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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Leaves, Traffic and the Walking School Bus-October 8, 2013

Dear Sexton Mountain Families:

On Friday afternoon I got to tag along with Mrs. Hiatt’s class as they went on a leaf hunt.  They found leaves then joined their big buddies to do leaf rubbings.  The students worked together to describe the texture of the leaves and describe what they noticed.  Smiling children worked side by side!  I noticed that our third graders were generous with kind words of encouragement and this provided motivation for more good work.  Watching different ages of students working together was a nice ending to my week .

Based on the REST of my message today, you may think I’ve only been in the parking lot the last few days.  Sadly, I have spent a lot of time on parking lot issues so I wanted to re-share some information from earlier in the year.

GETTING TO SCHOOL on time and ready to learn sets the stage for the day.  When the rain starts or when there is ice on windshields in the morning, we tend to have a more congested parking lot and therefore more students likely to arrive after instruction begins if families don’t plan ahead.

Please know that supervision in the cafeteria begins at 8:05am then at 8:10 students can also go to the gym, playground or library if space is available.  Traffic is very light at 8:05am.   It is a perfect time to bring students to school.

Because our parking lot can get CONGESTED it is important to follow the established traffic patterns.

IF students are able to independently get in and out of the car on the passenger side, they can be dropped off in the front circle. 

Students can be dropped off and picked up curbside only in the front traffic circle.  The picture below shows how buses ONLY will drop students in the AM bus lane and cars will remain in the through lane.   There is no bus lane in the afternoon so cars can pull along the curb at the end of the day.  They still must only load kids in the front circle.  The cars below illustrate the before school routine perfectly!

In the front circle, cars should pull forward to the end of the curb if there is room.  The daycare van pictured below is a perfect example of this!  If cars pull forward like this, we are able to have 9 cars at a time unload children and this makes for a faster drop off.

Notice how the cars pictured below have students exiting only on the passenger side.  They’ve left just enough room between cars to easily pull away from the curb and into the imaginary lane that runs parallel to the drop off lane, making for a smooth traffic flow.  Put your car in park while your child gets out then wait to pull away until the child is on the curb.  This allows the driver to be sure that cords on jackets or backpack parts aren’t trapped in the car door.

Once on the sidewalk, students enter through the door closest to the cafeteria then go to the cafeteria, gym, library or playground until 8:25am.   At 8:25, the front doors will be open and students may go directly to class.

IF students are not yet able to be dropped curbside independently, drivers should park in a legal parking space then help the child out of the car and walk them across the crosswalk to the building where the child can then go to the cafeteria, gym, library or playground until 8:25am. If adults come into the building with children, they need to enter through the front door then go to the office to sign in and get a visitor or volunteer badge.

Know that Instruction Begins promptly at 8:30am -When the 8:25am bell rings, students walk directly to the classroom.  Teachers take attendance electronically at 8:30am then begin instruction so if a child arrives after the 8:30am bell, the child will be marked absent.  As to not interrupt instruction, children not in class at 8:30am need to get a pink slip from the office.  When they show this to the teacher, the teacher knows that the office has changed the electronic record to show the child is at school.  Please make being on time and ready to learn a habit.  Children who are frequently tardy in elementary school are more likely have poor grades in middle school, drop out in high school, and even experience employment issues later in life.  Plan ahead for congestion and let kids know that the start of the day is a lot like the scheduled departure of an airplane to Disneyland in that if you arrive late, you may miss something important no matter what the excuse. 

THE END OF THE DAY can be congested too.  Please be patient and follow the law.   One of our parents snapped the picture below showing where a car had parked on 155th Avenue in front of the school.  By not parking legally, traffic was essentially stopped. 

Our neighbors behind the school have reported cars parked in the no parking zone on 158th and expressed concern about how this is not only illegal but creates blindspots for kids who may be crossing the street.   Our staff members DO NOT direct traffic on public streets but we can report dangerous or illegal behaviors to Beaverton City Police just as you can.   

Your children are dear to us and we want to maximize our time with them.  Making sure they get to school safely and are in class by 8:30am when instruction starts is important! 

Wednesday, October 9 is National Bike and Walk to School Day.  It’s likely that our parking lot will be less congested than usual because we’ll have so many kids arriving by foot or bike.  There will be a prize table set up in front for kids who arrive by human power. 

Be at Haggens’ by 7:58am if you’d like to join the WALKING SCHOOL BUS from that direction and west side WALKING SCHOOL BUS meets at 8:05am on Marcile and Sexton Mt. 

Adults are encouraged to join the groups.  For the National event we also expect Rep. Tobias Read to walk with the group as well as  several other leaders from our area. 

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


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

THANK YOU-We are so lucky to have an active and involved community, willing to do special things for our kids.  When we work together, our kids benefit.

  • ·         Thanks to Naseem’s family for helping with bike rack removal.
  • ·         Thanks to the Griffiths and Langs for donating magazines for our cafeteria tables.  Kids love reading these after they finish eating.
  • ·         Thanks to the Lynks and Muralis for taking on the sticker projects.
  • ·         Thanks  to the many amazing volunteers who have agreed to help with math projects.  Our students are off to a STRONG start this year thanks in part to the efforts of the group of volunteers who did this last year.  Yahoo!

Wish List-These are things or jobs that make a difference to our kids, teachers or school. Send in items or let Mrs. CB know if you can volunteer.
       Baby wipes will be put to good use if donated to our school.  Feel free to send donations to the office.
       Donations of NEW child sized underwear for our Health Room. 
       Volunteer(s) to make copies of math pages for the year.  If you can run the risograph and you can donate some time during the regular work day, you can help us get organized.  See Mrs. Z. for details and directions.

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