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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

OBOB, Report Cards, Conferences and More-March 18, 2014

Dear Sexton Mt. Families:                                                                                                                                                         

Exciting things are happening at Sexton Mountain.  March and April are the months where I’m living in the present and the future.  I’m enjoying all the great things happening now and working hard to make sure we finish the year strong.  I’m also analyzing the successes of the year and am fully engaged in the planning process for the upcoming year.   Here are a few of the things I’m thinking about now.

Oregon Battle of the Books

Throughout the fall, teams of students read books in preparation for the Battle of the Books.  Over the last month or so, we had teams battle one another here at school.  They were asked questions about the 16 selected books representing genres including biography, fantasy, historical fiction, realistic fiction, mystery, and science fiction.  Our school’s top team, Dumbledore’s Army, went on to the regional battles last weekend (Clatsop, Columbia, Tillamook and Washington counties) and they were AMAZING! Obviously they had worked incredibly hard to remember so many details from such a wide range of books.

I was delighted to read Dawn Kimball’s recount of Saturday’s OBOB battles.

“Congratulations to Dumbledore's Army, Sexton Mountain's representative at the Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB) Regional competition Saturday.

After a fierce competition in the initial rounds, they emerged winners and continued on in the elite Sweet Sixteen round. A closely fought battle with the German American School ended the DA's journey, but they can hold their heads high. They represented Sexton Mountain beautifully. As Albus Dumbledore said, “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” This team was INCREDIBLY united and strong. So proud of them ALL...

Here they are pictured with OBOB parent coordinator extraordinaire: Jen Fife-Adams. We can't thank her enough for encouraging our children to read, talk about great books, and work as a team. What a great season for our 30 teams who participated in OBOB!” ---Dawn Kimball

Second Trimester Report Cards
Report Cards will be sent home in backpack mail on Friday, March 21.  Remember that scores are based on current performance as it relates to end-of-year grade level targets.  Here are some tips for talking about report cards with your child:
§  Ask your child how he/she thinks he/she did. This opens up the dialogue. It also allows them to celebrate their efforts or share their concerns. Most importantly, it sets the tone for parents to listen.
§  If the teacher comments on a child’s behavior, ask your child, “Why do you think the teacher included info about-insert behavior here?”  Getting your child to explain from the teacher’s point of view enables him to think about how actions are being interpreted.
§  Check out information on fixed verses growth mindsets by visiting links below.  See if it changes the ways you praise your child. 
§  Remember that conferences are in a few weeks so you and your child have time to generate a list of questions you have for the teacher regarding progress.  Thank you for your continued support.  We appreciate our strong home-school relationship.

Parent Teacher Conferences
April 10 and 11 students will not come to school for regular classes so that teachers can meet with families for conferences.  This is the time the District has set aside for you to review your child’s plan and profile sheet.  By contract, teachers are given several hours to prepare for the conferences and that makes for a pretty tight schedule for the actual conferences.  Thank you in advance for respecting the scheduled time.  When families and teachers come together to discuss a child, it’s pretty exciting!  Our kids are so lucky to have so many caring adults in their lives.

Kindergarten Orientation Follow Up
Last Thursday we welcomed our incoming Kindergarten students at Kindergarten Orientation.  Seeing so many enthusiastic four and five year olds reminded me about the high expectations our students have about school.   Thanks to all the parents and staff who made that evening a success! New families got to tour the school and students had a chance to visit classrooms.  It was a special night.

Acts of Kindness Wreath

Our kindness wreath continues to grow! Ask your child what he or she has noticed about the kind acts recognized.  Let me know if your child has done something kind at home.  I’d be happy to recognize your child with a ribbon.

Classroom Placement Info
As we plan for the 2014 - 2015 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, as well as current specialists, will be providing information regarding students' learning needs.  Your information, in addition, will be of great value in understanding individual needs for all of our students.  If you’d like, please write a letter commenting on the following points:
*Your child's learning style. 
*The type of teaching that best suits your child. Please do not list specific teacher names as teaching assignments have not been determined and 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 by March 21.

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. 

Fabulous Literacy Night—Keep on Reading
I enjoyed the poems, artwork, sports poses, and games Thursday night.  I hope kids did too.  Thanks to our teachers for planning such a fun evening for kids.  I hope that your family won’t stop reading together just because our book is done.  I received the message below from a Sexton Mountain dad Paul Grass.

“Tonight we finished the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe!  I have kept my vow to read out-loud at least 3-4 nights per week to my first grader.  What was fabulous is I started out reading it just to him (my third grader and fifth grader had read it before)….. the first few nights it was just him and I…..  then by the 4th chapter or so, our third grader decided to join into our nightly readings and became trapped by the trance of Narnia once again.  Then…. After a few more nights and right around the 8th or 9th chapter, our fifth grader decided to starting listening in…  first by the doorway (too cool to read out-loud with little brothers)….  But then soon moving his way fully in the room and onto his brother’s bed where I was reading.  So as I read the final chapters tonight, I was sitting on a single mattress bed with my 3 boys as they listened intently to every word, syllable, and metaphor that the book so beautifully weaves between.  We finished the book tonight, but I suppose it’s only just the beginning of the Narnia fun!

Jogathon-1, 342.22 miles
Sexton Mountain students should NEVER be underestimated!!  Look at how many miles our students collectively ran!

Baldwin: 319 laps: 79.75 miles                                      Yokom: 16 laps: 4 miles
Shotola: 285 laps: 71.25 miles                                        Hayhurst: 331 laps: 82.75 miles
Tsakistos: 338 laps: 84.50 miles                                  Wiegel: 294 laps: 73.50 miles
Antich: 304 laps: 76 miles                                                 Burnett: 33 laps: 8.25 miles
Olson: 276 laps: 69 miles                                                   Diresta: 163 laps: 40.75 miles
Stratton: 373 laps: 93.25                                                   Hiatt AM: 145 laps: 36.25 miles                                                     
Hiatt PM: 135 laps: 33.75 miles                                     Cobain-Soto: 246 laps: 61.50 miles
Lucas: 335 laps: 83.75 miles                                            Tanksley: 317 laps: 79.25 miles
Pfaff: 306 laps: 76.50 miles                                               Cohn: 232 laps: 58 miles
Hunt: 319 laps: 79.75 miles                                             Martin: 234 laps: 58.50 miles
Krueger: 364 laps: 91 miles

Our kids ran with joy!!

Thank you for sharing your children with us!  I am thankful that I get to learn so much from them each day!


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 Stephens family for helping with a shopping project.

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.
       Volunteers are needed daily from 11:50-12:10 to serve as mentors and homework completion encouragers. Loving, encouraging helpers can make extra practice fun!
       Volunteers are needed daily from 8:05-8:25 to read with students.  Loving, encouraging listeners can make reading practice fun!
       Donations of hand sanitizer will be put to good use in our computer lab.  Please send donations to the office or computer lab.
       Donations for our teachers’ projects are still appreciated! 
       Our school is hosting 100 Beaverton teachers on the staff development day on April 25.  We would like to invite our amazing parent group to consider donating treats for their day of learning.  If you would like to donate coffee, juice, fruit, pastries, bagels, or cheese, please let Mrs. CB know.  Thanks in advance.
·          Report off campus traffic issues to
Upcoming Events (bold items have been recently added)
§  March 19-Passport Club Check Day
§  March 20-PE Showcase at Sunset High School 6:30-8:00pm
§  March 24-28- No School-Spring Break
§  April 10-11-Parent-Teacher Conferences-No School
§  April 23-OMSI Science Assembly 8:30-9:30-3rd-5th Grade and 9:45-10:45-Kindergarten-2nd Grade
§  April 25-No School-Staff Development Day

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