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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Levy Info and (Surprise!) Great Happenings-March 5, 2012

Local Option Levy Election – May 21, 2013

The Beaverton School District will place a 5-year Local Option Levy on the May 21, 2013 ballot.  If approved by voters, the levy could provide the District with about $15 million per year in additional operating funds to prevent teacher position cuts and protect class size.

Due to repeated state funding shortfalls over the past five years, Beaverton has cut $142 million, eliminating 16 school days, 640 teacher positions and increasing class sizes at every level.  The District has reduced administration, maintenance, guidance counselors, school libraries, textbooks and learning materials. Music, physical education and art have been reduced at every level.

The District is anticipating additional state school funding shortfalls next year that would eliminate more teacher positions and increase class sizes further at every school. 

100% of the local option levy would remain in the Beaverton School District to fund teaching positions.  If the state Legislature funds Oregon’s schools at $6.7 billion (or above), the Beaverton levy funds would prevent teacher cuts, restore some previously cut teaching positions, and address some extreme class sizes.

The levy costs $1.25 per $1,000 assessed property value. Homes with the median assessed value of $233,000 would pay an additional $24 per month.

Dear Sexton Mt. Families:                                                                                                                                                               
Last Friday I was talking to a young man regarding something that had happened during PE.  He listened thoughtfully then smiled and patted my hand.  “Are you getting enough rest?  You look really tired.”   I am probably the only person in the world who smiles when kids tell me I look haggard (my interpretation).  I was genuinely touched because he was so concerned.  We have thoughtful kids and they bring me joy each day.  We have talented, caring, compassion and hard working students.  Great things are happening at Sexton Mountain School. 

At our spirit assembly on Thursday, Madison I. entertained students as they entered the cafeteria by performing several pieces on the piano.  When interviewed, she shared that she became proficient by practicing.  She stressed that practice for a concentrated period each day away from distractions makes a difference in her ability to do well.  We have talented students and we are so lucky they are willing to share the importance and benefits of hard work with our student body.

Our scientists are up to their elbows in research and discovery.  Third graders are learning about weather.  Fourth and fifth graders are designing investigations.  Teams are working together to find the answers to their questions.  As I visited Ms. Stratton’s class today, students were playing a game with science facts.  They were finding evidence in the text to support their thinking and analyzing other’s answers to determine if generalizations were indeed accurate. 

Our mathematicians are setting goals and working to learn new things daily.  Kids are learning the basic facts, working to increase fact fluency and working to develop the language of math as well.  As I visited Ms. Antich’s room this morning,  kids were hard at work solving basic math facts.  In Mr. Shotola’s room, kids were also working on fact fluency and math problem solving.  

Our citizens are recognizing needs and working to make contributions in order to make our world a better place.  They are collecting coins to donate to organizations working to find a cure for cancer.  Odin not only involved his family but also asked Northwest Motion to make a contribution for the cause and they donated $100.   Caitlyn bounded into my office Monday to share that she’d brought in coins AND paper money to donate.  

Our athletes are working on showing character and sportsmanship as they play real and made up games on the playground.  As the sun was out Monday, students were a bit more exuberant than typical.  This resulted in some hurt feelings and disagreements.   I’ve asked teachers to review expectations with students about how to play safely, respectfully and responsibly on the playground.  Families are invited to engage in this discussion at home as well.  Spring weather can provide additional challenges when it’s beautiful one day then pouring the next.  Please brainstorm ideas with your child about what he or she can do when it’s an undercover recess or when they have full use of the playground.  In Mr. Hayhurst’s classroom this morning, students were practicing thoughtful listening and questioning.  As students shared, they asked clarifying questions.  This type of listening in the classroom often results in thoughtful listening outside of the classroom as well.  Practice makes proficient!

The adults in our building also show great caring and flexibility.  I noticed this morning, at drop off time, that drivers are especially thoughtful of students as they learn new routines.  Ms. Yokom’s students are learning to be more independent as they are dropped off and walked in from the car by teachers.  I’m so proud of their new independence and delighted that drivers in the parking lot recognize this and wait patiently.  I noticed this morning we had several parents of second grade students working with small groups.  With larger classes, students LOVE the opportunity to work in small groups with grown ups AND students in the class benefit as the teacher divides her attention among fewer students.  We also had volunteers from Canfield Place in the building this morning quizzing students on math facts.  We are lucky to have such caring adults!

Great things are happening at Sexton Mountain School.  Thank you for sharing your children with us!

Take Care,

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

Thank you!
§  Thanks to Lindsey Zobrist for teaching our teachers about language structures to support the common core.
§  Thank you to the Cillo family for making classroom seating markers.  This makes it so easy for kids to go straight to assemblies and sit with their class.  Thanks also to all who donated yogurt containers for this project.
§  Thank you to Lori Laraway for the generous donation of hand soap.
§  Thank you to the Oberg and Namdar families for the donation of postcards.
§  Thank you to Lori Laraway, John Jones, and Kate Kristiansen for representing our school in different ways at a Levy Information meeting last weekend.
§  Thank you to the Arbuthnot family for volunteering to provide two containers of juice and 2 dozen donuts for our April 12 meeting.
§  Thanks to Teresa Wymetalek for organizing a guest speaker for Poison Prevention Week.  Students will learn more at the assembly on March 21.

Lemonade War Service Project
In Lemonade War we’ve read about how two of the characters decide to make a donation to helping organization. We’ve entered THE GREAT LEMONADE WAR, a fundraising contest to help find childhood cancer.  The winner of the war not only contributes to a good cause but also will be rewarded with a visit from Jacquline Davies’  author of The Lemonade War.
You can make a contribution to the Sexton Mountain team by sending coins to the office or by visiting:  Thanks to the Hellum family for supporting this project and to Odin for asking local businesses to make contributions. 

Upcoming Events
March 7-Family Literacy Night 6:30-7:30pm
March 11-Budget Reduction Day-No School
March 13-Fuddruckers-Dining With Dollars
March 14- Kindergarten Orientation Night
March 15-Grading Day-No School
March 20-Passport Club Check Day
March 25-29-Spring Break-No School
April 1-School Resumes
April-OAKS Statewide Assessment for 3-5th grade this month during technology class
April 5-PTC Meeting at 9:00am
April 10-OMSI Assemblies
April 11-Science Fair and Family Science Night 6:30-8:30pm
April 12-Staff Development Day-No School
April 13-Learn and Play Acution
April 22-25-Earth Week
April 24-Passport Club Check Day
April 25-Spirit Assembly
April 29-Budget Reduction Day-No School

Wish List--These are little things or jobs that will make a difference to our kids. Feel free to send items in or let Mrs. CB know if you are willing to do a project.
§  Volunteer to Cut Out/Prep Materials for Kindergarten Orientation-Materials can be sent home with your child in backpack mail and all you need is a pair of scissors.  All items will need to be returned by March 12.
§  Paper Grocery Sacks with Handles needed for upcoming event-Please send them to the office.
§  Volunteers to Help with Budget Brainstorming and Messaging-Volunteers needed to help inform community members, local businesses and state decision makers about how current budget realities honestly impact OUR students. 
§  Postcards-We love to send our students postcards of praise.  Our supplies are dwindling.  Postcards from around the town or around the world are always appreciated and we promise to put them to good use.
§  Volunteers Wanted-Kindergarten Orientation is March 14. We need about 10 volunteers to serve as our official parent “Welcome Wagon” from 7:00-7:45pm.  If you would like to give a tour of the build to a small group of incoming kindergarten parents, please let me know.  We will have a map and guidebook so no experience is necessary but a warm and welcoming attitude is a MUST!
§  Hospitality Help-On April 12 our school will host 90 teachers from around the District for a special training.  Grade level will spend the morning here and we’d like to provide juice, coffee, donuts, fruit and bagels for the teachers as they work.  If you would like to help with our hospitality effort by providing any of these things, please let Mrs. CB know.  We will not spend school dollars on snacks for staff but we certainly like to make guests feel welcome. 
§  Twin Size Flat Sheets or Fabric Needed-We will be asking volunteers to make fabric covers for the windows and doors in our classrooms.  We want to be able to quickly deny visual access to our rooms in the event of a Lock In or Lock Out drill.  If you would like to donate fabric for this project, please send it in.
§  Crafty Volunteers Needed-We need volunteers to beautify fabric and craft it into window coverings.  If you can do this, please email Mrs. CB.  The end product will be fabric that is rolled up at the top of the window with tabs that can be pulled so that the fabric rolls down quickly in the event of lock in drill.  The fabric will be treated with fire retardant so that it is not a safety hazard in the event of a fire.

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