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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ducks and Coming to Sexton Mountain School-April 30, 2013


Dear Sexton Mt. Families:                                                                                                  

I was on bus duty Friday afternoon when a group of first graders asked if I’d seen the baby ducks.  “There are ten!” they exclaimed.  They had also observed black birds with red wings and other plants and animals in the pond in front of our school.  Our young scientists are making many observations.  It seems that even the animals know that great schools make for great communities and that Sexton Mountain is a great place to grow!




The duck family may be one of the newer families in the neighborhood.  As I was walking in the neighborhood last week, I noticed several “SOLD” toppers on real estate signs.  One of our grandparents shared that it’s easier to downsize when you live in a place where there are great schools since young families want strong schools for their kids.  What brought you to our neighborhood?  In the next month, I’m going to be putting together a book called Coming to Sexton Mountain School.  The book will include imaginative stories by our kids about how the ducks made it to our school.  It will also include interviews of our Canfield volunteers.  Did you know one of the ladies, now almost 100 years old, came to America on a boat in the 1920s.  The crossing took several weeks and she was very sick. 

How did you make it to Sexton Mountain School?  I’d like to include YOUR story in our book. I know some of our parents attended our school as children and moved back to stay close to grandparents.     I would guess that there will be stories that originate in different counties, states or countries.  Please send your story and a picture.  The book will be shared with our students during Culture Week the last week in May. 

Great books can teach us so much! I love learning through books and I see that many of our students do too.  On Monday I visited Powell’s to see if I could find books about ducks for our students to enjoy.  I ran in to several Sexton Mountain students and even bought some books based on their suggestions.  I’m glad that books and reading are important to kids on non-school days too!

Take Care,

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

Thank you!
§  Thanks to Mark Tsakistos, Michele Cobain and her mom, Karen Stratton and Jacob Brower for working so hard for our students on Tuesday.  You ROCK!!!!
§  Thanks to Kim Hurd’s scout troop for spending free time doing a service project for our school.  The girls cleaned out the former music portable and it’s beautiful!  Thanks girls!
§  Thanks to someone for the donation of an exercise ball.
§  Thanks to another someone for the donation of sugarless chewing gum for our kids to enjoy while testing.

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 needed to spend one-hour packing boxes in a portable.  This can be done anytime between 8:00am and 4:00pm
§  Volunteer woodworker (or someone who knows how to use a drill) needed to fix up existing but slightly broken book shelves so that they are usable in our book room.
§  Donations of small (saucer size) plates and metal spoons or forks are wanted for the staffroom.




Upcoming Events
April-OAKS Statewide Assessment for 3-5th grade this month during technology class
May 3-Community Engagement Committee meeting -- 9:00 am
May3-PTC meeting -- 9:30 am
May 6-10-Staff Appreciation Week-TOP SECRET PROJECTS DUE TO THE OFFICE BY MAY 1
May 15-Passport Club Check -- 8:30 am -- 12:00 pm
May 17-PTC Carnival
May 23-Volunteer Appreciation Day-2:00pm
May 23-PBIS Assembly-8:25am-Students go straight to the cafe on these days.
May 24-Assessment Day
May 27-Memorial Day Holiday-No School
May 28-Pizzicatto Night-Dining for Dollars
May 30-Cultural Celebration Assembly- Grupo Condor-   (Thank you PTC!)
8:30-9:20-Olson, 4th and 5th Grade
9:35-10:35-Baldwin, Pfaff, K, 1st, 2nd Grade
May 30-3rd Grade Performance-2:00pm
May 31-1st Gr. Field Trip
May 31-Kindergarten Field Trip
June 4-3rd Gr. Field Trip
June 7-Community Engagement Committee meeting -- 9:00 am
June 7-PTC meeting -- 9:30 am
June 7-Field Day-PARENT VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
June 7-4th Grade Human Growth and Development Lesson-Materials available for preview in office.
June 12-Mt. Guide picnic
June 13-PBIS Assembly-8:25am-Students go straight to the cafe on these days.
June 13-5th grade party at Conestoga Rec Center
June 13-Last day of school


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Prime Real Estate, Great Things, and Reading Aloud-April 23, 2013

Dear Sexton Mtn. Families:


Do you remember why you moved to our neighborhood?  Did it have anything to do with our school’s reputation?  Great schools mean great communities!  It seems that the real estate market might be picking up or maybe it’s just a typical spring, but it seems that I’m getting more calls or emails from potential homebuyers wanting to learn more about our school.  I’m not sure which website they refer to when they tell me our school is rated very high and they want to learn more about us but I’m glad to know that the good schools in Beaverton, and Sexton Mountain School in particular, make people want to come to our neighborhood. 

It’s easy to tell people about the AMAZING things our teachers and students are doing.  Did you know that…..
§  Every time I visit classrooms our teachers are teaching and learners are learning!
§  Our parent volunteers are piloting Music Workshop so that all of our students will get to learn about Jazz and Rock and Roll this spring
§  Our third, fourth and fifth graders are learning the nations around the world through the Passport Club?
§  Our school is sending more than ten kids (more than typically allowed) to the District Science Expo
§  Our PTC’s purchase of ipads has extended and enriched learning for students in the classrooms and increased student engagement in the resource room.
§  Our students speak more than twenty home languages.
§  More of our students in 3rd grade exceed expectations on the math state assessment than meet.
§  Three of our students will go to PSU in May for a Writing Festival.
§  Office referrals for discipline issues at recess have been reduced by 75% this year with the switch to recess before lunch.
§  We partner with Canfield Place for intergenerational partnerships that inspires learning and language development
§  All grade levels get to take a field trip this year because our PTC is so generous.
§  We have teams of students who have submitted entries to Signal to Noise for the District Festival
§  Though our office staff has been reduced from a team five to just over three compared to last year that our amazing parent volunteers have picked up the slack to help with everything from running errands to data entry. 
§  The school building is used on weekends and many evenings by community groups and organizations.  We really are the hub of the community
 
Each and every day we have something to celebrate at Sexton Mountain!  It’s easy to tell potential homebuyers that Sexton Mountain School is a great place to grow!  While we always celebrate the academic gains children are making, it’s also important to celebrate the social and emotional growth our students make.  I happened to visit two second grade classrooms Monday as teachers were reading aloud to students.  Reading aloud is a powerful instructional tool not only teaching and modeling literacy skills but positive social skills too. What I noticed Monday afternoon was how students were learning about how the characters work through conflict. Usually, by the end of a story, there is some sort of resolution.  Through books, children can learn what NOT to do.  They can also learn about a range of ways to tackle challenges. With longer texts, kids can see that problems aren’t always wrapped up in a short period of time.

Great things are indeed happening at Sexton Mountain School.  Thank you for sharing your children with us and for all you do to make our school AND community extra special so that our kids have a hopeful future!

Take Care,

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

Thank you!
§  Thanks to Meredith Potter, Lori Laraway, Kate Kristensen, and Eric McElroy for working so hard for our students on Saturday.  You ROCK!!!!
§  Thanks to Toni Fisher for modeling small group reading instruction for our Instructional Assistants.  This embedded staff development is powerful!
§  Thanks to Tiffany Hellum for planning and implementing a great Earth Week for our students.

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 needed to spend one-hour packing boxes in a portable.  This can be done anytime between 8:00am and 4:00pm
§  Volunteer woodworker needed to fix up existing but slightly broken book shelves so that they are usable in our book room.
§  Donations of small (saucer size) plates and metal spoons or forks are wanted for the staffroom.


Upcoming Events
April-OAKS Statewide Assessment for 3-5th grade this month during technology class
April 22-25-Earth Week
April 24-Passport Club Check Day
April 25-Spirit Assembly
April 29-Budget Reduction Day-No School
May 3-Community Engagement Committee meeting -- 9:00 am
May3-PTC meeting -- 9:30 am
May 6-10-Staff Appreciation Week-TOP SECRET PROJECTS DUE TO THE OFFICE BY MAY 1
May 15-Passport Club Check -- 8:30 am -- 12:00 pm
May 17-PTC Carnival
May 23-Volunteer Appreciation Day-2:00pm
May 23-PBIS Assembly-8:25am-Students go straight to the cafe on these days.
May 24-Assessment Day
May 27-Memorial Day Holiday-No School
May 28-Pizzicatto Night-Dining for Dollars
May 30-Cultural Celebration Assembly- Grupo Condor-   (Thank you PTC!)
8:30-9:20-Olson, 4th and 5th Grad
9:35-10:35-Baldwin, Pfaff, K, 1st, 2nd Grade
May 31-1st Gr. Field Trip
June 7-Community Engagement Committee meeting -- 9:00 am
June 7-PTC meeting -- 9:30 am
June 7-Field Day
June 7-4th Grade Human Growth and Development Lesson
June 12-Mt. Guide picnic
June 13-PBIS Assembly-8:25am-Students go straight to the cafe on these days.
June 13-5th grade party at Conestoga Rec Center
June 13-Last day of school

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Gratitude-April 16, 2013


Dear Sexton Mt. Families:                                                                                                 

Saturday night I came home with beautiful artwork, a $100 grocery certificate, new shoes, lots of coupons for services and a big smile!  Thanks to Cynthia Neeley and Karyn Johnson for chairing this special PTC event and for all the volunteers who worked so hard to make it happen.  Thanks also to those who donated items and time so that we had so many cool things to auction off.  Thanks also those who were there spending money for a good cause!  The final totals aren’t in yet but I’m sure our kids will benefit from the efforts of so many!

Thanks to Grace Campbell for chairing the PTC Family Science Night and to Geri Ingalls for serving as the PTC Assembly Coordinator.  Thursday morning was busy as students set up projects in the gym.  Next kids enjoyed OMSI assemblies.  Family Science Night Thursday was AWESOME.  Students enjoyed viewing the wide range of projects.  Many of our younger students were clearly getting ideas for their future projects.  It was evident that students worked very hard to design investigations, collect information then present their findings. As with the Art Fair, some of our students were a bit disappointed that others explored and (accidentally I hope) broke their special projects.  Between now and next year, I hope we can brainstorm creative ways of showcasing special work in a way that it will be safe from small or impulsive hands.  Let me know if you have any ideas.  We did end up with several nameless, leftover science boards so if your child is missing a board, have him or her stop by the office.  If they are not claimed by Friday, we will recycle them.  Fourth graders will continue to present findings to their classes this week so I’m sure that we’ll see a stream of boards coming home for a few more days.

On Thursday night, families also enjoyed some of the games from our Everyday Math Curriculum.  Family Math Games and Leveled Books are available for families to check out to enjoy at home.  The room next to the stage stores many book bags and math game bags. Check out is based on the honor system.  Feel free to borrow books or games then return them when you are done.  This room will be open regularly throughout the summer too, so please take advantage of this resource!

Our school hosted many other schools Friday for a staff development session. Thanks to Jenny Tan, Megan Arbuthnot, Susie Wilson, Tonya Robson, the VanCauteren Family, Abeer Awad, Tonya Spencer and Starbucks on Murray and Scholls for providing snacks for our day of meetings.  Our parent community has officially been deemed the MOST AWESOME OF ALL based on the wonderful hospitality shown on Friday.  Thanks to all who made the day special for us!

Tiffany Hellum, our PTC Eco-Team leader, has several exciting things planned next week for Earth Week. Our big goal for the week is to see how close we can get to a waste free lunch.  Kids will bring home a bookmark this week with ideas and instructions for things we’ll be doing next week.  It’s going to be a great challenge for our students.

In addition to the after school events and special activities, our teachers are teaching and learners are learning so great things are indeed 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.
Principal

Classroom Placement Info
As we plan for the 2013-2014 school year, we are asking for parent input regarding the learning environment that fits your child.  We want to achieve the best possible balance and learning for all students at our school.  It is very important for us to get a complete picture of your child as a learner.  Current teachers will be providing information regarding students' learning needs as well as current specialists.  Your information, in addition, will be of great value in understanding individual needs for all of our students.  If you desire, please write a letter commenting on the following points:
*Your child's learning style. 
*The type of teaching which best suits you child. Please do not list specific teacher names as teaching assignments have not been determined and as we know from last year, many things could change between now and September.
*The type of classroom environment you prefer. 
*Any special concerns that need to be considered.
Please drop letters by the office or send letters to Teresa_Clemens-Brower@beaverton.k12.or.us by April 30. Much thought and care go in to building balanced classes.  Your input is one valuable piece of the process.  By the time we have finished this procedure, we have created an intricately woven community of children.  Your information allows us to meet your concerns while doing what is best for all children at Sexton Mountain.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.


Thank you!
§  Thanks to Tonya Robson and Polly Campbell for organizing the Dining for Dollars event at Pizzicatto last week.  They raised more than $600 for our PTC.
§  Thanks to Karyn Johnson and Cynthia Neeley for chairing the Auction last weekend. 
§  Thanks to Glenna Griffiths and Rachel Cillo for prepping items for Earth Week.
§  Thanks to Kevin Koga for bringing his Lego Robotics team to the Science Fair.
§  Thanks to Allison Oberg for the generous donation of Sports Illustrated for Kids.  Our students really enjoy reading these after lunch.
§  Thanks to Rachel Cillo and Allison Oberg for the generous donation of chewing gum.
§  Thanks to Kohl’s for supplying volunteers and donating $500 to the auction.  Thanks also to Kohl’s for donating a large bag of stuffed animals for our prize box.


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.
§  Donations of KIDS MAGAZINES for lunch table book boxes.  Kids love Ranger Rick, Sports Illustrated for Kids and other age appropriate magazines.
§  Photographer needed to take pictures of students as they model routines and procedures on the playground and in the lunchroom so that we can put together a teaching slideshow for the fall.
§  Volunteer needed to iron and roll fabric for window coverings.  This is a job that can be done and home though volunteers will need to pick up items and directions from the office.  Stop by the office if you are interested in completing this project for us.


Upcoming Events
April-OAKS Statewide Assessment for 3-5th grade this month during technology class
April 16-2nd Grade Field Trip
April 22-25-Earth Week
April 24-Passport Club Check Day
April 25-Spirit Assembly
April 29-Budget Reduction Day-No School
May 3-Community Engagement Committee meeting -- 9:00 am
May3-PTC meeting -- 9:30 am
May 6-10-Staff Appreciation Week
May 15-Passport Club Check -- 8:30 am -- 12:00 pm
May 17-PTC Carnival
May 23-Volunteer Appreciation Day
May 23-PBIS Assembly-8:25am-Students go straight to the cafe on these days.
May 24-Assessment Day
May 27-Memorial Day Holiday-No School
May 28-Pizzicatto Night-Dining for Dollars
May 30-Cultural Celebration Assembly- Grupo Condor-   (Thank you PTC!)
8:30-9:20-Olson, 4th and 5th Grad
9:35-10:35-Baldwin, Pfaff, K, 1st, 2nd Grade
May 31-1st Gr. Field Trip
June 7-Community Engagement Committee meeting -- 9:00 am
June 7-PTC meeting -- 9:30 am
June 7-Field Day
June 7-4th Grade Human Growth and Development Lesson
June 12-Mt. Guide picnic
June 13-PBIS Assembly-8:25am-Students go straight to the cafe on these days.
June 13-5th grade party at Conestoga Rec Center
June 13-Last day of school