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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Details-August 17, 2015

Dear Sexton Mt. Families:

The purpose of today’s note is to share details about the upcoming weeks to make the first days of school go more smoothly.

First-Fifth Grade First Day-The first day of school for students in grades 1-5 will be Tuesday, September 8. 

Kindergarten First Day-In order to give our kindergarten students the best possible chance to learn about school in a positive way only half our kindergarten students will come to school the on September 8.   
Kindergarten students whose last name begins with A-L will come to school on Tuesday, stay home Wednesday then return to school on Thursday and every day thereafter.   

The other half of our kindergarten students will come on September 9.  Kindergarten students whose last name begins with M-Z will stay home Tuesday and have their first day of school on Wednesday, September 9 then return to school on Thursday and every day thereafter. 

On the first day:
The doors will open at 8:05am.  At that time, students may go to the cafeteria. If adults come into the building with children, they must sign in and get a pink visitor’s sticker.
At 8:10, students may go to the gym, playground, or library.  They can also stay in the cafeteria.
At 8:25 the first bell will ring.
 Kids may go to the classroom at 8:25am.  Teachers will use every second up to that time to prepare for the big start. 
Adults are welcome to come to the stage in the cafeteria for some pastries and coffee after they part with students or at 8:25am.  This will allow kids to get started on learning and parents time to reconnect or visit in a place that won’t distract the learners. 
Before school, you may want to photograph your child with the Sparky statue in our front entry or by the “Class of 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027 or 2028” in your child’s pod. 
If you walk your child to class, remember that every time you enter the building, you are expected to sign in and get a visitor or volunteer badge.  This will usually be done in the office but on the first day, we will have sign in tables in front of the school since we expect so many guests.
Feel free to photograph your child with the Sparky in our entry.  You may want to make this a first day tradition to see how your child grows. 

Before school begins I am sure that you will be working on routines and procedures to make sure that your child is as ready and independent as possible before heading into the new school year.  The information below will help you know what to expect.
·       Our Back to School Picnic/Ice Cream Social/Supply Drop Off is Thursday, September 3 from 4:30-6:30p.m.   
o   Supply Drop Off Between 4:30-5:30, students can drop school supplies by the classroom.  Have students lead the way to the classroom.  This teaches independence and promotes confidence!  Our school is one big loop so you really can’t get lost.  Each pod is labeled with K, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 to show which grade meets where.  Teacher names are above the door.
o   Back to School Picnic/Ice Cream Social  4:30-6:30-Bring a picnic to enjoy with your family on the playground following your visit to the classroom.  The PTC will also have some sort of dessert for you to enjoy after your picnic.  A food cart will be selling meal items as well.
o   Our PTC will have info about a wide range of ways that families can be involved at school this year.  Please check out their info tables under the covered area on the blacktop behind the school
·       August is a great time to drop off MEDICATION for students.
o   Throughout the year, adults must deliver any medication (i.e.-prescriptions, inhalers, cough drops, Tums, Benadryl or Tylenol).  Never send medication with your child.
o   Medication authorization forms must be completed when medication is dropped off.
o   Adults can drop off medication during regular office hours- 7:30am-4:00pm.  The office is much less busy in August than it is when school starts so now is a great time to complete this task.
·       August is a great time to Know and Practice the After School Day Plan
o   Complete the enclosed MEMO to TEACHER so the teacher will know your child’s after school plan. Return the completed MEMO TO TEACHER on September 3 or on the first day of school.
o   When kids know their plan, they are much more relaxed during the school day.  Before school begins talk about the plan and practice it if possible.
·       Know that there will be Important Documents for you to review in the School Mailing
o   Sign and return the student verification form and other necessary documents ASAP.  Make sure  the info on the form is correct and let us know if it changes throughout the year.
·       Know that there will be many exciting things happening this year for you and your student.  The activities calendar will be in the Back to School packet but for now, MARK YOUR CALENDAR for two upcoming events:
o   September 17th -Back to School/Curriculum Night 6:30pm-8:00pm
o   October 29 and 30-Parent Teacher Conferences-No School for Students

GETTING TO SCHOOL on time and ready to learn sets the stage for the day.  Now is a good time to discuss with your child what to expect depending on how your child gets here. Supervision in the cafeteria begins at 8:05am then at 8:10 students may go to the gym, playground or library if space is available.
       BUS If you live more than one mile from school, your child may have the option of riding a bus.  Parents are responsible for making sure kids get to and from the stop safely and are monitored.  If your child arrives BY BUS the child will exit the bus (with all of his or her belongings) then go to the cafeteria, gym, library or playground until 8:25am.  Bus route information will be available soon.  We will send out bus info through email.  Students should be at the bus stop 5 minutes early.  You may be able to find your child’s bus stop info through the Beaverton School District Transportation website. 
       BY CAR- IF students are able to independently get in and out of the car on the passenger size, they can be dropped off in the front loop. Students enter through the door closest to the cafeteria then go to the cafeteria, gym, library or playground until 8:25am.  IF students are not yet able to do this independently drivers should park in a legal parking space then help the child out of the car and walk them across the crosswalk to the building. If adults come into the building with children, they need to enter through the front door then go to the office to sign in and get a visitor or volunteer badge.
       BY FOOT OR BIKE- If students arrive by foot or bike, they will walk their bike at crosswalks and on campus.  Kids should lock bikes at a rack (located in front and back of the school) then go to the cafeteria, gym, library or playground until 8:25am

Know that Instruction Begins promptly at 8:30am
       When the 8:25am bell rings, students walk directly to the classroom.  Teachers take attendance electronically at 8:30am then begin instruction so if a child arrives after the 8:30am bell, the child will be marked absent.  As to not interrupt instruction, children not in class at 8:30am need to get a pink slip from the office.  When they show this to the teacher, the teacher knows that the office has changed the electronic record to show the child is at school.  Please make being on time and ready to learn a habit.  Children who are frequently tardy in elementary school are more likely have poor grades in middle school, drop out in high school, and even experience employment issues later in life.  Plan ahead for congestion and let kids know that the start of the day is a lot like the scheduled departure of an airplane to Disneyland in that if you arrive late, you may miss something important no matter what the excuse. 

Mid-Day Recess and Lunch
       Children may bring healthy meals from home or they may purchase meals at school.  Lunch boxes are less likely to be lost if they are clearly marked with the student’s names and students remember to put them in the class lunch wagon.  Children should be able to open their own containers so practice this before school begins.  Gogurts, cheese sticks, thermoses and juice boxes can be tricky so plan accordingly.
       If students plan to purchase lunch or breakfast see Nutrition Services website  for more info on how to pay online.  The money deposit boxes are in the cafeteria and office.  Make sure your child’s name is on the check (payable to Sexton Mt.) or envelope with cash. 

End of Day Routines
After school can be the most challenging part of our routine as we reconnect kids and families.  Dismissal Time is at 3:05pm. With 500+ students leaving school at the same time there will undoubtedly be traffic congestion at times. Please complete and return the blue “Memo to Teacher” so your teacher will know well in advance your child’s after school plan.  In the classroom, teachers line kids up based on these plans.
       The  BUS or daycare van waiting area is on the covered area of the playground
o   Kids should know their bus number or name of daycare.
o   The afternoon bus is different than the mid-day kindergarten bus because bus riders at this time, including our kindergarten students, will be allowed to get off at their bus stop if an adult is present or not.  Make sure that your child knows where to get off the bus and how to get home from the stop. 
       If students are being PICKED UP, the front traffic circle sidewalk is where kids are taken to wait for their ride
o   Students should look for their vehicle and alert staff members when the ride arrives.
o   Drivers will remain at the wheel in the driveway and traffic circle or park legally and wait for your child on the sidewalk near the benches or bike rack.
o   Adults should wait outside for students so that teachers can maximize every minute of the day!
       Students may WALK or BIKE home with permission.  Indicate this on the Memo to Teacher.

Class Placement- Most students met their new teacher on Fly Up day last June.   New students, including our kindergarten students, should expect a postcard or email with teacher information sometime before September 1. 

Building Habits of Mind
Perhaps the most important job we have as parents and as educators is to make sure that our children are developing the habits of mind needed in order to be ready for a wide range of choices later in life.  We want children to develop the habits of mind to think critically and creatively.  We want our children to master content. We want our children to develop the skills to act collaboratively.  We want our children to know how to be self-directed.  We want our children to develop the skills to navigate locally and globally.  We can only accomplish these things by working together.  I look forward to a positive and productive school year.

Thank you for entrusting us with your children.


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

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 extra paper, markers, colored pencils or supplies can be put to use in the library or ELL classroom.
       Volunteers are needed to help with Kinder, 1st  & 2nd grade lunches during the first week of school from 11:00-11:55am.
       Volunteers are needed to help welcome new adults on the stage September 8 and 9. 

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