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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Non-Fiction, Reminder101, Fact Fluency and More-October 22, 2013

Dear Sexton Mt. Families:                    

Great things are happening at Sexton Mountain Elementary School!  As I visit classrooms, I enjoy watching teachers teach and learners learn.  Our hallways are filling with evidence of learning.  If you happen to be in the building, schedule time to read our walls! Students are l

Math Fact Fluency
The ability to quickly recall basic facts is important for math success.  Every Monday, our students (grades 1-5) are given a one-minute basic facts test to see how many equations they can solve in 60 seconds.  Quizzes are corrected by volunteers then we chart growth.  Each week, we expect to see an increase in the number of problems solved.  Teachers will be working to improve speed and accuracy in the classroom. We hope you will practice at home too.  Here are some ways you might do this:
·         Flashcard practice (Some find that practice during television commercials is fast and fun.)
·         Keep a set of flashcards in the car and have your child practice at every stoplight
·         After dinner, practice equations orally for five minutes before you clear the table
·         Download printable worksheets from the web or make your own for kids to do

Breaking News-Sign Up
Remind101 is an app I can use to text breaking news messages to those who have signed up.  Inclement weather sometimes means closed school, late starts or buses on snow routes.  Sometimes we have funky weather but we are open as usual. By signing up for new notices, you can get information as it becomes available to me.  If you would like to sign up for this service, text 971-238-0465 with the code @drcleme   and you’ll be added to my list.

Morning Drop Off
Remember that supervision does not begin until 8:05am so students should not arrive before that time.  The only exception is Mt. Guides as these fifth grade students have been nominated to serve in this role because of their strong leadership and independence and have gone through a rigorous application process.  They arrive before other students in order to prepare for the day.  Please make sure Day Care providers know when SUPERVISION begins.

Attendance Drawing
Thanks to Thad Miller at Horace Mann for including Sexton Mountain School in the Outstanding Attendance Donation Program.  In January and June, we will have a drawing.  Students will be entered into the drawing if they have outstanding attendance.  The student whose name is pulled will win a bicycle.  Thad Miller will try to find the right color and size for the child selected.  Kids can earn one chance a week by being on time and in class, all day, everyday for the week.

Volunteer and Visitor Badges
Please remember that EACH and EVERY time you come in to our school, you must wear your volunteer badge or pick up a visitor’s sticker.  We want our staff and children to know that you have checked in at the office.  We also ask that all adults remind those in the building to be properly identified.  If we are in the habit of following this expectation, we will create a safer environment for our students. 

Thanks so much for ALL you do to make our school a special place for our kids! 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 the Yau family for the donation of children’s underwear.  They came just in time as we were totally out of girls! 
·         Thanks to Diane Swingen for notifying police of suspicious activity at our school over the weekend.

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.
       Donations of NEW child sized underwear for our Health Room.
       Volunteers needed to assist with Canfield Lunch Buddies from 11:20-12:15 Thursday, October 24.  Volunteers will greet our senior buddies and help them to the learning lab in the green pod.  Once our buddies arrive, second and third grade students will join them for lunch.  During this time volunteers will assist students (ie open cheese sticks and gogurts).  After lunch, volunteers will clean tables and assist guests to the front.  Let Mrs. CB know if you can help with this.
       Volunteers needed to distribute math vocabulary words before school once a week.  Kids will wear a word in the form of a sticker throughout the day for ongoing discussion and learning.

Student Dress and Accessories Info-Planning for October 31-Costume FAQ
Most of our classes are having fall parties on October 31.  I’ve had several students ask about costume expectations.  I’m thrilled when students ask questions and I assume this means others are wondering the same thing.  Just this morning, Madison asked two questions that seemed to sum up the theme of all questions asked.

Madison-May I wear my costume on Halloween?
Answer: Check with teachers for exact expectations but know that on October 31, 5.5 hours of the day will be learning and school as usual.  An hour has been allotted for a PTC sponsored fall party.  There are many exciting things that happen in the fall, including Halloween, but our fall parties will be fall parties (not Halloween parties) so costumes are not required. Students in grades 1-5 will be allowed to slip costumes over clothes during the party. Costumes may cover clothes but not faces or heads.  Kindergarten students are here four hours less than students in grades 1-5 and October 31 will be especially packed since they also have specials (library or technology) that day.  Because of the limited time they don’t have the time to change AND party.  Our kindergarten students are encouraged to dress in fall colors but not costumes.  This will give them more time to enjoy the party. Since kindergarten students have an extra four hours at home or daycare compared to older siblings, I’m sure they’ll find ways to enjoy dress up away from school during the day.

Students are expected to be safe, respectful and responsible all day, every day even when they are wearing costumes.  One aspect of safety is being able to clearly see and identify who is in our school. Faces should not be covered in the school so no masks or head coverings unless it is part of regular religious dress. Clothing worn during the party should reflect our expectations as well as the expectations outlined in the Beaverton School District Student/Parent Resource Handbook (see below). 

Dress and grooming are primary responsibilities of students and parents/guardians. However, students may be directed to change dress or grooming if it interferes with the learning process or school climate, is unclean, or threatens the health or safety of the student or others. Clothing, jewelry, or wording/graphics on clothing or on the person that is sexually suggestive, drug or alcohol related, vulgar, which depicts violence, insulting, gang membership related, or ridicules a particular person or group may be prohibited.

Madison’s Question-My costume comes with a little pretend bow and arrow.  Can I bring that?
Answer:  No.   Weapons, play-weapons or look-alike weapons are NEVER allowed at school.

In keeping with our safety theme, students should know that weapons as accessories are not acceptable at school.  Toy Weapons or Look-Alike Weapons are NOT allowed at school.  The use, threat of use, or possession of these at school may result in disciplinary action.  The expectations outlined in the Beaverton School District Student/Parent Resource Handbook are below. 

The use, threat of use, possession, or sale of knives and/or look-alike knives of any form and/or length will result in disciplinary action. If the knife is a dangerous weapon (readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used, threatened to be used, possessed, or sold) or a deadly weapon (Specifically designed for and presently capable of causing death or serious physical injury) then expulsion is required.
The possession, use, or threat of use of a look-alike explosive device, firearm, or other dangerous or deadly weapons will result in disciplinary action.

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