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Monday, October 13, 2014

Common Core, Goal Setting, Safety and More-October 14, 2014

Dear Sexton Mt. Families:

I did my first real research paper when I was a sophomore in high school in 1983.  I checked out every book available in Deschutes County on the topic (all three) and got to work.  Today I Googled the same topic and in .27 seconds, 32,100,000 links were generated.  The amount of information readily available to our children has increased exponentially and will only continue to grow.  Because our world is changing, the skills learners need in order to navigate the world have also changed.   The Common Core State Standards reflect these changes. The District Goal is for all students to show continuous progress toward their personal learning goals, developed in collaboration with teachers and parents, and be prepared for post-secondary education and career success.  We will meet our goal by teaching children to THINK critically and creatively, KNOW essential content, ACT in a self-directed and collaborative manner and develop the skills to GO into the world and navigate globally and locally.

Common Core State Standards and Smarter Balanced Assessment Info Night-Oct. 14 at 6:00pm
Common Core State Standards are a guide for what students need to KNOW in order to be college or career ready.  I will share about the Common Core State Standards and Smarter Balanced Assessment at 6:00pm Tuesday evening.  Please join me in the cafeteria at 6:00pm on October 14 to learn more about the changes in the standards and how they are assessed.  Because I tend to view things through a parent lens first, I will also share some easy ways that you can use at home to build habits of mind that will help your child be successful as well. 

Goal Setting Conferences-No School for Students on October 23 and 24
Conferences are quickly approaching.  Teachers will hold one conference per student this fall unless legal documentation shows the need for separate conferences for each parent(i.e. restraining order).  We know that when all family members are on the same page, it is helpful and hearing the same message at the same time allows for this while honoring the time of others.  Fall conferences are a time to set goals for the upcoming year.  Please be thinking about the goals you have for your child this year.

Safety--Emergency Drills-Practice, Practice, Practice!
Children around the state will take part in earthquake drills this week .  We practice several types of drills each month.  We know that practice makes proficient.  By practicing different drills we build muscle memory and the capabilites of the people within our organization to respond more effectively and efficiently.  Mental flexiblity is enhanced by pre-practice. I hope that families also practice drills on a regular basis.  To learn more about the Great Oregon Shake Out visit. http://www.shakeout.org/oregon/.  If you have a passion for disaster preparedness, we do have some tasks that we’d love to have help with.  Contact Mrs. CB for details. 

Remind 101-Text Reminders-Are you in the loop?
Last week I sent a humble apology for sending a reminder about International Walk and Bike to School day via text at 5:15am.  Many responded that they were up doing laundry too.  Others emailed in panic worried they’d missed the important text. Remind 101 is an app that allows me to send texts to those who have signed up.  If you’d like to get a reminder text (mostly weather or whole school event related) text @drcleme to (971) 340-2104.   Urgent news will be shared this way.  It was most appreciated last year when inclement weather made us start school late or closed school early.

Drop Off and Pick Up Time-Curbside Drivers Should Remain at Wheel
Remember that drivers are to remain at the wheel when dropping or picking up students curbside in the front traffic circle.  If children are not yet able to get in or out of the car indepedently, drivers should park in a legal parking space and walk students to or from the school.  Please share this information with childcare providers.  As the weather gets wet, traffic challenges increase and following procedures and protocols makes it safer and smoother for all.  We do expect that if reminders are needed, we will share them respectfully as our kids are very sensitive to honking horns, harsh words and yelling.   Unlike research resources in 1983, it could be that the morning drop off hasn’t changed all that much.  Here is a link from the 1983 movie Mr. Mom.  This clip shows how NOT to treat others in the parking lot of an elementary school or learning facility.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7ixBvVQHC0  Thanks in advance for being kind and supportive as traffic increase.

School Report Card Rating
Sexton Mt. is a great school for many reasons.  We have amazing kids and families!  We have excellent teachers and staff. We have a shared mindset of continuous improvement.  We have high expectations and try to be reflective on our daily practice and systems we have in place to support learners and learning.  This year, the Oregon Report Card has us in the top 10% of schools in the state of Oregon.  http://www.ode.state.or.us/data/reportcard/reports.aspx.  (Select Beaverton in the District Selection drop-down menu). I welcome the opportunity to share this information with you on the progress we are making to improve academic achievement for each student in the District. We are making progress.
State report cards began fourteen years ago when the 1999 Oregon Legislature passed a law requiring every public school and district to receive a report from the Oregon Department of Education about how they are performing overall.  You will notice that the report cards issued this year are significantly different from prior years.  Elementary and middle school ratings are based mostly on the growth of each student on the State Reading and Math tests.  Half of a high school’s rating is based on graduation rates.

Detailed data about how our school rating was computed is also available at the link above.
At Sexton Mt. School WE are committed to using these ratings to help tailor our school improvement plans and academic programs to meet the needs of every student.   During the year I will communicate with you frequently about student achievement and programs in place at our school to foster student learning and success.  If you have questions about our report card, please contact me.  You may also have suggestions for improvements.  Please share them!  

Great things are happing at Sexton Mountain because so many are working collaboratively to meet the needs of our students. 

Thank you,

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

Thank you!
·      Thank to Toni Fisher and her team for organizing a fabulous Family Bingo Night last week. 
·      Thanks to Robyn Fuenmayor and her team for a wildly successful Book Fair.
·      Thanks to all who helped with set up and clean up at these events.
·      Thanks to Holly Heaver and her team for organizing International Walk and Bike to School Day last week.
·      Thanks to Nicole Moes for volunteering to represent our school at eco-think events.

We love our volunteers!








Reminders
       December 5 is the Winter Music Program. All grade levels will perform during this evening event.
       At Sexton Mountain, we celebrate all the amazing diverse life experiences our students bring into our classroom every day.  As we celebrate many holidays throughout the year, we would like to know how your family celebrates important life events and holidays.  Do you have any particular songs or an activity that takes place as a family to celebrate holidays?  If you are willing to share them with me, please drop Mrs. CB a note with the name of the activity/song, description of the activity or lyrics of the song, and YouTube link or audio/visual file so that I can experience it myself!
       We won’t disrupt class learning time for late deliveries.  Let kids know if they forgot lunches in the morning and you plan to deliver them, lunchpails will wait for kids on the late lunch cart so they should check there.
       Please continue update the office with any email, phone or emergency contact info changes.
       Are you on Facebook?  Stay connected by liking the Principal CB’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Principal-CBs-Page-Sexton-Mountain-Elementary/227153960776053
       Remind 101 is an app that allows me to send texts to those who have signed up.  Text @drcleme to (971) 340-2104.   Urgent news will be shared this way. 
       Are you a Twitter user?  Follow us at https://twitter.com/PrincipalCB


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.
·      Next fall we expect all three of our kindergartens will be full day.  In preparation for full day kindergarten, we will be collecting items in the upcoming months.  Because we use wagons to transport lunches to and from the cafeteria, we hope to get three wagons donated before June. 

·      Are you a woodworker?  We’d love to have someone make a sign for our 155th and Sexton Mtn. entry with the name of our school and our address. 

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