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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Change, Celebration, Gratitude-June 11, 2013

Dear Sexton Mt. Families:                                                                                             

My son participated in his first Speed Cube Tournament last weekend in Astoria.  It was our first WCA tournament and it was certainly interesting to see this group of participants working toward their personal best times.  They encouraged one another, shared tips and tricks and I was once again reminded about how nice it is to spend summer exploring passions.  We also climbed to the top of the Astoria Column and learned interesting facts about the landmark; then spent quite a chunk of time flying kites.  I am sure my son learned about cause and effect, changing variables, history and much more as he enjoyed his hobbies.  What is your child passionate about?  How will your family extend, enrich, and explore that passion over summer break? 

It’s hard to believe another year is coming to an end.  Watching kids grow and change in so many ways over the last ten months has been amazing.  This has quite possibly been the most difficult year I’ve experienced in education due to the challenges of having budgets reduced year after year after year.  Despite the changes and cuts, it was also one of the best because so many people stepped up to do their very best for our kids.  I hope that you understand how much I appreciate the efforts of students, staff, parents and community who have done so much to make this year good for our students. 

I’m overwhelmed by the number of people I need to thank for all they’ve done.  Please forgive me if my thank you notes arrive late or my appreciation is expressed in general terms in notes such as this.  I know that words of appreciation go a long way and I am lucky that I have hundreds of people to thank!  I hope that you will take the opportunity to write one last note to your child’s teacher before the end of the year. Kind words from a parent or student are always memorable for the teacher.   If you send a thanks in an email always feel free to send me a copy.  It gives me an opportunity to also say thank you to staff.

Some of our staff members will be leaving us this spring so now is a great time to acknowledge their hard work and efforts.  Cathy Watson will be moving from our Structured Routines Center to an Academic Learning Center at another school. Meghan McGill will be moving from our 5th grade team to a Humanities position at a middle school.  Terrie Weisz will be moving from our SRC Program to a new position at Beaver Acres.  Karen Grant, Jenny Barbay, Nina Marie, Ryan Panchot, Chantel Scambray, and Victoria Balius have served as temporary employees for us this year and their contracts will end this week.  We are so lucky that they got to serve our students this year. 

This is one of the first years in a long while that I will get to hire new staff.  We have a morning kindergarten teacher opening as well as an upper SRC teacher and half-time counselor opening.  We also get to hire a new instructional assistant to serve our students at recess and for small group instruction.  Because of our outstanding reputation, strong applicants want to come to our school so we will get to pick the very best.  It’s an exciting time!

There will be some changes within our building as well.  Ms. Stratton will be moving up to 5th grade.  She is not looping with students.  Students were first divided into four balanced classes (gender, ability, leadership, and behavior challenges) then teachers were assigned, so some students will remain with Ms. Stratton while others will be in other classrooms.   Mr. Davis has been split between our school and Vose Elementary this year.  Next year he will be at Sexton Mountain full time so our kids will get to have music class much more frequently. 

Things may change between now and September, but we are going into the summer with this plan.
The teams will be as follows:

Kindergarten-AM-Mrs. Hiatt, AM-New Hire, PM-Mrs. Hiatt
1st Grade-Mrs. Cobain-Soto, Mrs. Cohn, Ms. Martin
2nd Grade-Mrs. Antich, Mr. Hayhurst, Mrs. Weigel
3rd Grade-Mrs. Baldwin, Mrs. Olson, Mr. Pfaff
4th Grade-Ms. Hunt, Mrs. Lucas, Mr. Shotola
5th Grade-Mrs. Krueger, Ms. Stratton, Mrs. Tanksley, Mr. Tsakistos
PE-Mr. Miller
Music-Mr. Davis
Resource Room-Ms. Frame
SRC- Ms. Yokom and New Hire
SLP- Ms. Walker and Ms. Lynch
Intervention Teacher-Megan Smith
ESL-Mrs. McConnell
Counselor-New Hire
Office Staff-Mrs. Contreras, Mrs. Zwetschke
Library-Ms. Kimball
Technology-Ms. Kramer
Instructional Assistants-Ms. Fryer, Ms. Lenox, Ms. Douvris, New Hire, Jennifer Chervin, Pam Cook, Cheryl Jepson, Beth Johnson, Catherine Wadleigh and Kyla Zaworski
Nutrition Service-Carmen Whalen and Sue Mills

Again, things could change over the summer but for now, this is the plan. I am committed to keeping our community informed with accurate and timely information throughout the process.  I appreciated the support you have given our staff this year.  We will continue to be a school full of excellent teachers prepared for each and every day.  Throughout the summer we will rely primarily on email to communicate, so please let me know if your e-mail address changes. Postcards will be mailed later in the summer with information regarding classroom placement.  I will send an email to families when we pop them in the USPS mailbox so you know to look for them. 

Thank you for sharing your child with us this year.  It has truly been an honor!

Take Care,

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

Thank you!
o   Thank you to Lindsay Zobrist for sharing so many teaching ideas with staff throughout the year.  We appreciate all we’ve learned from her about Common Core Standards and language frameworks to support deep learning.
o   Thank you to Kristin Khulman and Susan Elliott for leading the Drama and Improv Club this spring.  The group performed Tuesday night and did an amazing job!
o   Thanks to Spencer Rubin of Play-Fit-Fun for setting up a family night on Monday.  Kids were active and smiling.  The group will offer after school fitness next year on Wednesday from 3:00-6:00pm for a fee and may offer all day workshops on non-student contact days as well.
o   Thanks to Tiffany Hellum for leading our after school EcoThink and Garden Club throughout the year.
o   Thanks to Erin McRae for chairing the 5th Grade Party.  The kids are going to have a ton of fun Thursday.
o   Thanks to Lori Laraway for getting our storage area so organized.

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.
§  We would love to have small, pocket-sized packets of tissues for recess duty bags for the upcoming year.  If you have these small packs of tissues to donate, we would love to put them to good use send them to the office.
§  We would LOVE donations of large scraps fabric or sheets to use to cover the library books shelves over the summer.  Please send fabric to Ms. Kimball in the library.
§  We would LOVE donations of plastic magazine type boxes or shoebox sized plastic tubs for book organizing.
§  We would LOVE donations of wagons for lunchbox storage during the school day next year.
§  We would LOVE to have weeders for the garden.  Contact Tiffany Hellum on the Sexton Mountain Sparky’s Facebook page if you can help.

Summer Reading Suggestions-Battle of the Books for Grades-3-5
Abraham Lincoln by Mary Pope Osbourne
Birchbark House by Louise Erdich
Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
Eleven by Patricia Reilly Giff
Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Into the Firestorm by Deborah Hopkinson
Kenny and the Dragon by Tony DiTerlizzi
Marty McGuire by Kate Messner
Pie by Sara Weeks
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
The Tale of Despereaus by Kate DiCamillo
Umbrella Summer by Lisa Graff
Waiting for the Magic by Patricia MacLachlan
Who was Neil Armstrong by Roberat Edwards
Young Fredle by Cynthia Voigt

Upcoming Events
June 12-Mt. Guide picnic
June 13- Assembly at 8:35am-Students will go to class to drop off stuff then go to the assembly.
June 13-5th grade party at Conestoga Rec Center
June 13-Last day of school
August 29-Ice Cream Social-2:00-3:00pm-Drop off school supplies, meet your teacher and enjoy reconnecting with friends over frozen treats.
September 13-Back to School/Curriculum Night 6:00-8:00pm

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