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Monday, June 9, 2014

Reading and Research over the Summer, Fly Up and More-June 10, 2014

Dear Sexton Mt. Families:                                                                                                                                                         

 My first job in education was volunteering in my mom's classroom.  She was the founder of a preschool for children with special needs and she was desperate for volunteers.  Each day during the summer after third grade, she brought me to work with her so I could read to students or help them practice skills.  When the kids would go home, my mom still had hours of work to do so she would send me next door to the library to get books for research. I would spend the long summer afternoons researching different states or animals or topics of interest.  While my mom was really finding a way to keep me busy, she was also giving me lots of time to practice writing, reading and critical thinking.  By the end of the summer, I had a large collection of writing.  In addition to non-fiction topics, I also enjoyed the entire Little House on the Prairie series.  I enjoyed familiar characters and seeing how they grew and changed from book to book.

I hadn't thought much about that summer until I visited the first grade classrooms Monday morning.  Kianna was reading and writing about raccoons.  Finn and Aiden were discussing a favorite series.   It's exciting to see this type of passion for reading, writing and research.    As you plan for the upcoming summer vacation, I hope that you will think about the opportunities your child will have to read and write.  Please schedule trips to the library and allow for chunks of time when kids might get bored and need to find something creative to do. Encourage them to write or draw daily.


You may want to use the supplies children bring home this week to create a writing kit.  Extra pencils, papers, markers and such can be put to good use in the upcoming months.  Children will bring home a school supply list Tuesday.  Over the next few days, as they empty out desks, you’ll likely find that many of the supplies can be reused next year.  Scissors, rulers, supply boxes and colored pencils are just a few of the things that some kids reuse year after year. You may want to label a box now so that kids know where to put these items once they bring them home.

On Tuesday, students in Kindergarten through Fourth grade will meet their next year’s classroom teacher and classmates.    This is an experience that is all about the kids so we ask that parents and grandparents stay away from classrooms and pods during the last hour of the day on Tuesday, June 10.  If you are in the building and volunteering during that time, you are welcome to come to the cafeteria to get to know our new families.  Because this event is for the kids, we appreciate your consideration.

Our staff has worked very hard to balance classes for optimal learning. We have a commitment to challenge every child in our school to high standards, whatever that child’s strengths and areas for growth.  It is our goal to have the make-up of all of our classrooms balanced in terms of gender, abilities, talents and challenges.  The teachers and I spent many hours putting together this complex puzzle in order to provide a strong learning environment for every child.  Please be assured that your child’s best interests were at the heart of our work.  Because students will know their future classmates and teacher Tuesday, it’s important for families to be enthusiastic and optimistic about the upcoming year. Some kids may be a bit disappointed because they didn’t get the teacher an older sibling or neighbor had.  Let your kids know that you have confidence that they will do well in the upcoming grade with the teacher they’ve been assigned. Help them find the positive.    It will be a great year for them with much to look forward to and all kids at a grade level will get to know all teachers over the year.

If your child will be moving to a new school next year, he or she will get an extra recess during the Fly Up time.  It’s important for kids who are moving to new schools to see that they are not alone.  Again, it’s important for families to be enthusiastic and optimistic about the upcoming year.  Let your kids know that you have confidence that they will do well in the upcoming grade at their new school.  Change can be stressful because of the many unknowns but by celebrating all that a child does well as a student, the child will know that he or she will use the same student skills in new places.

In the next few days we will continue to have much to celebrate!  Our kids are still learning and our teachers are still teaching.  Thanks 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 Judith Yan for organizing and unpacking the HUGE shipment of supplies.  We are set for fall.
  • §  Thanks to Susan Elliott for leading the after school drama club. 
  • §  Thanks to Tiffany Hellum for leading the after school Eco Club and Garden Club.
  • §  Thanks to Renee Wilkins for organizing the Tie-Dye day last week.
  • §  Thanks to Mr. Miller for working so hard on Field Day.  Kids had a BLAST!  Thanks also to the many volunteers who made the day special for our kids.
  • §  Thanks to Holly Medell for working so hard to organize our book room.
  • §  Thanks to ALL who made this year special for our kids.  We have countless volunteers who work at home and at school so that our children will have special experience.  We are so lucky to have such a committed group of supporters.

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.
       If you are interesting in spearheading an after or before school Chess Club next year, please contact Mrs. CB.  An organization wants to partner with our school on this project but we need a volunteer to organize the effort.  Because it will be a volunteer run project, you can make it what you’d like.
Upcoming Events (bold items have been recently added)
       June 10- Spirit Day-Super Hero or Oregon Duck Day (to honor Mrs. Krueger)-We will also do a cereal drive for the Sunshine Pantry. 
       June 10-Kindergarten Celebration 10:00am and 12:30pm (note change)
       June 10-PTC Meeting at 9:30am in cafeteria
       June 10-Fly Up Day
       June 11- Spirit Day-Sports Attire Day
       June 12- Spirit Day-Hawaiian Day
       June 12-Assembly 8:30am
       June 12-Last Day of School and 5th Grade Send Off Party
       June 12-Report Cards will be sent home in backpack mail or mailed.
       June 16-Beaverton Party in the Park at Sexton Mountain (Afternoon-Evening Event)
       June 19-Last Day to Pick Up Medication from the Office
       August 28-Back to School Picnic 4:30-6:30pm
o   Take your school supplies to the classroom
o   Visit the PTC info tables to learn about the exciting things our PTC has planned this year
o   Bring a picnic to enjoy with your family or purchase dinner from a food cart
o   Reconnect with other Sexton Mt. Families
       September 2-First Day for First through Fifth Grade Students
       September 8- First Day for Kindergarten Students
District Goal for 2010-2015:  All students will show continuous progress toward their personal learning goals, developed in collaboration with teachers and parents, and will be prepared for post-secondary education and career success.

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