, the beauty of the night sky was something I took for granted. I was happy to see the familiar through the eyes of my children and I delighted in the wonder!

Starting with the Ice Cream Social and continuing through the first day of school, I find that I have many opportunities to see the wonder of the world through a child’s eyes.  New classrooms, supplies, friends, teachers, schedules, routines and concepts provide for ample opportunities for our children to stand in awe.  September is my favorite month of the year because after a break from school, kids are back to the job of learning with great enthusiasm.  I am going to work extra hard this year not to take the wonder of it all for granted. 

As I welcomed a new student last Friday, his tone captured the enthusiasm of the new school year.  "It’s going to be great!" he smiled.   I agree!  It is going to be a great year! 

My grandma used to talk about her teens and early twenties like they were magical.  Her eyes would sparkle and she’d always end her story with a chuckle then a smiling sigh.  I’m certain that she reflected on these years as her most creative and productive..  I loved her stories and was surprised to find that her most fond memories took place during the Great Depression.   When we look back on the 2012-2013 school year, I hope that we smile and chuckle and remember our most productive, creative and relationship focused work ever.   Despite budget reductions and many changes, we will thrive this year!

 Thank you for sharing your children with us!  We are off to a great start!

Take Care,

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

Thank you Volunteers!
·       Thank you to Heather Hough and team for putting on a great Ice Cream Social!  Thanks to all the volunteers who helped that evening!
·       Thanks to the work party who assembled Back to School packets.
·       Thanks to Generations Church for spending a Saturday in August setting up classrooms and putting up bulletin boards.
·       Thanks to Abeer Awad and her Garden Club team for keeping the garden growing this summer.
·       Thanks to all the kids and families who helped with Media Assistant interviews in July.
·       Thanks to Sally Ebanks for organizing a great staff meal last week.  Thanks to all who contributed.

Upcoming Events
Sept. 7                     9:00am Volunteer Orientation
Sept. 7  9:00am Community Engagement Committee Meeting
Sept. 7  9:30am  Parent Teacher Club Meeting
Sept. 13                  6:30pm  Curriculum Night
Sept. 25                  Picture Day and Vision Screening
Sept. 26                  Passport Club Check Day (Grades 3,4,5)

Spotlight on New Staff-Meet Melanee Lucas

New to the fourth grade team this year, Melanee Lucas is thrilled to be teaching fourth grade at Sexton Mountain.  Most recently, she served students at Terra Linda as a media specialist.  She is also a certified reading teacher. This summer she was on the District’s Standards Based Learning Language Arts team and even before she knew she was coming to 4th grade, she was assigned to 4th grade literacy targets.  Before becoming a media- specialist, she had her own classroom and taught at several different grade levels.  Mrs. Lucas loves to travel!  She’s been all over the world.  Once she even rented an RV for her family to travel through Europe.  Over the summer she went to Mexico during a tropical storm.  Mrs. Lucas is excited about working with Jan Hunt, Bob Shotola and Karen Stratton to serve our fourth graders.  Please welcome Melanee Lucas to Sexton Mountain.

Spotlight on Staff-Meet Stan Davis

Stan Davis will teach music this year on E, F, G, and H days of the 8-day schedule.  He specializes in singing with children and teaching ukulele, trumpet, clarinets, keyboards and guitars.  Most recently, Mr. Davis taught at William Walker School.  He’s also taught in Hillsboro, Monmouth and Bend.  Mr. Davis is also a professional musician.  He was the pianist at Nordstrom for 12 years.  He’s also a member of the band, “Breakaway” and performs at different events and venues around Portland.   In his spare time, Mr. Davis enjoys fly-fishing and golf.  Kids are sure to notice pictures of his Jack Russell terrier when they visit his classroom.  Mr. Davis is excited about meeting our students.  Please welcome Stan Davis to Sexton Mountain.

Lunch Schedule Changes-Volunteers Need
Children may bring healthy meals from home or they may purchase meals at school.  Our mid-day lunch and recess schedule will change a bit in hopes of maximizing learning time and reducing recess conflicts.  Students will play first and then wash up and eat mid-day
First Grade          Playground 10:55-11:15               Lunch    11:15-11:35      
Second Grade     Playground 11:15-11:35               Lunch    11:35-11:55      
Third Grade        Playground 11:35-11:55               Lunch    11:55-12:15      
Fourth Grade     Playground 11:55-12:15               Lunch    12:15-12:35                        
Fifth Grade          Playground 12:15-12:35               Lunch   12:35-12:55   

As with any change for kids, explicitly teaching expectations and procedures will be an important part to setting the stage for success.  Before students come to lunch, teachers will teach the procedures.  We hope to have extra adults there to reteach and reinforce what has been taught.   If you can help in reinforcing new routines and procedures the first week of school between 11:15am and 12:30pm please show up and we’ll put you to work.

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